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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