You ever have a moving box of miscellaneous stuff that just never gets unpacked? I’ve had one that’s travelled with me to multiple homes. Ever time I look at it I get irritated because I’m kind’uv an anti-packrat. Finally the other day I decided enough was enough, the box was getting unpacked even if it meant throwing away all the contents. Much of it did get tossed. But one item in particular captured my attention: an old Pinewood Derby car.
I wasn’t a Boy Scout for terribly long. A few years, at most. And I don’t know if we just had a lame troop, but I don’t recall ever going camping or learning how to tie cool knots. But I do remember the Pinewood Derby. The Pinewood Derby is a Cub Scout event where a kid is given a block of wood, four plastic wheels, and four nails (this kit is produced by Revell, by the way). Along with his parent, the scout uses these materials to construct a vehicle. You can whittle and paint and add decals. You can put graphite on the axles. You can even add some melted lead to get your car to the exact weight limit. The derby track has around six lanes. It starts high and slopes to the ground so that the cars run solely on gravity. The winners are the ones with the fastest cars. Usually.
Some scout troops also give awards based on originality and creativity. Thank goodness.
I had to laugh when I came across my old Derby car in that perpetually-unpacked box. It reassured me that, despite the pressure to create the fastest car and the general wholesomeness of scouting, pop culture was my first and foremost priority! Turns out I made a camouflage M*A*S*H jeep. I do have a vague recollection about inquiring whether or not two blocks of wood could be used. ‘Cause, ya know, I’m always about pushing boundaries. Apparently I got a green light on that. Now, this sucker did not win any speed contests but I did bring home the gold for most original. And, in my world, that’s the coveted prize. Before you post any ridicule, know I’m well aware of the overall clumsiness of this project!
The timing of coming across my old derby car was coincidental. For Xmas this year my mom got me a vintage M*A*S*H jeep to go along with my collection of 3 3/4″ M*A*S*H figures. The generic driver is a good reuse of parts. Its just a Hawkeye with blonde hair!
I’d love to hear about your Pinewood Derby stories. Please post if you have one!