Topic: NASTE Gravity Racer Program



Shares in the NASTE GRAVITY RACER CONSTRUCTION PROJECT will be available for sale at many future club events at only $10 per share (cheap).  Donated slot cars will go with your share according to the value of any car you purchase.  Money from share/car sales will be used to buy construction materials ONLY. All labor on the project is voluntary.

Only 30 of the 50 total shares are still available.

Call Dennis Hart @ (503) 397-3298 to reserve your the glory or see me at an upcoming NASTE event!

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Gravity Racing Team Report
No. 2 ~ December 26th, 2015

This report and all that follow are public and designed to inform Gravity Team & NASTE members regarding progress, needs and upcoming events in regard to the current project to build and race a gravity powered adult race car by the 3rd Saturday in August of 2016.

There are currently eight team members including Dennis Hart, Bill Bostic, Jeff & Amy Fields, Al Christonson, Greg Petrolati, Jimmy Jones and Mitch .

Since the last report, I have sold 5 more shares bring our total capital to $200 less 7 dollars to Goodwill for a very nice upholstered chair that I have modified to serve as the cockpit chair (a perfect fit).

I also revised the livery to a more conservative black, grey, silver and red.  It looks much better.

In the little available time before Christmas (working 3 days a week at my substituting job) I have been trying to clean out my shop, which is not easy as we have our two sons and families and junk currently living at our place.  Happily,  my youngest son and family (including cat and dog) is moving into their own place on January 1st.  We love them all, but it has been a trial with all this cold, wet weather.

I hope to have it ready by January 7th so you all can have a look, if not, it might have to wait until we return from Kauai in March to begin in earnest.  I will also be purchasing additional materials as good deals arise.  The director of the Salem SBD is still looking for used hardware or a car we can salvage parts from.

We still have lots of time and I want to be careful and not waste money and (or) materials. 

As always, I welcome your good ideas and (or) input.

- DH

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Update from Dennis hart:

1. Application is complete. I will go over it with the team or send a copy to anyone who wants one right away.  I took the liberty of assigning you as second in charge. Only surprise is a $200 fee to be paid by April 30th.  We can sell 20 additional shares or I will personally front the money and figure it all out later.

2. I have purchased 2 SBD axles for $50 including shipping from back east. They are in good condition and useable.

3. I want to purchase a simple back up camera to be mounted on the tail looking backward. (aprox. $50 )

4. It looks like $500 will cover materials,  I have sold 5 shares here to friends at the resort.

5. Attached is a copy of the livery that I recommend.

I consider us on track, time wise, at this point.  Will call a meeting to bring the team up to date and set some work sessions as soon as I come home at the end of March.

Still feel the need for speed.

Attached a drawing I sent to PSBD for you to put on the NASTE website if you wish.

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

The first Gravity Racer work session is scheduled for Sunday April 10th from Noon to 4. Interested people are welcome to come if they want to HELP, but please this is not just a BS session, we have work to be completed. RSVP to Dennis Hart please.

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

We had the first work session at Dennis Hart's shop in Warren yesterday. With Dennis, Jimmy, Mitch and Al in attendance we got a lot accomplished! The bottom flat portion of the car which supports the axles and is the main piece of the car, was cut out and laminated together. The axle trees were also cut out to fit over the axles. This was all accomplished in under 4 hours! Great job guys!

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Very cool!  Are there pictures?

"Big Smooth"

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Dennis took some pictures, but I haven't seen them yet.

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

UPDATE: This morning the NASTE Gravity Team Racer was successfully and officially entered in the 2016 Portland Adult Soap Box Derby. Team members arrived at the sign up location at 4:00 am. We were FIRST in line to register! Our team leader and captain Dennis Hart represented us well. The Hawksbill Flyer will be sporting the number 39!

If you have not yet signed up to be a member of the team, do so! This is going to be a great experience for all those involved!

Don't forget to mark your calendars, the next work session is next Saturday May 7th at noon. Dennis wil be BBQ'ing lunch for all those that show up. If you plan to attend please let Dennis know! There is still plenty of oppportunities to offer your expertise and assistance on this project! + We NEED to recruit a PUSHER for the start line the day of the race!!! A big, young, strong, FAST, studly kind of guy would be ideal! (Or girl that fits that descritption!).............

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

The second work day on the Gravity Racer went well. Dennis started off the day by feeding us some excellent BBQ hamburgers! After we were all full we went to work. Since the last work day dennis had completed and installed the nose section, rear bulkhead and set back, as well as the rear tail section. Work is progressing well and we are on schedule!

