It’s not every day that a dad and his son manage to set a new Guinness World Records – especially if that particular day turns out to be the company’s “Take Your Child to Work Day” – and the feat involves a 12.5 foot Hot Wheels loop.
Blade West, a six-year old, together with his dad, Matt West, decided that Ford should celebrate something else that day at the company’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn. Thursday morning the two set up – with the enthusiast help of onlookers – the largest Hot Wheels ramp in the world. The smallish Hot Wheels car (we’re not sure if it was a Ford – because the achievement involved more than one “vehicle”) managed to loop around a 12.5 feet high ring – breaking the previous record of 9.9 feet. “It’s really cool that we get to break the record on Take Your Child to Work Day,” commented Matt West, 33, a dynamometer technician that studies to become an engineer. Blade, his son, was the man who helped him build the loop and test the cars built by Mattel that would best fit the try. The formal attempt, captured on camera and footage for the Guinness experts to verify later on, included two successful cars out of ten – afterwards more followed as West called the kids that were present to give it a go.
The achievement also included some Ford support – West initially discovered that his old track and connectors fitted the newer ones used by his boy and started building his loop ever larger to the point that Blade and daughters Savannah, 3, and Quinn, 18 months, were lifted over his head to give the go for the toy cars at the top edge of the ramp. He then went to his employer – seeing the atrium at the research center at work able to provide the needed three-story-high ramp for the 12.5 feet-high loop. Ford design engineer Grant Compton even used computer-aided design software to design the structure and John Jaranson, a Ford technical expert and part-time instructor at TechShop Detroit was the fabrication technical advisor.