And to Randy Davis of Maximum-Velocity.
Who started this topic on the BSA.kit history. July 26, 2007.
That inspired my interest in collecting and researching it's history.
Thank you for the use of your Pinwood Derby Times News Letter!
In Oct 1954 Boys' Life in a one page article written by Glenn Wagner, it briefly describes the first pinewood derby race & a car plan. At the bottom of the page it reads: Plans for the track and starting mechanisms may be obtained by sending 15 cents to Boys' Life, New Brunswick New Jersery... Request catalog 6-205.
In early 1955 Boy Scout supply division buyer... Henry Henning was asked to find a supplier for the pinewood derby kits. BSA contracted with Art Hesselbach with Beta crafts to make the official kits. Also in this year BSA started advertising the pinewood derby kits in the June 1955 issue of Boys' Life, the summer issue of the Cub Scout Program Quarterly,
and in the Cub Scout Supply Catalogs for $2.75. In the Fall of 1957, the kit price seen in an ad for the kits changed to $2.95 for the 8 car bulk set's.
In 1956 Art's team shipped their first 80,000 kits to BSA and continued to ship the kits with his two companies Beta Crafts and his parent comp..Consolidated Models inc. (Ran by his two son's Stephen & Arthur Jr.)
In 1960 Consolidated Models moved to Cranbury, NJ from it's original
New York city location & by the mid 60's began fabricating & packaging
the Pinewood Derby kits for the Boy Scouts of America exclusively
with a Revised specification kit.(???)
(See edit below for more info on this kit type!)
In 1977 CMI (Grand Prix) introduced new versions of these kits with several changes.. Wider wheels.. offset axel positions still using the wooden axel struts..and one without the wooden axel supports using saw notches in the block.
In 1980's we see the block has the saw cut axel notches.
In Dec of 1999..When Art lost his contract with BSA. The switch over to a new supplier began in 1998/99 when there were kits by two vendors! Beta crafts & Homecrafters manufacturing (know as Kahoot)
In the last year for Beta crafts .. The kit could be identifed by the black end flap on the box.. and wheels with sunken rims & larger diameter axles.
Homecrafters (kahoot) kit by the orange end flap...
Hope you all don't mind if I share with you all these kits by posting photos of the kits I have in my collection! I will share the kit rules afterwords..
1956/ 57 Beta crafts 8 car bulk sets & single kits that came out much later in the fall of 1961-74
Here is a 8 car bulk set showing the kit contents.
The revised specification 8 car bulk set true date unknown.. guessing the mid 60's.
(Note: the hubs on the wheels.)
1970's 8 car bulk set.. sold for $ 3.25
In the kit add seen above you'll see a date of 11-74 at the bottom right of the page.
This was the very last pinewood derby kit add seen for the 1956 pinewood derby car kit type.
(I would like to thank Jeff of project pinewood for passing on this info to me.)
He was a Cub Scout back in the 70's and he could recall building & racing a car with the new kit style back in 1976.
Here is the info he passed my way threw an email.
He told me of an add he had got some help with threw BSA directly
And how they put him in touch with the National Scouting Museum to scour threw old catalogs and Magazines.
Where he happen to find reference in the Nov-Dec 1974 Scouting magazine vol 62, number 8, on page 6.
(New Version Of An Old Winner)
NOTE: the catalog numbers seen in the add above!
Single kit's no:1622 75 cents.
Kit of 8 ( box set) no: 1623 $ 4.50
Here is a link to a web site that I found just one day before getting the email from Jeff.
Check out the Dates on the cars seen and the last car seen that's dated as 1975.
And then a photo of the bottom side of this car that was shared with me at a local pinewood derby
by its owner that is dated 1977 using the solid block with the saw notches for the axles.
( Photos of the CMI single and 8 car box kit types and changes.)
Note: The IMPORTANT NOTICE! Paper in this kit.
It reads: On the reverse side of this package,under racing specifiations;
Point # 1 states:
Width-overall width shall not exceed 3".
This specification should be changed to:
overall width not to exceed 2 3/4".
On the reverse side of the CMI kits using the wooden axle struts
point #1 reads. Width-overall shall not exceed 3".
And on the kit using the saw notches it's not to exceed 2 3/4".
Photo of the reverse side of these kits.
More kit photos:
The two kit styles:
CMI 1980's kits..
Beta crafts & CMI ?
1994/95?? Beta crafts kit
1998?99 Beta crafts last
1997 Beta crafts Big Rig Kit..
2009 100th Anniv Big Rig kit..
I'll leave out today's kit, we all know who's making it!!
SORRY FOR A LONG POST ON THE KIT PHOTOS!
I'll start on the kit rules later! Thanks Guys!
Info on the kits catalog numbers..
1955/56-76.. 8 car bulk set cat no. 1699
From what I know as a collector & having a lot of vintage Cub Scout supply catalogs ect.
