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Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race
2023 Race Report: Scrap Life

Here's a Sculpture!
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Scrap Life

Race rules provide a higher level of competition, the ACE, under which a sculpture must be piloted by the same people for the entire race, with no outside propulsion assistance, and various other requirements. The most common number of pilots for a sculpture attempting ACE is one. However, few solo-pilot ACE entries are as elaborate as Scrap Life.

Before the race, children entertained themselves by putting its rear claw around their heads.

Pilot Phil Smith seems to have found an all-terrain tire that’s smooth enough for pavement but gnarly enough for mud.

After Pinktastic was blown far off course last year, Scrap Life brought a new water propulsion system made of discarded ceiling fans and tractor parts. Phil also set aside the umbrella to reduce wind resistance.

The shade came in handy on sunny streets.

The sand in Patterson Park was a good time to try out the hand-crank.

But the mud was where the ultra-low gear hand crank was truly necessary, and the crowd roared to see him steadily crank through the viscosity.

Here are Phil’s seven prior entries:

The umbrella was gone again near the finish line.

The whole family came to the race.

For the second consecutive year, Phil’s impressive all-terrain design won both the Engineering award and his fourth ACE—one of only two ACEs awarded in 2023.

The ACE was especially impressive as Phil had several leg surgeries this year.

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Were you in the race?
Please contact Tom Jones if you have anything to add or update, or would like high-res photos of your team’s entry.
  1. Grand Champion: Mr. Jon Dig-It
  2. Cut Out to be Royal
  3. Engines & Dragons
  4. Scrap Life
  5. Happy Campers
  6. Tick Tock the Croc
  7. Working Hard, or Bearly Working?
  8. Jemicy: The Big 50, Good As Gold, AuSome, Gettin Gold, & Golden Moose
  1. Book of Platypology
  2. Wilson’s Pyramid
  3. Steve Punk
  4. Ridin’ Wormy
  5. Reverse Dog Sled
  6. Soccer Moms
  7. Neil Mobile
  8. USS Rosie the Recycler
  9. Patent Pending
  1. Fifi
  2. 2 Bee or Not 2 Bee
  3. CLAWdia
  4. Nanster Truck
  5. Opening Ceremony & Start
  6. Thanks!
  7. Volunteers, Spectators & Crew
  8. The Kinetic Baltimore Team
4/19/2024 5:15:36 PM   4/19/2024 8:52:25 PM   1:5   2:1   3:   4:1   5:   6:   7:2   8:   9:   10:   11:   12:   13:1   14:   15:   16:   17:1   18:   19:   20:   21:   22:1   23:   24:   25:1   AllInOne:
The Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race is sponsored and run by the American Visionary Art Museum. is the volunteer work of Tom Jones.
If you have suggestions about making this site better, or questions, e-mail Tom at