Pinewood Derby Stories and Photos from Maximum Velocity
PINEWOOD DERBY MEMORY
Helping the Mothers
I own a Hobby Store in Bellingham, Mass. Every year there are several
mothers with Tigers that never get any help from the pack. I do my
best to help with weights, painting, etc.
This past spring a mother came in with a car that had been cut and
painted. Her question was: "What do I do now?"
Unfortunately, there would have been a lot more work to be done since
she had cut the axle slots off. She had to have the car ready for
Friday night inspection. I took a Pinecar kit off the rack (a new
design this year), opened the package, glued the weights on the car,
put marks on the car around the axle slots and told her to paint the
car, except around the axle slots on the side of the car. I would use
a wheel and axle kit from the BSA and do the polishing. I asked her to
bring the car back when she finished painting. Two days later she came
back with the car painted to her Tiger's satisfaction. We glued the
wheels and axles onto car, checked for visual alignment, gave it a
graphite lube, etc. I told her she should have a competitive car and
to go and have some fun with the Tiger.
I got a phone call on Saturday around 1 PM at the store. She could
hardly stop talking as her Tiger has won he whole pack race (he won
every race he was in)! She could not believe it and was very thankful
for the help. As the Tiger was being announced as the champion, some
of the dads were inspecting the car and were claiming it to be
illegal, as it must have washers or bearings in it. They were actually
going to take wheels off for inspection! But she stated that since the
car would be running in the districts, how could they do that?
Besides, the car had passed the inspection.
Had they taken the wheels off, they would have been embarrassed since
the car was completely standard. The reason it won is that I had
followed the principles very closely - sleek design, weight in rear,
polished axles, sanded/polished wheels, graphite-moly, etc.
I'm glad I could help the mother. Each year so many first-year
families do not get the extra help they need to compete.
By the way, I kind of wish that the men had taken the wheels off the
car - it would have been front page material!