Table of Contents: Intro & 1920; 1921-1923; 1924-1927; 1928-1932; 1933-1935; 1936-1939; 1940-1945; 1946-1949; 1950-1953; 1954-1956; 1957-1959; 1960-1963; 1964-1966; 1967-1969; 1970-1973; 1974-1976; 1977-1979; 1980-1983; 1984-1986; 1987-1989; 1990-1993; 1994-1996; 1997-1999; 2000-2003; 2004-2006; 2007-2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017; 2018; 2019; Recap & 2020

Last week, we added a companion to this 100 Years of Buggy History Series – a Raceday Rewatch! While many of us are stuck at home, we will be continuing to do these weekly Rewatch events. This week’s Rewatch of Raceday 2012 will take place at 5:00pm ET on Friday, April 3, and you can join us here. If you were around for Raceday 2012, let us know and we’d love to get you onto the stream as well (rather than just chatting along). If you’re curious, last week’s Rewatch of Raceday 2011 is available here.

This week, the 100 Years of Buggy History series takes an in depth look at 2012. What was expected to be another close race didn’t quite turn out that way, as SDC began a stranglehold on the top trophies that would continue for the rest of the decade, including a record or two in the process. Plus, as one independent organization leaves for good, a group of freshman decide to start one of their own.


Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 20 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 21 at 8:00am

Sweepstakes Committee: Anthony Pacella (Chair); Kevin Jang (Ass. Chair); Mike Mackin (Safety); Rachel Johnson (Design)

Men’s Results: (1) SDC A – Bane (2:05.84); (2) Fringe A – Bonsai (2:07.13); (3) SDC B – Malice (2:08.21); (4) SigEp A (2:09.82); (5) PiKA A (2:10.19); (6) Fringe B – Bissa (2:16.93)

Women’s Results: (1) SDC A – Bane (2:30.90); (2) SDC B – Malice (2:37.35);(3) SigEp A – Barracuda (2:41.15); (4) Spirit A – Seraph (2:50.27); (5) SDC C – Rage (2:50.58); (6) CIA A – Ascension (2:52.46)

Design Comp: (1) Fringe – Bissa; (2) Fringe – Bonsai; (3) CIA – Ascension

Other Awards: (People’s Choice) Spirit – Mapambazuko; (Chairman’s Choice) Spirit; (Spirit of Buggy) Apex; (T-Shirt) Fringe

Weather: Sunny, 52-70 Degrees on Friday; Occasional Rain, 44-49 on Saturday

Buggy Book: 2012 Buggy Book Link

Raceday Video Playlist: 2012 Friday; 2012 Saturday (Women’s Only)

Prediction Score: 26/55 Men’s, 16/45 Women’s (Compubookie)

