Pinewood Derby

Tomorrow night is Little Man (and mine) first Pinewood Derby race.

Going into this, I kept telling myself, Little Man would do all the
work.  (except for the band saw)

Little Man picked a NASCAR design out of a Pinewood Derby book.
I didn’t think much of it at the time.

When I showed the veteran Cub Scout dads the NASCAR plans,
they tried to talk me out of it.

Desperate to win my boys love, I stuck to the design.  They said
it was the most complex body shape any of them had ever seen.

The other men took me under their wings and let me fly.

The Troop Master let me use his power tools, wood glue and
sandpaper.  After 6 hours of work over the course of two
days, the body was finished.

I also made a car for Sissy and myself, but the crown jewel
was Little Man’s NASCAR.

But just before I left the Troop Master’s basement…

You see, Pinewood Derby cars can weigh no more than
5 ounces with tires and axles and paint.

The NASCAR weighed 6 ounces… without tires or axles!

I had to lover weight to make to car legal.  (the other Dads
have never had this problem.  Typically, you make a little
car and add weight UP to 5 ounces)

The next night, in our freezing garage, I took my Dremel
and gave the NASCAR liposuction.

After spending 8 hours on the three cars, I was infected
by the infamous “Pinewood Derby Dad” disease.  There
was NO way I was going to let Little Man paint MY

I kept my decision to myself, but my wife saw right
through me….

She insisted that Little Man paint the car, otherwise,
it wouldn’t be HIS car.

Like always… she was right.

I watched as little man painted his car.  Copper
base coat with a red racing stripe, glitter headlights,
with a windshield and side windows that don’t match.
I gave advice, but he was always in control of the

In the end… it was not the way I would have painted
it.  But it was beautiful.  And it was HIS car.


p.s. in the end, I was glad m’Lady got rid of the
“Pinewood Derby Dad” disease.   The 8 hours of
work did not include the wheels or axles.

The other Dads said, “…the wheels and axles are
the time consuming part…”.

There are dozens of little tricks the serious Dads
do to squeeze every little ounce out of the car.

After I “let go”, the tires and axles got the bare
minimum attention.  (I stopped being stressed,
and started having fun.)

I told Little Man, “If you ever doubt that I love, you
I have 5 ounces of proof.”  (well, 4.9 ounces actually)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.