Join the Pack at the Pinewood Derby

It’s that time of year for the “father-son” bonding moment – the building of the Pinewood Derby Race Car and the 2011 Blue Jacket District Pinewood Derby Race, set for Saturday, April 16th, at the Son Center in Lewistown, Ohio.

The Pinewood Derby began in 1952, with Don Murhpy, the Cub Master for Pack 280C. Murphy’s drive, “I wanted to devise a wholesome, constructive activity that would foster a closer father-son relationship and promote craftsmanship and good sportsmanship through competition.” Don and several other Cub Scout Pack members set out to build a two lane 31′ race track complete with a battery powered finish gate made from door bells and switches that would light a red or white light bulb to indicate which car won the heat. May 15, 1953 dated the first Pinewood Derby Car Race in the Scout House at Manhattan Beach.

The first car kits consisted of a 7-3/8″ block of pine wood with small wooden struts to hold the axles, which were nothing more than finish nails, and 4 plastic wheels all contained in a brown paper bag. Pine wood was chosen for its soft structure, making it easy to carve and shape into any design imaginable. It wasn’t until 1955 that an “official” pinewood derby car kit was created and mass produced by Beta Crafts of New Brunswick, the exclusive supplier for the next 44 years!

Although few things have changed with the Pinewood Derby over the years, it’s now more than just a “father-son” moment. The derby car has been adopted by the Girl Scouts, Awana Grand Prix, Royal Rangers, Kub Kar Rally, Shape N Race Derby, Woodcar Independent Racing League and the US Military.

If you’re looking to try your hand at some different body styles, stop on over to Ohio Lumberfor an endless supply of Pine Wood and Finish Nails. We have everything to build anything!

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