  • The Independent Organizations Reach Their Apex.  Pioneers folded after 2011.  But from the ashes of Pioneers rose a new independent organization, Apex Racing.  A group of freshmen who all lived together in a dorm down on Fifth Avenue decided that they wanted to participate in Buggy.  Rather than join an existing org, they instead decided that they wanted to create their own, which is not an easy thing to do as an independent organization.  Founded on a principle of openness, Apex set out to become a full-fledged Buggy organization.  They weren’t yet entitled to funding from Student Senate since it was their first year of existence, but since the team was made up of members of a dorm, they were able to receive $500 in funding from SDC. Now with some backing, the next step was obtaining a Buggy.  To do that, they borrowed the retired buggy Camo.  They re-welded the back left wheel back on and set out to get some rolls in.  But it didn’t take long for the wheel to give out again, forcing Camo back into its retirement home.  Thankfully, some Fringe alumni stepped up and lent Apex their old buggy, Insite.  Insite was a much better buggy, and allowed for Apex to actually make it to Raceday, where they’ve been competing ever since.
  • PiKA Scales Back. From the very first Raceday, Pi Kappa Alpha had been a shining example of a Buggy organization, racking up a still-record 39 total wins. That all nearly came to an end in 2012. At the end of the 2011 school year, the University Disciplinary Committee handed down a decision to revoke PiKA’s recognition on campus for a 4-year period as a result of some activities that took place in February of that year. This could have resulted in PiKA’s inability to participate in Buggy, similar to KDR back in 2009. But PiKA appealed the decision and the organization’s recognition was reinstated. They were, however, evicted from campus, making recruitment more difficult. This led to PiKA needing to scale back in 2012, not coming out to the course until the Spring and only racing 2 men’s teams and 1 women’s team, tied for their smallest squad since they first entered a Women’s team in 1984.
  • TriDelt Gets Into The Action.  The KKG/ZBT pairing in 2010 was the first time a sorority and fraternity teamed up, but it wasn’t the last.  DTD, as we noted above, gave Buggy a shot in 2010 but couldn’t quite get to Raceday.  But they didn’t count themselves out yet.  They did, however, realize that running a Buggy team takes a lot of effort, which their current brotherhood couldn’t necessarily support.  So instead, they teamed up with a sorority that was also interested in getting into buggy – Delta Delta Delta (TriDelt).  The combination of TriDelt and DTD included a lot of Deltas, so the new team took on the combined name “Delta Force”.  They borrowed the former KDR buggy Perun, which they decided to nickname “Moby Dick”. Perun was a much better buggy than Quicksilver/Bethany, and this time they were able to make it to Raceday 2012.  Unfortunately, the buggy was maybe a little too good, causing some issues in the Women’s Heats.  In Women’s Prelims Heat 4, Delta Force went up against PiKA A’s Zeus and SigEp B’s Peregrine.  PiKA was well in front, but SigEp and Delta Force went into the freeroll together.  Delta Force, out of Lane 2, was on the Flagstaff side but the two were neck-and-neck.  As they reached Westinghouse Pond and crossed over, SigEp was forced to swerve significantly to avoid a collision and costing SigEp significant speed.  Meanwhile, Perun was actually rolling better than Zeus and began to gain as they reached the transition flag.  Right after the transition flag, Delta Force tried to go outside of PiKA but took a more direct path to the Chute flag, cutting off PiKA’s line and causing the back of Perun to make contact with the front of Zeus.  This contact slowed Zeus down to the point that SigEp’s Peregrine was able to catch up and pass PiKA in the Chute.  Delta Force won the heat, but were DQ’d for initiating the contact with PiKA, while SigEp B and PiKA A were granted rerolls.
  • Fall Crash Portends a Bad Future. Fringe had a rough go in the second rolls of the Fall, with a particularly bad crash. A new driver was inside Blizzard, and a problem with visibility at the Chute flag caused the driver to miss the turn. She eventually started turning but it was too late. She avoided the barricades but overshot where the bales ended. She didn’t use the brakes and hit the curb at her top speed, which was clocked at 24mph. The buggy glanced off of the curb nose first, stripping the blue paint off, and came to a stop on the bridge on Schenley Drive. On impact, the front hatch came flying off and the windshield was split in two. Luckily, the driver came away relatively unharmed given the severity of the crash, with just some scrapes and sore spots, and Blizzard would be fixed up and back out the next week. Blizzard had another weird turn of events two weeks later, as the driver made a sudden and abrupt left turn at the first transition flagger and actually made it up the sidewalk ramp onto the Phipps sidewalk, where an alert flagger caught the buggy before any damage could be done.
  • Mini-Raceday Results. Some version of “Mini-Raceday” took place on Sunday, November 6, as the Buggy Alumni Association used that day to play Fantasy Buggy. The winning team was SDC’s Bane, who clocked in from Hill 2 to the Finish Line in 1:49.20, 0.7 seconds ahead of Fringe’s Bonsai.
  • What Would YOU Give For Buggy? Early in the Fall semester, a car managed to maneuver its way around the barricaders at the starting line and began to drive up Hill 1, swerving around buggies, before Sweepstakes finally stopped him. But that wasn’t the end of cars during the year. On the last day of Fall rolls, there was a bit of excitement at the barricades on Hill 2. A pickup truck, driven by a “belligerent old man” (per Sam Swift) tried to get on the course by pushing the barricaders aside with his fender while yelling at them. He only stopped when Sweepstakes Chair Anthony Pacella put his feet in front of the truck’s wheels and threatened to call the cops if he kept moving. Anthony was willing to give a foot for Buggy. What about you?
  • New Buggies.  Only 2 new buggies hit the course in 2012. The faster of the two came from Fringe, who once again produced a new, fast buggy in Bissa. The more fan-favorite of the two was CIA’s Orca, a buggy that was never particularly fast, but was painted to look like an Orca whale.
