Tuesday, April 23, 2013

PINEWOOD DERBY MEMORY
Modeling the Nissan Skyline


For the 2006 RA Derby Race at our church my 10 year old son, Jonathan, decided to make his car look like the Nissan Skyline in the movie "2 Fast 2 Furious". I told him that it would not be easy to make a car of that detail, but he was set on making that car. We received the kit in early November so we had plenty of time to work on the car. He drew the design he wanted on the block of wood, and I cut it out on the band saw (so he would have all his fingers for the sanding!). I also drilled a rough opening under the wing. He then went to work on the final shaping and sanding. His work progressed nicely, and he was becoming happy with his design. After he completed the sanding I poured lead into the routered bottom to weight the car. The car was now ready for paint. The base coat of paint was applied and let dry. He then started to work on the side graphic paint, hood stripes and wing paint. He took his time and worked very hard at making everything symmetrical on both sides. I was pleased that he was paying attention to details. It was then onto painting the windows and lights. All was looking good and he was on the way to being finished a week before the race. Then disaster struck. One week before the race he was applying the final clear gloss coat of paint. As the clear went on all the blue paint on the graphics and wing started to lift and develop an alligator texture. He was very disappointed. With six days until the race he had to re-sand and refinish the car, Since this was the second attempt at painting the car it went a lot faster. He had the car finished on Friday night before the Saturday race. Although the painting was rushed the outcome was almost as good as the first paint job. We went to the race Saturday. The car did not perform very well on the race track, but when he won 1st Place in his age class for design and craftsmanship he was very happy. Now it is on to the Association Race in two weeks; we'll see what happens there.

Jonathan and Joe Coyne
Byron GA.

P.S. The poor performance on the track is another story, all the usual work was done on the axles and wheels, and the weight was at the max but it still ran slow. I am convinced that big body cars just do not perform like small sleek designs. I helped my son's friend with polishing his axles and wheels identical to my son's wheels. His friend's car was a very thin sleek design that was only 3/4 inch high near the rear of the car. His car won every heat, and he took home the 1st Place Race trophy.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 14

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