So you want to race a zucchini!
Here’s a list of things you’ll need, and tips for making a winning racer. You will need:
A set of wheels with straight axles. They’re hard to find, and might require a sacrifice of a Tonka truck or other wheeled toy. Good luck! Once you’ve found them, keep them handy for next year’s racer.
A BIG zucchini. Since the ramp is on a slope, bigger is faster. Purchase one from a market vendor if possible, or grow one in your garden at home.
A skewer or chopstick – a straight skinny piece of wood to pierce the skin of the zucchini to make holes for the axle.
A sharp knife to cut holes for the cockpit/driver (PARENTAL HELP!)
An electric drill to pierce hard shelled zucchinis (PARENTAL HELP!)
Tubing or a plastic straw. For smooth running, insert tubing through the body to support the axle.
Add-Ons and Decoration
Driver – Use a lego figure, Playmobile figure or a small stuffie. Drivers are not required.
Steering Wheel – bend stiff wire and push into body of zucchini
Coloured tape, Lego, Tinkertoy or Playmobil bits.
Adhesive letters or stickers
Felt markers, faux fur, fabric, blister pack plastic for windshields etc.
- Carefully pierce zucchini with chopstick or skewer, watching that the axles will be level (front view) and parallel (top view) with each other. Winning zucchinis run STRAIGHT. Ones that don’t…crash! It is well worth getting this right. Be careful with soft-shelled zucchinis – you can’t make too many mistakes as they are delicate.
- Add wheels, hopefully securely fastened to the axles. Lose a wheel and you’ll crash!
- Decorate. Add a driver, passenger, flags, stickers…go crazy! Remember that there are prizes for Best Decorated as well as Longest Run.
IMPORTANT FINAL NOTE
REFRIGERATE your zucchini racer so that it will last!
Zucchinis, especially soft-shelled ones, will decay rapidly once cut open. Keeping your zucchini racer in the fridge until race day should keep it raceworthy.