Modded Power Wheels racing

MAKE senior editor Goli Mohammadi interviewed Jim Burke, organizer of the Power Racing Series, an event where adults soup-up battery-operated Power Wheels cars and race them on a track, often wearing costumes. If you are coming to Maker Faire New York later this month, you can see these wacky races first-hand.

Power Racing Series Coming to Maker Faire New York


    1. Strangely, after combing through all sites (and rulebooks) linked through the story URL, your comment has the most information on the cars themselves. Are we supposed to already know?

  1. Basic rules of this league:

    1) $500 budget on parts. Nerf and safety don’t count towards the budget.
    2) 36V max sealed lead acid batteries only. Choose your motors carefully. Extremely high wattage will get you faster for the drag and road series, but will mean more recharging during the endurance race.
    3) Must have a mechanical brake system.

    3 races. Drag races organized into paired heats. Road races for speed and agility. Endurance race lasting 75min to test a combination of pit crew maintenance and speed. Points for actually winning the race, and moxie points for pleasing the crowd. Costumes, Nerf weaponry (18V Nerf guns hurt, btw), and showmanship are all encouraged.

    I lead the team out of All Hands Active from Ann Arbor, MI. I can be seen at about 1:50 in the video in the purple shirt and facepaint hauling a downed car off the track. We fielded Matilda, the purple Jeep seen throughout the video. She was made mostly out of extruded aluminum and scrounged scooter parts. We attended the Detroit races and didn’t lose, and attended the Chicago races a week later and also didn’t lose. We just didn’t win, either.

    There is a proposal afoot among hackerspaces to build a nearly-unregulated electric vehicle racing league to drive innovation through competition. It’s called the FeRAL Specc and it is insane.

    Attached is a picture from our pit.

    1. I was bummed that Thunderdrome wasn’t invited back this year. I was looking forward to not landing on my face this time.

  2. Mmm nice carting post. Meanwhile  Stephen Hawking opens a science themed 2012 Paralympic Games with a wizardy Ian McKellen and Ian Dury’s Blockheads doing an Orbital remixed, previously banned as offensive, Spasticus Autisticus in front of the Queen.  And I can’t find any coverage of it outside UK press.

    1. Sadly, the Paralympics don’t get much coverage compared to the Olympics. Particularly depressing since the Paralympics seem like a far more spirited and genuine event than the Sponsorlympics.

  3. This article touched my heartstrings because in the small town near where I live, there was a specialty store called Gramps’ Garage run by an elderly couple for Power Wheels cars.  As the years past, the elderly couple became sick, had to close the store and Gramp passed away.  The location is destined for new uses, but perhaps one of your readers who is a Power Wheels enthusiast might want to buy the business or the remaining stock from the business.  Here’s an article with many more details:

Comments are closed.