Pinewood Derby

Car Information

Event Details


A little Pinewood Derby History:

The Pinewood Derby event was founded in 1953 by Cubmaster Donald Murphy of Manhattan Beach CA. Murphy’s idea for the Pinewood Derby formed out of a desire to devise a wholesome, constructive activity that would foster a close father-son relationship while promoting craftsmanship and good sportsmanship through competition.

An employee of North American Aviation, Murphy asked his employer to sponsor a miniature racing event for his Cub Scout pack. The company agreed to cover the expenses and Murphy wrote the rules for the race and designed a miniature car that could be carved out of soft pinewood.

The derby was an instant success and within a year was adopted for use by all Cub Scout Packs. Since 1954, an estimated 43 million Cub Scouts and their parents or adult helpers have participated.

In 46 years the rules for the pinewood derby have changed very little. Of the 11 rules in the derby today, eight are the same as they were originally, and one is amended to change the maximum length of the car from seven and three-eighths inches to seven.

Two rules have been added: the requirement that the car be made for the current year, and that no loose material of any kind is allowed in the car.

The objective of the Pinewood Derby race is:

  • To teach scouts the fundamentals of woodworking and tool use.
  • To promote healthy competition through fair play and good sportsmanship.


Good sportsmanship involves the principals of winning humbly and not bragging. Good sportsmanship also involves loosing gracefully. The most important thing is that every Cub Scout participated, showed good sportsmanship, and most importantly, lived up to the Cub Scout Motto; “Do You BEST!”