Pinewood Derby Cars - A Past Perspective

This post will be the first of four posts, Lord willing, on the subject of Pinewood Derby Cars. I'm in the middle of building my son's first car, and I've gotten a little obsessed with it - according to my dear wife! Personally, I don't think 27 coats of paint is obsessive...but that's another post.

We'll consider three different perspectives over the next week or so:

A Past Perspective
A Present Perspective
A Perplexing Perspective

The fourth perspective will be determined by the outcome of the final race, to be determined on February 24th. Besides, I can't think of another "P" word to complete my alliteration right now.

If you're not familiar with Pinewood Derby cars & races - to put it simply, it's the racing competition held among scouts using...well, pinewood cars. You might have seen something similar with the Grand Prix Race in your local AWANA club. A quick google for "pinewood derby cars" will give you a plethora of sites & resources for building that "perfect" car. We'll discuss that more later. For now though...a bit of nostalgia.

The photo below (click photo to enlarge) was taken on May 3, 1980. I'm the tall guy in the center. I was almost 10 years old. I took third place that year in the Pack 237 Pinewood Derby Races.

The photo below shows the very trophy I received in that race (on the left), and the first place trophy (the shorter one) I took at the Cub Dad Weekend that same year. I have a faint memory of one of my friends crying after I beat him. I felt kinda bad...for a second.

Now, let's get something out in the open...'cause I know that you know what I'm talking about...you know how these things work. I didn't have much to do with the building of the actual car. It was my dad & papaw who built the thing. C'mon! Everybody knows the kid barely touches the car...the dads do all the work. Think about it...if the kid did the crafting...it wouldn't...it wouldn't...well, it wouldn't win, now, would it? Isn't it all about winning? Ok, maybe not. But, you wouldn't let your precious little cub scout play with a band saw would you? Of course not!

Case closed.

The two cars below are the ones my dad & papaw built my first two years of pinewood racing. The red car was the trophy winning car, the green one didn't win anything that I can remember - but hey, it was my our first try. It was a nice looking car back in the day. In fact, in honor of my first pinewood car, Aaron Job wanted to paint his first car this same color green. So we did - but more on that in the next post.

Those were good times with my dad & papaw, memories that I cherish to this day. I'm looking forward to creating new memories with my son as we begin our scouting adventures.

The next post in this series "A Present Perspective" will detail how Aaron Job's first Pinewood Derby car was made. Stay tuned!

Click here for Part 2.

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