The Thunderwheel

Total length
Road course


  • Style: Road course
  • Total length: 11.5 ft.
  • Lanes: 1
  • Built by: Big_Al


The Thunderwheel is a project I have been working on for a few months now.  The concept was for a hamsterwheel like track that could spin fast enough to take even the best cars to their maximum speed to find the abslute fastes of the fast.  After doing the math, I realized I do not have the engineering capacity to make something this big that can spin that fast, safely.  But there are a lot of other things that can be done with a track like this, even if it doesn't spin as fast.  There are all sorts of options, from tracks that go left and right, undulate up and down, have jumps, multiple lanes or open track, and even different surfaces like rally dirt.  One concept I'm thinking of would be similar to the Tamiya Mini 4WD tracks that look like multiple lanes, but are actually just one long lane that loops on itself.

The wheel is 44 inches in diameter for a length of around 11.5 feet.  It's made out of metal, wood, and masonite.  The axle is balanced on the other side by 15 lbs worth of plate weights.  So far I've only tested it balanced on the edge of a table, with a simple 11-piece orange track but it spins pretty smoothly and I think it's got some real potential.  I still need to mount it on some sort of base and motorize the beast.  I have an old ceiling fan motor that I am going to try and rig up with a dimmer switch for speed control.  It's definately still a work in progress but I hope to have it up and running some test races by the end of 2020.

So far, my thinking for determining the race winner is to have a line (probably from a laser lavel) that is on the upswing side of the wheel.  The race would start out slow and I would gradually increase the speed until one car(or more, depending on the race specifics) falls back far enough to touch the line.  The car(s) that did not touch the line are the winner(s).