Radial Engine Car

Radial Engine Car

This is by far our largest and most complex model! It combines the core components of four other models available separately: the Radial Engine, Rack-and-Pinion SteeringTransmission, and Differential kits.

In the car kit, additional chassis components link all these parts together to form a complete, functional car. If you get the optional Electric Motor Add-on kit (sold separately) it can even drive itself across the floor.

This car might looks a bit strange at first glance. That's because it is strange. It's got no driver's seat! The transmission fills up all the space where any possible passengers could go! The differential fills the entire trunk! It is, in short, pretty useless as a car. But there's a reason: in this model, the parts are sized proportionally to their mechanical importance to the car.

In this sense it's a bit like this strange human figure, known as a "cortical homunculus". The parts of the person are all scaled in proportion to how large a portion of the brain are dedicated to the nerves and muscles of that part of the body. 

We have a lot of brain power dedicated to our hands, so they are huge. (And apparently the lips and tongue are also pretty darn sensitive!) This figure shows you what parts of the body do the important work, and so does this car model. The parts that make it work have been expanded for clarity, and the rest, the silly dead weight of the cabin and trunk, are barely there at all.

Below are some videos of the model in action. Note that these all show the optional Electric Motor Add-on kit, sold separately. That's mainly because it's easier to demonstrate the shifting action in the videos when I don't also have to crank the model at the same time. It works perfectly fine without the motor, and in some ways the model is more elegant without the wires.

(Please note: These videos also show a set of tires that are no longer part of the kit. The tires proved to be difficult to manufacture, and are quite unnecessary.)

This video demonstrates the operation of all four major mechanical components of the car:

This video is a closeup showing the shifting mechanism in action:

Here is the car from a higher angle, including showing how to crank it by hand from the front:

Here is a simple rotation of the whole car:

Here is dramatic crash footage of the car climbing a ramp (sort of) and then getting into trouble at the end:

Here is a very silly "making of" video showing how we made the drone footage. Yes, we used a drone, just not in the way it's meant to be used.

Your model will arrive attractively packaged with all the necessary parts (including a screwdriver and two wrenches). The kit screws together in about 2-3 hours (this is a big model!), and does not require any special model-building skills. A detailed, step-by-step assembly video is available on our instructions page.