Pinewood Derby, Pack 3283

The purpose of the Pinewood Derby is to allow all Scouts friendly competition by racing hand built model cars. It also gives an adult and Scout the opportunity to work together, develop skills by working with their hands, and be creative in designing and painting a Pinewood Derby car. And most important – to have fun. Winning is only a small part of the program.


The car specifications and rules included in the Official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby is what will be followed for all races. The Rules:
“Wheel bearing, washers, and bushings are prohibited. The car shall not ride on springs. Only official Cub Scout Gran Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are permitted. Only Dry lubricant is permitted. Details such as steering wheels and axles are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width and weigh specifications. The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices. Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it may compete. If at registration, a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason for failure, and will be given time within the official weigh-in time period to make the adjustment. After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race.”
There will be no machined or altered wheels or axles allowed. You cannot add or take away anything from the nail (axle) or wheel (this includes any weights, rubber bands, springs, bearings, washers, bushings, beveling, tapering, etc) You may take off the burr on the nail heads and the wheels. No alterations or extending of the wheel base is allowed.
The car must have been made during the current year (the year in which the derby is held) The width of the car shall not exceed 2 3⁄4” inches
The length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches
The weight of the car shall not exceed 5 ounces

Under car clearance 3/8 inch
For each heat, the car will be placed on the starting line by a derby committee person. The starter will make sure the cars are on the track properly and then will start the race.
After each heat the scouts will retrieve their own car and return it to the impound table The only person allowed to touch the car in the impound is a derby committee person.
Attachments allowed: Details such as drivers, side pipes, roll bars, steering wheels, air spoilers, and decals (regardless of who makes them), open fenders, and additional weights are allowed. Said attachments must be securely attached and without moving parts. Attachments must meet all car specification rules for width, length, and height. Be sure any weights that may be added to not interfere with the ground clearance. Weight should be put in the car, not on the car as to not affect the specifications.
Attachments not allowed: Items such as washers between the wheels and the body, wheel bearings, bushings, springs, starting devices, hubcaps, full wheel covers, or full fenders covering the nails, or anything that will impeded the inspection process. If additional weights are added, they must be securely attached and have no loose or moving parts. Weight cannot be secured with rubber bands.
Finish Line: The track has an electronic finish line. This device emits a light beam approximately the diameter of a pencil. It is recommended that the car does not have a front end that comes to a sharp point. A sharp pointed car may not trigger the electronic finish line correctly.
Starting Gate: The track starting gate is 1⁄2 in wide. A sharp pointed car design may not align itself correctly against the starting gate. A “Chisel” point of at least 1⁄2” wide or more is recommended. A car that has a “U” or “Y” front end design will be run backwards. If a car does not stage correctly, that is fit on the starting gate correctly because the car has too narrow of a nose, or the front end is modified to ride up the starting gate because the front end has too steep an angle, it is the official starters option to run the car backwards to insure a correct start.
Wheel modifications: You must use official BSA wheels. Wheels that are not BSA wheels will not be allowed to enter the impound lot. It is recommended that the wheels be lightly sanded to obtain as flat of a surface as possible. Wheels with high spots produce a bumpy ride, causing loss of time and may cause the car to leave the track, possibly resulting in major damage. No other wheel modifications are allowed. Wheels must be full width, as provided with your kit. Wheels may not be tapered or re-formed to reduce the ‘footprint” of the wheel on the track. All four wheels must make contact with the track at all times. Cars with one raised wheel must be modified to conform to this rule, or will not be allowed to race.
Axle modifications: The axle provided nails in your official BSA kit must be used. Sanding the axle to remove the die seams as the result of the manufacturing process is recommended. Polishing the axles with toothpaste or jewelers polishing compound is a good idea. Chroming, machining, or any other type of special technical process will not be allowed.
Lubrication: A dry lubrication such as graphite or the BSA white dry lubricant (powdered Teflon) is allowed. Some oils are caustic to the plastic wheels, causing damage. Therefore, all “wet” lubricants are not allowed. The dry lubricant should be applied to the wheel hubs, axles (nails), shafts, heads, and all other contact points where the wheel touches the body of the car. Lubrication cannot be applied after the car has been registered. Dry graphite is a messy material, when spilled it is hard to almost impossible to clean from the floor. Please apply the lubricant at home, or outside in the parking lot. It is helpful to “work in” the dry lubricant, by spinning the wheels often. It is recommended that the graphite be applied several days prior to race day, allowing it time to “work in.”
It is expected that everyone (adults included) conduct themselves in a sportsman-like fashion. Any unsportsman-like conduct by any participant or member of the audience will not be tolerated and may be grounds for expulsion from the competition.
Remember – this is a Cub Scouting event. It is designed for the Cub Scout. It is for the Cub Scout to have fun. Winning is not the most important object. Adults must set a good example.
The race committee is a group of volunteers. They want all the scouts to have fun. The race committee chair shall make the final decision in all questions pertaining to the interpretation of the rules when the race committee requests his/her help.


Family members are invited and encouraged to participate with building and racing their own cars along with all the Scouts.
All rules which apply to the Scouts also apply to family members.
Adults: Please show support for your Scout troop. Sign up as a volunteer. Build a car and race. By doing this, you set a good example for your children, it also demonstrates that you are interested in your children’s activities.