mousetrap car project

Doc Fizzix Products Home

Mouse Trap Car: Target Challenge

January 26, 2012

Earth shattering secrets for building record setting and winning mousetrap cars and racers. Here you will find all the latest and greatest untold construction secrets so you can build your very own mousetrap vehicle.


The objective is to build a vehicle that is powered solely by a standard-sized mouse trap that will travel and stop closest to a finish line located 5-meters from the start line in the shortest amount of time.

By definition a vehicle is a device with wheels and/or runners. Launching a ball or another object from the mouse trap will be ruled illegal. The entire vehicle must leave the start line and travel as one unit.


1. The vehicle must be powered by a single Victor brand mouse trap
measuring: 1 - 3/4 inches X 3 - 7/8 inches.

2. The mouse trap cannot be physically altered except for the following:

  • holes can be drilled only to mount the mouse trap to a frame
  • the mouse trap's snapper arm may be cut and lengthened

3. The vehicle may not start with additional potential and/or kinetic energy other than what can be stored in the mouse trap's spring.

4. The spring from the mouse trap cannot be altered or heat treated.

5. The mouse trap's spring cannot be wound more than its normal travel distance or 180 degrees.

6. Vehicles must be self-starting.

7. The vehicles must steer itself and may not receive a push in any direction in order avoid a collision.

8. The timing of the vehicle will begin when any part of the vehicle passes over the start line and will ends when the vehicle comes to rest.

9. The distance from the target will be measured from the point of the vehicle that first passed the start line to the finish line or target.

10. The instructor has the final decision as to the appropriateness of any additional items that might be used in the construction of the vehicle.


The course will be a smooth level floor such as a gymnasiums or a non-carpeted hallway. The winner will be that vehicle that has obtained the lowest score any of the three attempts. Any ties will be decided by a single run off between the tied vehicles.


The scoring will be the total of the time in seconds added to the distance from the finish line in centimeters.

Score=time(s) + distance from finish line(cm).

*Can't find what you're looking for? Ask Doc Fizzix »

Phone Hours: Mon. - Fri. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (CST) - 866-362-3499 (US only) or 512-218-0454
Doc Fizzix Products, P.O. Box 5507, Round Rock TX 78683, U.S.A.