Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – June 25, 2015

Wrench – Michael & Brandon Jones

We came up with the idea for a Wrench car last year and decided to make it a reality. The nut is a 1 1/8″ nut from a towing ball. It is set on top of Tungsten Putty. To reach five ounces, we added Tungsten beads inside the nut. At the race, the Wrench car won 1st in Den, 1st in Pack and Most Original in the design category.

NASCAR COT – James Whitlow, Jr

The NASCAR COT (Car of Tomorrow) pinewood derby cars take a little more prep work than the old style NASCARs, but I think this one turned out really nice.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 13

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Pinewood Derby Memory – Life is Good!

Yesterday was Derby Day for our Pack here in St. Louis, Missouri. My son, Max, is a Webelos II and this was his last derby. Last year we had the pleasure of coming in First Place in the Webelos I race and winning First Place Overall in the Pack Finals. We have used your products for the last four years counting this year.

This year was a little different. We have a Webelos II scout who lost his father a little over two years ago to cancer. He’s a quiet young man, but nice as can be. The last two years his uncle, and then another father, helped him with his cars. They were much more into design than speed and he finished well back in the pack so to speak. Sometime after my son won the derby last year, I asked Max if he would mind if we helped Eric build a car this year. I told him there was no assurance that I could guarantee which car would be faster and he might not do as well. I waited for his answer and it was more than I had hoped when he said, “It’s OK dad, we won this year and maybe Eric will win next year. Let’s do it!” Several months later we asked Eric and his mother if he would like our help, and he and his mother consented to this. Two other fathers offered also to help him, not to suggest this was any grand gesture on my part — although, I thought it was pretty special on my son’s part.

Well, I helped the boys build two cars using the Maximum Velocity tools and parts we’ve acquired. We shaped the standard BSA block. When they were complete, other than the full body decals and the numbers on the cars, you really couldn’t tell them apart. We don’t have the opportunity to run the cars in advance in our pack, so we had no idea how they would perform.

Well, Max won 2nd Place in the Webelos II Division and 2nd Place in the Overall Pack. There were 57 cars in the Pack races and 13 in the Webelos II Division.

Now about Eric …

It was almost like watching a made for TV movie during the racing as Eric never lost a race and came in 1st Place in the Webelos II Division, and 1st Place in the Overall Pack. He was one excited and happy young man. His mother told us later that when he climbed into the van to head home with his trophies, he closed the door and he yelled at the top of his lungs, “Life is Good!”

So to all you fathers out there, build them fast with Maximum Velocity parts and tools, but take time to share your knowledge. I believe my son has discovered the true meaning of being a Cub Scout and I hope your sons do also.

Mark G. Bredenkoetter

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 12

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Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – June 11, 2015

WALL-E Tandem- Kaz Terada

To build the WALL-E tandem car, I used a standard size pine wood block and cut it into two cubes. I kept the original axle slots for mounting the wheels, and attached parts from a toy caterpillar with 1-1/4″ wheel cut-outs (made with poplar). Most of the other parts (head, neck and arms) were made of poplar. After completing the two identical WALL-E’s, I connected them with two dowels. Some weight was added to the back and bottom of each Wall-e. Since the two parts were connected together, there was an alignment problem so it wasn’t very fast. But it was a fun project!

Batmobile – Andy Holzer

Last summer Noah (my son) and I went to the MotorBooks car show, in Osceola Wisconsin. At the car show there was a replica of the Batmobile. While we were discussing the Batmobile he asked if it was possible to build a Batmobile for his pinewood car for next year. I love when he comes up with these ideas on his own so of course I said yes (not even thinking how hard it would be to create the Batmobile in pine).

The windshield is made from the top of a 500ml (16.5 fl. oz.) Aquafina bottle. The plastic is recessed into the body, via a knife cut line and attached with a small amount of glue.

During the racing I did not have a lot of time to view the races, but this year there was a lot of fast cars. When it came time for the awards Noah received 3rd place (technically 2nd for Webelos 1, as all Webelos raced together-10 racers total). This was the first year our pack gave out design awards (picked by all of the race spectators), and Noah received two – Coolest Looking Car & Best Painted and/or Decorated Car.

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 12

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Pinewood Derby Memory – A Crashing Halt and a Great Finish!

To start with, at forty-nine, I’m a fairly old Dad to have three sons aged eight, seven, and five. My two oldest sons are Cub Scouts and my youngest son will start scouting in the fall. My middle son won our overall Pinewood Derby championship last year. I compete in the open class of our Pinewood Derby.

I was a Cub Scout way back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The Pinewood Derby was a big deal back then too! When I was a Bear Cub, I was entered in our Pinewood Derby. It was Cub Scout Pack 27 in Fort Worth, Texas. I can’t recall what the track was constructed of, but it was the coolest thing that I had ever seen! They had created awards out of coffee can lids, leather, and gold glitter. Those simple awards looked like Olympic Gold Medals to me!

I think my Mom and Dad did more than their “fair share” of work on my car. My Dad could build anything out of metal or wood and he was very competitive. So was my Mom as my car was awarded, “Best Paint Job”. I still have that race car and you can tell by looking at it that no little kid built this by himself.

We had our pre-race ceremonies and the excitement built up even more for me. I was very excited about getting a chance to race my car. My car looked like it would be fast and I was very proud of it. Both my parents kept telling me over and over again to be very careful with my car and to not drop it. As with any kid, I could not put my race car down. I carried it with me everywhere.

Well, we started the race and my Pinewood Derby car was a speed demon! I don’t remember how many boys were in our Pack, but I was beating everyone from the Webelos to the Bobcats. After every heat that my car was in, I snatched it up and pranced around with it. I remember looking at my Dad a couple of times and he was smiling and laughing along with me. Those were very special moments for me as my Dad was “old school” and he didn’t let on too often that he was pleased. I can still hear my Mom and Dad saying, “Be careful with your car and don’t drop it.” Those same words haunt me to this very day.

Our Pinewood Derby was finally winding down and I was still undefeated. I had just finished grabbing my car off the track after another victory when disaster struck! I can still recall that exact moment like it happened yesterday. I still see it in slow motion. I was holding my race car when suddenly, I wasn’t holding it anymore! It seems like it took two minutes for my car to hit the floor. As it smashed down, the two front wheels shot outwards away for my car. The wheels and nails went rolling and spinning away.

I remember the room went quiet and I looked towards my Dad. That in itself was a memorable moment. The expression on his face was a mixture of sadness, anger, and defiance. He came over and gathered the wheels and nails. I was upset and he told me that it would be all right; he could fix it. I was in shock as I thought the car was ruined!

Pinewood Derby cars were way different than they are these days. The axles were mounted into glued-on wooden struts. The front axle strut on my car had actually shattered and was gone! So my Dad laid the car on it’s side and with the palm of his hand, he actually pushed the nail axles right into the side of the wooden car body!

The race continued. Two other cars had only one loss each and they ran their race. Now, it was just me and my repaired little racer versus another car we had already beaten once. Well, not all stories have a happy ending, but this one did. My little broken car beat the other Scout just barely and we won the final race! That is still one of my proudest days as a Cub Scout.

If there is a moral to this story, it’s leave your race car alone and listen to your Mom and Dad. Sometimes, they are actually right about stuff!

Carl “Crash” Wilson

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 11

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