Machine Design

Campground races

A Nascar fan's delight: tents designed to look like official race cars, such as Jeff Gordon's.

Capital Concepts, Middleton, Wis., caters to race-car fans with a four-person tent detailed to look like an official Nascar vehicle. Two of the driver-approved designs include Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.

The tents were designed using Illustrator and Photoshop. Several paper models were made, then small sewn models, and finally a full-size prototype. "We had this idea for six years but didn't have the contacts to produce this type of product. Two years ago we decided to start the development of the tent. It took us six months to figure out how to get the tent to stand and still look like a car," says Jeff Ragatz, one of the owners of the company. "We always had the crossover tent poles, but we couldn't get the front and back to look right. The front and back support poles were the key to finally looking correct. We then figured out how to print large pieces of material to reflect the paint schemes on race cars."

The tents measure 66 X 48 X 168 in. and weigh 6.5 lb. They are made of polyurethane-coated nylon fabric and include a heavy-duty ripstop polyurethane floor and a nylon rainfly.

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