Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 24, 2015

iPhone – Hope Wallace



I know most of your cars are made by boys, but this was my car at our Girl Scout Troop’s first Powder Puff Derby. Although I raced at another troop’s Powder Puff derby five years ago, it was a lot more fun having our very own. I worked on the faceplate design, and my Dad taught me how to cut the block, polish the axles, and place the weights. Thanks to your tungsten weights, slim designs like this are possible … and pretty.

Silver Dollar – Bryan Solby

This car was a prototype and never actually raced. It was an idea we came up with and wanted to see if it was doable. The “S” body is made of 3/4 inch pine, cut on a band saw. The rods are 1/4 inch steel, approximately 7 inches long. The car, wheels, axles, and rods weigh just under 5 ounces. Originally it was painted green — because dollars are green — but later was repainted silver and named the “Silver Dollar.”

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 8
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Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 17, 2015

Thrust 2 – Rob & Max Neitzke


My son Max and I are from Indianapolis, so we naturally have racing on the brain. My son’s annual pinewood derby race with his local Scout Pack has started to rival the Indianapolis 500 for us in terms of excitement each year.

This year his Pack added an open division race which was really fun for everybody. It drove some wild imagination, creativity, and some had some crazy cool cars. For this open division race we wanted to see if we could make a Jet Car in the spirit of the cars that race in the salt flats out west and go for land speed world records.

In researching various land speed cars and our ability to adapt one of these into a pinewood derby car version, we settled on Thrust 2 from 1983 as our inspiration. Using standard propeller car kit parts from Maximum Velocity (and a lot of balsa wood for body fabrication), we built the Pinewood Derby Thrust 2 car. We tried to keep the car as light as possible for maximum speed – the final weight was 3.1 ounces, and the car ran 0.200s faster than its nearest competitor.

We had a great time showing it around at the derby and explaining related concepts of thrust, force, acceleration and velocity to the kids. I found that getting their attention to learn is a lot easier when you have the fastest car at the show! Thanks again for helping us bring this dream car to reality.

Jet Truck – Brian Masek


The Jet Truck was built using your propeller car kit. I modified it by moving the rear axle back to its normal location and relocated the charging jack to accommodate a built up balsa truck chassis. The windows are open to improve airflow; and even with the extra weight of the body it still smokes down the track faster than any other non-powered car.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 14, Issue 13

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Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 10, 2015

Stampy – Brian Masek


Stampy was built by my son Grant (8) and I, and is a Wing car.

Coke Duo – Brian Masek

The Diet Coke and Coke cars are also the Wing; I built them to test different axle preparation methods.

Lego Kra-Gl-e – Steve Miller

Like most boys, my son David loves Legos. We have seen many Lego block cars, but wanted to try something different. While we were playing one day, I looked at his Lego Kra-Gl-e (from the Lego Movie – Krazy Glue with some letters missing) and the shape just struck me as the ideal pinewood derby car. We had a lot of fun building it together and thought we might win a design award. Last year our car looked cool, but did not even make it down the track. With a few helpful tips from your newsletter, he not only won best design, but also first place in his division (Wolves). The look on his face was priceless.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 14, Issue 13

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Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 3, 2015

Blue Blazer – Eric Werner


Next up is the Blue Blazer. This was my son Matthew’s car for 2015. It’s a body shape we have used for a few years now. The right front wheel is raised, and about 4 oz. worth of tungsten cylinders were stuffed into the back of the car. The extended wheel base is also drilled with an axle jig, to make sure everything is true. Every year, many of the Cubs will see one of these cars, and ask where all the weight is. And most times, I will hand it to them, just to see the look of shock as they find out how rear-heavy it is. The Blue Blazer didn’t show as well as I had hoped, but that’s probably because I found out later that the hub/body gap was too close, so I suspect there was a bit of wheel rub happening. We may run it in Open Class next year to see if that fix is all it needed.

Offset Outlaw – Eric Werner

The Offset Outlaw was my submission for the pack Open Class. All the way until the running of the Open Class, the car was kept in the back of a BSA Big Rig, to heighten the sense of drama. As you can see, it utilizes the Outlaw wheels with needle axles. Additionally, it is also configured as a three-wheeler, with the right front raised by 1/16 inch. But the fun doesn’t stop there! The left front is inset by approximately 1/16 inch, which is also configured to toe-in, making this a very effective rail rider, especially when the rear axles are set with a slight camber. With about 55, 3/16 inch tungsten cubes providing the weight (14 behind the rear axle, the rest arranged in front of the rear axle), the balance point is very aggressive, approximately 7/8 inch in front of the rear axle. Because the weights are also arranged with a bias to the left side, the rail riding was also very stable, with left-right balance just under 1/4 inch left of center, further ensuring that right front never touches. Due to communications issues with the track timing computer, I couldn’t get accurate times down the track, but I would have to guess under 3 seconds to complete our 40 foot aluminum track. Hopefully, I can get good timing next year.

Vintage V – Wess Eslinger

This is a car my dad made for a leaders race back in the early 70’s. The deep V gives the car more than half a car length head start before the race begins. The back half is mostly lead, it weighs in right at 12 ounces. The car was fast and he won his race. Unfortunately, the design makes the car rather fragile, and it has not held up too well over the years and has been repaired a number of times. I have now placed the car into retirement. I may try to restore it someday. For now, I bring it out for display only at our Awana race each year.

Money Car – Brian Masek

Money Car was built by my son Quinn (10) and I, and is based on the Wing.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 14, Issue 13

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(C)2015, Maximum Velocity, Inc. All rights reserved.

Maximum Velocity Pinewood Derby Car Plans and Supplies