Stock Car

Stock Car

Pinewood Derby Times
Volume 12, Issue 10
February 6, 2013

In this Edition:

- Editor's Notes

- Feature Article - Don't Forget the Car Parts

- Humor

- Product Showcase - Plastic Car Parts

- Pinewood Derby Car Showcase

- Q&A

Editor's Notes

Special Offer for Readers - 10% Off
As a thank you to our loyal readers, through February 10, you can get 10% off your entire order at Maximum Velocity. Simply use the coupon code "06FEB10" (no quotes) during the checkout process.

Reader Feedback
From Herb Hawkins: The last issue included the "Lil Deuce Coupe" in the car showcase. The builder did a lot of work hollowing out the car for batteries because his son wanted lights. I came across fishing bobber refill lights that work great for head lights and tail lights. I think your readers would benefit from their ease of use and installation. It takes just an 1/8 inch(I think) diameter hole in the car and it slips right in. Add a little glue if it is loose and you are ready to go. The lights turn on and off by pushing the LED in and out. They come in red, green, and yellow.

To find the LEDs go to: and search for "Lucky Jack Battery Refill"

MV Basic & Wedge Car Kits

If you are planning a race and are not required to use a specific kit type, our MV Basic or Wedge Car Kit are just what you need. These attractively priced kits are equipped with:
  • Quality Block - Unlike the blocks provided by some organizations, our blocks are soft, northwestern pine blocks, cut precisely to 7 inches long, 1-3/4 inches wide, and 1-1/4 inches tall. These dimensions, as well as the axle slots accurately duplicate the dimensions of standard pinewood derby blocks from BSA and PineCar.

  • Simple Axle Preparation - Don't worry about filing off flaws, or losing hub caps. Our Speed Axles have no burrs or crimp marks, and install without hub caps. With or without polishing, they are ready to go. We supply five, so you have a spare.

  • Quality Wheels - Forget cheap, out of round wheels. Our MV wheels are top-quality wheels. You will not be disappointed with the quality of these wheels.

So, if your organization does not mandate a particular kit type, consider our MV Basic Car Kits or MV Wedge Car Kits.
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

Don't Forget the Car Parts
By Randy Davis

If you visit any pinewood derby event and view the array of cars, what is the most popular design you will find? Almost certainly a basic wedge, or a slight variation thereof is the most common car you will find. When there are so many cars with the same basic look, it's easy for your car to get lost in the crowd.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with building a wedge. But with very little effort you can add some pizzazz to your car so that it stands out from the others. How do you do that? One way is by using decals, pin striping, body skins, etc. We'll explore this avenue in a few weeks. But another route is by adding components to your car. This could include engines, drivers, cockpits, pipes, and much more. Let's take a look at some possibilities.1

Non-Wooden Car Parts - Commercially Available
The pinewood derby market offers many choices for jazzing up your car. The major hobby vendors and others offer motors, pipes, cockpits, drivers, and much more. I recommend avoiding metal parts as they add weight to the car in possibly undesirable locations. Instead use plastic parts. Here are a few cars we did using plastic parts:

R/C Airplane canopy (cut in half)

NitroRail Design - Plastic Parts from Maximum Velocity

Canopy from Maximum Velocity (painted black)

Engine, Pipes and Windshield
(I broke my rule and used metal parts on this one)

Non-Wooden Car Parts - Home Grown
Don't want to invest in hobby shop parts? Then you can go the do-it- yourself route. Here are a few ideas that we came up with.

Lego Cockpit and Driver
(The opportunity for using Lego parts is enormous)

Dune Buggy Design - Roll Cage from Aluminum Rod

Speeder Design - Rocket Tubes from Brass

Wedge Design - Exhaust Pipes from Copper Tubing

Wooden Car Parts
But since it is a "pine"-wood derby, let's not overlook the use of parts made from the block itself. There are lots of opportunities to use the scrap wood to craft parts for the car. Here are a few ideas, progressing from easier to harder:

Racer Design - Wooden Faring

Wooden, Faring, Side, and Front Trim

Formula 1 Design - Wooden Wings, Faring, and Side Intakes

The opportunity for adding detail to you car is limitless. Oftentimes, very little time and talent is needed to make a big step- change in the look of your car. So don't let your car blend into the pack; let is stand out by adding some car parts!

