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mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/10/09 3:56 p.m.

It has been 10 years since I last participated in a pinewood derby race, and I was feeling nostalgic and decided to go and take pictures of them. Someday I'm going to build a track.
We were always a little weird compared to our peers in that we actually wanted to design the car after a real car. Not that it ended up that way (although the older we got, the better it was). This is all of mine and my brothers. 5 Trophies, 3 first places, one second, and one fourth.
My first car. It was modeled after the Ford Indigo concept, and I thought that it needed to be called a Lamborghini Trans Am.
This one actually wasn't modeled after any particular car, but it was supposed to be an Indian Guides Race Car; feathers and leather.
My third year racing. This was about when the Z3 first came out; I knew what I wanted to make it look like. I thought I did a good job considering I had a block of wood to work with. This was the fastest car we made; it was the fastest by FAR out of the field. In the last race, it hits a bump, comes in last, and my brother takes the first place trophy.

My last year in the races. Lamborghini Diablo, of sorts. I really liked the exhaust pipes on this. This took first.
This was the last car I made, three years after I was out of Indian Guides. Its not finished, but its pretty good. Jaguar D-Type. I love this car.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/10/09 4:00 p.m.

I should add that my dad was a big help in this. We would pick the car, he would draw the blueprints, then we would do everything else. He loved it as much as we did.

alex
alex UberDork
4/10/09 6:54 p.m.

Cool.

I did this once. I made a wedge. Don't remember how well I did.

alex
alex UberDork
4/10/09 6:55 p.m.
alex wrote: Cool. I did this once. I made a wedge. Don't remember how well I did, but I remember the graphite lube distinctly.
ManofFewWords
ManofFewWords Reader
4/10/09 7:06 p.m.

I dont have a pic, but my son and I took the cardboard box that the kit came in, cut it into pieces and "wrapped" the block of wood. We called it the boxcar..

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/10/09 8:51 p.m.

I hand-carved a 911 Cabrio once. I wonder if my parents still have it?

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
4/10/09 9:32 p.m.

Sweet! I always wanted to do that.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/10/09 10:05 p.m.

It's been about 45 years since I competed in Pinewood Derby but I still have my cars, they're sitting on the shelf right above my computer.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
4/10/09 10:07 p.m.

I left the block and put a small edge along the top and painted it orange and beige to look like a Nike Shoe box.

Then I bought a new pair of Nike's and carried it in that box.

Then I got a 1957 Chevrolet black racing t-shirt to wear and it ever said something about drag racing shoe boxes.

nobody got it. and this was before digital cameras.

nocarbud
nocarbud New Reader
4/10/09 10:20 p.m.

In the 3 years I was involved in the pinewood/space derby, I was undefeated. First year was the space derby... rubberband powered rocketship. wasn't even close.

The next two years was pinewood derby. took first in both years. my dad built a car to race me that looked like an old sprint car. (we built a track at home.) Both of my cars were very thin wedges. I'll try to find them and get some pics this weekend.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/11/09 12:27 a.m.

On a semi-related note, the British car show I attended last weekend had valve cover races. The rules say the valve cover simply must be from a British car. I'd love to do a Honda K20. The 2002-'05 Civic Si was British, right? And if that's pushing it too far, I'd have to go with an A-series. It's such a purposeful little valve cover.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/11/09 12:02 p.m.

I believe the technical term for the A series is "plucky".

How exactly do you race valve covers? Do they get wheels?

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
4/11/09 12:06 p.m.

I sense a new Challenge event in the making. The $20.09 gravity race challenge perhaps?

Stuc
Stuc HalfDork
4/11/09 12:54 p.m.

That would be awesome!! Especially for people that don't have the funds to make a full car and want to watch but also participate in something

Monkeywrench
Monkeywrench Reader
4/11/09 1:17 p.m.

Here are a few cars my dad, brother and I built. The Nascar trucks and Indy cars were REALLY fast and were winners.There are a lot more.. I just have to find them..

Check out the pre-computer graphics on this one

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/11/09 9:04 p.m.
Keith wrote: I believe the technical term for the A series is "plucky". How exactly do you race valve covers? Do they get wheels?

Yes, they get wheels. Picture a pinewood derby car based on a valve cover and you're getting close.

You can get to the rules from this page: http://www.allbritishcarclub.com/carshow.htm

Carson
Carson SuperDork
4/12/09 10:09 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: On a semi-related note, the British car show I attended last weekend had valve cover races. The rules say the valve cover simply must be from a British car. I'd love to do a Honda K20. The 2002-'05 Civic Si was British, right? And if that's pushing it too far, I'd have to go with an A-series. It's such a purposeful little valve cover.

The Mopar guys do this with HEMI valve covers. Cool, but considering the cost of an actual HEMI cover, I'd want to make sure it made its way onto an engine.

My pinewood cars were a 10 year old's attempt at cheating wind. I had a variety of different wedges. looking back, I focused too much effort on aero and not enough on wheel alignment. That would have helped a lot more.

DukeOfUndersteer
DukeOfUndersteer UltimaDork
4/12/09 11:51 a.m.

mine always came out looking like volvo 240d wagons....

SoloSonett
SoloSonett Reader
4/13/09 12:56 p.m.

Our SCCA region ( Ohio Valley ) has a gravity race during the winter as a social event always loads of fun Adult and kids classes ( the adult cars look cooler, but guess how many are beaten by kids! ?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/13/09 2:17 p.m.

I was never actually in Scouts, but when I was about 12 I made one that looked like a Lotus 7 with a late-'80s F1 wing on the back, and painted like a Grumman Gulfhawk. It looked pretty cool.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
4/13/09 6:02 p.m.
mtn wrote: This was the last car I made, three years after I was out of Indian Guides. Its not finished, but its pretty good. Jaguar D-Type. I love this car.

My son and I put this one together in his secone year of Scouts... Jag D-type, but with wooden fenders, etc. LOTS of rasping, fileing and sanding.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
4/13/09 6:05 p.m.

FWIW - a pinewood / gravity challenge would be a very cool event to do Friday night for the families bringing kids to the Challenge. Maybe someone could talk a local Scout Pack into running it?

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/13/09 6:43 p.m.
GSmith wrote:
mtn wrote: This was the last car I made, three years after I was out of Indian Guides. Its not finished, but its pretty good. Jaguar D-Type. I love this car.
My son and I put this one together in his secone year of Scouts... Jag D-type, but with wooden fenders, etc. LOTS of rasping, fileing and sanding.

Nice! Yours is a lot more accurate than mine; this was my second car without help from my dad, so a lot of the minor details got ignored. I just did what I could to make it look similar; not bad for someone of my fabrication skills.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/13/09 7:04 p.m.

I think pinewood derby racing would be a lot more interesting than slot car racing, personally. I'd love to see that at the Challenge or the Mitty.

CivicSiRacer
CivicSiRacer Reader
4/15/09 10:09 a.m.

Ah I remember the days of Pinewood Derby. I always made wedges, dad wasn't too much of an engineer. I used some of my techniques from RC Cars to my derby cars.

I remember putting my wheels onto a drill and sanding them down til they were smooth as glass. Made sure the wheels were parallel to each other. Drilled out the underside and put lead weights as close to the bottom.I even waxed my cars :)

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