Take Your Child to Work Day often results in some unexpected surprises—but very few of them end up in a new world record. But for one Ford employee and his son, that’s exactly what happened: they’ve set a new Hot Wheels loop world record.
Ford dynamometer technician Matt West and his six-year old son Blade moved from their home playroom (the site of previous large Hot Wheels loop exploits) to the three-story atrium of the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn for the record attempt.
The result? A 12-foot, 6-inch loop that obliterated the previous world record.
“It started as part-fun, part-physics lesson with my son at home,” said West. “We built one in our playroom, and then built a five-foot-tall loop in our backyard. When people at Ford heard what we were up to, everyone thought it would be a great way to get young people excited about science and engineering by trying to break the world record on Take Your Child to Work Day.”
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Ford Engineer & Family Set New Hot Wheels Loop RecordEnlarge Photo
Once the project was underway, others stepped in to help, and the help was big: Will Brick, general manager of TechShop Detroit, helped turn the digital design files for the plywood-based loop/ramp into real-world segments that could be assembled into the record-setting loop.
“On a track, a Hot Wheels car can only go so fast, so carrying the momentum of the vehicle through an entire loop is harder than you might think,” said West. “In a world where kids are inundated with TVs and tablets, I thought teaching my son with actual moving vehicle models would be so much more rewarding, and then it took on a life of its own.”
Indeed it did. And what a cool life it is.