Sport: Racing: Gravity Racer
Gravity Tailgate Racer Contest   (+2, -2)  [vote for, against]
Toy Car falls down track, mechanical car stays ahead of it.

A long time ago, I remember a contest where we'd build wooden toy cars (generally using kits). Competitors would all place their car on top of a hill, then they'd fall down. The winner was the one whose car reached the end fastest. Techniques like intelligent placement of weights and smart aerodynamics improved a car's ability to win.

So, I propose a secondary event using the same vehicles and hill. A strip of inflexible plastic (or metal) of approximately car height would be in each track with a motion camera attacked to its front. The strip would be attached to the track in such a way that it could be moved down the track quickly. The motion camera would be used to select a speed which minimized distance between the device and the car without them touching. I believe such a solution would likely end up reducing the advantage of having an aerodynamic design.
-- aguydude, Apr 11 2008

152 MPH Bicycle http://www.canosoar...le/LSR%20Bike01.htm
Don't underestimate the power of drafting. [kevinthenerd, Jun 10 2008]

//Competitors would all place their car on top of a hill, then they'd fall down//
What fell down - the cars or the competitors?
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 11 2008

Not at all sure what the purpose of the secondary car (strip of plastic?) is, other than filming the real car.
-- DrCurry, Apr 11 2008

Do you mean that the plastic strip is a moving windbreak that stays a constant distance ahead of a car? If so, why?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 11 2008

We called these pinewood derby cars and if you are reducing the advantage of aerodynamics, you are killing most of the event, leaving only bearing design. Actually you would just change the event into a drafting contest behind the plastic strip, so what are you a NASCAR fan? (-)
-- MisterQED, Apr 11 2008

I used to do the pine wood derby, and yes, it's very much about aero.
-- kevinthenerd, Jun 10 2008

random, halfbakery