Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 30, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake – Randy West

The Strawberry Shortcake car was the idea of my little girl, who is four years old. The car had a head from one of her dolls that was hard to part with, but we finally came to an agreement. Her car was FAST. The girls could only race for fun, but my little girl’s car won all three races.

The Bandit – Ross & Tyler Bragg

The Bandit, a Speeder design from Maximum Velocity, was the overall pack winner. It weight exactly five ounces, runs on three wheels, has ‘perfect’ balance, and is equipped with matching wheels, and polished speed axles.

Fire Truck – Jim Mason

My Tiger Cub wanted to make another fire truck for his pinewood derby car this year. After two previous years in the Sibling Division with a fire truck, we decided to ‘make it a go’ again. We had watched the TLC channel show, “Overhaulin'” together, so I suggested we design a fire truck and make it look like a hot rod. We went on the Internet and found a photo of a 1946 Ford Fire truck and we were off and running. The light on his truck does work when it rolls down the hill; and other than wood, there is little weight added. We cut the side pieces and saved the new top from the rear cut, and then we glued it all together and painted it. The car (truck) looks great, but I wish we would have taken more time filling in with wood filler. My son loved the design and even won a trophy at our pack race. He then took third in the Tiger Division at District, along with Best Design. He was thrilled!

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 15

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Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies

Weighting Materials: So Many Choices

What do you use to add weight to your car? Certainly the answer to this question is not “none!” For without adding weight to the car, it will not weigh-in at the maximum allowable weight (typically 5 ounces), thus it will not reach peak performance. Generally 2.5 to 3.5 ounces of weighting material is required to bring the car to the maximum weight.

So what do you use for weighting material? I have seen people use a variety of materials such as lead, no-lead weight, pennies, nuts and bolts, fishing weights, etc. Virtually any material with a non-trivial density can be used. But there are advantages and disadvantages to the various materials.

In this article we will look at several factors that affect the choice of weighting material: density, malleability (ease of shaping), cost, safety, and availability. Density will be given in grams/cubic-centimeter. A lower density number indicates that the weight will take up more space on the car, while a higher density number indicates that the weight will use less space on the car. In addition, the density of each weighting material will be compared to the density of lead.


Lead has been the traditional weighting material since the inception of the pinewood derby. At a density of 11.34, lead is quite dense when compared to other possible weighting materials. The relatively small amount of lead required for weighting provides the car builder greater flexibility in the car design.

An added benefit of lead is that it is very malleable. With most materials the car builder must create holes or cavities in the car body to fit the shape and size of the weighting material. However, with lead the builder can create any size hole/cavity and then shape the lead to fit the hole.
Another nice feature of lead is that it can be easily drilled. Thus, the weight of the car can be easily reduced at the weigh-in by drilling out of a portion of the lead.

But as you probably know, lead has a downside. If used improperly, lead is toxic, so care must be taken when using this material. At our house, we abide by the following rules:

– Wash your hands after handling lead (and keep your fingers away from your face).
– Keep lead away from food, water, and food preparation areas.
– Collect and properly dispose of any lead pieces.
– Do not sand, saw, or file lead. Lead particles will be created which cannot be easily collected.
– Do not melt lead. The fumes are toxic, and the lead can pop and/or splatter during the melting process causing eye and skin injuries.

In summary, lead is clearly a winner in density and malleability. But be aware of the risks and safety precautions before choosing to use lead as a weighting material.

Lead Density – 11.34
% Of Lead Density – 100%
Malleability – Very good
Cost – $0.75 to $1.15 per ounce
Safety – Caution advised
Availability – Some brick and Internet-based hobby stores including: Maximum Velocity


Zinc (or ‘No-lead’) weighting material is available in a variety of shapes. The material has a density of about 6.30, which is 56% of the density of lead. Thus, almost twice as much no-lead material is required versus lead.

No-lead weight is quite hard, so it cannot be shaped. To use no-lead weight a hole/cavity must be created to fit the shape of the weight. Also, since no-lead weight is very hard, don’t plan on using a drill to reduce the weight of the car at the weigh-in.

The weights sold at hobby shops under the brand name “PineCar” are zinc (BSA branded weights sold at scout shops are also zinc). Several of these products are intended for mounting underneath the car with screws. Be aware that if the weights are attached directly to the bottom of the car, the 3/8 inch clearance specification will likely not be met. To ensure adequate clearance, a pocket must be milled into the bottom of the car to accept the weight.

