Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Delivery Van Racing

Racing series for delivery drivers.
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
  [vote for,

This is my first post so here goes...

Has any body driven a Toyota Hiace van or similar type?

I had to move some stuff at home and borrowed the Hiace from work. It seems that because the driver actually sits directly above the front axle line, it feels very agile and manouverable. A very torquey turbo diesel engine mated to a close ratio gearbox made for fast getaways at the traffic lights. Up to the 50kph speed limit at least.

I'd always noticed that courier/delivery drivers were extremely 'loose' while driving around town. Tailgating, overtaking, and generally driving the vans as if they were stolen! I used to put it down to a combination of driver training, and driving everyday in city traffic. After having a go of one of these vehicles myself though, I now beleive another contributing factor would have to be the vans themselves! Highly irresponsible behaviour but lots of fun! And not that fast really. It just feels that way due to the close ratio gearbox.

So I propose a race series for panel vans. Unmodified, except for safety gear. The circuits used would have to be inner city and the drivers would most likely be van drivers during the week. I think it could be quite entertaining to watch. More fun to take part in though.

To add to the chaos, maybe have a taxi driver race withe similar rules, running at the same time!

Anybody got any other ideas to add to the chaos/carnage?

Emi-chan, Aug 22 2004

(?) Semis http://riggpixxx.ho...lSuperTruckNew.html
How about adding some fully laden semi trucks to the mix? [reap, Oct 04 2004]

(?) Classic panel van http://www.smasa.co...ics_ek_panelvan.htm
A fine example of the Panel Van genre! [ConsulFlaminicus, Oct 04 2004]

SuperVan http://www.carpages...rvan_3_17_07_04.asp
I'd put my money on the bloke driving this. [Gordon Comstock, Oct 04 2004]

Watch for the bike being overtaken by a van... http://www.youtube....watch?v=5KiC03_wVjc
[Ling, Jun 11 2012]


       [Emi-chan] welcome to the Halfbakery.   

       Remember that this is an international forum, so you should explain country-specific terms like 'Panel Van', which in this case (possibly because you are too young to know what a panel van is??) you seem to have misapplied to vehicles such as HiAce vans. A true 'Panel Van' resembles a HiAce van as a bee resembles an elephant.   

       Perhaps someone nice will post a link to a picture of a Panel Van.
ConsulFlaminicus, Aug 23 2004

       Rig the vans so that they were filled with balloons and streamers that shoot out in joyous celebration from every window (except the windscreen) at the point of victory!   

       I sincerely believe that there should be racing events for every form of vehicle so I'm giving this one a croissant with butter and jam. French people, I am sorry.
harderthanjesus, Aug 23 2004

       I live in New Zealand where I beleive a panel van is usually the term given to a van with panel sides as opposed to windows. However, as I'm originally from the UK and the term 'Panel Van' is not common, I assumed this was correct terminology. I stand corrected. I'll change the title. I was refering to any van where the driver sits above the front wheels, as this will give a suitably unstable centre of gravity, therefore adding to the interest factor.
Emi-chan, Aug 23 2004

       UPS ran an ad awhile ago about wanting to race the truck in the Winston Cup Series here.
RayfordSteele, Aug 24 2004

       Emi-Chan, I too am from New Zealand, but haven't heard of the term 'panel van' before, however, I do like your idea and think that Wellington would be a great location for this race due to it's combination of narrow streets, tight turns and long straights. Not to mention the taxi drivers are borderline insane and the courier drivers act like Formula 1 racers..
christjan08, Jun 10 2012

       Semi-baked on Top Gear, when Sabine Schmidt did the Nurburgring in just over ten minutes in a Ford panel van. A Top Gear challenge qualifies as a race, Shirley?
Alterother, Jun 10 2012

       There should be an empty and loaded category. It would be loads of fun to see how close to tipping over those vans can get.   

       This concept would make for a fine chase scene in a movie: the unexpectedly nimble van and knowledgable driver. The van could have an ad on the side and the scene would close with the driver returning to base and finding them deluged with orders.
bungston, Jun 10 2012

       During the race, the driver must consume a bacon sandwich and a flask of tea.
Ling, Jun 10 2012

       // A Top Gear challenge qualifies as a race, Shirley? //   

       Only if it's Jezza driving.   

       And don't call us Shirley.
8th of 7, Jun 10 2012

       An Interesting idea, makes me think of the alleycat races that bike messengers participate in. Might be a bit dangerous on public roads, but what isn't? [+]
erenjay, Jun 10 2012

       I've ridden in a Toyota Hiace and the driver was having a lot of fun. On the opposite end of the scale I drive a ford E350 van for work and it is probably the least fun vehicle in the world to drive. +1 for this idea, especially since it utilizes unmodified vans driven in close quarters instead of on a mud track or something. I think the course should involve realistically placed stopped cars to simulate traffic.
DIYMatt, Jun 11 2012

       I've driven as a delivery driver: it's a 10-12 hour day, 5-6 days a week doing exactly what the post wants but with the added hazards of police, tow trucks, bitchy customers and mechanics who charge overtime. Real delivery drivers would snigger at the thought [-] ... might work for one of those Japanese extreme-contest shows though.
FlyingToaster, Jun 11 2012

       //possibly because you are too young to know what a panel van is?//
I'm fairly old, but to me a "panel van" is something like a Transit or a Commer.
Is "panel van" some snigger-worthy double entendre in different parts of the world?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 11 2012

       [Gordon Comstock], especially since it has a half-baked engine.
erenjay, Jun 11 2012

       A panel van is a delivery or commercial service fan that has solid panels in the rear instead of windows. It can be anything from a commercial mini-van to a UPS truck (which, around here at least, is also called a 'step van').   

       I'm pretty sure the vehicle in which Sabine Schmidt (who is, for the benifit of the uneducated, a champion racer and now one of Porsche's top test drivers) whipped the 'Gring was in fact a Transit.
Alterother, Jun 11 2012


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