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Pinewood Derby Times
Volume 8, Issue 15
April 15, 2009

In this Edition:

- Editor's Notes

- Feature Article - Derby Kits - Many Choices for Buyers

- Humor

- Product Showcase

- Car Showcase

- Memory - Peter's Car

- Q&A

Editor's Notes

Last Issue of the Season
This is the last issue of the Pinewood Derby Times for the 2008-2009 season. The new issues (Volume 9) will begin in early October 2009. You will automatically continue to receive the newsletter in the fall, as our mailing list will remain intact. If your e-mail address should change before then, from the NEW e-mail account simply send a blank e-mail to: with your OLD e-mail address in the 'Subject:' line.

We have most of the articles planned for next season, but we are always looking for your input. So if you have an idea for an article, please send it to me at

I would like to thank all of our readers and contributors. Your input is greatly appreciated and certainly contributes to the success of the newsletter. I wish you all a blessed summer. See in you in October.

Inventory Clearance Sale
We will have an Inventory Clearance Sale in early May. At that time I will send out a short notice to our subscribers to let you know more about this sale. Make sure to check out the discounted prices.

Can We Help?
If we can help you in any way with your pinewood derby project, or if you have any feedback regarding this newsletter, please contact us at:

Feature Article

Derby Kits - Many Choices for Buyers

Although the Cub Scout kit and the PineCar kit are likely the most widely distributed kits, there are a large variety of kits on the market today. In many cases, the kits are sold through the sponsoring club, but several of them are available to any group that would like to use them.

In this article, I will identify each kit, and provide details on kit preparation. The source for each of the tools and supplies mentioned can be found at the end of the article. In addition, there is an applicability chart for our specialty tools

Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood DerbyŽ Kit

The Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle Tips
As an alternative,
Official Cub Scout/BSA Speed Axles are available.
Wheel Tips
As an alternative, Official Cub Scout/BSA Speed Wheels are available.

Awana Grand Prix Car Kit

The Awana Grand Prix Kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle Tips
As an alternative, Official Awana Speed Axles are available.

Wheel Tips
As an alternative, Official Awana Speed Wheels are available.

Csb "Shape N Race" Car Kit

The CSB Shape N Race car kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle Tips
Wheel Tips
Indy Products Kit

The Indy Products car kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle Tips
Wheel Tips
Mv Basic Car Kit

The MV Basic Car Kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle Tips
Wheel Tips
Pinecar Basic Kit

The PineCar Basic Car Kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle and Hub Cap Tips
Wheel Tips
As an alternative, Official Pinecar Speed Wheels are available.

Pinepro Block Kit
The PinePro Block kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle Tips
Wheel Tips
RA Car Kit

The RA Car Kit consists of the following:

Block Tips
Axle Tips
Wheel Tips
Note that the side of the wheel with the raised lettering is mounted away from the car.

As an alternative, RA Racer Speed Wheels are available.

Royal Ranger Kit

The Royal Ranger kit (same kit is also supplied by S&W crafts) consists of the following:

Block Tips

Axle Tips
Wheel Tips

Products Referenced In The Article

Blocks (plain, slotted, and drilled)

Pro-Body Tools

Pro-Axle Press

Pro-Wheel Shaver

Pro-Wheel Mandrel

Pro-Hub Tool

Pro-Bore Polisher


Axle Polishing Kit

Wheel Bore Polish



One day an out of work mime is visiting the zoo and attempts to earn some money as a street performer.

However, as soon as he starts to draw a crowd, the zookeeper grabs him and drags him into his office.

The zookeeper explains to the mime that the zoo's most popular attraction, a gorilla, has died suddenly. The keeper fears that attendance at the zoo will fall off. He offers the mime a job to dress up as the gorilla until they can get another one. The mime accepts.

The next morning, before the crowd arrives, the mime puts on the gorilla suit and enters the cage. He discovers that it's a great job. He can sleep all he wants, play and make fun of people and he draws bigger crowds than he ever did as a mime.

