Valve Cover Racing

Valve Cover Racing Logo

Don’t know what Valve Cover Racing is? Think “Pinewood Derby” for the Car Guy!

Starting with a valve cover from an automotive engine, a “racer” is created by adding a chassis, wheels and weights. Racers can be engineered in any way you want, so long as they follow the official rules (see below), and can take on any personality or character that you see fit.

On race day, racers will be randomly placed in a bracket playoff format, and then the race is on! The starting gate drops and gravity takes over, sending two racers sprinting down a specially built track to see who is the fastest to the finish line.

Hand gripping a wrench

Build Your Racer

Each valve cover racer must:

  • be made from one automotive engine valve cover;
  • have four (4) wheels, none of which extend beyond the front of the valve cover;
  • wheels no larger than six (6) inches in diameter
  • be propelled by gravity only;
  • not contain any moving weights;
  • be no longer than 30 inches, measured end to end;
  • be no wider than 12 inches; and
  • weigh no more than 12 pounds, ready to race

Grid of parts used to make a valve cover racer.

Additional rules include:

  • the racer with the shortest elapsed time will be deemed the winner
  • if neither racer crosses the finish line, then the car travelling the farthest on the track will be the winner
  • a racer that jumps the start light will be eliminated, and the opposing racer will be declared the winner of that round

Building a valve cover racer can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it. We’ve seen everything from a basic bolt-together racer to one so detailed that it even had working headlights. The simplest design uses a valve cover, plywood base and rolling gears from a skateboard. For some direction on how to build your racer (and to view our Terms & Conditions) read here. Don’t be afraid to put your personality into the design and paint job. Take a look at our photo gallery to get some ideas on how to build and decorate a racer.

Start looking through your spare parts (or your dad’s – we won’t tell) and get to building!

Inspiration Gallery