Earlier this year, around the middle of second quarter, Auto teacher Mike Camicia began a truck build that he will be entering into the 24 Hours of LeMons race the weekend of March 22. “The race is kind of like ‘Halloween meets a race,’” Camicia explained. “Everybody is in costume and every team has its own theme. There are all kinds of strange cars. For example there is a Pimp-mobile and everybody on the team is dressed up like pimps.”
The truck that Camicia will enter in the race could have come straight out of an animated movie. “[The truck] is a replica of the Pizza Planet delivery truck from the ‘Toy Story’ series,” Camicia said. The truck is made with great attention to detail. All the decals and rust was added to make it look exactly like the truck from the movie; it even has models of characters such as Buzz Lightyear and Woody attached in their respective positions as seen in “Toy Story.” However, the truck has been modified with a Mazda RX-7 engine and transmission to make it competitive for the LeMons race.
Many students in the Auto classes contributed to the build design-wise while Camicia orchestrated the assembly and acted as the students’ leader and mentor. Junior Rachel Dukes-Schlossberg was one of the students who helped with the truck. “I worked on more of the artistic stuff on it and there are a lot of details that [Camicia] wants to get right on the truck,” Dukes-Schlossberg said. “To get the correct look from the movie, it took a lot of trial and error by testing what looks good and what doesn’t.”
While the overall build is coming along great, there are a few small issues that have been plaguing the Auto crew. “Taking the wheel hub off was a pain,” senior Danny-Tyler Downer said. “It took an hour-and-a-half for a two minute job and in the end it had to be replaced because we broke it by hitting it with a hammer.” The crew has also been struggling with details to make the truck look more authentic. “The thing we’ve spent the most time on is the rocket that goes on the top of the car,” Camicia said. “It seems like something so simple but it’s just so tough to get it right.” The finishing touches are just being completed to be ready for the race.
The crew is prepared for any possible damage to the car that could occur during the race. “A lot of time and effort has gone into preparing spare parts for the race,” Downer said. “Every bolt, wire, tube or insignificant speck of dirt has a backup in case of failure. In fact, if it breaks down during the race, we could replace the entire engine in under five minutes.”