Can a Toy Car beat a Real Car in a Gravity Race?
Ahh, the Mythbusters. Oh the smell of big destruction, crazy people, and ridiculous ideas in the morning, I love it. On this particular occasion, they were curious to see whether a toy car could beat a real car in a downhill race. Now of course a powered car would easily beat an unpowered one, but what about on just gravity?
The Facts: a toy car has been tested and proven to ideally be a good competition for a real car. Those tiny wheels can stay on up to around 80 MPH and they are wind-resistant up to about 70 under ideal lab conditions. The test team members themselves also constructed several special toy cars for speed to beat the competition. Designs included flat, streamlined cars; and ironically the fastest of them all, a small, unattractive, potentially lethal, lead brick on wheels (Adam's).
To test the myth, they built a quarter mile long Hot Wheels track and sent the cars down for best times. When very few cars made it, they cut the track down to 400 feet. Unfortunately, the rolling brick wouldn't complete the circuit, so the runner-up (Jamie's) car was used in the special cars race.
The day of the race, a bright yellow Viper shows up at the top of the hill. Fastest cars in position, they were off. Under only the power of gravity, the toy car was the definite winner up to 50 ft, but the Viper won by several seconds. The special car though put on a tougher fight, the definite winner up to 100 ft, and only losing by a few seconds. The regular toy car reached a top speed a little below 20 MPH. While the specialty aluminum bullet car reached about 22 MPH.
So the final verdict? Toy cars can't beat real cars in a long race, so this myth was busted and found completely false.