  • SAE Reverses Course. SAE had been rolling Rubicon as their only buggy for most of the last decade. Rubicon was a standard trike buggy that rolled on 14″ pneumatic wheels. Unfortunately, their pneumatic wheels had a tendency to blow, and by Raceday 2011, they had run out of wheels. They spent a while trying to acquire new ones, but it was difficult to accomplish. So they did the next best thing – they converted Rubicon’s wheels! But not only did they convert the buggy from rolling on 14″ pneumatics to 7″ Xootrs (similar to what organizations like Spirit had done), they also completely overhauled the steering. Rubicon 2.0 debuted in the Spring of 2012 as a reverse trike with Xootrs. It was an incredibly impressive switch that was the talk of the Chute.
SAE’s Rubicon switched from a standard trike on pneumatics…(photo from 2011 in the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Sam Swift)
… to a reverse trike on Xootrs (photo from 2012 in the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Sam Swift)
  • Predictions.  Compubookie noted that not many new buggies came out for 2012, allowing teams to perfect their lines rather than worry about getting drivers used to driving new buggies.  He drew the distinction between teams with good pushers (like SigEp) and good buggies (like SigNu), but noted that SDC, with its combination of both, put them at the top.  Overall, his Top 6 Women’s teams were (1) SDC A, (2) Fringe A, (3) Spirit A, (4) SDC B, (5) SigEp A, and (6) PiKA A.  On the Men’s side, his Top 10 were (1) SDC A, (2) SDC B, (3) Fringe A, (4) PiKA A, (5) Spirit A, (6) SigEp A, (7) SDC C, (8) Fringe B, (9) PiKA B, and (10) SigNu A.
  • The Relationship Between Hub and Tire.  For those a little more removed from the world of wheel technology, the term “wheel” and “tire” may be interchangeable.  But for those in the know, the “tire” is just one part of the wheel that also includes the “hub”, two distinct parts attached by a particular substance (often a form of glue or primer).  For the average team doing nothing more than keeping their wheels warm, this distinction often doesn’t matter.  But for the top buggy teams, this is something that you need to worry about.  In 2012, that came back to bite Fringe.  As noted last week, since 2007 Fringe had been running wheels from AEND (and later Zero Error/AEND).  But as Mark Estes pointed out in the comments to last week’s post, AEND has a history with a lack of primer between hub and tire.  In 2012, Bonsai was looking to repeat its success in 2011 as the fastest rolling buggy, and to achieve that goal, Fringe prepared their wheels.  As the buggy turned into the Chute for the Women’s A team in the second to last Women’s Prelims Heat on Friday, everything seemed fine. But suddenly, the primer between the hub and the tire on Bonsai’s left front wheel had a catastrophic failure, and the tire separated from the hub.  The buggy, which seemed to be turning fine, suddenly could no longer turn, and the buggy rolled straight into the outer haybales, knocking Fringe A out of the race.  SigEp C’s Mamba and SAE A’s Rubicon trailed in the heat, and they were traveling close together, though well behind Fringe.  Both received the stop flag, and both drivers hit the brakes, but that led to some excitement itself.  Since both buggies were reverse trikes, both buggies spun upon hitting the brakes.  Mamba did a 180 at the Chute flag and stopped their spin when the right side of the buggy (which was now facing uphill) smacked into the curb, while SAE’s buggy spun 270 degrees, coming to rest perpendicular to Schenley Drive.  Luckily, all three teams were able to repair the damage, with SAE and SigEp rerolling and Fringe able to roll Bonsai for the Men’s A team later in the day.
2012 – Fringe’s Bonsai suffers a catastrophic wheel failure, when the left front tire separates from the hub, causing a crash and knocking the Fringe Women’s A team out of the competition (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Shafeeq)
  • Design Sponsorship. According to the April 23, 2012 Tartan, for the first time in Buggy’s history, the Design Competition had a corporate sponsor.  Chrysler was providing judges for the Design Competition, as well as the prize money for 1st-3rd place in the Design Competition.  We here at the BAA will note that this wasn’t the first time that car companies had been involved with Design Competition (we haven’t included the Design Competition judges for past years), though we can’t say for sure whether a company had ever sponsored Design Comp before.
  • Rain Cuts Down Raceday.  For the second year in a row, rain made an impact on Raceday.  Friday was a perfect day, sunny and relatively warm.  Saturday, however, brought the threat of rain.  The Women’s Finals were able to be completed early on Saturday, but as the Men’s races were about to get underway, the rain couldn’t hold off any more.  The roads began to get wet and the Men’s Finals had to be cancelled, making it so that the Women’s Finals times were the final times, but reverting back to the Men’s Prelims times for their final positions.
  • Notable Heats.  We’ll be updating this after a re-watch.
  • 2012 Photos. Here are photos other than those in the BAA Gallery, with a select few from the Gallery:
2012 – Fringe C pusher Neil Goeckner pushes Borealis across the Finish Line with a dive (from the 04-23-2012 Tartan)
2012 – SAE A’s Hill 2 pusher shoves Rubicon into the freeroll (from the 04-23-2012 Tartan)
2012 – A CIA mechanic gives the thumbs up inside the shell for Black Magic during Design Competition (from the 04-23-2012 Tartan)
2012 – CIA at Design Comp (from the 04-23-2012 Tartan)
2012 – Spirit Women’s A’s Seraph (left) and SDC Women’s D’s Avarice (right) enter the Chute together and barely avoid contact (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Shafeeq)
2012 – SDC Men’s C’s Rage (far left) leads SigNu Men’s A’s Krait (back left) and CIA Men’s B’s Orca (back right) as they turn into the Chute (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Shafeeq)
2012 – Spirit A’s Mapambazuko, Fringe D’s Bedlam, and Apex A’s Insite all head up Hill 3 in Men’s Heat 3 (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by ms01814)
2012 – SDC at Design Competition (from the 04-23-2012 Tartan)
2012 – Fringe’s Bissa at Design Competition (from the 04-23-2012 Tartan)
Spirit had a pushbar failure during rolls on September 24 (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Guillermo Gomez)
2012 – SigEp Women’s B’s Peregrine (left) moves to pass PiKA Women’s A’s Zeus (middle) in the Chute after Zeus was forced to brake following contact with Delta Force Women’s A’s Perun (right) at the transition flag (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Shafeeq)
2012 – CIA Men’s C’s Freyja slightly leads SAE Men’s A’s Rubicon as they reach the Chute flag (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Shafeeq)