No-lead Weight Density – 6.30
% Of Lead – 56%
Malleability – Very poor
Cost – $1.16 to $1.75 per ounce
Safety – Okay
Availability – Brick and Internet-based hobby stores including: Maximum Velocity


Pennies are a common weighting material, as they are very cheap and readily available. Generally, a hole is drilled into the bottom or back of the car (13/16″ diameter), and pennies are glued into the hole. How many pennies do you need? That depends on when they were minted. Prior to 1982, pennies were comprised of 95% copper and 5% zinc. After 1982, the composition changed to 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper (during 1982 both types were minted). Since copper is more dense than zinc, the older pennies are heavier. Assuming that you use pennies minted after 1982, 11 pennies is close to 1 ounce.

Although pennies can be bent if needed, they are not easily shaped. Safety is not really an issue with pennies, but you should always wash your hands after handling money.

Penny Density – 7.17 (after 1982), 8.80 (before 1982)
% Of Lead Density – 63% (after 1982), 78% (before 1982)
Malleability – Poor
Cost – $0.11 per ounce
Safety – Okay
Availability – Your pocket or coin jar


Nuts and bolts (and screws and washers for that matter) are also commonly used as weighting material. A typical use is to insert screws into the bottom of a car to fine-tune the weight. Assuming galvanized steel (most common), the density is about 7.70, so it is a bit more dense than pennies. Steel cannot be shaped, and safety is not an issue.

Steel Density – 7.70
% Of Lead Density – 68%
Malleability – Very poor
Cost – About $0.30 per ounce
Safety – Okay
Availability – Hardware Store


Tungsten – Tungsten is a very dense metal. At a density of 170% of lead, tungsten is the densest material that is practical for use on pinewood derby cars. Tungsten is non-toxic so it is gaining increased usage in weighting applications where lead is not appropriate. For example lead has been banned in many streams, so tungsten is often substituted for lead weight on fishing flies. Tungsten is very hard, so it cannot be shaped or easily drilled.

Click on the link below for more information on tungsten, including a chart comparing the density of tungsten with zinc and lead:

Tungsten Density – 19.3 (essentially the same as pure gold)
% Of Lead Density – 170%
Malleability – Very poor
Cost – $2.95 to $4.99 per ounce
Safety – Okay
Availability – Maximum Velocity


Other metals exist with greater densities; however, they are either very expensive or very rare. Both gold and platinum have a higher density than lead (170% and 189% respectively), but you would end up with a car that should be locked in a safe!


What do you use for weighting material? As you can see, there are a variety of choices, so pick the material that best meets your needs.

Weight Comparison Chart

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 15

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Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies

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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Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 18, 2013

The Finger – Frank & Keith Tonra

My son Keith (Wolf) and his older brother Frankie (Webelo 2) started to think about their car months before the derby (like the day after the last one). Keith wanted to do a black hearse with skulls and look scary cool, and Frankie wanted a 3D Frankenstein car and to win it all. But when we talked about the car’s looks versus speed, things changed. Keith’s car would be big and bulky like the hot dog last year so he wanted a nose, so he could ‘win by a nose’. The nose as a wedge car seemed like a good idea but proved to be hard to shape, and still look like a nose. So, the Finger car was born. Frankie settled on speed over looks, and made a lightning bolt wedge car that took second in his den and strangest shape in the pack. Keith’s Finger Car came in second for Fan Favorite, won Most Humorous Car and finished forth by ten thousands of a seconds. The boys had a great time, were proud of the cars and are already at work on their next cars.

Cool Flag – Scott & Taylor Morris

Here is my daughter Taylor’s Awana Grand Prix car from this year. Taylor designed her car and did most of the work herself – other than the power saw work. We used many of the ideas and techniques found on Maximum Velocity in building the wedge car for speed. Taylor wanted the car to be stylish too, so she opted for the Freedom Flag body skin. Taylor’s car didn’t lose one heat and took 1st Place for speed, and got lots of attention for the “cool flag”. She has already started designing next year’s car.

Solar Car – Anton & Andrew Petrou

The car you see here was inspired by the University of Michigan’s solar race car, which we saw on display during a visit to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Using this as an inspiration, we went to Michigan’s web site and learned about how they minimized wheel friction, rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag. Sound familiar? This ended up being the perfect way to teach my son about the physics of a well designed pinewood derby car.

