13 Things about the Pinewood Derby

Here’s 13 things about the Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby, an event that my kids will be participating in this Saturday.

1. The first Pinewood Derby Race was held in Manhattan Beach, CA. in 1953.
2. The Pinewood Derby race was an idea of Don Murphy (1918-2008) whose son was too young to participate in the Soap Box races. Murphy was a model builder and used his knowledge to build small model cars to race.
3. A Pinewood Derby car can’t be more than 5 oz.
According to most official rules.
4. It’s made from a block of wood.
5. Pinewood Derby Tracks are usually made of wood or aluminum.
Ours is made of aluminum.
6. There are usually 4-6 lanes
Ours has six but only four of them work really well. LOL!
7. Designs can be anything. The only limit is weight and length.


8. My oldest son has done a tank and a Civil War buggy
9. My youngest son almost always favors skulls.
10. This year, my youngest son and the Redneck created a car based on Perry the Platypus
Perry the Platypus
11. I use a computer program/double elimination for the races
Many tracks used are computer operated so that the heats are automatically generated. Takes the guess work out of it.
12. Our Pack does a “Best In Show” so that the “fastest” isn’t the only winner
13. All those tricks? Not so helpful
Over the years, I’ve seen dads (including the Redneck) who read the books, take over the actual making of the cars and try and streamline it. Most of the time, it doesn’t work. For some reason, the most primitive cars are the ones that win.
Oh, and just for added fun, there was a movie made about how Dads get a little nutty over the Pinewood Derby called “Down and Derby”

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6 Comments

Filed under Scouting, Thursday Thirteen

6 responses to “13 Things about the Pinewood Derby

  1. It totally figures that dads would get out of hand on something like that. I hope your boys win.

  2. We need video of your Perry the Platypus vehicle in action.
    Just sayin’.

  3. That sounds like lots of fun. I love that the more primitive ones usually win.

  4. You have to post a pic of the Perry-mobile. My BIL absolutely LOVES Perry the Platypus. Hope the boys have fun at the derby this weekend!

  5. My oldest son participated in a derby when he was in Boy Scouts eons ago and he LOVED it. Great memories. 🙂 Happy Thursday, Jen!

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