Wayne County Students Take Hands-On Approach To Build Rail Dragster
Posted May 29, 2000
PIKEVILLE — It may be the only class project in the world that reaches 130 miles per hour in five and a half seconds.
The rail dragster is now complete after nine months of work at Charles B. Aycock High School.
"I ride the bus to school, but anything you can drive to school would not compare to something like this," says student Robert Denny. "Just seeing how it comes together, to build it is an amazing feat itself."
Auto instructor James Cox came up with the idea. He plans to race the dragster later this week.
"What better way for them to enjoy and learn the trade than to build a car," Cox says. "They wanted to build a rail dragster, so there it is. We're very proud of it."
Local businesses donated supplies to keep the cost down. It took about 100 students to complete everything from drafting plans to complex geometry.
The students did not have any kit to work with. Using blueprints, they put the entire car together piece by piece using 170 feet of chrome moly tubing. Even the Chevrolet engine was put together by hand, piece by piece.
"At times, we had to do a lot of math and figure out measurements, but most of the time, it came together pretty good, I thought," says student Michael Hill.
The vehicle will compete for the first time Thursday night at the Dunn-Benson Racetrack. Students will not be allowed to drive the car.