However, eventually the crowds tire of him and he gets bored just swinging on tires. He begins to notice that the people are paying more attention to the lion in the cage next to his.

Not wanting to lose the attention of his audience, he climbs to the top of his cage, crawls across a partition, and dangles from the top to the lion's cage. Of course, this makes the lion furious, but the crowd loves it.

At the end of the day the zookeeper comes and gives the mime a raise for being such a good attraction as a gorilla.

Well, this goes on for some time. The mime keeps taunting the lion, the crowds grow larger, and his salary keeps going up. Then one terrible day when he is dangling over the furious lion, he slips and falls. The mime is terrified. The lion gathers itself and prepares to pounce. The mime is so scared that he begins to run round and round the cage with the lion close behind.

Finally, the mime starts screaming and yelling, "Help, Help me!", but the lion is quick and pounces. The mime soon finds himself flat on his back looking up at the angry lion and the lion says, "Shut up you idiot! Do you want to get us both fired?"

Car Showcase

1962 Cub Cadet: Bill Mathews

This is a model of our 1962 Cub Cadet original by father-son team Bill and Taylor Mathews. Pine and balsa wood were used in the construction. The snowplow is cut from a scout popcorn tin.

Pink Flip-Flop & Spine-O-Mite: Kevin Willhite

This is my daughter's "pink flip-flop" car and my "Spine-O-Mite" car. She loves pink and flip-flops and I am a chiropractor. Both cars were made with Maximum Velocity parts, except the flip-flop thong which came off of a car air freshener.

Share your car with our readers!

Do you have a car you would like to 'show off' to our readers? If so, send us a photo of your car along with a brief description of any special features. Also, please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.Please e-mail photos to:

Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640x480, maximum size of 1280 x 960). Please shoot photos from the front left of the car, similar to the orientation of this car:

Send only one photo per car, unless an additional photo is needed to adequately show a feature. Also, only one car per subscriber per year please. Thanks!

Pinewood Derby Memory

Peter's Car

Back in 2001, I was a Tiger Cub Den Leader. When the day of our Pinewood Derby arrived, all of the boys brought their cars to the inspection. You could tell that parental help was involved, but you could also tell that the boys had a hand in building the cars.

The exception was Peter. You could tell that Peter's parents probably offered little help. The block was an unsanded, rough cut wedge with a coat of gold spray paint. When we inspected Peter's car, it was way under weight. Peter went to the pit area, borrowed some duct tape and taped coins on his car until it weighed exactly 5 ounces. What a sight: rough cut, unsanded, with a clump of duct-taped coins on top. But to our great surprise, that car took 2nd Place and earned Peter a spot in the district competition. I don't think I've ever seen a boy more excited at a Pinewood Derby.

Gary Holewinski, Scoutmaster, Troop 38
Erie Shores Council, Toledo, Ohio

Share Your Pinewood Derby Memory!
I am sure there are many stories to share. Please jot down your humorous, unusual, sad, or heart-warming pinewood derby tale and send it to:

If your memory is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2008.

Don't worry about literary polish. We will edit as needed. Also, please read our Submission Policy


My grandson competed in a district meet. After the completion of the first four runs he was in second place out 106 cars. But I noticed that each heat was slightly slower than the previous. This same thing happened last year. What might be the problem?

Congratulations on building a fast car, but sorry to hear that the speed didn't hold. Assuming you used graphite as the lubricant, it sounds like either:

  1. Not enough graphite was applied (so it ran out very quickly), or

  2. Enough graphite was applied but too much break-in was done (so, the car was past the peak of performance when it started).
Make sure to thoroughly lubricate and then simulate a few runs by spinning the wheels. Just don't over do it.

When our car ran at the district race, the times were inconsistent with a range of about 1/10 of a second. What causes this?

