A question that we get asked a lot goes something like this… “What is the fastest Pinewood Derby car kit available?”
This is a difficult question to deal with because there are so many variables that go into building a fast derby car. Things you do during the build will affect the car’s speed more than just the kit itself. Axle polishing, wheel treatment, alignment, weight placement and lubrication are just a few things that will influence the overall speed of the finished car. These things are left up to the builder to successfully accomplish. If these factors are not properly addressed then the fastest car kit in the world will likely not win your derby.
Now, having said that, not all per-cut car kits are created equal. Some kits give you a definite speed advantage over other kits. Factors like the aerodynamics of the body, weight pocket location, center of gravity, use of axle holes or slots and location of axle holes all play a major role in how fast a car kit will be.
Fastest Pinewood Derby Car Kit
So is there a single kit that we think is the fastest? Yes… with all building skills and techniques being equal… The G-FORCE by Derby Monkey Garage is the absolute FASTEST Pinewood Derby car kit on the market today. How can we say this? Easy… the G-FORCE was engineered with just a single thing in mind… flat out sheer speed. The pre-cut body design, tungsten weight placement, center of gravity, alignment and aerodynamics are all optimized for top performance. Since we introduced the G-FORCE it has won hundreds of pack and district derby races. The G-FORCE is the fastest pre-cut Pinewood Derby car kit available… and best of all it′s all BSA Pinewood Derby legal.
The G-FORCE Features:
• Pre-cut Pine Body: The G-FORCE body has been precision cut with a CNC guided laser for perfect symmetry, balance and accuracy.
• Very Aerodynamic: The body is designed to be only ¼” thick for extreme aerodynamics. The easier it cuts through the air the faster it goes.
• Ideal Center of Gravity: The body design, weight compartments and tungsten weight allow for a very aggressive center of gravity from ½” to ¾”. The shorter the COG the faster a Pinewood Derby car will go.
• Tungsten Weights: This kit comes with tungsten cubes to get the car to its recommended racing weight. Tungsten is best for weighting Pinewood Derby cars. It more dense than lead, steel or zinc, making it heavier, allowing you to pack more weight at the rear of the car body shortening its COG and making it much faster.
• Drilled Axle Holes: These axle holes are precision drilled on a machine jig to ensure that all four holes are perfectly straight, square to the body and parallel to each other. This eliminates wheel binding and allows for a much faster car.
• Raised Left Front Wheel: The left front axle hole is drilled slightly higher than the other three allowing the left front wheel to be raised off the track. Rolling on only three wheels decreases the start-up inertia required to get the car up to speed. So, the car reaches its top speed sooner.
• Extended Wheelbase: The axle holes on this kit are drilled as far back/forward as possible to increase the distance between wheels without violating the maximum length rule. Extending the wheelbase increases the stability of the car thus decreasing wobble and increasing speed.
• G-FORCE Decal Set: This kit comes with the G-FORCE decal stripes and number set (as shown) for some super cool looking custom graphics. Use these included decals or create your own unique design.
• Official BSA Pinewood Derby Wheels & Axles: This kit comes with the option to add stock or enhance Official BSA Pinewood Derby wheels and axles. For example: the Derby Worx Pro Ultra Lite BSA wheels are the fastest BSA Pinewood Derby wheels on the market.
• Meets BSA Pinewood Derby Regulations: This car meets all BSA Pinewood Derby dimensional and weight requirements. The optional BSA wheels and axles are all BSA Pinewood Derby approved products.
Get the complete EZ-to-Build G-FORCE kit and blow the doors off the competition… READ MORE
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Erick and his father had a strained relationship. It came as no surprise though. When Erick’s mom and sister passed away five years ago suddenly, his father fell into a slump that was hard to pull him out of. Erick, only 4 when his mom and sibling had passed, was left to his own devices, and often to the care of family members and friends. When Erick was 9, his friends all raved about building Pinewood Derby cars with their moms and dads. The kids would tease each other about their cars, or “oooh” and “ahhhh” at the ideas their parents had helped them with. When it came time for Erick to display his ideas, he was often silent, and greeted with questions.
Each day Erick would find scraps of wood from the neighbor’s trash, or behind buildings. He’d ask family members to borrow tools, glue, or anything else he might need. And slowly, bit by bit, he started building himself a Pinewood Derby car. At first, his father continued on his usual routine of coming home, throwing a frozen meal in the microwave, and flopping on the couch. It wasn’t until Erick’s derby car came crashing down one day that he finally got his father’s attention. Erick sat teary eyed on the floor as his father rushed into the room; wood was strewn everywhere, and a crumpled “Pinewood Derby Car Race!” announcement lay in the corner. His father didn’t yell. He wasn’t angry, or mean. He took a moment to evaluate the situation. Looking at his defeated son his father began to clean up the mess, stopping briefly to read the race car announcement.
Once he was done, he lifted the sad boy from the floor and carried him to the car. Erick looked at him with blurry eyes, but his father just nodded and drove to local hardware store. They picked up all the supplies they needed, and plenty more to spare. By time they got home the moon was shining, and the sun was nowhere in sight. But that didn’t stop them, the two worked through the night, side by side for the first time in five years.
