Pinewood Derby

  • 29 Mar 2020
  • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • ISB Aesch


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The Pack 681 Calendar would not be the same without Pinewood Derby and we will be running the event again for the 2019-2020 year!  It certainly is the premier Cub Scouting event of the year - great fun and good dose of healthy competition!

If you haven't yet picked up your car, contact your Den Leader.

A bit of background about Pinewood Derby

The first Pinewood Derby® was held in 1953 by Cub Scout Pack 280C of Manhattan Beach, California, operated by the North American Aviation Management Club. It was the brainchild of Cubmaster Donald Murphy. The derby, publicized in Boys' Life in October 1954, was an instant and enduring hit. The magazine offered plans for the track and car, which featured "four wheels, four nails, and three blocks of wood."


The rules of the very first race stated: "The Derby is run in heats - two to four cars starting by gravity from a standstill on a track and run down a ramp to a finish line unaided. The track is an inclined ramp with wood strips down the center to guide the cars." The cars still roll that way today.

Pack 681's track is 15 meters and has 3 racing lanes.

The logistics

The event will be held in the cafeteria at ISB Aesch from approximately  10:00 am - 4 pm on Sunday 29 March.  We will send an email the week before with more detailed timings for the day.

The rules

Your cub's imagination is the only limit to their design! But there are some things to bear in mind:


Use what's in the box. To keep things fair, aftermarket wheels and axles are not permitted.

Don't alter the wheel base! The cars race down a slotted track. The width of the pine block is designed such that the wheels fit over the slot. Your cub can alter any other dimension, but if they alter the wheel base, their car won't ride down our track.

Avoid a skinny or pointed nose. The car may not sit properly on our starting gate

BASIC RULE : Axles/wheels must be installed using the slots which come with the kit. You may not alter the cars centre of gravity by moving the axles forward/backwards

To keep things fair, all cars must pass the following inspection to qualify for the race:

  • Width shall not exceed 2-3/4 inches.
  • Length shall not exceed 7 inches.
  • Weight shall not exceed 142 grams.
  • Axles, wheels, and body shall be from the materials provided in the kit.
  • Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited.
  • No lubricating oil may be used. On the day of the race we will provide all racers with graphite grease
  • The car shall not ride on any kind of spring.
  • The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
  • No loose materials of any kind are allowed in the car.  
  • Don’t forget to name your car!
Fair Play. It goes without saying that the car you and your son build together, should be made out the block of wood, tires, and axles contained in the box. Sad to say however, you can buy a faster car. A simple google search or quick browse on amazon will yield lists of pre-made cars and kits which are “guaranteed to win”. You can buy axles which have been super machine polished, and tires which have been super smoothed in ISO certified machine shops. Please do not buy any of these items and do not bring them to the race. If we spot any of these items on race day, the cars will be disqualified. The Cub Scout Motto is “Do Your Best”, and it is an important lesson for scouts to learn how to win AND lose fairly. 
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