- FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

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ah8tk
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- FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by ah8tk » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:26 am

Ever since my son, Noah received his first pinewood Derby car to build (back in 2006), I have been looking for my old pinewood derby cars to share with him. Back in 1992 I had packed them away when we were moving to our new house, never to be seen again.

Every year I take a couple of nights and look through some old boxes in the basement for the cars. Probably at this point, I have been through all of the boxes multiple times looking for the cars. So last week I was again looking through the same boxes (for the same cars), and I had an idea, maybe the cars were in the attic over the garage.

So I finally got a chance to look up in the garage attic. I looked through a couple of boxes of car parts, and then I saw something, it was an old printer box.

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The box seemed kind of out of place, I was thinking “this might be the box”. But I had thought that before about some other boxes. So I climbed over to it and opened up the box:

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And there they were (nice job of careful wrapping), thrown in with some other junk. So I brought the box down and took some pictures of the cars my dad and I built somewhere between 1971 and 1974.

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Back in the early 70s Cub Scouts was a 3 year program, it ran from 3rd to 5th grade. You started as a Wolf and then moved to Bear and on to Webelos. Here are some pictures of my Wolf car:

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This was our first pinewood derby car (my dad also helped my reject brother build a car also), so apparently the 5oz. weight limit did not mean much. Of course the cars were measured on a spring type postal scale, that wasn’t very accurate:

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The car looks as if it could have been sanded better before the paint was applied and the rear body is not very symmetrical, but it was my first pinewood car (and it is great). It was decorated with plastic model decals that my dad had, and has a thumb tack as a steering wheel.

The Bear car is finished better (could maybe have used some better detail sanding on the edges):

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The Bear car has additional weights on the bottom of the car to bring up the weight (maybe a little too much). This was the year when we moved into our new house and moved to a new Cub Scout pack. I remember we needed to paint the bottom of the car black so the finish sensors would pick up the car crossing the finish line, the new pack had one of those electronical sensors to determine the winner. I seem to remember it was lights that showed 1st place (that is what I remember, but that was almost 40 years ago at this point, so I could be wrong). The thumb tack accessories continue.

The Webelo car is a lot smoother. I think I remember painting this car in a cardboard box with model spray paint. This car is way advanced as it actually has a wooden, Fisher Price driver in it (back when they were made of wood). But it is also way underweight. And yes the steering wheel cannot be seen, so the thumb tack accessory is headlights.

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None of these cars ever had a chance at winning a trophy, but that is alright. Just looking at them makes me very happy.

It is good to finally have my original pinewood derby cars back (I guess I always knew I had them, but where, was the trouble). Noah can’t wait to put them with all of the other family pinewood derby cars.

I just want to thank my dad for helping me to build these cars (and all of the memories that go along with them). I guess that is indeed what this pinewood derby stuff is for. I guess winning is something, but it is definitely not everything.
Last edited by ah8tk on Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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FatSebastian
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by FatSebastian » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:20 am

Neat stuff!
ah8tk wrote:I remember we needed to paint the bottom of the car black so the finish sensors would pick up the car crossing the finish line, the new pack had one of those electronical sensors to determine the winner.
Using an "electric eye" seemed so high-tech to kids in the early 70s! It would be educational to see a discussion of early finish-line judging technology, especially before the common availability of integrated circuits and micro-processors.



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botomgun
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by botomgun » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:34 pm

That is way too cool. It is one thing to discuss your childhood with your kids, but totally something else to be able to show them.



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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by whodathunkit » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:05 pm

You know what is really cool here?!
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If you'll look at the two sets of plans i've posted you'll see in the car drawings
that the axel & axle supports face up in the plans.

I wonder how many racers back then lost an axel & wheel
by faceing them up this way?

All your cars show them faceing down-much like car kit today
minus the wooden axle supports blocks.

Anyway, I can see some sort of advantage to this.
First your car's axels can withstand a little more downword force,
thus, putting the forcing pressure at the tip of the axel versus
the head of the axel by faceing them up!

FS. WROTE... It would be cool to see some early finish line technology!
WELL CHECK THIS OUT GUYS...
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Tin cans were used to make small flap hinges
and mounted just so one wheel of each car would hit it squarely
at the finshline.
The stip of tin at the bottom at completion of the race indicates
which racer won! ( two lane track only)
OLD SCHOOL IS SO COOL!

