Rattle Can Painted Soap Box Derby Car (rec.ww related)

In my thread entitled "Cabinet Door Build - Recommendations From Painter" I mentioned that I knew a guy that painted a Soap Box Derby car with 22 cans of Rust-Oleum spray paint. He was forced to do this because he had used Ru st-Oleum primer, which apparently contained fish oils. When he tried to get the car painted at a body shop, the body shop said that they could not get their primer or paint to stick on top of the Rust-Oleum primer.
This first picture is of the spray painted car surrounded by our racing tea m. The smiling guy with the beard is the guy that painted the car. He repai rs and re-finishes pianos for a living. He's certainly not a rookie in the finishing arena, but even he was surprised at how well the car came out. I am the guy with the 35 on my back. (more on that later)
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/OconnorMasters_zps3c3a2 655.jpg
In the following picture, you'll see a similarly shaped car, on a trailer, with the number 35 on the rear. That's my son's car being brought back to t he top of the Akron race track after he won the World Championship in 2003. We painted that car with an air-powered spray gun in the driveway of the S oap Box Derby genius standing next to the owner of the orange car, wearing the Soap Box Derby t-shirt. That guy is the brains behind both cars in thes e pictures.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/2003WorldChampion_zps91 1afd40.jpg
The major (major!) differences between those 2 cars is that the orange car is completely hand built, other than the axles and the wheels. The white ca r started as kit that came with a wooden floorboard and a 5 piece fiberglas s shell and then was highly customized. The orange car was known as a "stic k car" because the shell was constructed by laying thin strips of wood on a series of curved frames of diminishing diameters. After all of the "sticks " were in place, the car was wrapped in 3-4 layers of fiberglass.
As the talent pool of those able and willing to build stick cars dried up, the All American Soap Box Derby organization needed a way to keep the Maste rs division alive. In the late 90's they introduced the kit that we built m y son's car from and began to phase out the stick cars. You could basically put the kit together and send it down the hill or you could spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars customizing the kits. Guess which cars w on all the races?
Eventually it got to the point where the talent pool (or "willingness" pool ) to customize the kits started to dry up and the division began to fail ag ain. Families knew that if they didn't put hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into the kits, they weren't going to win, regardless of how good their drivers were. Eventually the AASBD imposed some very strict restrain ts on how much customization could be done to the kits. No more building th e kit really small, then wrapping it in layers of fiberglass to bring it ba ck up to specifications like we did with my son's car. No more homemade axl e mounts, steering or braking mechanisms or other internal parts. By the t ime my daughter reached the Masters division, you had to use only the parts supplied by (i.e. bought from) the AASBD. The only allowed alterations to the shell was the use of Bondo to fill the seams where the fiberglass parts went together and the shaping of the helmet cup to fit the driver. My son' s car was a single, solid, sleek fiberglass "unibody". My daughter's car wa s a fiberglass shell screwed to a flat wooden floorboard. They both started from the same kit, but they were very, very different cars.
As much as I hated the ever stricter restrictions imposed by the ASSBD, I u nderstood the reasons. It got to the point where it was getting tougher and tougher to get hold a Master's division race because there just weren't th at many families willing to (or being able to) build a competitive car. Onc e they imposed the restrictions on customizations, families jumped back in so their kids could race for a few more years.
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"DerbyDad03" wrote:
In my thread entitled "Cabinet Door Build - Recommendations From Painter" I mentioned that I knew a guy that painted a Soap Box Derby car with 22 cans of Rust-Oleum spray paint. He was forced to do this because he had used Rust-Oleum primer, which apparently contained fish oils. When he tried to get the car painted at a body shop, the body shop said that they could not get their primer or paint to stick on top of the Rust-Oleum primer.
This first picture is of the spray painted car surrounded by our racing team. The smiling guy with the beard is the guy that painted the car. He repairs and re-finishes pianos for a living. He's certainly not a rookie in the finishing arena, but even he was surprised at how well the car came out. I am the guy with the 35 on my back. (more on that later)
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/OconnorMasters_zps3c3a2655.jpg
