PINEWOOD DERBY TIMES
Volume 16, Issue 12
March 8, 2017
In this Edition
– Editor’s Notes
– Product Showcase – 7% off Orders of $70 or More
– Pinewood Derby Memory – Speed Prayer
– Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
Last Issue of the Season
This is the last issue of the Pinewood Derby Times for the 2016-2017 season. The new issues (Volume 17) will begin in October 2017. 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 many 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 you in October.
Expanded Car Showcase
Instead of including a Feature Article, this edition contains an expanded Car Showcase.
Inventory Clearance Sale
We will be putting more items on clearance, and will have an end of season special offer in early May. At that time we will send out a short notice to our subscribers to let you know more about this sale.
New Videos from DerbyWorx
Recently DerbyWorx teamed with BSA to make a video series. Both BSA and DerbyWorx versions were made. Here are links to the DerbyWorx version. The videos are geared towards people new to pinewood derby racing.
1. Body Prep
2. Wheel and axle prep
3. Final Assembly
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.
Two buddies were out for a Saturday stroll. One had a Doberman and the other had a Chihuahua. As they sauntered down the street, the guy with the Doberman said to his friend, “Let’s go over to that restaurant and get something to eat.”
The guy with the Chihuahua said, “We can’t go in there. We’ve got dogs with us.”
The one with the Doberman said, “Just follow my lead.” They walked over to the restaurant and the guy with the Doberman put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk into the restaurant.
The waiter at the door said, “Sorry, Mac, no pets allowed.”
The man with the Doberman said, “You don’t understand. This is my Seeing-Eye dog.”
The waiter said, “A Doberman pinscher?”
The man said, “Yes, they’re using them now. They’re very good.”
The waiter said, “OK then, come on in.”
The buddy with the Chihuahua figured he’d try it too so he put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk into the restaurant. He knew his story would be a bit more unbelievable. Once again the waiter said, “Sorry, pal, no pets allowed.”
The man with the Chihuahua said, “You don’t understand. This is my Seeing-Eye dog.”
The waiter said, “A Chihuahua?”
The man with the Chihuahua said, “A Chihuahua?!? A Chihuahua?!? They gave me a Chihuahua??
Last Edition Sale – 7% off Orders of $70 or More
Now is your chance to stock up before your pinewood derby event, or for next season!
Through March 21, 2016, you can get 7% off any order of $70 or more. To take advantage of this limited time offer, use coupon code MAR8NL during checkout.
Pinewood Derby Car Showcase
Vintage Jeep – Christian Hays
Back in 1977 my father and I were restoring a Ford GPW. So that was the inspiration for this car. Now I’ve got another ’42 Ford GPW that my boys and I are restoring. Crazy how you repeat things with the next generation!
Expecto Patronum – Dan Baker
Inspired by Harry Potter, this car won first place in the Tiger den and Pack races. At the district race, it won first place for all Tigers and third place overall.
1937 Bugatti & Metro Car – Pat Baldwin
I host a corporate pinewood race every year that raises money for a deserving charity. This event seems to grow bigger every year with the number of racers and supporters. There are trophies for the fastest racers, but what has become the most coveted award is the “Best in Show” trophy. This award is based on votes cast by those in attendance. Every year we are surprised at the detail and creativity that racers come up with for their cars. Here are two of the most interesting:
2015 Best of Show Winner- 1937 Bugatti
2012 Best of Show Winner- Phoenix Metro Car
The Yellow Submarine – James McAllister
For his last year as a Cub Scout my son Rich wanted a car that honored this new band he discovered called the “Beatles”. I told him they sounded familiar and that I had an idea for a car. I downloaded “The Yellow Submarine” movie for us to watch. He did most of the cutting and sanding and all of the painting himself. Funny how many Cub Scouts got it right away and how many younger parents had no idea what it was. For the record, that movie gave me nightmares as a kid!
Dawn of Justice – Dennis Pemberton
Here is the Batmobile from “Dawn of Justice”. We used the Awana block, with 1/2 inch pine for the sides. We cut out the profile and plan views, ground out side intakes, did a little sanding, then glued sections of sheet plastic to represent the armor, wings, and cockpit. Because of its color, it’s hard to see details, but the layering of plastic sheets give it a very menacing, armored look. It is very short, but there were no stability problems from the short wheelbase. The paint job got some orange peel (actually a lot of orange peel), but the judges thought it was a cool texture – it won the Design award.
Mach 5 – Jason Neufeldt
Mach 5 was entered in our 2017 Awana Grand Prix. This was Maggie’s (my daughter, 5 years old) first year racing in the Grand Prix. When my son entered Awana, I asked him if he wanted his car to look cool (design), or be fast. He said, “I want it to be super fast Dad!” So we have always gone for speed, not looks. Six years later I asked my daughter the same question/ She said, “I want it to be really cool Daddy!” I said it may be slower than other cars honey, is that all right? She said, “That’s okay Daddy.” (So sweet). Well, it wasn’t slow. Maggie had been watching an old TV show called “Speed Racer”. I told her it was a show that I watched as a little boy. So, she really wanted the Mach 5 as her car.
