The Magic Motor Models Secretary’s Challenge

This Challenge goes back to our second Challenge in September 2001 when Geoff Carter wanted us to build a model powered by a Magic Motor (that’s the small clockwork motor, if you didn’t know).

There’s no record of what was built, so our Secretary had no qualms about using the same Challenge again — well, almost the same: The difference this time is that it was to be a race, two years after our last race with elastic band driven models. Unlike that race, where there was some confusion over how many elastic bands you could use, this time there will be no question about it: Members could use only one Magic Motor and nothing else to power their model.

There were two races:

  • The fastest model over a fixed distance, say 5 yards.
  • The model to travel over the greatest distance.

If members wanted to build two models, one for each race, that was fine.


There were two races; the fastest over a fixed distance, and the endurance (distance) race. Some members used a different model for each race while others chose to enter the same model in both. The races took place down one side of the hall, using the lines for the badminton court as the start and finish lines, although, in the case of the endurance race, the end wall was used.

There were ten entries in total, with Brian Elvidge, John Gay, Ralph Laughton, Alan Wenbourne, Chris Warrell, Brian Leach entering both races; Doug Windibank, Eric Smith and Geoff Carter in the speed race only and Adrian Ashford just in the distance race.

Three heats took place for the first race, with three models in each heat, the winner of each going forward to the final. There were a number of collisions in the heats making the race quite exciting to watch. The finalists were Ralph Laughton, Brian Leach and Geoff Carter with Ralph Laughton being the winner. In the endurance race cars were set off and, once they had reached the wall, were taken back to the start and released again without rewinding the motor! Cheating was not allowed! Brain Leach was the winner with four lengths of the hall, easily beating his nearest rival by a length.

Challenge models