Construction Tips & Ideas
Ideas and a few tips on building a Valve Cover Racer
Valve covers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Our rules don’t require you to use any particular kind of valve cover – it can be from a Met or a Chevy or a Kubota tractor – it just has to be a valve cover. There’s no further restriction as long as your racer doesn’t exceed the weight, length, width and wheel rules.
You’ll want to put some kind of wheels on it, as many or as few as you think you need to reach the finish line! Some use old roller skates, in-line skates, skateboard wheels, model car wheels – your choices are almost endless!
Come up with a method of adjusting the steering so you can make it run straight - shortest distance between two points is a straight line, right?
Do what you need to do to make the wheels turn freely – if they drag a bit it’s like driving your Met with the emergency brake on. Pinewood derby folks polish axles, some people use bearings, some racers are oiled up so much they drip oil on the track! (WE blame the British Valve Covers)
Incorporate a design theme to make it look fast, or pretty, or like Frankenstein, or… The possibilities are endless. We hold the Valve Cover Beauty Contest BEFORE the races so you don’t have to worry about damaging your decorations during the race. Your decorations can be screwed, glued, or tattooed (painted) on or they can be removable if you’re worried about wind resistance.
Weight is pretty important. For the most part the more weight you have on board the faster your racer will roll. There are exceptions, but they seem to be few. Keep the overall weight to no more than 10 lbs and maybe make some of it removable for small adjustments due to differences in scales used to weigh your racer for different competitions.
After all, once you catch the Valve Cover Racing bug – we know you’ll be holding VC Races as soon as you get back home.