Certified Safe Site
Sep 23 2023
Pinewood Derby on Facebook
pinewood derby

Build a winning pine wood derby car. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car


Pine Wood Derby Speed Secrets Book

Pine Wood Derby Speed Secrets

Experience the thrill of winning the Pine Wood Derby!

Whether this is your first race or you are a seasoned competitor, Pine Wood Derby Speed Secrets has all the advice and tips you need to bring home the trophy.

Featuring fully-illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions covering every step of the process, author David Meade, a research scientist and the father of two undefeated Derby champs, reveals his ultimate speed secrets for crossing the finish line first.

You'll discover:

  • How to build three levels of Pine Wood Derby cars: The Winning Car, The Champion Car, and The Ultimate Car.
  • The fun of building the car with your child.
  • The secrets to preparing the wheels and axles, distributing weight, and shaving seconds off your race time.
  • Seven ready-to-cut templates.

By using the tips and techniques in Pine Wood Derby Speed Secrets, you too will be sure to build a winning car while building memories that will last a lifetime.

Table of Contents:

A History of the Pine Wood Derby

Chapter 1: Getting Started in the Pine Wood Derby

Having a solid understanding of the principles of safety, speed, and car design is essential to building your car and will make the process more fun for you and your child.

  • Be safe - Basic safety guidelines
  • A Scout is Trustworthy - Official rules explained
  • Let Your Child Build the Car - Describes how your child can do most of the work.
  • General Guidelines for Car Design - What to think about when deciding on a design.

Chapter 2: Building the Car Body

The very first thing that you'll want to do is work on the design for your car. However, this involves more than just picking a good looking shape.
  • The Winning Car - Ideal for beginners. An easy car to build yet fast enough to win.
    • Template
    • Cut the Design
    • Determine weight and weight placement.
    • Sand the car
    • Add the weights
    • Paint the car
    • Lubricate the wheel well
  • The Champion Car - Go beyond what most people do.
    • Extend the wheelbase
    • Create glue holes
    • Decal tips
  • The Ultimate Car - Go the extra mile and take home the trophy.
    • Bake the block
    • Quick start design
    • Improving standard designs
    • Make a three-wheeler

Chapter 3: Axle Preparation

Correctly preparing your axles is the single most important thing you can do to increase the speed of your car.
  • The Winning Axles
    • Remove the burrs
    • Polish the axles
  • The Champion Axles
    • Taper the axle head
    • Polish the axle head
  • The Ultimate Axles
    • Find the best axles
    • Reduce contact surface area

Chapter 4: 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.
  • The Winning Wheels
    • Polish the wheels
    • Lubricate the wheels
    • Liquid vs dry lubricant
  • The Champion Wheels
    • Wheel selection
    • Taper the wheel hub
    • Polish the inside rim
  • The Ultimate Wheels
    • Lathe-turned wheels
    • "H" and "V" configurations
    • Polish the wheel bore

Chapter 5: Putting It All Together

This chapter will show you everything from attaching the wheels to preparing for the final weigh-in on race day.
  • Attaching the Wheels - Get the spacing right.
  • Wheel Alignment - The best techniques and what to look out for..
  • Final Wheel Lubrication - How to apply graphite.
  • Breaking Them In - Very important step that most don't do.
  • The 20-Second Test - Be sure everything is correct and ready to go.
  • The Final Weighing - Last minute weight hints.

Gallery of Winning Cars

Extra Templates

Design Your Own Car

This book is out of stock. Please go to our Pinewood Derby Books page for currently available books


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.