The first ad for the individual kit was not seen in them until 1961/62. Cat no. 1690 $ .49 cents
And in the ad seen above in 1974 for .59 cents
1977 CMI Grand Prix kits..
Bulk set cat no.1623, individual kit cat no.1622
1980's kits.. Bulk set cat no.1623, individual kits cat no.1622 Wheel sets cat no. 1622 A
1988 kits.. individual kit cat no.1622, wheel sets were bar code. 17007 7
1994/95?? kits.. bar code cat no. 17006 0 wheel sets 17007 7
1998/99 Beta crafts cat no.17006 0 Kahoot cat no.#17006 wheel sets cat no. 17007 7
2009 100th Anniv kit cat no.17006 Big Rig Racing kit # 24342
75th Anniv kit was cat no.#17075
1997 Big Rig Kit cat no. #7611
Pinewood Derby kit plans & rules..
From the photos shown below.. I want to point out sometime that took place in the late 50's or early 60's
the Notice seen.. on the plan to the right. (Revised Specification kit)
The NOTICE..Reads, This is the new pinewood derby Specifications as authorized by the
Pinewood derby Rules Committee. The revisions were made to encourage variation in
car designs and increase performance.
Here is a view of the kit.. check the hubs seen in the wheels.
The wheels seen in the lower left of the photo have no hubs.
The wider wheel seen in the next photo is the hubed wheel from this kit.
From these plans and rules.. I'll share a few of the racing specifications.
(1) width - overall shall not exceed 2 3/4''
(2) length - overall shall not exceed 7 3/8''
At the top of the photo.. to the left we see that the chassis are not to be lowered below 3/8''
(3) weight shall not exceed 5 oz. no loose materials of any kind are permitted in the car.
no wheel bearings, washers, bushings, or springing! ect.. ect. (as we know it!)
In the building hits.. one can read.. polish nails & lightly lubricate.
remove rough edges from wheels (also)
1977 CMI kit plans and rules..
From here we see the racing specifications.. change up the car!
(1) width-overall 3"
(2) length - overall not to exceed 7"
rest of the rules the same.
(as seen in the earlier photos of the kit that had an important notice)
1998/99 Beta crafts last..
look at the number seen at the top right
seen on the plan 94????
1998/99 Homecrafters kit..
look at number 97???? seen at the top right of the plan.
This kit came with BSA pinewood derby side walls wheels
and smaller diameter size axels. And has been known to ship with
the Beta craft wheels and axels mixed in the kits!
This kit has been known to come with the wheels with coned hubs 2.6 gram
And the older wheel style mixed in the kits!
from here on the rules are much in the same..
Happy to share this info with all of you on Derby Talk, And to do a greater good for the kids, or anyone interested in the kit history.
At the time on the topic..
I wanted to share some PWD kits that I had in a collection
that were the 8 car bulk sets or that were different and not shared.
I still use Randy Davis PWD News letter that he started about the kit history in full.
I started collecting the kits soon after reading his news letter and asking hem if I could use it!
And at the time..
I diden't know that the collection I was trying to put together would be what it is today.
So when I display the kits I have collected on the kit history I only do so for all to enjoy.
I just wanted to share some photos of some of the past PWD car kits.
So that all who have raced a car.. or just enjoy the event.
Could look back on to recall what kit types were used for making there first PWD cars..
or for the ones who enjoy the event to see some of the early PWD kits types.
You know what is really cool and different from all the PWD kits types?
I'll start with the drawing seen in the Oct 1954 Boy's Life .. Then show some 1955 PWD kit ads.
What do you see being used for axles in this drawing?
(8 penny finishing nails for the axles right!)
What are you see being used for the axles in the 1955 PWD Kit ad photos?
What about now.. what are you seeing used for the axles in this 1956 kit ad Photo?
For the BSA & Beta Crafts PWD car kits
So there is a little bit of Pwd car kit trivia for you..
BSA & Beta Crafts never sold a PWD car kit useing the 8 penny finishing nails for axles.
What brought me back was the fact that the CMI kits from the 80 show a wedge design in the instruction with the back cut off. Here the smaller distance from the axel cut to the front is shown as the front of the car. This is the exact way I build my first car. I will have to post a picture. I re beer cutting it by hand on my dining room table. Neither parent was good with tools. But it finished the race!
Well that's differen't also and I know what your saying about this wedge car design.
I wounder why this same wedge car design was seen on alot of the instruction sheets going on in to the 80's as well.
And why on the instruction sheets: That it was also marked in the uper right hand side as CMI 77.
The wooden axles surports were not shown in the car blue print however the saw notched axel slots were seen in the car drawing.
It was also Randy who put me in contact with Jeff of project pinewood threw email.
Anyhow Jeff felt like the info on the 1977 CMI kit was wrong for the date when this kit type was first used.
Like Jeff- I felt the same way about it just based off of some of the kits I had in a small collection at the time.
And had show'ed to Jeff on his web site.
It has been a good long while since Jeff and I have talked threw email as well.
If you see this topic:
Thanks for sharing your findings that you have shared with me about these kits.
As i will be editing the topic.. This is for you!
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