When I was a kid, my pinewood derby car was so terrible looking, the race marshal ran it backwards. I can’t say I could blame him though, there was no way to tell what it was supposed to be.
Well, like they say, it’s never too late to have a happy childhood.
This year, my kids wanted to join cub scouts, so we went to the meeting to find out more about it. I only heard one thing that night. Pinewood Derby. I decided to build my own car as a way to keep from totally dominating my son’s builds.
I happen to have a pretty severe interest in classic cars, and also I really enjoy model making, so this project ended up being the most enjoyable distraction I have had in a long time.
The car is not a model of any specific car, but really just a fantasy creation based on a combination of the sports specials of the late ’50′s and the Can Am racers of the mid ’60′s. But if you do want to create a model of a specific car for your derby racer, I have 2 pieces of advice.
1) Read this tutorial to find out how to add extra wood to your block in order to accomodate a full-fendered car design.
2) You can do a google image search for “your classic car” + “blueprints”, and you will usually find usable profile illustrations that you can trace onto your block for roughing out the shape.
The rest is just plain old time and craftsmanship. I made the intake stacks and exhaust pipes out of some 1/8th inch aluminum tubing, and the windshield is cut from the neck of a 2 litre pop bottle. The decals and driver figure are reproduction 1960′s slot car stuff. The steering wheel is a rubber 0-ring.
You can see more pictures of my project in this flickr set.