Pinewood Derby Model Car Racing


The Pinewood Derby is one of the most popular events in Cub Scouting. Every year more than a million boys and parents team up to carve, decorate, weigh, adjust, fret over, and finally race a Pinewood Derby car. The first Pinewood Derby was held in 1953 by Cub Scout Pack 280C of Manhattan Beach, California, and as of 1991 (Ref. 1992 BSA Retail Catalog) more than 81 million Pinewood Derby model car kits have been sold. Wow!!

This event is also known as "Shape N Race Derby" in the Christian Service Brigade, and "Kub Kar Rally" in Canada's scouting organization. Much of the information here is applicable to similar events, such as the Rain-Gutter Regatta.

The purpose of the Pinewood Derby is to help the Cub Scout build a team relationship with their parent or helper, experience the sense of accomplishment and the excitement of competition, learn Win/Lose good sportsmanship, and to have fun. The model cars are made of wood to specified dimensions, created, carved, assembled, and decorated by Cub Scouts under the guidance of the parents or helpers. The cars are gravity powered and run down a special track.

Like all successful events, it requires some planning and preparation, but the payoff in fun and strengthening family relationships has been proven over the years. By following a plan and distributing responsibility among several Cub Scout parents and leaders, you can plan and achieve a successful Pinewood Derby. The attached instructions, checklist, and activities should be helpful in organizing and conducting a Pinewood Derby.

Table of Contents


Adding Weight

You can use small ball-bearings or shot to add weight. Cut out or drill small holes on the underside of the car. Use wax or duct tape to keep the shot in place -bill


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