Thanks for sharing this memory. :bigups: love the vintage cars :bigups:
Last edited by whodathunkit on Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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FatSebastian
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:33 pm

:offtopic:
whodathunkit wrote:FS. WROTE... It would be cool to see some early finish line technology! WELL CHECK THIS OUT GUYS... OLD SCHOOL IS SO COOL!
:thumbup: Thanks again for sharing your archives with us, whoda. Pretty clever contraption. :thinking: Although... what would happen in the case of a tie? :O



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whodathunkit
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by whodathunkit » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:06 pm

Well lets hope: no fight breaks out for one!
2nd looks like cars might leave the track!
3rd Its a sudden stop brakeing bouth cars ending the tie!
4th lets hope Dad is a handy man with tools and glue!
5th I'll let you make that call FS. :pray: Who Won? :shhh:
He will tell us... tell then i'll just :scratching: :thinking: :thumbup:
And call for an :angel: for help with the quote button thing!
like i said coumputers and spelling well i'm lacking and have my
handy caps ... what can i say i'm running behind the pack on tech-no-gizmo! :sweating: it out.. but i'm haveing fun with it.. and shareing
a memory or to. Who knows I may learn me a thing or two from you guys.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

Jpd1111
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by Jpd1111 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:15 pm

I just found the car I built with my dad in 1963. I want to restore it...but do not know where to get the right wheels. They are the same ones as in your photos. I need at least two. Any idea as to where I can find some? Thanks.

John



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FatSebastian
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by FatSebastian » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:49 pm

:welcome: John!
Jpd1111 wrote:Any idea as to where I can find some?
See this earlier thread.



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ciodude
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by ciodude » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:00 pm

My vintage 70's derby racer has the axel slots facing up and lots of glue in the slots! I am in the process of working a vintage remake of that car as a tribute to my dad who passed away. I turned them down in the new car.

I question how much of that old car I painted. The racing stripe down the center looks way to good for me to have done by myself. :)



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whodathunkit
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:50 pm

Jpd 1111 & ciodude,

It is really good to see two guys on here wanting to something really cool for your dad's.

Jpd 1111, FS, is right as far as to finding the wheels to restore your 1963 car with.
Betacrafts is the right place to look for them.
However you can find them from time to time on eBay also.

But if your talking about the wheel style as seen in these photos with the hubs
and wider tread.
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They will be alot harder to find.. I don't think Betacrafts keeps this type in stock.
If the wheel type as seen in the photos posted by A8htk.
Are what your looking for or the hub style type feel free to send me a PM.
I have a few i'll part with to help you out with your car.

ciodude, That 1970's Tribute car for your Father is a really cool idea.
I have a few car kit photos you might like to recall the memorys.
http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=5613" target="_blank
http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=5622" target="_blank

Hope this helps you guys out with your cars.
Best of luck guys..
Whodathunkit
Mark Robison


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Aron
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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by Aron » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:44 am

Sweet cars! The old finish line is cool too. Thanks for sharing!



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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by PhantomVirus » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:12 am

I remember those wheels.....I also remember using lead fishing weights and none us knew anything about physics! Drill holes, glue in split shots or if you were lucky enough to have salt water lead fishing weight (triangle shaped) and away you went!

Thanks for sharing



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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by ah8tk » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:44 pm

Today, 3/15/14 I left early this morning to do a Pinewood Derby with Harmon Race Management, this was with a new pack, at a new church. We were at breakfast before the derby and I looked up, on my iPhone, where the Cornerstone Church was located. It was at this moment, when I realized what this church was. This church, back in 1972 was an elementary school named Crystal Heights. I was a fourth grade student, in this school who was also a Bear in Cub Scouts. The blue/grey car (shown above in my post) was raced in the same room, in the same building, as the Pack 306, PWD was held in today.

Here is a picture of the 42’ Best Track setup in that room today (3/15/14):

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I remember back in 1972 (42 year old memories may not be so good) I remember our pack (Pack 533) track (the one with the electronical finish line) was set up the short way in this same room. This must have been, at max, a 28’ PWD track. Here is a picture of MY Bear, Pinewood Derby car on the 42’ Best Track, today (notice how the track fills the room):

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It was great to be in the same building, I had to stop by my fourth grade classroom. What a great day…
Last edited by ah8tk on Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by whodathunkit » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:45 pm

Andy,

Please don't keep us in suspense any longer!
Did you give the Bear car a run down the 42 foot best track for the memories?

I hope you did. ;)

Mark.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: - FOUND - My Vintage Pinewood Derby Cars

Post by ah8tk » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:55 pm

Unfortunately I did not run the car down the track, would have been a good idea. This won’t be the last time we do the derby for this Pack. So I will be back, this time I will run the car down the track.

Thanks for the idea Whoda.



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