I have chatted with the organizers of this year's annual get-together, and we all are in agreement -- this year, we're going to have us a little gravity-powered derby.
A bunch of years ago, I was at ECB's garage, and he had this funky little car in a glass cabinet. It was made from the valve cover of some small engine, probably a Pinto, boasted four wheels, and a little decorative flair. I was floored; I'd never seen anything like that before, and wanted to know the back story. It looked "Full Race," as it were.
So, yeah. He is part of the hot-rod scene -- as well as the old boat, old Tudor sedan, horseless carriage, slot-car, memorabilia … whatever transportation-related hobby circles there are. In one of those, valve-cover racing is a thing, and he's got a pretty good idea of how they're supposed to go.
We’re not going to be able to afford to mimic the sanctioned VCR circuit too much — but only because it’ll be kind of hard to make the full-on competition stuff his other clubs have worked super-hard for years to refine happen.
Maybe, if this catches on, but not on our first attempt.
Bruce’s an awesome dude who’s got a whole list of good suggestions, and he’s right that there really ARE some official rules. I really do like a handful of them, like there should probably be a weight limit, a governing body (as such), a set venue, and a smooth track surface. There ought to be a size limit, and there ought to be a set number of wheels allowed on the cars.
I consulted the gentlemen who are putting together the weekend for us; Ed and Alan, as well as Piperato (always "good" counsel), Nichols the Younger (an eager young man who knows too much about Pinewood Derby stuff), and my wife, Jeni. The consensus was that this event should be held on either Friday or Saturday at the showfield, depending on weather. If the weather's nice, maybe Friday could be a test-and-tune day, and the Marshal (TBD, but I'm leaning toward Mossberg or Wild Bill) can run cars through Tech.
We also floated weight, and feel that the cars should weigh less than one and-a-half pounds. A scale will be on-site, but probably won't be used on anybody's car except Fincher's. He'll probably bring a three-wheeled dump-truck valve cover and fill it with concrete and rebar.
We felt the valve cover used for a contestant's car should reflect the spirit of our event; four or six-cylinder engines have significantly smaller valve covers than, say, an Oldsmobile Rocket. My thought is that the cover should somehow be connected to the Speedster, Spyder, MG, or Fiero you bring to the event (but not from your *actual* car!).
Max gets to bring a Fiero. Nobody else does.
They should have at least four wheels -- of which, four touch the ground when the car is in motion.
And paint. Some kind of paint. Decorate with welding, putty, parts, windshields -- whatever. And some kind of identification number would be nice.
In my mind, we're looking at the asphalt stretch nearest the fence -- the one which goes up the hill to Trailer Land and the Autocross track. In a perfect world, Ed will be able to bargain us an hour or two wherein that particular 50 yards is closed for our use. We'll see, but it might draw spectators if management puts it on the official Carlisle Events schedule. That would be fun.
I'm going to make ONE trophy out of leftover sh*t in my garage, topped with a Hubley Indy car toy I bought last week that I'm going to paint with some kind of cool gold paint. Totally garage art -- intended for the overall winner. If y'all want to make something for other "winners," by all means … I believe there'll be room at the dinner Saturday for a few presentations.
Feel free to float ideas here. I mostly read the facebook page for this group, but I'll check in here from time to time.