Pinewood Derby

Join the tradition

Become one of the millions of Cub Scouts who have been building and racing Pinewood Derby® cars since 1953. Partnered with a parent or adult mentor, Cub Scouts work together, strengthening bonds and building confidence – and their own custom race cars! They begin by choosing a car design, then carve it out and detail it with paint, decals and other accessories, and perfect strategies to compete in their pack's own Pinewood Derby. It's s a wonderful learning experience centered on teamwork, ingenuity and sportsmanship – all for the thrill of the race and a lifetime of great memories to share with fellow racers young and old.


How did it all start?

The first Pinewood Derby® was run in Southern California in 1953 by Cub Scout Pack 280C at the Manhattan Beach Scout House, where Cubmaster Don Murphy introduced the idea to his pack. The derby was publicized in Boys' Life magazine in October 1954 and was an instant hit. The rules set out for the very first race still stand today: “The derby is run in heats – two to four cars starting by gravity from a standstill on a track and run down a ramp to a finish line unaided. The track is an inclined ramp with wood strips down the center to guide the cars.”

Summing it up nicely, the Pinewood Derby's® creator Cubmaster Donald Murphy said, “I wanted to devise a wholesome constructive activity that would foster a closer father-son relationship and promote craftsmanship and good sportsmanship through competition.” Today the Pinewood Derby®  stays close to its roots, giving Cub Scouts an excellent way to learn about craftsmanship, sportsmanship and respect for others through friendly competition.


Click here to visit the official Pinewood Derby website

File Name Description
Pinewood Derby Rules Download