Team Leader/Crew Chief/Driver: Dennis Hart & Team Engineer: Evil Jimmy Jones

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

GRAVITY RACER REPORT # 3 – May 30, 2016
Hi everyone!
Work is progressing slowly, but surely.  I estimate the project is 70% complete at this point.
Front bulkheads are installed and tailpiece is secured in place.
Hardwood axel trees are streamlined (whew !) and installed including adjustable feature on rear one.  Car is ready for turning radius test, but need help getting it off the bench and pushed down my street.
Found a one in a million ready-to-use chrome roll bar that is exactly the correct size and shape at Goodwill today for the exorbitant price of $4.95.  It was a part for a portable weight lifting machine.  Better than I could ever have hoped for!   CHROME.  Will look great!
Steering and braking hardware should arrive any day as well as back-up camera/monitor kit #2 (a long and sad story on #1).  Hope to have better luck this time. 12 VDC battery installed.  Nice and heavy : ).
We decided to switch basic livery color from dark blue to florescent green.  Seahawks logo looks super on a bright green background, believe it or not.  Thanx to Jimmy Jones for that suggestion, which I originally shunned until I did a color sketch.  Wow !
Looking to have 2 more work sessions and then hit the road for testing and practice.  I have selected Bill as my back-up driver.  It has also been suggested to do a practice run on bicycles on Mt. Tabor as soon as school is out to get a better feel for the course and estimate speeds in specific turns, etc.  Good idea.  Feel welcome to join in if you have access to a bike.  Will announce a projected date and time soon.
Lastly, I just wrote to the Seahawks suggesting that a group of geezers taking on this challenge might make a great human interest story and that we would welcome a small sponsorship.  Didn’t tell em that we’re already putting “Hawks” decals on it.  Worth a try.  I think that once we have an interesting, flashy  car to show, it will be easier to find sponsors.  Still have 5 shares left to sell if you know of anyone interested. Can always dream up more things to add (CD player, fancy horn, etc.).  By the way, the installed green turn signals work good!
That’s about it.  Can’t wait to hit the track.  Still enthusiastic and feeling the “need for speed”.
Comments or questions?
- Dennis
She flies like a hawk, the wind her lover.
                                      - DH

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

The next work session will be next Tuesday, June 21st from noon to 4 PM.  As usual, lunch will be served at noon.

We will be hooking up all of the various gizmos into a working electrical system, installing the remaining bodywork and hopefully taking her for a test run.


Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Today was the third work session on the NASTE Gravity Racer, or the Hawksbill Flyer as we like to call it. Al and Jimmy worked on the body work while Dennis and I adjusted the steering system and worked on the electrical systems. After an excellent lunch provided by Charlotte (yes Dennis, I am giving Charlotte FULL credit for that!) we worked straight through until the three o'clock hour. At three o'clock we loaded the car into dennis' mini-van and set out for a shake down run!

A section of road was chosen with a slight incline followed by a pretty good hill into a gully and then back uphill on the other side. It was definitely a good test section for the car. I gave dennis a push off then jumped in the Jeep to give chase. Even on the slight incline Dennis was able to get the car up to approximately 10 MPH and pretty much maintain that speed until the road levelled out too much. After another push, this time by the Jeep (I'm old and was much too tired after the initial push!) Dennis approached the hill. On this incline which was only moderately sloped and of short duration, Dennis was able to reach 20+ MPH ! Although that doesn't sound all that impressive, given the short length of the hill and somewhat gentle slope the car hit that speed very quickly!

The test run prved a couple things; per Dennis the steering and brake systems worked to his liking (it is always most important for the driver to be happy with the car!), and this thing is going to be FAST! By the next work session I believe the car will be pretty close to finished. I must commend Dennis on the amount of work he gets done on the car working on his own! I also expect the next work session will involve more advanced test runs! I can hardly wait!

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Here's some more pictures from work session #3

Here's the steering system. This cable setup is straight off the current U.S. Soap Box Derby Cars

NO, the rollbar is NOT made out of an old person's walker!!!

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Crew Member/Engineer Evil Jimmy tries the car on for size!

It is a tight fit for Crew Chief/Builder/Driver Dennis Hart!

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Update from our Crew Chief/Designer/Builder/Driver:


Gravity Racers hit the road on Tuesday with a short trial run.  The car is fast and responsive.  Horn, warning lights, back-up camera system, steering and brakes all function as planned. Front quarter panels, hood and final paint job and livery are all that remain.  Planning a run down Scappoose/Vernonia HWY ( 45 mph +) SOON..

5 shares @ $ 10 each remain.  Be part of History and share in the glory at the upcoming race on August 20th.

Will advise on S/V trial run date.  Probably on a Sunday morning (fewer cops and less traffic). All are invited to witness and celebrate at the local pub following.

Valeria Victrix !

- Dennis

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Hello All,

  I am looking for two people to be volunteers for the PDX Adult Soapbox Derby on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Each team is required to have two volunteers to help with track setup and/or the actual running of the race. A team volunteer signs up for "Track Set Up" from 5:30 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.  Again our team is required to have TWO voluteers for track set up.

