Pinewood Derby

A scout favorite, the Pinewood Derby has been around since 1953. The kids are given an official car kit from the BSA so everyone starts with the same thing : a block of wood, four nails, four wheels. It is a chance for both parents and scouts to work together to turn this collection of parts into a winning race car !


Pack 241 has the following rules when it comes to the Pinewood Derby. Please be sure to read through all of them and follow them, you do not want to be disqualified !!

We will hold a "weigh-in and inspection" night the Monday before the race in the all-purpose room. All contestants will bring their cars to the school and race officials will weigh the car to be sure it is 5oz or less, put it on a section of track to make sure it rolls properly (the track is raised, so if you have anything hanging underneath, it will not roll down), check the width and height are correct. We will do our best to inspect all cars and be sure they follow all of the rules below to the best of our ability. At this point your car will be impounded and securely stored such that it will remain untouched until race day.

If your car is found to be faulty in any way, you are allowed to repair it there, we will have construction engineers, glue guns, weights, and other small parts that might help. If that is not enough, you may be granted special dispensation by the race officials to return on Friday evening before the race to have your car checked again after repairs are made. This will be the last chance to check in the car.


  1. Maximum car weight is five (5) ounces. If you think your car might exceed the weight limit, build it so that some of the added weights may be easily removed. Weights, however, must be firmly attached to the car so they won't fall off during the race. The Scout Shop in East Hartford, Middletown's Amato's Toy & Hobby, and other hobby shops carry weights, decals, etc. Coins can be glued to the car to use as weights. We do not recommend exposing the boys to lead. Hint... Try to weigh your car at the post office or hobby shop well in advance of race day.
  2. The pack-issued race car kit must be used for the race (no custom car kits please). Pack-issued car kits may be cut or carved to any shape which falls within the dimension rules.
  3. Maximum car dimensions: width 2.75 inches (including wheels and axles), height 3 inches, and length 7 inches.
  4. Cars must never have been raced before (you cannot use a prior year's race car).
  5. Starting devices cannot be used, nor can a car ride on any type of spring, washer, bearing, and/or bushing.
  6. Wheel surfaces must not be: sanded flat, cut, notched, or grooved. Official wheels and axles must be used. Wheels may not be shaved or narrowed. (Official replacement wheel and axle kits are available if you loose or damage these parts.) You can sand off the small injection nub that is on the surface of the wheel.
  7. The slots cut into the kit's wood block for the axles must be used; wheel bases cannot be stretched or shortened.
  8. Axles may be lubricated, but all lubrication must be done before coming into the building. Lubrication may not be applied during the race and must not be applied while in the building. Spilled lubricant creates slippery floors. Lubricate with powdered graphite because an oil lubricant is not permitted.
  9. After cars have been approved by race officials, they will be impounded until the race is complete. Cars may not leave the building or be modified after passing inspection.
  10. If a car jumps the track, the race will be rerun. A car that cannot stay on the track after three tries will be disqualified.
  11. Cars that develop obvious defects (e.g., loose wheels) may be repaired, re-weighed and rerun.
  12. Decisions of race officials are final.

Caution: If you attach a weight to the bottom of the car, make certain that it's mounted flush with the bottom surface. If anything hangs down from the bottom, it might drag on the track slowing the car down. Also, make certain that you don't change the distance between the wheels.