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Friday, February 03, 2006
pinewood derby car
For some unknown reason I've decided to make my own pinewood derby car. I have no clue why, maybe some sort of yearning for a childhood memory, or just because I'm bored, who knows. I haven't made on since I was a Cub Scout, and at the time my dad did most of the cutting of wood, I did all the sanding and most of the painting. The derby car we made was modeled after an Indy car from the seventies. My brother had one that was modeled after a twenties Indy racer, neither went down the track all that well, most likely due to a center of gravity problem, but we both got props for the design and execution.
Anyway, the point of this would be that I'm making a new one, something a bit different than the Indy racer of my Cub Scout days. This car looks more like a salt lakes streamliner, or something like that.
I've been thinking about alternative vehicles lately, how they are designed, and started thinking about a photo of a tether car my grandfather had. It was a streamliner car that had a teardrop shape to it with the rear wheels narrower than the front. In my reading about fuel efficient cars, something had popped out at me, the narrower the rear, the less drag and better cornering. Something my grandfather understood in the thirties or forties when the photo was taken, it was modern for the time.
Now I'm modeling this new pinewood derby car after this type of car, but with out the narrow rear wheel base, since you can't have it go down a track with the tire so close together, but the teardrop shape is there. I guess I just like the shape of the car, since cornering on a straight downhill track doesn't exist. Maybe that will be something for another day, a true manned gravity racer. I'll take some photos of the derby car and try to find the photo of my grandfather's tether car sometime soon, as well as my Indy racer from the Cub Scout days.
Then I think I'll get back to painting.