The Mach 5’s main body is the pine block, and the fenders are made out of balsa wood. The windshield is made out of a two liter Coke bottle. The cockpit is partially from a plastic model. Our goal was to make the finished car’s total weight to be 1.5 ounces, but ended up at 2.01 ounces. Then we added 1/4 inch tungsten cubes.Her car did have a mishap and flipped over and broke the back fin, and keep ramming the stop at the end. So it does have some battle wounds from the race.
She ended up beating the four year in a row Champ (her brother Luke). We were all surprised how fast her car was. To top it off, she won first place in Design and came home so proud of herself. My son was a very good sport and he had fun too.
Black Widow Velocinator – Randy Blodgett
This was the very first car my son and I built. It never lost a race, winning den, pack and district.
Green Machine, White Out, and Dirt Late Model – Adam Lamb
These are my son’s cars from this year’s race. The “Green Machine” took third place in the outlaw race, and the “White Out” car took first place in the outlaw race. The American flag wrapped “Dirt Late Model” took second in his den race.
Brick – Tomy Jones
I made a “Brick” car this year. It looks like a brick in shape and color, and feels like a brick in texture. I wasn’t going for speed, but I won anyway, First Place Expedition Ranger Division.
Space Racer – Kelly Jones
My space racer with an alien driver has an orb with randomly flashing LEDs. I designed, built, and embedded the circuit in transparent resin. It took first place.
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 description of any special features to:
Please include your full name. If selected, we will include the photo and description in this newsletter.
Photos must be sent by e-mail in JPG format (minimum size of 640×480, 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. Also, use a solid (preferably white) background for the photo.
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
We were having our Royal Rangers Pinewood Derby at Roanoke Valley Cathedral of Praise and we held a Powder Puff race for the girls. One girl had a car that barely made it to the end of the track the first heat. The next time she was called to race her car she started toward the track but then knelt down, put her hands under her chin and prayed for just a few seconds. When she got up and started toward the track again she dropped her car. I was standing beside the Pastor and I told him, “That will really finish off her car now; it won’t even make it to the finish line.”
The girl picked up her car and put it on the track and when the cars were turned loose her car flew down the track beating the other three cars easily. The whole place let out a cheer so loud you would have thought the winning touchdown had just been scored in the Super Bowl! I looked over at the Pastor and said, “Well God just let me know He can, and still does answer prays fast!”
Do you Remember?
If you have a pinewood derby story that is funny, unusual, sad, heart-warming, etc., please send it to me in an e-mail. Don’t worry about literary polish. We will edit as needed before publishing.
If your story is used, you will receive a $10 coupon in May of 2017.
Q: I was looking for any advantage I could get and was curious whether putting graphite on the tread area would help reduce the initial friction the car has to overcome. It makes sense putting it inside the hub and tread edge where it would make contact with the rail.
A: There is no benefit to putting graphite on the tread surface, but on the inner edge and inner hub of the front dominant wheel you do want graphite. Mostly, you want to lube in the wheel bore. Fill the bore with graphite, insert the axle, spin several times, add more graphite (without removing the axle), spin some more, add graphite, spin, add, spin, etc. Do this for 5 minutes per wheel, always ending with spinning. Then put the wheels on the car and don’t add any more graphite.
For more information regarding graphite on the tread, please visit:
Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 2.
Q: I’m trying to build the fastest PWD car that will still fit within our Pack’s rules. I already own all your polishing kits. I recently purchased your 4080 Pro-Stock wheels. Would you recommend that I do any prep work to the wheels such as smoothing the lathe marks on the outer wheel tread a bit or polishing the inner wheel bore with your pipe cleaners and wheel bore polish?
Also, several of the pinewood derby books recommend running in the wheels/axles using a Dremel and a felt wheel once the car is all built. Would you recommend this step if I’m using the Pro-Stock wheels and grooved axles, or is it likely to do more harm than good?
A: You can polish the bores with the Bore Polish, but I don’t recommend sanding the tread, as you could knock the wheels out of round.
I don’t recommend using a Dremel as it is very easy to damage the bore. Instead, I recommend lubing off of the car using the procedure described in the previous question.
Do you have a pinewood derby-related question? If so, e-mail us your question.
We answer all questions by e-mail, but not every question will appear in the Q&A section of the newsletter.
Are you a new subscriber, or have you missed some of the previous newsletters? Don’t miss out; all of the issues for Volume 5 through Volume 16 are posted on our web site Here.
We welcome your contributions. If you would like to contribute an article, a web site review, a speed tip, or a pinewood derby memory, please e-mail us.
The Pinewood Derby Times is a free e-newsletter focused on pinewood derby racing. It is published biweekly from October through March.
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Randy Davis, Editor, Pinewood Derby Times
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