Inconsistent times are generally due to:

  1. Inconsistent staging (common when someone other than the owner is staging the car).

  2. Alignment issues (car hits the guide rail a different number of times on each run). This can largely be eliminated with the rail-riding technique.

  3. Bad track conditions (random as to whether bad spots are hit on a given run).

  4. Varying lane quality. To achieve a fair race, cars should always be ran a consistent number of times on each lane.
Do You Have Questions that Need Answers?
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, send your question to: We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.

Back Issues

Are you a new subscriber, or have you missed some of the previous newsletters? Don't miss out!

If you would like to look up an article by name, please use our Newsletter Index.

To access the newsletters by Volume/Edition, please click on a link below.

Volume 8

  1. Volume 8, Issue 1

  2. Volume 8, Issue 2

  3. Volume 8, Issue 3

  4. Volume 8, Issue 4

  5. Volume 8, Issue 5

  6. Volume 8, Issue 6

  7. Volume 8, Issue 7

  8. Volume 8, Issue 8

  9. Volume 8, Issue 9

  10. Volume 8, Issue 10

  11. Volume 8, Issue 11

  12. Volume 8, Issue 12

  13. Volume 8, Issue 13

  14. Volume 8, Issue 14

  15. Volume 8, Issue 15

Volume 7

  1. Volume 7, Issue 1

  2. Volume 7, Issue 2

  3. Volume 7, Issue 3

  4. Volume 7, Issue 4

  5. Volume 7, Issue 5

  6. Volume 7, Issue 6

  7. Volume 7, Issue 7

  8. Volume 7, Issue 8
  9. Volume 7, Issue 9
  10. Volume 7, Issue 10
  11. Volume 7, Issue 11
  12. Volume 7, Issue 12
  13. Volume 7, Issue 13
  14. Volume 7, Issue 14
  15. Volume 7, Issue 15
Volume 6

  1. Volume 6, Issue 1

  2. Volume 6, Issue 2

  3. Volume 6, Issue 3

  4. Volume 6, Issue 4

  5. Volume 6, Issue 5

  6. Volume 6, Issue 6

  7. Volume 6, Issue 7

  8. Volume 6, Issue 8

  9. Volume 6, Issue 9

  10. Volume 6, Issue 10

  11. Volume 6, Issue 11

  12. Volume 6, Issue 12

  13. Volume 6, Issue 13

  14. Volume 6, Issue 14

  15. Volume 6, Issue 15
Volume 5

  1. Volume 5, Issue 1

  2. Volume 5, Issue 2

  3. Volume 5, Issue 3

  4. Volume 5, Issue 4

  5. Volume 5, Issue 5

  6. Volume 5, Issue 6

  7. Volume 5, Issue 7

  8. Volume 5, Issue 8

  9. Volume 5, Issue 9

  10. Volume 5, Issue 10

  11. Volume 5, Issue 11

  12. Volume 5, Issue 12

  13. Volume 5, Issue 13

  14. Volume 5, Issue 14

  15. Volume 5, Issue 15
Volume 4 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Volume 3 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Volume 2 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Volume 1 is available as a PDF file, ready for immediate download.

Newsletter Contributions

We welcome your contributions! If you would like to contribute an article, a web site review, or a speed tip, please send it to:

Please read our submission policy.

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The Pinewood Derby Times is a free e-newsletter focused on the Pinewood Derby. It is published bi-weekly from October through April.

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Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times

Copyright ©2009, Randy Davis. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint or place this newsletter on your web site without explicit permission. However, if you like this newsletter we grant permission, and encourage you to e-mail it to a friend.

The author disclaims any personal loss or liability caused by utilization of any information presented in this newsletter.

The Pinewood Derby Times is not specific to, and is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts, YMCA, Awana, or any other organization.

®Maximum Velocity! is a registered trademark of Maximum Velocity! Pinewood Derby Products.
Pinewood Derby, and Space Derby are registered trademarks of Boys Scouts of America. All other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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