Pinewood derby


Petty Superbird

Cubmaster Don Murphy arranged the first pinewood derby, held on May well fifteen, 1953 in Manhattan Seaside, California by Pack 280c. Murphy’s son was too young to participate in the popular Soap Box Derby races, so he arrived up with the notion of racing miniature wooden autos. The autos had the exact same gravity-run notion as the full-sizing Soap Box Derby autos, but were being a great deal more compact and less complicated to develop. Right after Don Murphy’s first race in 1953 the Los Angeles County Section of Recreation copied the pinewood derby with Murphy’s authorization.

In the eighties, the design and style of the block was improved from a cutout block, dependable with a 1940’s style entrance-engined Indy 500 motor vehicle, to a good block. The tires were being also improved from slim, difficult plastic, to wider “slicks”.


A Cub Scout retains a profitable pine motor vehicle

The Scout is provided a block of wooden manufactured of pine with two notches for wheels, four plastic wheels and four nails. The completed motor vehicle ought to use all 9 parts, ought to not exceed a particular excess weight (ordinarily five ounces), ought to not exceed a particular size and ought to in good shape on the track made use of by that specific scout pack.

Blocks can be whittled with a hand knife or a band noticed or Dremel carving software for main shaping. Decals can be bought at scout stores or pastime stores. It is also attainable to use typical design decals to replicate true racing autos this kind of as Richard Petty’s 1970 Plymouth Superbird, proven at correct. The initial style is dependent on open up wheel autos, even so, fender or body kits are offered, or wheels can simply be placed outboard of the body.

Other than the former primary design and style regulations, the Cub Scout is capable to carve and embellish the motor vehicle as he chooses. A lot of Cub Scouts also increase weights to the remaining design and style to deliver the motor vehicle to the most allowable excess weight cash, glue-in lead parts, and melted lead are widespread strategies to increase excess weight. Cars generally fluctuate from unfinished blocks to whimsical objects, to precise replicas of true autos. The fastest autos are inclined to resemble low doorstops, with excess weight at the rear. Graphite is ordinarily the only lubricant permitted, and it normally can help to polish the furnished nails.

The notion guiding the pinewood derby is for the father or mother, ordinarily the father, but from time to time the mother or grandparent, to expend time encouraging the boy or girl design and style, carve, paint, increase weights, and tune the remaining motor vehicle. Even so, it is normally the scenario that the father or mother will take above the development of the motor vehicle, an element of the function that was lampooned in the 2005 movie Down and Derby, and also in a 2009 episode of South Park. The quest for a quick motor vehicle supports a cottage sector that supplies modified wheels, axles, and blocks as effectively as videos and instruction publications. Though a pinewood derby motor vehicle kit costs around $4, a established of modified wheels and axles can provide for much more than ten moments that volume. These aftermarket objects are legal beneath some Pack regulations because the elements at first arrived from an official BSA kit. Finish autos can be procured on eBay and in other places for around $100 to $two hundred. Although these autos violate the spirit of the function, if not the regulations, enforcement can be hard.

Pinewood Derby Donahue 1972 AMC Matador

Product company Revell was licensed by the BSA to generate pinewood derby kits with a launch in December 2009.


The track ordinarily has two to 6 lanes and slopes down to the floor, because the autos are run by gravity. Tracks could be owned by the pack or rented. The race is operate in heats, giving each individual motor vehicle the chance to operate on each lane. The racers can be grouped with some others from the exact same rank (Tiger Cubs, Wolf Cubs, Bear Cubs, and many others.), or can contend versus the pack as a entire.

The first, 2nd, and 3rd position winners ordinarily obtain ribbons, medals or trophies. Some packs also award on the basis of motor vehicle design and style. The first position race winners get to advance to the district level, then each of the district-extensive race winners get to race each other from throughout the whole council.

Other races

Pinewood derby autos all set to race

As the attractiveness of the pinewood derby grew, other organizations adopted the notion. Pinewood derby is a registered registered trademark of the BSA, so most use distinctive names. Each derby has marginally distinctive regulations for creating and racing their autos.

