There are lots of ways to make a rubber band car using things from around the house. This design takes a few clever turns to the classic toy, including one that would be near and dear to any rubber enthusiast.
The video below, by Youtuber Yuri Ostr, shows off a neat popsicle-stick chassis for his rubber band car. It might not win any awards for aesthetics, but how many homemade cars have a wide front fender like that?
On top of that body (which is constructed with what I can only describe as a distressing amount of hot glue), Yuri incorporates a set of small gears to supply drive to the bottlecap wheels. The car can be powered by just rolling backward to twist the bands, setting course and letting go.
Near the end of the video at about 4:28, Yuri doubles the rubber bands, and the car spins out before ever taking off. That might be a problem for some, but Yuri uses some handy electrical tape to give his rear wheels some much-needed grip. It's not directly rubber tread, but any fan of rubber understands the importance of traction!
In the end, the rubber band car takes off at a snap. This popsicle-stick design at least gets top marks for showcasing how rubber gets vehicles going, in more ways than one.
Kyle Brown is a reporter for Rubber & Plastics News who watched a lot of Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye while growing up. Follow him on Twitter at @kbrownRPN.