Some LACMA visitors also compared the new work, rather vertical in thrust, to Manhattan. "This side looks like New York because of all the skyscrapers," said Fernando Murillo, 11, standing on the imaginary city's east side before a particularly spiky stretch of skyline.
But Murillo also recognized a connection to L.A. "It feels like the city during happy hour — I mean rush hour," he said, quickly correcting himself.
Right about then, the project's lead engineer, Zak Cook, who had been standing quietly inside the racetrack, pushed a button that brought all traffic to a stop. A few people applauded. He climbed out of the city and was greeted by a handful of visitors asking questions about how the cars moved downhill (gravity) or what kept them from crashing into each other on the ramps (magnets).
Cook said the trial run had gone well. "As you can imagine, this is a precision machine. These cars are going approximately 240 miles per hour to scale. If you're going 240 miles per hour in a Ferrari and hit a speed bump, you would be flying."
"It's exciting in a way when there is a crash, and that did happen once in the studio, but now this is doing exactly what it's supposed to do," said Cook. "There were no major traffic jams."