Sunday, January 9th 2011
Who said all On Screen Cars had to be nice? Sometimes you just need something that works. That's the goal behind the British hit show Scrapheap Challenge. The show were teams of contestants are given the challenge of designing and building devices to complete varies tasks. You may also remember the show as Junkyard Wars on the Discovery Channel. I plan to feature more cars from this series. Growing up I remember tuning in every week to see what the teams were about to design and build. Now for Spy Cars! In this episode the teams were given the task of building spy cars. Their spy cars had to be able to navigate through a warehouse setup as a super secret spy base. The warehouse err spy base, had several obstacles that the cars and the team had to take into account. The vehicles were required to hold all four team members while being low enough for clearance of some of the obstacles. The kicker was the fact the vehicle also had to be able to clear a high hump in the middle of the course without high-centering. The blue team used a lawn tractor as a power plant while towing a trailer for the rest of the team. Not a bad choice for the clearance issues. I think I would be concerned about the lack of power. The back seat on the trailer folded down backwards so the team lay down for clearance. Note the outriggers on the lawn tractor. This can help the driver take in account how wide the trailer is when making turns. This also serves as a place for the driver to duck to when laying low. They navigate the course slowly but without any major problems. Until the team got to the hump. They took a penalty by disconnecting the trailer and pushing it over the hump. The lack of power I talked about earlier cost them a few points. The pink team on the other hand didn't have power issues. They used two full size front wheel drive cars cut in half. The two front haves of the car were jointed near the back of the drivers seat. They joined the two cars using a huge hinge point. With the aid of hydraulics this allowed them to pivot the car upwards for the hump. By using the front haves they were also able to gain four way steering. They flew through the first part of the course. The four-way steering really made it sweet for turning corners. The team did well until, guess what.. the hump. A major mechanical failure caused their drive shafts to twist and sheer in two. You could hear them cracking up the motor but it wasn't pulling them along. The end of the road for the pink team. You can checkout the action from the competition portion of the show from YouTube (thanks SpinifexPeople). I've embedded it for your viewing pleasure. We'll see ya next time!