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Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:40 pm
by Smell of pine
I have started looking at some soapbox derby race information, and stumbled onto the cubmobile racers. Funny because I've been fumbling through plenty of the pinewwod derby stuff lately but have not scrolled down enough apparently. Anyway, how would we start something with the cubmobiles. I know our pack does not have anything like this. Are there sample rules anywhere? I've thought about soapbox derby, but it could be cost prohibitive for some scout families. That seems to be an appealing feature of the cubmoblie racers. So I guess I'm looking for any and all information I can find.


Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:29 am
by ExtremePWD
To help generate initial interest, you could start with each den building a vehicle as a group effort. They could take turns racing against the other dens. This would reduce the cost for the individuals while getting the pack familiar with the building and racing details. After this "training", you could get feedback if the pack wants to turn it into a larger scale individual event.


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:00 am
by sporty
Soap box derby is alot more costly than a Cubmobile race.

forming a Cubmobile committee is a start.

There is alot of things that have to be set up and gathered.

Our local pack has one with our local packs. Making it a pretty big event. Over 60 Racers. Makes for a all day event.

Planning is key. If you have a local wal-mart they have been good with our local pack in helping with costs.

The ramp and trophys are likely the most costly to the pack. The cars to the drivers. Unless using a hill.

Hay bails work good for barriers and setting up the lanes.

If you might use a hill, Talking with the city to use it and setting that part up thru them. Permission and so forth.

We use a local mall parking lot and its set up with the mall.

The ramp is made out of steel and wood. aproximately 3 1/2 feet tall. track is 150 feet long.

They run a double elim race.

The cost of the Cubmobile, ranges in price. You can built one for under $60.00. Its not the wood that gets costly, its the wheels and bolts, screws & washers.

Having a microphone / announcer is a plus for the race.

You will need atleast 8 to 10 people to run the event.

2 people for running the race / keeping track of the winners / heats.

2 for the ramp or starting line. I recommend 3 to 4 people. But 2 would get you buy.

2 people at the end for judging.

2 for pre inspection of the cars.

Our pack uses a tree light, But also when it stops working, they use 2 people. one on each lane to watch the race.

My son has races for 3 years and this will be his 4th year.

Out of those past 3 years. They do not exceed more than 5 / 6 mph.

This also reduces accidents. More speed more wrecks. So a huge or fast hill is not recommended.

They get 1 practice run on the track.

Our local pack charges between $12 and $15.00 for the child to enter.

10 inch or 12 inch wheels , cheap lawn more wheels are not recommend. I have seen them break.

having work shops is a must for 1st year events.

be clear on your rules. Parents will do things that are not safe or can cause injury.

examples - hurst car shifter used for the break. metal finders. plumbers pipe used for steering or for feet brace.

be clear no working on them once the race starts. Some parents will after ther child looses once, try and work on the car to make it faster.

One parent 2 years ago. Was putting on different wheels in the middle of the race.

They allow the same car to be used more than once, however not in the same division. like you could do, tiger, bear,wolf.

That way the car is not needed for 2 riders in the same class. if they were to end up racing against each other.

All cars our asigned a number, the number has to be put on the car, 3 inch lettering.

For a shared car, they stapled the letters on card board to the car in different spots.

numbers were like this

group 1 (tigers) started with 100

group 2 (bears) started with 200

and so on.

Sponsors are the key to a low cost and better event.

The MFG or seller of the wheels may be incline to donate or offer at a discount.

Hunting and finding sponsors take time.

Locally is your best bet.

Bottom line, with a ramp race, without some sponsors or donations, its likely going to cost you from $300 to $600 (not including trophys).

with a hill race, Your cost will be much less.

The more time and effort and help you have the much better the event will be and more success you will have in holding future events.

Another factor is getting the parents involved, they are the ones to foot the bill for the Cubmobile.

They got a vinyl sign company to donate some banner signs for the event.

Also in our event, the announcer will anounce the car number and driver who will be racing and what lane. and while they are getting there cars ready. The announcer will then say the names and numbers of the cars who is up on deck.

The pack has a holding area for the cars. about 20 feet away from the back of the ramp. Usually this is also the inspection area.

Most of the drivers pay there fee ahead of time. There is a $5.00 fee for registration at the day of the race.

If a driver crashes during the race, it is not re-run, it is considered a loss. The only time the do a re-run is for a tie breaker. Or if some how a driver has ran into another driver and then they both will re race.

Allow 10 feet from the end of the track or more for them to stop.

Our pack tries and keep only the helpers back there.

Kids for some reason like to rush to the end of the track area. I have seen a few get hit.

The announcer station, I recommend being at the 1/2 way point of the track.

Since we have over 60 drivers. We have a good size turn out of spectators. Who place there chairs on the sides of the track.

Flagging is use to keep a safe zone of 2 feet away from the edges.

The flagging is not done high enough up to cause a visability issue.

Well I hope this was some of the info you were looking for and can be of some help.


Usually there is a few selling food and procedes go towards the pack or packs or next years event.


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:01 am
by Stephen's Dad
Our Pack hasn't done Cubmobiles in several years now. No real reason other than the lack of a launcher & some "less handy" parents.

