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If this post doesn’t betray our severe nerd tendencies, we don’t know what will.

Over the weekend at Maker Faire Detroit, an event that went down at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, a world record was shattered. Maybe not the most important world record, but one that reminds us all of our childhoods.

Well, for those of us who loved to play with Hot Wheels, that is.

There’s a lot to making a Hot Wheels loop go. As a kid buying toys from the store that used to exist on Griswold and State, I’d bring them home in a big bag on the 25 Jefferson bus and get to work.

Looking down from the loop. Courtesy Maker Faire Facebook page.
Looking down from the loop. Courtesy Maker Faire Facebook page.

What I learned was to keep it smooth. Steady. Not too fast, and not too slow. These are the same qualities that work today.

On Saturday, after about 10 tries, the previous record of 9 feet 7 inches was broken on a 12 and a half foot tall loop made of the standard Hot Wheels plastic track mounted on their laser-cut aluminum.

lasers

The aluminum backing seems to be the trick, keeping the forces of nature at bay such as heat expansion on wind.

Back in the day, I figured that the terminal velocity for my Hot Wheels car – after firing them past a borrowed and beat up radar gun – was about 30 miles per hour, but these guys say today it’s about 40 today. Also, back in the day, if the fan blew too hard in the front room, that could also cause disastrous effects for the little driver your mind’s eye had strapped in the little car on the flexible track.

The men behind the magic on Saturday are a pair named John Jaranson and Grant Compton, and we tip our hats to them. And congrats for helping the Detroit area hold another world record.

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