There was, however, a real challenge, which was how do you get enough weight in such a thin tail and still achieve an optimum balance point. We ended up sawing the shape of the car, and used the body to form a sand casting mold. All the materials needed were a bucket and some moist playground sand. To keep things safe, I melted the lead and poured it into the mold, and all of this was done outdoors. Once cooled, the lead was virtually the same shape as the back of the car. All we had to do was cut off the of the car equivalent to the length of the molded lead and then epoxy it to the back. All it needed was some wood putty, paint, and voila, a Solar Car is born. The side view says it all, since the car is in no way attached to the white post, instead it is balanced on top of it!

We worked hard on building the Solar Car, and at the Pack Derby it won all 15 races and ended up finishing 1st in the Pack. To this day, I think this particular experience continues to motivate my son towards a career in engineering – just like Mom and Dad.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 14

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Forget Pinewood Fever, 2005 was MADNESS!

For our family, racing is not a hobby, it’s a passion. We are a deeply rooted NASCAR clan, so it’s ‘somewhat’ understandable that the 2005 pinewood derby season actually started for us in late 2004. We searched on the Internet for speed tips and how Packs from around the U.S. operate their events. It didn’t take us long to figure out that we weren’t the only ones that had sawdust in the carport that somehow got tracked through my wife’s freshly mopped floors. We discovered a guy named Stan Pope and his comments on DerbyTalk and I thought to myself, “WOW, the emerald city for Pinewood Derby and Stan is OZ”. We also discovered Maximum Velocity and again were amazed at the amount of tools and so forth available. It wasn’t long before the MADNESS started and we ordered one each of every tool Maximum Velocity had in stock.

We took the block of wood, axles, and wheels out of the box, and talked about what we had learned from the net, It was decided that the design was going to be a simple one; a wedge. As we trued the axles, rounded the wheels and bored out the void where the weights were to be installed we had a pretty good feeling about what we had learned. As we used each tool we discussed safe use, and the theory behind its use. As we built the machine we discussed the previous year’s entries and made immediate comparisons where we neglected things before; most notably the lack of attention to the wheels and axles – prepping them for speed. After the paint and decals were applied we aligned the wheels using the Pope method and broke in the wheels using the graphite and a Dremel tool. Once we completed the racer we took our cars from past years and lined them up next to each other. All we could do is chuckle; our new Hot Rod was going to be tough to beat. This year’s car was called ‘Sunday Money’.

Sierra Vista Pack 408 approached me and asked if I would be interested in running the Derby for 2005 (after I shared with them how others were running successful shows, and ours could use a little tweaking). The four-lane wooden track the pack had had for years only had two lanes that would run without the cars leaving the track, and the two that were left were inconsistent. Sure we could have remodeled the current track, but I remembered seeing something on the net and that’s when the MADNESS level increased. I ordered and donated a brand new, 4 lane aluminum track from BestTrack and an electronic scoring tower. My wife is pretty handy with a sewing machine, so the crew went to the store picking out blue, gold, and checkered fabric for table cloths, etc. to create a very festive look. Once it was all set up, it was great to see the boy’s eyes when they saw the new stuff for the Pack. There was a new excitement as a points system was used, and each entry ran four times to determine the Den and Pack Champions. More racing in less time made it exciting for everyone.

‘Sunday Money’ not only looked fast but performed just like we had hoped – in the first heat, she pulled away on the flat part of the track. Based on what we had learned we knew it would get faster and, as the day went on she didn’t disappoint us. I noticed she was getting faster not just by the margin of victory but by how far she would stop on the braking section of the new track. Our car went on to win both the Den and Pack Championships that day, an undefeated record of 8-0. Next stop on the schedule was the District Finals. She placed first, bumping her record up to 11-0. Finally the Council Championship, where she received the first loss and finished second. ‘Sunday Money’ is now retired, but will always have its own place on the mantle with her career record of 14-1.

It amazes me how a seven inch-long, fifty cent piece of wood has generated so much excitement and intensity (and MADNESS) since the introduction of the Pinewood Derby in 1953 by Don Murphy.

