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Johnson City Pack 100

Johnson City, New York • Hiawatha District • Baden-Powell Council


The Pinewood Derby is a fun and well-recognized part of virtually every Cub Scout's experience. Pinewood derby cars are small wooden models that Cub Scouts make with help from their families. Then they race the cars in competition. The cars are powered by gravity and run down a track. Most packs have a pinewood derby every year. It can be run indoors or outdoors. Every boy can design and build his own "grand prix" car to enter in the race.

Official BSA Pinewood Derby Site

Car Specifications

To ensure fairness, every Cub Scout begins crafting their derby car from an identical block of wood measuring 1 3/4" x 1 1/4" x 7", obtained as part of an official kit that also includes four nail axels and plastic wheels. Customizations cam be made using hand and power tools and weights (generally lead plates) can be attached to add weight and alter the car's center of balance. Finished models are inspected before competitions to ensure they remain within a common set of specifications:

Body The Official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit must be used. The body may be shaped, hollowed, or built up from the original block, as long as it meets all other specifications. Any body additions must be firmly attached.
Width The Width of the car must not exceed 2 3/4 inches.
Length The length of the car must not exceed 7 inches
Clearance The distance between the track and the car bottom must be no less than 3/8 inch. The inside distance between wheels must be no less than 1 3/4 inches.
Wheelbase The wheelbase (dimension between the front and the rear wheel axles) may NOT be modified. It must be the same length as the official kit (the woodblocks included in kits come with pre-cut axel grooves).
Wheels The wheels and axles used must be those furnished in the official kit. Wheels and axles may be sanded and polished to remove the flashing or burrs, only. Changes are NOT allowed in the wheel width, diameter, or shape, such as the rounding or tapering of the wheel tread.
Weight The weight of the race ready car must NOT exceed 5.00 ounces as measured on official scales used by the Race Officials.
Other The car must be free wheeling with no stored energy or movable weights. Only dry lubricants are allowed, such as dry graphite. NO OILS are allowed. Either end of the body may be used as the front but the car must have a blunt area centered on the front end no smaller than 1/4 inch square to accommodate the starting gate mechanism (the track is a series of parallel slots, each with a center drop post which holds the car in place prior to the start of the race). The blunt area must be no more than 3/4 inch above the track surface. No part of the car may extend in front of the blunt area.

Note: While most younger boys will need some degree of help from their family in customizing their derby car, adults are strongly encouraged to let the boys do as much of the work as possible including design, rough cuts, and finishing. If you are stumped for design ideas or want modelling tips, just perform an Internet search on "pinewood derby".

Pack Competition

All boys in Pack 100 will receive an offical derby car kit at the Pack holiday party in December. Boys can then begin work on their cars over the winter break. The Pack Pinewood Derby is held on Martin Luther King Jr Day when school is not in session.

District Competition

The Hiawatha District of the Baden-Powell Council generally holds a show & tell event at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City in February. A District-wide Pinewood Derby competition is held throughout that event.

Unfinished Kit
Unfinished Kit
Custom Cars
Custom Cars
Derby Track
Derby Track

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