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Pinewood Derby

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Rocket Car Plans

Rocket Car
Build the world's fastest pinewood derby car!

Rocket Car Plans 2020
Rocket Car Plans

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What is a Rocket Car? Simply put, a rocket car is a small vehicle which is propelled by a rocket engine to a speed of up to 40 MPH! The vehicle is guided by a string which is tightly strung between two solid objects. The rocket engines and the firing mechanism are the same as those used in model rocketry. The obvious difference in usage is that in rocketry, a launch pad is used to ensure that the rocket goes straight up; while with the rocket car, a guide string is used to make sure the car stays on course (and doesn't go up!).

The plans for this rocket car have been meticulously designed and tested to give you top performance. All you need are basic tools and a bit of craftsmanship, and you can build and race this exciting car.

Click on a rocket car picture to see a larger picture!
A view of the rocket car showing the front parachute hole.
A side view showing the rear engine hole.
Preparation - The car is on the guide string, the rocket engine is inserted, and the rocket firing mechanism is attached. Note that the parachute is in place, and is attached to the screw eye.
The Launch - After the countdown is complete the engine roars to life. The car leaps forward and heads down the guide string.
Acceleration - The car gains speed as it moves down the string. The engine size determines how far and how fast it will go.
Parachute Ejection - On the day of this run, there was a cross-wind which caused the parachute to move to the right of the car, lifting the left wheels up for a second!
Successful Run - The parachute slows the car down. It's time to reset and do it again! The black color on the nose is caused by the parachute ejection charge. To minimize the effect, paint the car a dark color such as black or navy blue.

Customer Submitted Rocket Car Photos

Kyle & Alan Fetters - 2003

Michael, Jacob & Mark Atwood - 2004

Rocket Car Plans 2020
Rocket Car Plans

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We cannot guarantee that your pinewood derby car will win a trophy, but we can guarantee that you will be satisfied with our products. If you are not satisfied with a product, please refer to our return policy.

With Maximum Velocity! booklets and supplies
you can build a pinewood derby car that reaches


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Updated September 15, 2014