History of the Pinewood derby

General topics of interest to racers and race coordinators alike.
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Speedster
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History of the Pinewood derby

Post by Speedster » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:59 am

I know there are people on Derbytalk, and elsewhere in the U.S, who have a vast knowledge of everything involving the Pinewood Derby from the very beginning.
Here is a Note from Fox Chapel Publishing.

Note to Authors: We are always looking for talented authors to write new books in our area of woodworking, design, and related crafts, Please send a brief letter describing your idea to Acquisition Editor, 1970 Broad Street, East Petersburg, PA 17520.

If every question could be answered by someone before it's lost to History, put in a book, and maybe had yearly updates, that would make an interesting book. Girl Scouts are going to become huge in the Pinewood Derby, if they're not already, and will make history on their own. I would like to see this book happen. I hope there's lots of pictures.



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whodathunkit
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History of the Pinewood derby

Post by whodathunkit » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:45 pm

well Speedster,

I'll come right out with saying.. The History of the pinewood derby racing has many roots with a lot of different clubs.
And since the Oct 1954 Boy's Life article where Don Murphy's car drawing for making the cars or it's kits from that concept drawing.
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Has sure brought on a grate many of car kit manufactures for the different clubs over the years.

You know of the revised specification kit that iv'e posted photos of.. that i call my mystery kit. And that Fat Sebastion said had to be from the 60's.
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And its axle and wider wheel and hub type:
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And you know of the cars I've collected with this very wheel style & kit type!
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I've even see this kit type on very few web sites with no info about it!
Here's one with a photo that I've since lost the web link to however!
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So i know this kit with this wheel type is out there!

What's baffling to me about this cub scout 8 car boxed kit:
Is that it is packaged in the same way and to the same box size.. of the first 8 car kits also using the catalog # of 1699 as well.

But is why!
Does the car plan directions paper work look very same with the only difference being just the Notice seen above about the revised specification.
All the rest of the paper work inside this kit look the same to the first 8 car boxed sets .. even right down to the name plate decals for make and size!
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So did this revised specification happen after the Oct 1954 Boy's Life car concept by Don Murphy.

All's I can tell you is that of what Stephen Hasselbech Sr told me about the kit after emailing him about it.

He told me that he saw the pinewood derby program start & evolve.
And that the kits were developed by his dad for the Cub Scouts.. the concept was taken from the Oct 1954 Boy's Life article how to make the car.
And that Scout Headquarters wanted to create a winter program with a product so they came to his dad who made model air plane kits.
His dad took the idea for the cars and plans for the track.. he also made the regatta boats & space derby kits..
And that the company name at that time was called.. Consolidated Model Eng.Co 3087 third Ave Bronx NY. ( it's know as CMI plastic now.)
And the company name of Beta craft when he lost his contract making the kits. And that his dad also made kits for Scouts Canada as well.

He also said that this kit was not made by Consolidated and that he has never seen it.. and that were many attempts to knock off the official kit.

I even brought up that Pinewood derby car kits were made available at over a 100 city play grounds for the 2nd annual La parks and Rec race in 1955.
He told me that they shipped to Sunnyvale Calf, Menlow Park III, and New Brunswick NJ. and that maybe Calf had kits made locally.

And that pretty much sums up the history to this kit as it's true manufacture is unknown to me.. and to why the box read's as it does as well.
Last edited by whodathunkit on Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:00 am, edited 11 times in total.


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

Speedster
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Re: History of the Pinewood derby

Post by Speedster » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:08 pm

Whoda, you are going to be the one that's going to put this all together some day. I'm going to help you all I can. Be Patience.
Best
Bill



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whodathunkit
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Re: History of the Pinewood derby

Post by whodathunkit » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:17 pm

I'm not giving up on it! ... Speedster what can you tell me about the Pathfinders Clubs. that also race pinewood derby cars.

From the Boise Cascade logo that's on the bottom side of the kit box.. I can trace that name to the Boise Cascade wood products founded in 1957.
And then to there 1960 paper mill that made paper packaging products . I have sent and email out to them.. and have not got a reply back.
But i'm hopeful.. as it would be nice to know more about this Pinewood derby kit.. and if it was used in Cub scouting as well.


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

Speedster
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Re: History of the Pinewood derby

Post by Speedster » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:45 pm

All I know is they are attached to the Seventh Day Adventist Church and involved with educating children. One comment was like they are like the Boy Scouts which might explain why they had a Pinewood derby.



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whodathunkit
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Re: History of the Pinewood derby

Post by whodathunkit » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Thank's speedster!
I wounder if the kits The Pathfinders use are the S&W pinewood derby kits.. Say S&W Crafts Mfg also got started making there kits in 1957 as well.
http://www.pinewoodderbycars.com/aboutus.asp
the link above said they have always used the same wheels and wooden dowels and screw type axles

Check out the black car seen in this pic with screw type axles up against the car from the cub scout kit.
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Pic's of the 2 wheel types:
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This is another wheel style i haven't seen much of as well but it kinda makes me wounder where the wheels came from.


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

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