If you’ve seen Mr. Fusion around the space, or at one of the Power Racing Series events this year, you’ve probably wondered what it looked like before we, uh, had our way with it.
It took a bit of digging, but I found an old photo of Mr. Fusion (aka Cinderella) it its original state. Baby blue, pink, and basically a pretty, pretty princess.
Matt W. started the build on this thing, and Chris H took over from there. I ended up doing the body work because I didn’t care for the plain look of it. (We had already removed the Cinderella decal.)
The car was named “Mr. Fusion” due to the vertical motor mount in the back, as a reference to the “Back to the Future” films.
Anyway, this was my attempt to make it look just a little bit more like a DeLorean than a Pontiac. I’ll have a follow-up post detailing more on the body work, and hopefully someone who knows about what’s going on under the hood (and trunk!) can post about that.
We’re just a few weeks out from Maker Faire Kansas City and the first official race of the season for the Power Racing Series.
And for those of you that don’t know, the Power Racing Series (typically abbreviated to “PPPRS”) is a challenge to create a working electric vehicle for less than $500 using open source tools and tech. But we use Power Wheels Cars… yeah, the ones designed for little kids. We rebuild them to hold a full-size adult driver (some of us are even, uh “extra large” as it were) and the add in beefy motors, rechargeable batteries, motor controllers, brakes, sometimes trailer hitches and parachutes, and race ’em.
We complete against other hackerspaces, like our friends at Pumping Station: One, Sector67, and i3Detroit.
This season we hope to have three cars functional for the races. You may have seen some work on Red Lotus recently. While it was one of our main cars last year, it’s probably the slowest car we have right now, of course speed isn’t everything in the Power Racing Series, and who knows, we may have a few tricks up our collective sleeves by the time the race at Maker Faire Detroit rolls around. ;)
We made some good progress last time, but the repairs continue, and this time we got as far as a test drive!
We managed to finish the motor mount, get the chain on, repair the kill switch, and fix a wobbly wheel. We still need to get the new brakes in place, reattach the cooling fan, and see about some replacement wheels. But yes, it is running!
If all goes well we should have it ready by Minne-Faire on April 13th, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (We decided not to drive it there, but instead will put it in the back of a regular old gasoline-powered vehicle, just so the batteries are fresh when we get there. :)
Check the video (which is a time lapse of the repairs) and you’ll see a few shots of driving it (note to self: take camera out of time lapse mode when driving!) There’s also a short bit of real-time video at the end showing a first-time guest driver taking it for a spin. (Literally!)
Tom and I spent some time this past weekend repairing Red Lotus, our #55 Power Wheels Car. Working with Tom is great because I end up learning a ton of new skills, like how to use an angle grinder, and the mill, and some welding tricks. These will all come in handy when the car breaks (and it will break) in the middle of a race.
Besides fixing up the car, we’ve also been building up the team, and it looks like at least two of us will try to make it to Minne-Faire in April for a bit of pre-season racing fun.
Here’s a quick time lapse video of Tom and I doing some repairs.
Remember a month ago when we were racing Red Lotus and Big Jakenstein at Maker Faire Detroit? Well, if you don’t, here’s a nice video for you, which just hit Boing Boing today, which reminded me we never posted this video… So enjoy!
And hey, who else is looking forward to the 2013 Power Racing Series Season? I’ve seen more than a few stock Power Wheels cars around the space lately… just waiting to be transformed into tiny little race cars.