Spent half the night dreaming of "brilliant" metaphors for political situations, and woke up convinced that I'm way too overworked about all of this stuff. There are political issues I'm working on for future posts, but here I want to discuss something much more important: pinewood derbys.
Pierogi, a gallery in Brooklyn, is celebrating its 10th anniversary by reinstituting their early-days tradition of what they call "Gravity Races" (but what we called "pinewood derbys" where I grew up). Hundreds of local artists submitted their concept cars, which are on display until the actual races in early October. Images of previous years (and some of the cars) can be seen here.
Yours truly made a car to congratulate my fellow gallery on their first decade (no photo yet, I'm sorry), but despite being a reasonable success aesthetically, it's a total fiasco engineeringly. I have no clue about what steps to take to help ensure it doesn't place in some humiliating place behind, say, this car.
My car, inspired by noticing how aerodynamic a tube of toothpaste is one morning, is called the Colgate Cruiser...and while I managed to make it look convincingly like the object, it's 2.2 ounces too light and the axels are virtually pointing all four directions of the compass. So, I'm begging for help...I've gotten so much conflicting advice, I'm totally confused now:
1. Where is the optimal position to add extra weight? Near the back, evenly distributed, near the front? I've heard them all. Everyone suggests digging out the bottom and using fishing sinkers...any other ideas?
2. What lubricant is best for the axels...and is sanding the axels down to as thin as they can be a good move? What about sanding down the wheels?
3. Is it better to race it thin end first (theoretically cutting through the wind) or thicker (twist-off cap) end first (theoretically working like an airplane wing)?
It's not really important that I win the races (not to world peace or the price of oil anyway), but I'd like to have a respectably showing, all the same.
Any and all advice appreciated.