Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pinewood Derby, Circa 1975...

My Pinewood Derby Car

Tonight as I changed from my work clothes to my sweats, I spied my old Pinewood Derby car. I found it when we cleaned out my mom's house in '07 and I've kept it ever since. I took it off the shelf, dusted it off, and snapped a few pictures.

I remember this car distinctly. My father had just passed away and my mother took my brother and I to see my dad's youngest sibling. My uncle was one of those "pro scouter" dads who took the art of pinewood derby racing seriously. The pinewood kits in the 1970's had better options than the kits of today, specifically, the tires. Today's derby tires lack substance like the hard plastic ones of yesteryear. My uncle had us file down the tires so there was very little actual plastic touching the track...this was great advice.

I remember my uncle gave us lead weights (which I think were bullet slugs, now that I think of it...) and we drilled holes into the bottom of the car to make the car go faster due to the added weight. We found out later that the car was too heavy so my mother drilled out some of the lead.


I remember painting the car. I placed masking tap over the car and painted it red and white. I've come to realize that red and white is possibly the most beautiful color combination possible. Those colors are the colors of Denmark and the colors of the University of Utah. Only brown and gold come close. ;)

One of the photographs of my youth show me in mid-race excitement as my car, the brilliantly decorated racer with the classic shape and the number 7 embossed on the side, leads the pack. My car wasn't the fastest. It didn't win a trophy like my brother's boring yellow car, but I liked it better. It was one of the first projects my mom helped me build. I'm glad it survives today.


  1. THAT is awesome. Thanks for sharing such a great memory. (I love the red and white comments. You are funny!)And you obviously won THAT round. I love the last photo. So cool!

  2. Thanks Eve--for reading and commenting. Isn't it passed your bedtime? :)