On the day of the race, Erick’s Pinewood Derby car stood beside the others. His was the one to beat! And as he raced through the street, passing all his friends, the smile plastered on his face was the first one his father had seen in far too long. As he made his way through the finish line, his father ran towards him, tears streaming down his face. He scooped his son up, and whispered in his ear, “I’ll never leave you like that again.”
The first place medal hung on the frame, where a picture of Erick and his dad proudly displayed the derby car, hand built by the two. To the two of them, that first place medal did not symbolize them winning the race. No, that medal symbolized the two of them rebuilding what had been lost five years ago.
Visit Derby Monkey Garage for all of your pinewood derby needs.
The Pinewood Derby car racing competition is a popular competitive and recreational activity that is conducted for the members of Boy Scouts of America program. The scouts are given wooden car kits that contains nails, wood block and wheels to make a car of their choice. The goal of the participants is to build a car that runs fastest on the track. When building a car the participants must follow all the rules set by the organization. These rules are necessary to ensure the event is fair and all participants are given equal chance to win the event.
Specification of the Car
The participants must make the car from the supplied block of wood. However, the shape of the wood can be altered to make a fast Pinewood Derby car. To change the shape of the car, participants can use bandsaw, hand knife or Dremel. However, the finished car must have a maximum length and height of 7 inches and 3 inches respectively. Also, the car designed by the participants must not be wider than two and three-quarter inches. The scouts must also make sure the car has the right clearance height. If the car has higher clearance, the pin will not be able to their car in position. On the other hand, if the car has lower clearance, the bottom of the car will rub the track and affect their chances of winning the event.
Since the cars that are heavy can gain more momentum when racing down the track, the organizers have put a cap on the maximum weight of the car. To provide a level playing field to all the scouts who participate in the event, the maximum weight of the car is fixed at 5 ounces. To offset the weight lost when the wood is shaved down; the organizers have allowed scouts to add metal weights to the car. These weights cannot be tapped to the car but can be inserted in the body.
All the participants must use the axles that come with the official kit. Smoothing, filing and sanding of the pinewood derby axles is permitted provided the diameter of the axles does not exceed 0.084 inches. The axles can also be lubricated with products that are available on sale at Derby outlets. However, these axles cannot be attached to machines that are designed to rotate them.
The participants are only allowed to use the official BSA Pinewood Derby wheels that come with the kit. Sanding of the wheel is allowed provided the original lettering, size and shape is not altered. Scouts can use fingernail polish, tape or glue on the inside but nothing must spill over to the outside. The participants must attach the wheels of the car directly to the axle and must ensure they spin freely.
The participants are prohibited from using parts like wheel bearing, motorized parts, springs, hubcaps, lubricating oil, electronically-powered lights, modified wheels or any other part that can affect other cars. The use of these items is prohibited because it can give players an unfair advantage and may increase their chances of winning the race.
Most people think that building a Pinewood Derby Car is easy. While this may be true in principle, it is not easy to build one that performs well in a Pinewood Derby Race – this means FAST! This is because it is the actual design and the assembly of the car that determines how well it runs. You have to come up with a design that will be move by gravity without any need for other outside forces.
One of the things you should really keep in mind is the weight of the vehicle. On the race day, nothing heavier than 5 oz. will be allowed. You should not build your Pinewood Derby Car too close to this allowed maximum since any slight change can increase it and bar you from racing. For example, increase in humidity can increase moisture content in the woodwork and make it heavy.
The other thing that you should be keen on is Pinewood Derby Car lubrication. You should lubricate it well so that it runs smoothly to increase its speed. One of the best lubricants with these cars is graphite. The axles should be coated with graphite to enable them the derby car to run with minimal energy. The axles should also be polished as much as possible to reduce friction. Friction is the number one hindrance to movement and everything that reduces it will increase the speed of your automobile.
Wheel clearance is another tricky thing to get right. There is a right distance for each type of car. The wheels should not be very close to the body of the car since that would get them rubbing on the body when the car moves, and thus reduce their speed. If they are too far from the body, they will be loose and wriggle when the vehicle moves and reduce the speed too. You can experiment with different distances to get the right one.
Then there is the issue of sanding. The rule of thumb here is to start with rough sandpaper and then move on to finer ones. This is the right technique to use if you want to make the surfaces as smooth as possible. There are even techniques for sanding holes. One of them is to wrap the sandpaper on a pencil and then insert it and rub it against the sides of the hole.
Drilling is not an easy thing. If you are building your first pinewood derby car, chances are high that there are several things you might not get right the first time. However, you need to ensure that you get your drilling right if you want to create clean holes. To avoid chipping your wood, you should place a piece of wood beneath the one being drilled. This way, your exit hole will be clean too.
These and other tips are necessary if you want to build a winning pinewood derby car. You can carry out more research on how to fit the right parts together so that you do not build a heavy car that does not move on the racecourse. The fact that you do not use engines in these cars makes it very exciting since all you have to rely on is gravity.