GarageLove: The New Generation of Racer


We dialed in a ton of negative camber—not for handling, but for lower rolling resistance as the car will only ride on the inner most portion of the plastic wheel.  

Out of a hundred-plus cars and youngsters that showed up at our local Pack’s Derby, there seemed to be three discrete groups:

The first group of cars were carved and painted to look like their owner’s interests. That included football shaped racers painted to look like the Cleveland Browns or a boat that had the colors and flag of the U.S. Coast Guard. The builders used the canvas of the car to show their true interests—like minivans adorned with the flags of their favorite sports teams. The transportation pod was nearly irrelevant to their life.

The second group of cars were shaped, sanded and painted to look like real cars. Clearly the heart of enthusiast will beats strong in these kids, as their racers were beautifully turned out miniature muscle cars, convertibles and formula cars.  Some of them even had lights and concours-quality interiors. 

At six years of age, my son lands pretty squarely in Group Three—the racers. Some of those cars looked pretty, but they all were fast. Apparently for us, the teachable moments also include how to exploit a set of rules to our advantage.  

Ballast weight was added to the back of the car to bring it as close to the 5 ounce maximum weight as we could.  Our postal scale read 4.8, while the “Official” scale weighed our car at 5 on the dot.  

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