During the construction phase, I encouraged the boys to do their best to make their cars look great. As such, I made myself available to assist them in the construction. We ended up with a nice variety of cars, with a weight range from 6.5 to 13.4oz(!).
Prior to the race, I had tested the starting gate with a couple of blocks with wheels and axles mounted and... well, using the line to guide the cars led to "less than desirable results. At that point, we decided to deviate somewhat from the recommendations & built a track with center divider. Here is the end result, which was "simple and effective", though there was room for improvement:
With the track set up on location, I ran my two blastcars for a final test. The only change needed was that the "sophisticated" stopper at the end (a pillow) needed some additional weight so it wouldn't be dislodged. In the test, my faster car hit the pillow so hard that it lifted a corner, allowing the slower car to slide under the pillow & make its merry way into the parking lot.
At any rate, we had a photo shoot of all the cars prior to the race:
After the photo shoot, the crowds made their way to vote for their favorites...
And once the votes were cast, the races began! We opted to do an elimination format, based on weight classes. This led to the first faceoff (and the only one I have a pic of right now):
The fastest car was "The Cole Machine", which would be due to it being the lightest (6.5oz) and having a long wheelbase.
The fan favorite was given to the three that had the highest number of votes. In order, they were "Black Beauty", "Dark Ray" and "the Jokermobile".
All in all, the boys had a lot of fun and a couple of the boys who opted out of the event said they wished they had participated. So here's hoping for an even better event next year!
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And very nice job with the homemade track for the blast cars to run on.. Toop 816.
Looks like some thought went into making the track as well!
As the pavement or dirt track types tend to be very hard on the wheels for these cars as well.
I do think that this could have taken off with some tweaks, such as encouraging the use of a track rather than the string. I realize they were trying to have the alignment be something the boys needed to focus on, but it is still a factor in a track race. Not to mention that the surface is much more consistent than sidewalks/parking lots. It would have also been nice if they could have found a way to encourage Cub Scouts to promote it & troops to offer the event. In our troop, the boys who were the most interested were the youngest ones - those who were not far removed from Pinewood Derby. For them, this is a natural (and awesome!) progression from Cub Scouts.