Pinewood Derby

Pack 206 - Pinewood Derby Rules

The purpose of the Pinewood Derby is to help the Cub Scout build a team relationship with their parent or helper, experience the sense of accomplishment and the excitement of competition, learn Win/Lose good sportsmanship, and to have fun.

K.I.S.M.I.F. - (Keep it simple—make it fun!)

    • Level 1: Tiger Cubs, Wolves and Bears - follow these standard rules encouraging a cub scout and adult working together
    • Level 2: Webelos - requires that the car is “kid built”
    • Level 3: Outlaw Division (Parent & Siblings)

Oops! Replacement cars can be purchased for $5.00. Please email


While a cub may build more than one car, only one can be registered on race day and ALL cars must be registered in order to race There will be no testing of cars allowed on the official racetrack on race day. Once a vehicle is registered and inspected, it will immediately be placed on the Official Race Table. At this same time a number will be assigned to the vehicle and the Cub who represents it. This number will be the official number of the vehicle for the duration of the race. Once placed on the table, it will not be allowed to leave the table except to race. Any vehicle which leaves the Official Race Table without the expressed consent of a Race Official will be disqualified. These rules were derived as a compilation of rules from the following sources:

    • Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit
    • Cub Scout Leader How to Book - No. 3831
    • Cub Scout Activity Book - No. 3837
    • 2005 Monticello District Pinewood Derby Rules

All cars must be made from the Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit.

LEVEL 1 RULES (Tigers, Wolves, Bears)

  1. WIDTH: Overall width, including wheels, shall not exceed 2 3/4". Minimum width measured between wheels.
  2. LENGTH: Overall length shall not exceed 7".
  3. HEIGHT: Overall height of car not to exceed 3” (including wheels and accessories). It must fit under timer.
  4. UNDER-BODY: The under-body at the nose end must be a dark color to trip the end gate. Use a black marker or paint.
  5. UNDER-CLEARANCE: Under-clearance shall not be less than 3/8" between bottom of the vehicle and a flat surface. It would possibly rub on the track. The starting dowel on the track is only 3/4" high. The point where the nose of the car touches the dowel should not be higher than 3/4" from a flat surface. No part of the car may extend in front of the starting dowel when the car is in the starting position.
  6. WEIGHT: Only the weight as determined by the scale at the Official Derby will be considered official and final. Weight shall not exceed 5 oz. (141.75 gm). The vehicle may be hollowed out and built up to maximum weight by the addition of weights, provided the weights are securely attached to the vehicle. Postal Scales may or may not be accurate. Cubs should come prepared to decrease the weight of their vehicle if so required. NOTE: Mercury may not be used to provide additional weight due to its potential health hazard.
  7. WHEEL BEARINGS, AXLES AND WHEELS: Wheel bearings, washers, and/or bushings of any sort are strictly prohibited. OFFICIAL Wheels and axles (nails) may be polished and deburred as long as there is no modification to size and shape (e.g. no bending of axles). Wheel tread surface cannot be narrowed or crowned. Axles must maintain a wheel base of 4 1/2", and use the two body slots from the OFFICIAL car block of wood. Hubcaps over axles are not permitted. All four wheels are NOT required to be in contact with the track at the same time (i.e. "three-wheelers" ARE allowed).
  8. DO NOT MODIFY THE WHEELS OR AXLES, EXCEPT FOR FACTORY BURRS - THE CAR WILL GET DISQUALIFIED. - NOTE: No substitution of the basic materials received in the Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit (wheels, nails and wood) may be used. Cosmetic detailing accessories may be used as described in "DETAILS" section below. "High Tech" wheels and axles are STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
  9. SPRINGS: The vehicle shall not ride on any type of springs.
  10. DETAILS: Details such as steering wheel, driver, decals, painting and interior detail are permissible and encouraged as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, height, under-clearance and weight Specifications. All details must be a permanent part of the vehicle. If any detailing comes off of the vehicle at any time after the vehicle has been inspected and registered it will not be allowed to be reattached. NOTE: Vehicles with wet paint will not be allowed to register for any part of the Derby competition.
  11. ATTACHMENTS: The vehicles must be free-wheeling with no starting devices.
  12. INSPECTION: Each vehicle must pass inspection by the Official Inspection Committee before it can be registered and compete. The Inspection Committee has the right to disqualify vehicles not conforming to the regulations.
  13. LUBRICATION: Only official BSA approved lubricants can be used, which includes the white “Teflon” sold at the Scout Shop or powdered graphite. Please lube in designated area only. Once the car is registered, it will be placed on the Official Race Table and no additional lubrication will be allowed at any time.

If other modifications have been made, it will be up to the Inspection Officials (by virtue of vote) to allow or disallow the vehicle to be entered in competition. This ruling is final.

LEVEL 2 RULES (Webelos)

  1. All of the Level 1 Vehicle Specifications apply to the WEBELOS car PLUS
  2. A scout is Trustworthy, and the Webelos Scout is being trusted that he has built his car himself, with adult supervision. The car needs to be cut*, sanded, and painted by the Webelos, not an adult. Likewise, the Webelos scout must prepare the wheels by himself. *Power tools should always be used with strict adult supervision.

LEVEL 3 RULES (Parents & Siblings)

  1. All of the Level 1 Vehicle Specifications apply to the Parents/Siblings car.
  2. Entry fee for Parents is $20.00, which includes the car kit.
  3. No Entry fee for Siblings, just $5.00 to cover the cost of the car.