2019 – Pinewood Derby – Car Specifications


The car must be newly built for the current Cub Scouting year. The car should be substantially built by the Scout. Parental supervision in the car construction is part of scouting and is important for safety, but the Pinewood Derby is for the boys and girls. Time permitting, Akelas and siblings will be able to run their own cars after racing is complete, or on the separate track that may be provided specifically for siblings/parents.


The car body must be made from the block of wood provided in an official B.S.A. PD Kit (Item 17000 or 17006). All added car parts such as canopies, stickers and any appendages must fit within the car measurement box and must be firmly affixed to the car. Loose pieces that fall off during a race will not be re-affixed to the car. Glitter or other items that could affect the integrity of the track may not be used.


The maximum car width, including wheels, may not exceed 2.75 inches. The maximum car length may not exceed 7 inches. The maximum car height cannot exceed 5 inches, so as to not hit the finish line display. The car motion car may not be mechanically aided (motor, springs, rubber bands, etc. are prohibited).


The total car weight may not exceed 5 ounces as determined the pack’s official scale. An electronic scale will be used to weigh cars. Cars will not be accepted if their weight exceeds 5.0 ounces by even the smallest resolution. A minimum weight of at least 3.0 ounces is recommended, so that the car can successfully make it to the finish line.


The car axles must be from the official B.S.A. PD Kit (Item 17006) or an official PD wheel replacement kit (Item 17007 or 17553,-54,-55,-56,-57). Pinewood Derby Axle Guard (Item 17107) is permitted, but it must be properly installed so as to meet dimensional car requirements. Axles must be firmly attached to the car. Wood glue, model glue or rubber cement may be used to keep axles in place, but inspectors must be able to verify that the axles are not solid, therefore, do not use opaque glue, wood filler, or paint. The axle grooves provided on the official wood block must be used; extending the wheel base is not permitted. This will be verified at judging through the use of an axle alignment tool. The use of a flexible suspension system of any type is prohibited.


The car wheels must be from the official B.S.A. PD Kit (Item 17006) or an official PD wheel replacement kit (item 17007 or 17553,-54,-55,-56,-57 or ). Minor wheel sanding is permitted to remove burrs and mold projection defects. Grooves (H or V-style) ground into the wheels are not permitted. See Figure 1 for additional examples of wheels that will and won’t pass inspection. The decorative dots on the wheel treads may not be removed. The wheels must be attached to the car with the pins provided in the kit. No cars will be accepted where bearings, washers, or spacers are used as part of the wheel assembly. The official wheel width is 0.34 inches. Wheels may not be designed to ride upon the track guide strip.

pinewood derby wheel profile

Figure 1


Only graphite powder or the new B.S.A. white lube T102/polytetrafluoroethylene may be used to lubricate wheels. Warning – other lubricants may damage the plastic wheels and keep them from turning freely. Once a car has passed inspection it will not be lubricated by race officials.

Head Start

The car cannot be designed such that it attains a head start upon race commencement. The car front cannot have material carved out such that the pin holding the car at the start line drops below, allowing the car to start rolling, before the other cars in the heat can start rolling. See the yellow car in Figure 2 as an example of a car built to have such an advantage at the start. This car will not pass inspection, nor will any car built per the Ultimate Car’s “quick start” design in the Pinewood Derby Speed Secrets book.

pinewood derby head start

Figure 2