Pinewood Derby Car Showcase – April 21, 2016

Catfish Car – Jennifer Camden

In January 2009, my son Hunter wanted to create a catfish pinewood derby car. He and my husband took a picture of a catfish that Hunter caught and began working. We were not sure if the car was going to be fast, but we were going more for looks. Turns out that he received 1st place in his Den out of 43 Cub Scouts. He also received a trophy for most creative.
The Arrow – Scott Schnegelberger

Long, long ago (early 2004 to be exact) we did an adult Pinewood Derby race with modified/extended rules (not a full Outlaw race), and I ended up falling in love with your Arrow plans. So I bought the booklet and built the Arrow. Not being too much of a shop geek, it took me a little longer than your average adult male, but the plans are well laid out and easy to follow.
I ended up hand-painting an “Order of the Arrow” design on the car, and it turned out pretty darn good. My car even ended up being dead- on at 5.0 ounces, so I didn’t have to change a thing. A few days later, I won First Place at the derby. Truth be told, it wasn’t even close… I’m sure the NyOil II helped, but I’m more certain it was the actual design of the car and the distribution of the weight that made the difference.
I still have it, proudly displayed on my office desk, most of the time. The kids played with it and the wheels are probably out of alignment, and it has some dings on the corners, but it still looks good. They still find it and play with it when I’m not looking. I guess they know a good thing when they see it.

’56 Ford Pickups – Lyle and Ben Leis


2009 was the last year for my son to compete in the Pinewood Derby since he was a Webelos II. He has done well in the past with a variety of cars, but for his last year, he wanted to build a pickup truck. We bought a ’56 Ford Step side die cast car to copy and scratch built from there. Since we only had two weeks to get it completed, it was an ambitious project.
In the past, I have built several exhibition cars while my son built more conventional cars. Using the profile of the die cast car, we started with a sketch of the top and side view of the truck using the Boy Scout wheelbase and overall dimensional requirements. Since this project required a hollow scratch built body and woodcarving skills, we each built a truck with me working step by step ahead of my son while he followed/copied my work on his truck. The original Pinewood block was cut down to 3/8″ thick and thin pine stock was added to form the bed and truck cab. The panels were carved and sanded to final shape followed by many coats of primer with sanding between. Since the colors are transparent, a silver base coat was used under the transparent top coats. The hollow lead tanks in the rear of the beds are formed from stick on wheel weights and final weight adjustment was made using lead shot. A wood screw between the truck bed and the cab secures the cab to the chassis.
Although the truck didn’t do well in the races due to aerodynamic considerations, for the first time, my son has taken interest in woodcarving, so I consider it a huge success. His truck also won a trophy for the Most Unique design, although the judges were probably not aware of the hollow cab and woodcarving required for the build.
From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 9, Issue 9
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