Robert Butterfield

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 13

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Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 12, 2013

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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Finding the Right Level of Parental Involvement

I really enjoy the Pinewood Derby. In fact, my level of enjoyment is probably greater than that of my children. Add the fact that I like to work with my hands, and you have the classic recipe for an over-involved parent. Yes, I admit I have been guilty in the past of doing way too much work on my children’s cars.

By contrast, I have seen cars at our weigh-ins that were clearly built by a younger child with little to no parental involvement. Generally, these cars place poorly, sometimes not even reaching the finish line.

I believe that neither of these extremes is the appropriate level of parental involvement. Building a car is a great opportunity for a child and parent to spend time together. Opportunities to interact with your child are too few and far between to let one slip away.

So how much should a parent be involved? I suggest that parents should serve mostly as a coach, allowing their child to do as much work on the car as he/she can physically and safely accomplish. Clearly, the level of involvement must vary based on age and physical capabilities. For example, my 12-year-old son’s latest car was built on his own with only some coaching from me. He got frustrated a few times, and when he did I showed him a different way to hold a tool, clamp his car, hold the can of spray paint, etc., but he did the actual work. On the other hand my 9-year-old daughter also built a car. She did a large majority of the work, but I helped set up the tools, and assisted when she needed a little extra muscle power and technique.

How can you most effectively be a coach to your child? There is no one answer to this question, but here are some ideas that might be beneficial to you.


A few years ago I asked one of my younger children what they wanted their car to look like. I believe the response was an ‘elephant’ (or some other large land mammal). I don’t know about you, but making a car look like an elephant would be an impossible task for my child or myself! So instead, I sketched out some possible ideas, and fairly quickly we had a design that was much more practical. The point is that children often have unrealistic expectations of what they can create given their (and your) skills, the limitations of the car dimensions, the time remaining to the race, and the sophistication of your household tools. So here are a few ideas to help you and your child arrive at a reasonable

– Dig the Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars out of the toy box and find an interesting design. Then sketch the profile of the car on paper, simplifying it where needed.

– Have your child sketch a rough drawing of their ideas. Then work with them to make it practical.

– If your child wants the car to represent an animal or other complex object, suggest building a flat and thin car with a plastic animal(s) or object fastened on top. This is much easier and will likely satisfy your child. For example, a few years ago my oldest son wanted to build a ‘rocket car.’ He ended up building a ‘rocket carrier’ using a very small rocket from the hobby shop (see the picture at: ).

– Look on the Internet for car design ideas. The links below have a large assortment of pictures.

Shape N Race Derby


There is also an assortment of cars on our web site at Maximum Velocity!


Children generally want to skip the ‘boring’ steps and get right to attaching the wheels. But to get the best results, the building process should proceed in a step-by-step manner. Coach your child to take one step at a time. The resulting car will not only end up nicer, but your child will begin learning the valuable skills of organization and patience.


Training experts tell us that people learn much more quickly by performing a task themselves, than by watching someone else perform the task. So, if your child is unfamiliar with using a tool (you can assume that your child is unfamiliar unless you have previously shown them how to use the tool), place their hand(s) on the tool in the proper position, and put your hands on top of your child’s hands.
Work with your child, using your hands to guide and add a little muscle power. This is especially useful when a younger child is sawing. To saw along a line takes a certain amount of strength and technique, and young children can become frustrated very quickly. By adding your hands, your child will not only be involved in creating the car, but they will also become better at working with their hands.


Kids generally don’t like to sand (I don’t blame them). But to end up with a nice paint job, the car does need to be virtually smooth. In the past, my kids would sand for a minute or two and then come to me and say, “Daddy, is this enough?” I would tell them no, they would go back to sanding for another minute, and the process would repeat many times over.

Then someone shared with me an amazing technique. Take a pencil and scribble on all of the surfaces of the car that need to be sanded (lightly on surfaces that are almost done, and heavily on very rough surfaces. Then tell your child to sand until all of the pencil marks are gone. At my house, this eliminates a lot of whining!


If left up to my children, all of the work would be done on the night before the race. Although last minute jobs do occasionally perform very well, this is not the best recipe for building a nice car. So, instead sit down with your child and write out a simple schedule. For example, if there are 4 weeks before the race, write down what needs to be done in each of those 4 weeks. The schedule might be:

Week 1 – Design and rough cut

Week 2 – Shape, sand, primer coat of paint

Week 3 – Final coat of paint, prepare wheels and axles

Week 4 – Attach weight, lubricate, attach wheels, and align

If your child is a noted procrastinator, a daily schedule might be appropriate!