Each volunteer will be provided with a 2016 Soapbox T-shirt, Grub, Beer/Cider and VIP entrence to our award ceramony at Chopsticks on Sandy and a super big Thank You from Portland Adult Soap Box Derby!

And of course you will be helping out our team, as well as receiving the extreme gratitude of the NASTE Gravity Racing Team!

Please let me know if you are interested!   ==========Bill

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Our team still needs a minimum of two volunteers to sign up. We have not had anyone officially sign up yet. I have received some "maybe" replies from a couple folks. One of the options is for Track Set Up from 5:30 am to 9:00 am. Below is the information that was sent to us by the derby officials. It includes a link to the volunteer sign up form. Please let me know if you decide to sign up.

Thanks!   ========Bill

-----Original Message-----
From: Racer Coordinator, PDX Adult Soapbox Derby <>
To: PDX Adult Soapbox Derby Director <>
Sent: Tue, Jun 28, 2016 8:13 pm
Subject: Soapbox Derby Volunteer Position Registration

Hello Racers,

Derby is coming up quickly! We hope you’re having fun with your builds. We have a lot going on ourselves improving derby again this year. There are a lot of changes that we hope makes a safe course for all of you which should enable everyone to have a great time.

Every year some race teams have a hard time filling an all-day volunteer position. We are lining both sides of the track with snow fencing which means twice the work. All Hands On Track is necessary so I would like to offer all of our race teams to provide 2 volunteers for track set up and be done by before start. Get it done and get out! Both positions will be from 5:30am – 9am. This way all of your friends can participate in your day of derby in the pits.

I have emailed the volunteers you listed on registration but if you would get on the horn and make sure they are on the same page if you are wanting them to use this 2 volunteer position I would appreciate it.

***Please make sure your volunteer has your Team Name and #. I have attached a registry of all race teams to help.

Volunteer Sign Up Link … index.html

Also: Lyft is a new sponsor this year any new app downloaded using our code SOAPBOX16 will get free ride credit and derby gets $10. Share it with your friends! Everyone needs a free ride home from time to time.


Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

I have officially signed up for the 5:30am to 9:00am Track Set Up.

I also signed up to attend the 6:00pm Track Set Up Meeting on Monday August 8th.

We NEED at least one more volunteer!

Thanks again!   =========Bill

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Beau Frazier has also signed up for the Track Set Up.

We have the two volunteers we need but if anyone else would like to join us you would be most welcomed and appreciated! Alternates are always a good idea as well!


Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

NEXT Gravity Racer Work Session:

SUNDAY, July 17th, 9:00 AM to ???

The Gravity Racing Team will conduct its final work session and hopefully trial downhill runs.

9 AM to 12 Noon - Work session
1 PM (?) to ? trial runs on Scappoose/Vernonia Hwy ( aproximately 5 miles off Hwy 30 from Scappoose)
Followed by a No-host celebration at the Varsity Bar & Grill in Scappoose on Hwy 30 across from the High School.
All club members and friends are cordially invited to drop in at any time to help, observe and (or) celebrate the successful completion of this project !

Questions or directions? Call (503) 397-3298

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

I will be attending the work session Sunday. I have room available if anyone would like to ride along.


Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

The work session went well yesterday, very productive. We were able to complete the fabrication and installation of the remaining major body panels. The car is nearing completion! The car is now fully functional with all the mechanical aspects finished. Only the cockpit panel is left to fabricate, and then it is time for some minor body work, bondo, sanding, and then the paint.

Our official test session was cancelled yesterday due to mechanical issues with our transport vehicle. We did however give it a short run down Dennis' driveway. Keep in mind there is very little incline to Dennis' driveway, and with just a slight push, due partially to the fact the Flyer ran away from me and I couldn't keep up, the Hawksbill Flyer gained speed very quickly!  Also notable was the fact Dennis had to negotiate an ess type turn going down the driveway, and a full lock 90 degree left turn onto the street. The turning manuvers scrubbed off very little speed and the Flyer travelled 30 yards down the slightly uphill grade of the street! One thing is for sure, the Hawksbill Flyer is FAST!

At the top of the priority list for the next work session is an official test run. The next test run will be on the road, longer and with increased incline. It WILL be exciting!

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

The Hawksbill Flyer with body work in place:

The driver's accomodations:

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program

Looking like race car now.

The secondnidator

Re: NASTE Gravity Racer Program


A new date for the next test run will be posted soon. Please stand by!

Latest update from our Crew Chief Dennis:

The construction is DONE!

All that remains is sanding, priming, painting and livery.

We have scheduled another test run for next Sunday the 31st.  Noon at Dennis' place, done by 2 PM.

Come and check out the Hawksbill Flyer in person!!!