To bring it back I've been thinking of Den-Mobiles where an ASCM or a handy Parent would adopt a Den & serve as their build advisor. The cost might be spread over each Boy plus a Pack contribution.

Thinking out loud here but just in case this angle helps.....

I don't want to overwhelm our Pack's families & Leaders with an event such as this but I know the Boys would love it.


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:42 pm
by Smell of pine
Some good ideas, thanks. Does anyone have pictures of their ramp? I have seen a few searching the web. From rather large to very small. I would like to fabricate a metal starting ramp. I've been thinking it over in my head, but I would still like more ideas.

We have a community day full of activities, such as a parade, cookout, games, and activities, and then fireworks. Not a fair, but a big community event. Since our only major events for scouts are the Pinewood Derby, and the Summer camp, we'd like to add more. Our community event is the first Saturday in June. We thought it would be cool to have the kids in the parade with their cars, and then have the race. Since it is much less expensive than a Soapbox car, it should be more appealing to the scout families. We are hoping to get sponsorship as well. Most of the other activities are sponsored by local businesses. I agree that the ramp would probably be the biggest expense. We have a town meeting this Thursday to present our idea, among other things. We have also run the idea by a few other scount parents. I want as much detail, be it rules, whatever, to actually make a presentation to the pack leader. That's why I'm trying to do my homework now. I do know that A local (not in our town) Home Depot has donated supplies in the past for our scout activities.

Back to the rules a little bit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but we thought that we should all have the same wheels and axles. After that it was just to the required dimensions. There could be quidelines as to how to build the cars, but to leave it up to the scouts/family for the rest. We also planned to hold workshops. I know of a couple single moms that don't have much in the way of tools or know how.


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:51 pm
by Smell of pine
Sorry, I thought of something else. To most groups time the races, or just the first across the line? What is the process to determine a winner?


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:01 pm
by Smell of pine
Here is a link to a ramp that has a fairly nice transition to the pavement. It is rather tall though. I'd rather see one a little shorter. ... D%26sa%3DN


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:09 pm
by Smell of pine
Okay, another question. Do most of your rules include weight restrictions?
Or is it a 60lb kid versus a 75lb kid?


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:49 pm
by sporty
I like a race (not timed) but that comes down to preference.

That ramp looks to be to high , steap.

Would be fine for the wolfs, but im not 2 sure about tigers and bears.

That ramp would give you a higher risk of accidents.

weights, no weight allowed to the car. However using different size weights can help over come that to some degree.

most cars are made our of 2x4 or 2x6, or in combination. with the seat and back supports made out of nothing thicker than 1/2 inch. Pine wood only.

Most of the races are going to be won or lost in the driving ability to keep the car strait and steady. each little wobble slows the car down.

My son is the lightest kid in his group, and has won 2 and 3rd so far. So with those other factors in place. Weight is not a sure win factor in the cubmobile race.


Free spin on the bearings and car alignment will also be a big factor


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:58 pm
by Smell of pine
I agree on the picture of the ramp. I do like a nice ramp to pavement transistion though. On your last comment, is it common to have wheels with bearings? As for determining a overall winner, ther winner of each race advances, until there is only one winner? Elimination racing?


Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:24 pm
by sporty
Yes most of the wheels have bearings in them. I dont recommend running a wheel without them.

If you have a blains farm n fleet, find the red 10 inch and 12 inch wheels. they are what our local pack typically uses.

Double elim. Yes the racer keeps moving up as he wins. Alot like the PWD race really, if its a 2 lane track. ... html-.html



Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:19 pm
by Stephen's Dad
Smell of Pine,

The link you provided is not what I would call a conventional Cub-Mobile derby. It looks like their sponsor seen in the background might have donated all of the materials including those very strange all plastic wheels. I wouldn't install those on my gas grill let alone a cubmoblie.

The starting ramp is as indicated; not correct.

My plan was to build an all aluminum ramp that is built onto a legally registered road trailer so that we might park it outdoors & move it anywhere we want to go.

Let me look around a bit.


Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:51 am
by sporty
Yes those pictures reveal, from 6 inch wheels to 12 inch wheels. The plastic lawn mower type, that break easy.

To big of a spacer gap in the steering block.

A wide variety of builds, it apeared 4x4 blocking was used in some of them.

I did not see a foot brace on most of those cars either. It is a requirement at our local race.



Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:31 pm
by Stephen's Dad
Here is a Pack that uses a better starting ramp though still not what I had in mind:

Here is the desireable (and expensive) ComTech 2000 wheel:

Here is a better car design with foot guards like Sporty's Pack requires:

I'm batting a thousand though when it comes to finding a picture of an aluminum starting ramp. All I can find is wood.


Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:32 pm
by Smell of pine
Okay, a couple things. Using the ramp shown(or something similar), how far would those cars go on a flat surface, no or very little down hill? What is an average cost for those comtech wheels? Looking at the last set of pictures of the black/dark grey car, I'm assuming the blocks on the front along side the fron to back 2x4 are to limit steering? Where to the feet normally rest? I thought they helped steer as well, but that picture looks like the feet rest on the plywood in front of the seat. Is all steering with the hands using the rope?

I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions. I've just never seen these cars up close, nor seen any racing. There also seem to be many variations. I'm just trying to narrow things down to be able to present the idea to the rest of the pack.