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


Luke - Luke Smethers

This is my son’s pine wood derby car from last year. It took best in
show and 1st Place in the races. Luke did all the cutting, drilling
and painting for the car. He also did most of the work on the axles
and wheels, which as your readers know, is a lot more important than
aerodynamics. We came up with the idea of the name plate as a car
after making some when we first purchased the scroll saw. I wasn’t
sure it would work, but in the end, it wound up being a cool design
that is all his, literally. By the way, I think the scroll saw is the
perfect saw for a youngster to use for cutting out a derby car. He
still takes a risk of getting cut, but is very unlikely to loose a
finger! If you look carefully, you can see in the picture where we
had to glue the car back together after accidentally going too deep
when drilling holes through the back end to hide the tungsten fishing
weights. The center of gravity on the car wound up being less than an
inch in front of the rear wheels in spite of the forward mass of his
design. We had a lot of fun working on the car together. It will be
interesting to see what he comes up with this year.

Tiger Cub Special - CP

This is the 2007 car my son made for last years race. He sanded the
body and polished the axles for days. He got to use spray paint and
mix epoxy for the first time ever. He added the sticker and metal tape
for the windshield. The lines on the windshield are windshield wipers
that he drew with a Sharpie! The paint was Rustoleum red "Hammered
Finish" spray for a neat textured effect.

We spent a very long time getting it to roll straight. My son used
your Pro-Axle Press on about twenty BSA kit axles and we picked the
best 3 (the front left wheel is raised). We used six of your tungsten
plates to add weight while keeping the profile low. The weights were
epoxied into depressions we carved in the underside of the car. We
added small wood screws to the side of the car in case it was over
weight at weigh-in for easy weight removal if required. The CG was
only about .85 inches in front of the rear axle and that was probably
too aggressive as it did shimmy a bit in the flat part of the track.

In the end it paid off as his car was fastest in the den and pack, and
second fastest overall in the district. I think this tremendous
success is mostly attributable to equal parts luck and the time spent
getting it to roll straight. I have no idea how we'll follow up that
performance this year!

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 7, Issue 7

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