In the following picture, you'll see a similarly shaped car, on a trailer, with the number 35 on the rear. That's my son's car being brought back to the top of the Akron race track after he won the World Championship in 2003. We painted that car with an air-powered spray gun in the driveway of the Soap Box Derby genius standing next to the owner of the orange car, wearing the Soap Box Derby t-shirt. That guy is the brains behind both cars in these pictures.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/2003WorldChampion_zps911afd40.jpg
The major (major!) differences between those 2 cars is that the orange car is completely hand built, other than the axles and the wheels. The white car started as kit that came with a wooden floorboard and a 5 piece fiberglass shell and then was highly customized. The orange car was known as a "stick car" because the shell was constructed by laying thin strips of wood on a series of curved frames of diminishing diameters. After all of the "sticks" were in place, the car was wrapped in 3-4 layers of fiberglass.
As the talent pool of those able and willing to build stick cars dried up, the All American Soap Box Derby organization needed a way to keep the Masters division alive. In the late 90's they introduced the kit that we built my son's car from and began to phase out the stick cars. You could basically put the kit together and send it down the hill or you could spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars customizing the kits. Guess which cars won all the races?
Eventually it got to the point where the talent pool (or "willingness" pool) to customize the kits started to dry up and the division began to fail again. Families knew that if they didn't put hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into the kits, they weren't going to win, regardless of how good their drivers were. Eventually the AASBD imposed some very strict restraints on how much customization could be done to the kits. No more building the kit really small, then wrapping it in layers of fiberglass to bring it back up to specifications like we did with my son's car. No more homemade axle mounts, steering or braking mechanisms or other internal parts. By the time my daughter reached the Masters division, you had to use only the parts supplied by (i.e. bought from) the AASBD. The only allowed alterations to the shell was the use of Bondo to fill the seams where the fiberglass parts went together and the shaping of the helmet cup to fit the driver. My son's car was a single, solid, sleek fiberglass "unibody". My daughter's car was a fiberglass shell screwed to a flat wooden floorboard. They both started from the same kit, but they were very, very different cars.
As much as I hated the ever stricter restrictions imposed by the ASSBD, I understood the reasons. It got to the point where it was getting tougher and tougher to get hold a Master's division race because there just weren't that many families willing to (or being able to) build a competitive car. Once they imposed the restrictions on customizations, families jumped back in so their kids could race for a few more years. --------------------------------------------- Back when I was a kid growing up less than 35 miles from Akron, thought the kid had to build his own car.
Times must have changed over the intervening 60+ years.
Lew
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On Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 1:10:26 AM UTC-5, Lew Hodgett wrote:

a2655.jpg

911afd40.jpg

The All American Soap Box Derby mission statement can be found here:
http://www.aasbd.org/about-us/mission-statement.aspx
Mission Statement
The Soap Box Derby is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition.
Core Values and Drivers
* Youth Education and Leadership Development * Family Engagement and Enrichment * Honesty, Integrity and Perseverance * Innovation and Entrepreneurship * Teamwork and Collaboration * Mentoring * Volunteerism * Commitment to Community
The second and fourth bullets speak directly to the involvement of family a nd to teamwork. The mission statement includes the word "collaboration".
The rules (http://www.aasbd.org/media/24828/sbd_rule_book%2011-20-14.pdf ) s tate:
"The participant is encouraged to participate in the construction of his or her car; an adult mentor is permitted to assist in the construction of the car only when and if necessary."
For the majority of families, the drivers are involved with the constructio n of their cars. My kids were involved in every phase, from opening the box to prepping the cars for the final paint job. No one expects an 8 year old to put together a SBD car by themselves, but they are expected to help to the best of their abilities and other time commitments. Most families adher e to the spirit of that rule. I've been at many a weekend race where a driv er was "missing". When you'd ask the parent where Bobby was, the answer was often "He didn't want to work on his car this week, so we left him home."
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