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Build the fastest pinewood derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car


Building the Fastest Pinewood Derby Car Book

Building the Fastest Pinewood Derby Car book

Building the Fastest Pinewood Derby Car

Cross the finish line first using the techniques revealed in this 136 page book by established pinewood derby authority Scott Thorne. All you need to create a winning car is a great design and these tips for tricking your car out for maximum speed. Create the "ultimate car" that will allow you to shave those last tenths of a second off your time and go home with the trophy.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Planning

Planning your pinewood derby car

The first step is familarizing yourself with the process. What tools do you need? Which science principles do you need to understand?

This chapter covers:

  • What to do before you start building your car
  • Safety procedures
  • Anatomy of a pinewood derby car
  • Official pinewood derby rules
  • The three principles of speed

Chapter 2: Designing

Designing your pinewood derby car

Decide on the design for your pinewood derby car. This involves more than just picking a good looking shape.

  • General guidelines for car design
  • Eight sample car designs with templates
  • Blank pattens for creating your own design

Chapter 3: Shaping

Shaping your pinewood derby car

After progressing through this chapter, your project will actually start looking like a car.

  • Tool overview
  • Prepping the axle slots
  • Drilling extended axle holes
  • How to use the Pro-Body Tool
  • Attaching the pattern
  • How to use patterns on thin designs
  • Drilling axle glue holes
  • Weight trim holes
  • Coping saw skills
  • Using other tools to shape your car
  • Final sanding

Chapter 4: Adding Weights

Adding weights to your pinewood derby car

Properly adding weights to your car is one of the easiest things you can do to increase the speed of the car.

  • The different types of weights
    • Lead wire weights
    • Tungsten cylinders
    • Tungsten disc
    • Tungsten cubes
    • Tungsten canopy
  • Attaching the weights to your car
  • How to use trim weights

Chapter 5: Finishing

Finishing your pinewood derby car

This chapter will show you how to make your car look super cool. Your car will be the envy of all the other racers after this step!

  • Types of finish
  • Brush painting
  • Spray painting
  • Airbrush painting
  • Wrapping with paper
  • Permanent markers
  • Duct tape
  • Film covering
  • Final touches
  • Hardening the area around the axle hole
  • 12 finishing templates

Chapter 6: Axle Preparation

Axle Preparation
You might think axles are boring but if you skip this step, your car won't go fast. Be sure to pay attention to this chapter! Correctly preparing your axles is the single most important thing you can do to increase the speed of your car.
  • Axle prep tools
  • How to find the best axles
  • Removing the burrs
  • Taper the axle head
  • How to use the Pro-Axle Press tool
  • Polishing the axles
  • Making grooved axles

Chapter 7: Wheel Preparation

Wheel Preparation
The stock wheels that come straight out of the box leave a lot to be desired when it comes to building a winning car. Putting a little effort in here will have a big payoff on race day.
  • Wheel prep tools
  • How to select the best wheels
  • Using a gauge
  • How to use the Pro-Wheel Shaver
  • Polishing the inside rim
  • Polishing the wheel bore

Chapter 8: Assembly

Assemble your pinewood derby car

Read the secrets of perfectly assembling your car. All the fine tuning and adjusting is done at this step to get your car running as fast as it can.

  • Assembly tools
  • Wheel lubrication
  • Attaching the wheels to the car
  • Setting up a test surface
  • Building your own test track
  • Bending axles
  • Rear wheel alignment
  • Front wheel alignment
  • Using the rail riding technique
  • Final wheel lubrication
  • Burnishing the wheels
  • Final weighting

Chapter 9: Race Day

Race Day

Your car is ready to go. Now what? This chapter explains everything you need to know about race day.

  • Race day supplies
  • What to bring to the race
  • Race results log

Building the Fastest Pinewood Derby Car


We were able to get to 2nd place in his district. My guess is a total of over 6,000 competing throughout our area and our son's car was in the top 20. Not bad... Rick H.