6 thoughts on “100 Years of Buggy History – 2012”

  • Note on Camo: the left rear wheel weld that we had repaired was not the failure that led to Camo being retired finally for good. That weld was great. What happened was a weld at the front of the frame that held the front fork in place cracked about half way across. Upon inspecting the other welds on the frame we determined a majority of them would need repairing or replacing. So instead of shelling out money for that, we focused on building Phoenix and potentially missing raceday.

    Luckily I was stuck home over spring break recovering from Wisdom tooth extraction and was able to bother Sam Swift and Josh Hixon incessantly until they agreed to lend us Insite. We binned it into the outside bales about 3 weeks before raceday, broke the hatch and bent up the steering pretty good. We scrambled to repair it so we wouldn’t miss any rolls and in spite of ourselves didn’t totally bork the repair.

    Having that buggy saved our assess thank you Josh and Sam.

    • Elmo Zoneball says:

      I tried my best to advise them to NOT do this sort of thing in the years just preceding this conversion, but it fell on deaf ears.

      It also violates the Prime Directive: “Thou shall’t not make more than one change at a time.”

      They clearly had to move up to urethane tires/small wheels, but could, and in my view, should have left the trike configuration alone. Much simpler, less work, and would have helped them to properly interpret whatever changes there are from just the tire/wheel swap.

  • Fringe also had a tire separation with Bissa on truck weekend, resulting in the buggy beginning the turn, then gently curving _left_ and coming to a stop on the bridge. Had the tire hung on for a couple more revolutions, that could’ve been much nastier.

  • If you go out to buy yourself some rim primer (no sane person actually does this, but hang in there), there are two flavors – one is tinted blue and the other is clear. The purpose of the blue is to mistake-proof the procedure as a blue rim is pretty obviously coated, whereas you can’t see the clear product worth a damn. Generally the primer is baked onto the freshly cleaned metal surface prior to the hot pour of the urethane, so there is a lot of shuffling of un-primed rims, primed rims, poured wheels, post-cured wheels etc. It just makes sense to tint the primer to keep errors at bay. If you look closely at the first few dozen wheels from Aend (aside from the 2007 Fringe wheels) you will easily see the blue line between metal and thane. Then on later batches, the blue line goes away. Did they use the clear primer? Did they use nothing? Did they mean to use the clear primer then F up and pour some on bare rims? (I personally believe this latter is the case). If the primer is there, you can do really horrific things to the wheel with heat and all manner of nasty chemicals and the bond will not fail, or so I am told.

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