1Although many of the example cars are not wedges, the parts shown could easily be applied to a wedge car.


Junior had just received his brand new driver's license. The family trooped out to the driveway, and climbed into the car, where he was about to take them for a ride for the first time. Dad immediately headed for the back seat, directly behind the newly minted driver.

"I'll bet you're back there to get a change of scenery after all those months of sitting in the front passenger seat teaching me how to drive," said the beaming boy to the ol' man.

"Nope," came dad's reply, "I'm gonna sit here and kick the back of your seat as you drive, just like you've been doing to me all these years."

Product Showcase

    Plastic Car Parts - $1.00 Off    

These car parts will give your car a realistic look without sacrificing performance. The parts can be used as is, or can be painted as desired. The set includes an engine, blower, pipes, roll cage, and driver head.

Through February 19, 2013, you can get a set of Plastic Car Parts for $1.00 off. To take advantage of this limited time offer, Click Here and use coupon code 06FEBNL during checkout.

Car Showcase

Help, we are almost of cars for the showcase. Please send us your photos. Thanks.
Here are a few more ducted fan cars from our readers.

Batman - Nicholas Burgess

Batman is powered by a Maximum Velocity fan with a 7.2V LiPo battery. We used components of a mouse trap for the front bumper, and the internal trigger mechanism to arm the car. Batman won the no-rules race with a scale speed of 355mph (1.5 sec on a 30 foot best track).

Gulf Jet Car - Tom Burgess

The Gulf Jet is powered by two Maximum Velocity fans with two independent power circuits, each energized with a 7.2V LiPo battery. The integrated bumper actuated two triggers inside the car simultaneously to arm the fans. The jet tubes were built by covering two paper towel tubes with synthetic wood and then sanding them down to a smooth finish. The car was slightly heavier than the Batman fan car, so even with two fans it came in second place in the no rules race with a scale speed of 297mph (1.8 sec on a (30 foot Best Track).

Mega-Fan - Richard Staron

Last year I ordered one of your propeller car kits, and it was fantastic. For this year's derby I decided to try and go bigger. I made a car with a 56mm fan. I was running it on five 10F, 2.7V capacitors and a 12V battery pack (just short of the 14.8v the motor could handle). The Mega Fan car is faster (about 0.4 seconds) than the previous car. My design was a bit bulky; I hope to improve it for next year.

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:

For better focus, keep the camera four or five feet away from the car, and then use the camera's zoom to fill the frame with the 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!


Will the Pro-Body Tool work on a car with fenders?

Generally, the Pro-Body Tool will fit under the fenders to put pilot holes in the axle slots, or drill axle holes. However, you will not be able to use the third hole for a raised wheel.

I have a set of the Super Speed Axles to use in a block with axle holes. These will be tight in the holes. Is there any preparation I can do to the block to use the Super Speed Axles?

I suggest inserting BSA axles into each hole, and keep them in place during painting. Then twist and pull them out, and insert the Super Speed Axles.

Alternately, if you can locate a #43 drill bit, you can ream out the holes - a pin vise works best for this. This will just slightly enlarge the holes.

Any recommendations on painting the body where the axle inserts? If the wheel does rub up against the body during the run, is the smoothest surface the raw wood with graphite powder rubbed on, or a painted surface with clear coat and graphite rubbed on?

I paint the car with lacquer paint and clear coat. This leaves a very hard slick finish. As long as you put graphite on the inner hub, you will be fine.

If you don't use lacquer paint, then I would leave the wood bare, and rub graphite into the wood. Alternately, you can paint the bare wood area with clear nail polish, which dries very hard.

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

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Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times

Copyright ©2013, 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.

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