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How to build a fast Pinewood Derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car


Pinewood Racer Instructions

Pinewood Racer

It takes skill and a little luck to be the first to the finish line.
For 2 to 4 players - Age 6 to adult

The first few games should be played with an adult until the kids are familiar with the rules.


  1. You can play two different tracks, one on each side of the board. The Pinewood Derby shaped track takes about 20 minutes to play and the oval track takes about 30 minutes. You can extend play time with the oval track by going more than one lap. Decide which track you want to play then fit the three boards together so that the track lines up. The boards will overlap slightly.
  2. Separate the "Build" cards by color into separate decks and line each deck face up on the center of the board.
  3. Shuffle the Chance and Speed cards and place face down next to the board for now.
  4. Place the car pieces on the start square. The car color on the board in front of each player is the player's piece color.
It's time  to see who goes first.  With the speed deck face down, each player picks one card. The player with the largest numbered card goes first (negative numbers are small. For example, -4 is smaller than -3).  If there is a tie, the tied players draw again. Place the silver start token on the colored car in front of the player with the highest numbered card. Put the drawn cards in the bottom of the speed deck.

Starting The Game
Before the race can start, each player must build their car. The first player (the player that drew the highest number card) takes one of the Build cards from the board and places it face up in front of him next to the board so that everyone can see it. Then play continues clockwise around the table with each player picking one card each round until everyone has three "Build" cards in front of them. Players can pick more than one card of the same type.

Remove the remaining Build cards from the board. Put the Chance cards face down on the Chance square on the board.  Deal three Speed cards to each player face down. Players should not show the other players their Speed cards.  Put the remaining "Speed" cards face down on the Speed square on the board.

Give each player a Save card. Each player should place the Save card face up (the side of the card with the flags) in front of them.

Start the Race
During the race, each player takes a turn, starting with the first player, by either drawing a Speed card or playing a Speed card. If the player draws a card, he adds it to his hand and his turn is over.

If a player plays a speed card, he takes the card from his hand and places it face up on top of the Speed card discard pile (The speed discard pile should be placed somewhere on the board within reach of all players) and advances his car token the number of squares indicated by the card.  If one of the current player's three Build cards is the same color as the Speed card then he moves twice the distance shown on the Speed card. If he has two cards of the same color as the Speed card then he moves three times the distance and so on. This player does not follow the instructions on the space that he lands on.

Starting clockwise from the player, any other person that has a Build card that is the same color as the speed card played also moves forward the distance shown on the card. These players must follow the instructions on the square that they land on. A negative number means that they move back the number on the square. A positive number means that they move forward the number on the square. If they land on a Chance square, they draw a Chance card and follow the instructions on the card. They should then return the Chance card to the bottom of the Chance deck. If they land on a "Draw Speed Card" square, they draw a Speed card and add it to their hand. If they land on a "Discard Speed Card" square they must take any Speed card from their hand and place it face down at the bottom of the Speed card deck. 

Once each game, each player can decide to play their Save card. When this card is played, the player does not need to follow the instructions on the square that he lands on. When the Save card is played, it is turned face down and cannot be played again for the rest of the game.

Now it is the next player's turn clockwise from the current player. That player goes through the same procedure - either draws or plays a Speed card and so on as described above.

When all of the cards in the Speed deck are used, reshuffle the discards.

Winning The Game
When a car reaches or crosses the finish line, it signals the last round. The game continues until play reaches the player with the silver start token. This player does not play.  The winner is the car farthest past the finish line.


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