Friday, April 12, 2013

PINEWOOD DERBY CAR SHOWCASE

iCar - Robert & Robbie Veltre


This year my son Robbie made a car that could fit into the Apple product line. Inspired by Robbie's PowerBook we dubbed it "iCar". iCar took 1st Place in Den, Pack, and District. Like most Apple products, it performed as good as it looked!

Prairie Schooner - Mike Slater


When my 7-year old daughter, Lauren, got the chance to participate in the Girl Scouts' Powder Puff derby this year, I encouraged her to design a car that meant something to her. When I pointed out how much she enjoys Little House on the Prairie books, she suggested building a covered wagon.

We studied pictures of several covered wagons on the internet and after a lot of thought, realized that we could easily make a wagon with very little cutting of the block. We cut an angle on the front, higher at the top than the bottom, to give the wagon a more realistic look. With the full length of the block, the wagon looked ridiculous, so we cut the rear off right at the original rear axle slot. The body for this design has only those two cuts! (We used a saw to make a new rear axle slot.)

The top was hollowed out by drilling 18 holes, each ½ inch in diameter and about ¾ inch deep. My daughter loved using the drill! When she was done, I removed the remaining wood and squared up the sides with a chisel.

We used a saw to cut the lines in the sides so that it would appear to be made of planks. Toothpicks cut short made the vertical stakes and I carved a barrel for the side. The bench seat is made from pieces of a paint stir stick.

We did a little bit of sanding on the outside of the block, but not very much. It’s a wagon; it’s supposed to be rough! A water based walnut stain completed the finish. Not using any type of clear coat or sealer left the wood looking just like old barn (or wagon) boards. It was perfect!

The hoops for the top are coat hanger wire, bent around the chuck of my drill and inserted into holes in the sides of the wagon. The top itself is muslin with pockets for drawstrings sewn around the ends and sides. This was only the second thing my daughter ever made with a sewing machine.

After weighing it a zillion times on a self-serve postal machine, weights were screwed into the bed of the wagon (near the back), and a small figure of a little girl in a prairie bonnet, peeking out the back of the wagon, was glued in.

We knew this wouldn’t be a very fast design, but had a lot of fun building it together and hoped that we might win something for the design effort. In fact, it did win Best Designed Car, plus a couple of ribbons for heat events. We were thrilled. The awards meant a lot, but we had so much fun building it that we knew we’d succeeded before we’d even showed up. I was also pleased that my daughter did nearly all the work on the car, even filing the burrs off the axles. Who knew my 'girly girl' liked sawdust?

Indy Roadster - Larry & Chris Cox


We used your Supercar kit and matched BSA wheels and axles to create this Indy car. We worked the wheels and axles, and used MetalCast paint from Duplicolor. It was a little extra work, but worth the effort. My son came in second in Webelos, first in the open class, and won the sportiest car award.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 13

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