02 03 Pinewood Derby Stories and Photos from Maximum Velocity 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Always Thinking Ahead

When I was a Webelos Den Leader the most anticipated event was always
the pinewood derby. The Derby was run on a Friday, and the Sunday before
was practice day - a day to fine tune and see how your car would

One of the boys in our Den, Kyle, was the quite shy kind, but you could
tell he was always thinking about how to improve. On practice day, Kyle
and his dad spent the entire 3 hours tuning and adjusting their car. It
performed well, completing the runs with good times. The last thing
they did as they were leaving was to buy a new car kit.

Race day came around and Kyle showed up with a totally new car. Not the
greatest paint job or the sleekest design, but it looked good. One of
the other boys in the Den laughed at it because of the way it looked.
His car apparently had been built entirely by his dad at the auto shop
where he worked.

To make a long story short. The finals came down to Kyle and two other
boys. Kyle come in third. The kid with the dad-built car wasn't even
in the top ten. His mom freaked out, and started checking times and
saying something like, "This is wrong; how can a car that doesn't even
look good beat my son's car!"

Kyle had never won anything in his life and this was the biggest thing
to him. Talking to his dad later I asked why they changed cars at the
last minute. He told me that Kyle had used the practice session to work
out the bugs, and then spent the week working on the mechanics of a new
car. He wasn't that concerned with the looks.

Always thinking ahead. Kyle now works for a major auto maker doing
design work.

Gary Marquardt
Ann Arbor, Michigan

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 3, Issue 5

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