Pinewood Derby Stories and Photos from Maximum Velocity
PINEWOOD DERBY CAR SHOWCASE
Sparky - Bill & Matt Archer
My 8-year-old Bear Cub Scout son Matt asked me the other day before
the races, "You know what's the best part of Pinewood Derby racing
I said, "What Matt?"
"Teamwork", he said.
He's right. He was there to help develop the design, draw the car,
and dream with me through the details of tricks we used to make a fast
car. I explained every detail of our construction process so that he
knows why we polish the axles, why we need a sleek aerodynamically
clean design, why we need the weight back in the back, why we run on
three wheels, etc. Our pack passed out rule sheets in advance stating
what could and couldn't be done. We chose to limit our modifications
to stay in the scout class with original wheelbase, length, and width,
and limited wheel/axle work.
When Matt took the car to inspection, the judge said he would have to
be in the modified class. When asked why, he stated that it was too
long. Matt was on the ball saying that, "No, it was only 7 inches."
Then the judge said he still would have to be in the modified class
because the wheelbase was altered. I told the judge those were the
original slots cut in the block, we just cut off the back of the block
and lengthened the front. The rules didn't state any restrictions on
this. He finally conceded and let Matt run in the scout division.
When they asked Matt what the name of the car was, he said "Sparky."
Sparky went on to an undefeated season setting track records at the
pack and district races, and taking second in best of show at
district. Even modified division cars couldn't catch Sparky. Overall
Sparky earned five trophies.
Drag Star - Bob Johnson
With graphite splatter still on the body, this car took 2nd Place at a
Girl Scout event, and then took 1st Place at an adult race. The body
was first sawed out, then hand filed and sanded. The weight is set at
80 percent on the rear axles and 20 percent on the front axles. My
wife thought I was nuts to spend so much time on the car.
F-18 - Andy Garza
Here is the car that my son and I made last year. My oldest sons are
both at the Naval Academy and desire to be pilots. So we decided to
honor them with this Navy F-18 Blue Angel theme car. We used a
pre-formed block, made some shape modifications, and confiscated some
parts from a Revell model kit. An automotive paint job was then
applied, and the results were fantastic. Not only is this car a
looker, but it is fast as well. My son won 2nd in the Pack meet, 2nd
in the District, and 2nd in the Council. Perhaps if the afterburners
worked, we might have gotten a 1st Place somewhere in there!