Aircraft Mechanics…and Pinewood Derby. Oh gawd yes!

Reader, David Sauter sent me this entry:

So leave it to a bunch of aircraft mechanics  to build a car with a ducted fan with a single sheet  of carbon fiber for the nacelle Total price around $300  labor and parts But… it weighs exactly 5 oz. and smokes anything on the track.

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Pinewood Derby in a Pinewood Derby Car

I have no idea who built this or whether it was an adult or a kid.  All I know is that this is PURE AWESOMENESS!!!


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Sweet Road Racer

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Box of rockets

A glorious boxload of rocket powered PWD’s.  Would that make these PWD’s into WMD’s as well?

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Egyptian War Chariot


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Ed Roth would be proud


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Ford Mustang and Jeep Rubricon

Check out these sweet jobbies created by  The description describes their building process of the Jeep:

Being a member of SEMA we get a chance to be apart of some great events. Our Vice President Dave Williams is helping to put on the SEMA Cares Pinewood Derby Races this Saturday, July 24, 2010 in Pasadena, CA. Proceeds from this event will benefit Childhelp USA and Victory Junction Gang Camp.

SEMA Cares Pinewood Derby Races

The event is to help out the kids. There are multiple classes, Stock, Modified, Unlimited, and Build It For Me/Sponsor a Child. The Build it For Me/Sponsor a Child cars will be built by the kids in the Childhelp USA and Victory Junction Gang Camp programs and will be assisted by various volunteers from SEMA member companies.

Here are some specs and build notes about the vehicle. Continue reading

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Gravity Powered Turbo!

In 2008, the Herman Miller company commissioned two Pinewood Derby Cars to by built by Kaiju Studios, a famous design firm.  It was in preparation for a fun race at the Industrial Designers Society of America expo.  Kaiju Studios was expected to do what they do the best, design cars. The designers at Kaiju and engineers at Herman Miller came together to design two of the most interesting cars the Derby has ever seen. #3 and #9 cars were the result. #3 was constructed with polished aluminum and mahogany with a tungsten core and reflects Miller’s classic icons. #9 however, bent rules in order to achieve extra acceleration. It veered away from the conventional rules and employed gravity-powered turbo. It wasn’t surprising when #9 won the first place and the People’s Choice Awards in the IDSA races.


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You know you’re getting carried away with the Derby when…

Signs you are getting carried away with your ( or is it- your son’s?)
pinewood derby car-

Your Cub Scout now knows how to measure in thousandths of an inch

You showed up the night before, when they were setting up the track-

You tried to calibrate your dietary scale….

If you bought a book about how to win at Pinewood Derby, you might be
getting carried away.

If you know that 5 ounces is 141.7 grams…

If you used a dial caliper or micrometer…

If you used a pocket calculator at any time-

If you used a heat lamp to cure anything

If you made a box just to carry the car in

If you bought more than one type of lubricant.

If you used a jewelers loupe- you might be getting carried away.

If you needed a metal turning lathe, because your wood lathe had too
much runout when dressing the wheels-

If you used cad software in the design stages….

You had to buy anything mail order, because neither the corner
hardware store nor the Scout Office had what you needed-

You sketched out a quick Gantt Chart-

If your Tiger Cub now knows how to wet sand….

If your budget went over 50 bucks….

If you had to run out to buy more rouge (polishing compound) ….

If you used a router at some point in the construction of your car,
you might have spent a bit too much time on it.

If you used a wind tunnel, you might be getting carried away with your
pine wood derby car.


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I found this on eBay this morning.  The item description says:

So you have a Pinewood derby coming up?
What you have no tools, no time, no help and no place to build a racer?

Well XXXXXXX to the rescue!  I am an artist who loves to build fast pinewood cars with tried and true speed methods. I can deliver an ultra fast beautiful car that will be a treasure.

For SIXTY DOLLARS (!!!) you can buy your privileged little snowflake the derby car that will beat all others…because, you know, you just don’t have the TIME to spend with your kids as you work your way up the corporate ladder.

Who doesn’t have the time, the help or the place to build these things?  You could carve the soft pine block with a steak knife if you wanted.  I started this site to give parents an outlet for their own creativity (and allow the kids to channel their own in the process).  It’s things like this that make me want to scream.

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