Good luck in coaching your child. When you get the urge to jump in prematurely, put your hands behind your back, grit your teeth, and count to 20!

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 13

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Pinewood Derby Memory – The Race

Our pinewood derby experience leading up to our race was included in your newsletter in 2005 (Volume 4, Issue 11 – February 23, 2005). Our race was delayed and we learned the lesson of patience. Here is a follow up as to what happened after the snow storm.

Last year my son was in his final year of Cub Scouts. Our pack was planning the annual pinewood derby. The race had to be rescheduled due to a big snow storm that hit our area. We were very disappointed. To make the time go faster our family decided to use the extra time to build more cars (each one of us could have our own car in the race). So using our own designs, we drew different styles until we each found our favorite. Dad’s car was black; he named it the Night Rider. My car was red with a golden glitter finish. My son’s car was purple – it was very metallic.

The race was very crowded and most of our scouting families attended. The room was filled with energy, all the scouts as well as their families were ready to go. The extra cars were registered in an after-race that families could enter – the main race was for scouts only.

Heat after heat the cars ran smooth. Suddenly there was a commotion at the back of the room. One of the attendants had accidentally knocked a car off the holding table. We all held our breath to find out whose it was.

Over the loud speaker our number was called; it was my son’s car. The rear right wheel was totally off. Tears filled his eyes. After the weeks of hard work, the waiting, and the anticipation he was crushed. Now what would he do? The judges allowed him to fix the car. Normal rules were no contact with the car until after the race, but since the accident was not his fault, they bent the rules. He had five minutes to repair it. We had come prepared, our emergency supplies ready. My son and I did our best.

Finally it was the purple car’s turn; first down the track. Heat after heat, car after car the purple car flew down the track. It did not seem to matter what lane or whose car it went up against, the outcome was the same. The purple car was taking the lead. By the end of the race the purple car was the leader, delayed, broken, but bound to win. Some things happen for a reason. The trophy was his!

Now the after-race, the families got to join the fun. My car was last every heat, but wait, dad’s car was winning! My son’s car was entered again and still holding together. Random pairing joined them together. Father against son. Man against boy. The black car against the purple. The scout wins! Cheers filled the room. Again and again the cars flew down the bright yellow track. Again and again the cars challenged each other. Time after time the son and father went neck and neck, nose to nose. First and second was the call.

At the end of the race the final tally was purple car 1st Place, Black Night Rider a close second. Two trophies came home that day; Two proud racers, each with their own design. Each with their own happy memories. I was proud too, remember I held the glue bottle!

If a lesson was learned it was never give up. Try, try again, and never – I mean never! – leave home without the glue.

Brenda Puntel
Austintown, Ohio

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 12

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Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 2, 2013

’32 Ford Coupe – Bob Davis

This is a picture of my son’s second pinewood derby car. It is loosely based on a ’32 Ford coupe body with a dragster look to it. Everything was hand painted by my son (I masked off a pattern for him to follow). Every car we build has a funny saying on the back, so – since Alex is a Terminator fan – I painted “Hasta La Vista Baby” on it. We spent many hours cutting, sanding, polishing, etc. on it.

Although it didn’t take first place, it did finish 4th out of twenty cars. Given our enjoyable experience over the years, he is already excited about building another car for this year’s derby.

Silver Lightning – Trevor Colvin

My name is Trevor Colvin. I am in Pack 28 Den 1 in Denair, California. I applied several coats of metallic silver paint and clear acrylic. I used dry transfers for the flames, stripe and the lightning bolts on her nose. The number 6 is for my favorite NASCAR driver Mark Martin. I put the weights on the side for stability. I seem to get better speed from this too.

iPod Racer – Jeff & Nicholas Lafrenz

Here is my son’s pinewood derby car for this year. He wanted to have an iPod, so, that is what we did. He placed second in his class and fifth overall. The ‘screen’ of the iPod has the Webelos logo, my son’s name, etc. I created all of the graphics from scratch in Adobe Illustrator and printed them out on photo paper. While I did the major cutting on the car, he sanded, painted and glued on the stickers. The wheels are sanded, axles de-burred and polished with plenty of graphite.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 12

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