Design and build: Red Bull SoapBox Car, Ferrari 250GT

Hey everyone, Some friends and I are students at Metro State in the Industrial design program. We decided to take some of our skills and put them to good use…in a fun way. So we entered the Red Bull Soap box race.

Our team consisted of
Josh McGuckin-me
Jeremiah Hueske
Matt Fisher
Sandra Hueske
James Olson

Our website is

We started off with a brainstorm session, this included coming up with ideas, finding out if they are good enough to suit the build, then finding out if anyone had done them before. We settled on a theme of Ferris Bueller’s day off. Our vehicle would be a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. We figured that not only would the vehicle be fun to build, but we would also have a whole movie full of skits to use.

We were not assured that we would get in, so our first step was to make a quality application. We added some CAD drawings, some sketching and…some music.

There were 200 applicants to the race and we were one of 50 that were selected.

So we had to sit down and work on our design, how are we going to make a Ferrari? How are we going to build our chassis.
We started off with some measurements of our driver.

We moved on to sketching and modeling

What we came up with was a completely custom chassis. This chassis was going to be 100% boxed and completely hand fabricated. Why not? We have the tools and we should be able to handle it, so we sent off a bunch of drawings to the WaterJet one of our team members has access too.

We got our chassis back from the waterjet. it was stacked about 3 inches tall and was about 3 ft long.

The chassis went together fairly quickly.

We started working on our Body at this point. Our first step was to create a rib structure. First the body was modeled in Rhino then sectioned into a series of Ribs, each rib was 7.5 inches apart. We then projected the ribs onto a sheet of OSB.

With the rib structure complete we started skinning and carving. We used regular cardboard for the skinning and pink insulation foam for the curvy sections. Each foam section was carved down to create the form.

We then added a front foam section and a rear foam section in order to carve out the front and back of the car.

Once we carved out the front and back and added a hood scoop our car had gotten to this stage.

We moved back to the chassis at this point. We needed to finish the chassis and make it a rolling chassis.

We added steering knuckles, rear axles and our steertube.

In order to make sure everything was straight and allow us to get a good caster angle we bolted both steering knuckles together and tacked them when we got our 6 degrees of caster.

We then made steering linkages, bent our knuckles and bolted everything up.

Time to get back to the body, Fiberglass was next. None of us had done fiberglass before so it was a new experience for all of us.

We prepped the chassis for paint while we started working on the body work on the body.

Our body was coming along and we were now ready to start working on the final prep.

We then got our chassis painted and assembled.

and after some final body work on the chassis and some wheel well cutting it was primered.

Then wet sanded…

and painted.

At this point we installed all the details. Trim, bumpers, windshield rearview mirror logos and body mounts.

We ran the car backwards to replicate the final movie scene and installed a rear window in the car, we covered it with perforated vinyl to keep the secrets.

Then we installed headlights… and the car was done!

We headed to the race checked in and were ready to go, costumes on, and car prepped we headed out… and won! We are the first in Red bull history to win both First place and People’s choice!

Here is a clip with our race run.

The car has been put into the Forney Museum of Transportation where it will reside for 1 year. The Museum is very excited about the new addition and we are excited that the interest is there.

Don’t forget to check out to see our complete write up and media coverage!

Awesome work! Im lovin it! haha, I wish we could have this kinda fun sport here in my country. :smiley:

Awesome, I went to our local Red bull race. There were some impressive rides. But only a few on the level of this.

Never really realized how much work went into some of these cars. Awesome job

Thats awesome…I ALWAYS wanted to enter that event when I was in school, but between being piss broke and totally out of free time it was always a pipe dream.

Awesome project! Man, that was a lot of work hours that went into that!
Thanks for sharing

Incredible! Thanks for sharing your work with us, love to see the process that went trough this! I guess that you passed countless hours in making that fiberglass surface very smooth.

awesome work boys :smiley:

Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.

Nice work guys. Very impressive!

That application is pretty money.

I must say that car is awesome, you guys did a great job. You put my shoe string budget lobster boat/car from last year to shame. I wish I could do the Red Bull soapbox derby again but with a lot more money. Ah well… maybe next year.

Props on the Boston Lobster Boat theme though Dubya.

Not meant to steal this tread but my friend did the same thing with their skill learned in AAU. However, they got 3rd place in SF.

hahahhaha! that looked like it was a riot!!!

I love the cow on its back, going down with its goody bag showing! ahhaha!!

Thanks guy, Sorry for such a delay in response, I have been extremely swamped in school/work.

We are actually headed off to claim our prize in a few weeks and are starting on our next project currently. We figured if we can build that thing we are going to work on a larger scale vehicle next. It should be pretty fun and it has proven to be a lot of work so far.

With the level of skill and creativity on this board, Core77 should dominate all the redbull events. Flugtag anyone? Seriously, check it out!

great work! you guys must’ve learnt a lot through the whole process! RESPECT :exclamation:

I can’t tell you how nice it was to be part of such a good team. I can’t say that I have every experienced the level of teamwork without any egos standing in the way previously.

Anyhow, we learned a ton and next time it will all be easier!