Saturday, March 10, 2012

Diecast downhill drag racing track construction

In a previous post I asked if anyone was interested in racing Hot Wheels or other three inch diecast cars in Canberra. The response was underwhelming - but I forged ahead nevertheless! To begin racing you need a track. I thought about my options and experimented with new and old hot wheels and superfast track, and decided to build a dedicated track. 

I started by buying a 20 foot roll of vintage Redline era Hot Wheels track from ebay. I also used a vintage Hot Wheels starting gate and a contemporary Hot Wheels finishing gate. I then went down to the hardware store and bought four pieces of 10cm x 1.8 meter pine. 

You have to start somewhere, so i mocked up the best way to mount the starting gate - while also making it removable. I carved up a piece from a Hot Wheels criss cross crash set and screwed it down near the end of a 1.8 meter length of pine. 
 It slides neatly onto the connector sized tongue. 
I used standard Hot Wheels track connectors - which still fit the vintage redline track - and screwed them into the pine using countersunk head wood screws. I placed them at various places along the pine planks, and then slid the track onto the connectors. This holds the track in place pretty well.
A door hinge connects two 1.8 metre lengths of pine. The connectors allow the track on each plank to join. 
This starting gate is from a contemporary Hot Wheels racing set, which i picked up at a garage sale. I had to lever it off the ends of the flimsy track it rolls out from. Then carve away on the interior so that two pieces of track would fit and allow cars to go through it. Its not perfect, but importantly - it indicates who actually won. The first car through triggers a tiny chequered flag. 
I painted a length of pine blue and screwed down some connectors and track. The actual gate itself comes off for travel. 
The starting gate. Underneath is another hinged piece of pine which goes to a stand. This didn't work too well so its also resting on the top of a chair back. Needs a bit of fine tuning...
Ready for travel. Two 1.8 metre planks, with track, hinges and starting gate. There is also a third 1.8 metre length which connects and a separate piece with the finish line.  All up its just short of 20 feet. 

Here it is fully extended with everything slotted together. I need to work on the supports and the track is a little wonky.

4 comments:

  1. nice track, looking forward to wearing it out.

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  2. You should bring this to the Granville swapmeet!

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  3. I wouldnt just show up with it, but if I was asked I would be happy to bring it. is does fold up for travel in the back of the panelvan.

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