Awana has the Awana Grand Prix.

Christian Assistance Brigade works by using the name Condition N Race Derby.

Royal Ambassadors have RA Racers.

Royal Rangers use a distinctive kit with screw axles and dowel rod axle supports.

Scouts Canada has the kub kar rally for Cub Scouts and beaver buggies for Beaver Scouts.

YMCA chule autos use the exact same kit as the Royal Rangers.

Valve go over racing is an function at some motor vehicle reveals making use of vehicles manufactured from valve addresses.

Car or truck modifications

Inventory wheels (remaining) and modified (1 gram) wheels (correct)

Car or truck track

The forces propelling a pinewood derby motor vehicle are gravity and inertia, the opposing forces are friction and air drag. Therefore, motor vehicle modifications are aimed at maximizing the prospective vitality in the motor vehicle design and style and reducing the air drag and the friction that happens when the wheel spins on the axle, contacts the axle head or motor vehicle body, or contacts the track manual rail. Friction due to air drag is a insignificant, though not insignificant, factor. The wheel tread can be sanded or lathed and the internal surface area of the hub can be coned to decrease the call spot involving the hub and body. Polishing the wheel, particularly the internal hub, with a plastic polish can also reduce friction. Typically 1 entrance wheel is elevated marginally so that it does not call the track and increase to the rolling resistance. Axles are filed or lathed to eliminate the burr and crimp marks and polished clean. Far more in depth modifications contain tapering the axle head and reducing a notch to decrease the wheel-to-axle call spot. Be aware that packs can set up further regulations for what, if any, modifications are permitted. In some regions, no improvements can be manufactured to the axles or wheels.

A 2nd thought is the rotational vitality saved in the wheels. The pinewood derby motor vehicle converts gravitational prospective vitality into translational kinetic vitality (pace) as well as rotational vitality. Heavier wheels have a better minute of inertia and their spinning will take absent vitality that would in any other case add to the pace of the motor vehicle. A typical wheel has a mass of 3.six g, but this can be diminished to as small as one g by getting rid of materials from the within of the wheel. A elevated wheel can reduce the rotational vitality up to 1-quarter, but this gain is a lot less with a bumpy track.

A good lubricant, generally graphite powder, is important. Wheel alignment is essential the two to decrease wheel call with the axle head and body as effectively as to limit the call involving the wheels and manual rail as the motor vehicle travels down the track. The middle of mass of a normal motor vehicle is low and marginally ahead of the rear axle, which can help the motor vehicle track straight as effectively as furnishing a slight gain due to the further gravitational prospective vitality.

See also

Woodcar Independent Racing League

Down and Derby – a 2005 movie centering on a pinewood derby levels of competition


^ “Ideal Mother-Son End”. Reader’s Digest. 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 

^ “The Pinewood Derby”. Countrywide Scouting Museum. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 

^ “The Historical past of Pinewood Derby Car or truck Racing”. Pinewood Professional. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 

^ Bogert, John (July nine, 2008). “Scouts Honor  Memorial Set for Creator of the Pinewood Derby”. Everyday Breeze (Los Angeles Newspaper group). Retrieved 2008-07-11. 

^ Pinewood Derby Car or truck Design
^ “The Dark Side: eBay Cars”. Pinewood Derby Periods. Retrieved March 18, 2007. 

^ “Revell Pinewood Derby”. Retrieved 2009-twelve-sixteen. 

^ “Look for of Trademark Application and Registration Retrieval technique”. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 

^ “Pinewood Derby Race Guidelines”. ShapeNRace. http://shapenrace.internet/racerules.html. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 

^ Cowley, E. Roger (November 1989). “Pinewood Derby Physics”. The Physics Instructor (American Association of Physics Instructors) 27 (8): 610612. doi:10.1119/one.2342889. 

^ “Five Keys to Pine Derby Efficiency”. Greatest Velocity. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 

External hyperlinks

Wikibooks has a e-book on the subject matter of

How To Build a Pinewood Derby Car or truck

Wikimedia Commons has media linked to: Pinewood derby

Pinewood Derby at the Open up Listing Task

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