All cars will be checked in before the derby begins. Cars will NOT be checked in after the event has started. Alternate arrangements can be made in advance if absolutely necessary.

Cars will be registered and inspected to ensure they’re race legal. We will have tools to make spot repairs/mods to non-compliant cars. Cars will be impounded after check in.

Here are the rules that disqualify most cars:

  • overweight
  • only three wheels touching the ground (all four must touch)
  • ground clearance (it has to move freely on the track!)
  • too long or too tall

After check-in, the scouts don’t handle the cars.  Once we get started, the event is basically on rails. A long time ago, scouts placed their cars on the track, but this ended up with lots of dropped and damaged cars.  Our cadre of expert car-handlers do this important function, and it’s just as exciting.



  1. All cars must be made from current official BSA Pinewood Derby kits (stock wood block, axles and wheels).  Other kit cars, blocks of wood, axles, and wheels will not be allowed.
  2. All cars must be made after September 1st of the current school year by the scouts and family members.  Previous years cars are prohibited.
  3. Cars entered for Show only do not need to comply with the race specifications (length, width, weight, etc. rules).
  4. Cars entered for Show must still be able to perform the basic functions of a derby car – i.e. have a body, wheels and be able to fit on the track rails.
  5. The Show award for “Best Paint Job” will be given to a hand-painted car.  Marker, crayon, etc. also count.  Pre-decorated (store-bought) or cars with wraps / full-body decals are not eligible.
  6. Cars entered in the Speed category can also compete in Show categories.

Race Specifications

  1. Cars dimensions are to be as follows:
    •  Width not to exceed 2-3/4”
    •   Width between wheels must be 1-3/4”
    •   Length not to exceed 7”
    •   Height not to exceed 3”
    •   Ground clearance at least 3/8”
    •   Weight not to exceed 5 oz. as measured by the Pack 234 official scale
    •   Wheelbase must be 4-3/8”
  2. Accessories, such as steering wheel and driver, are permissible as long as these accessories do not assist the car’s performance and do not cause the car to exceed the maximum length, width, height, and weight specifications. 
  3. Cars must be freewheeling with no starting devices.
  4. Wheel bearings, washers and bushings are prohibited, except to the extent they act as weights only.
  5. Cars shall not ride on spring suspensions.
  6. Wheels cannot be altered to change their footprint (shape/profile).  Mold seams may be removed, but wheels may not be narrowed, ridged or otherwise changed.
  7. Axles may be secured with clear glue.
  8. Wheelbase (distance between front and rear axles) may not be modified – although it may be shifted slightly should the pre-cut grooves not be true.
  9. All four wheels must touch the ground/track and roll as the car moves. Cars will be roll-tested to be sure all 4 wheels are in contact.
  10. Axles may be polished to remove burrs.
  11. Dry lubricants (such as graphite) are the only lubricants allowed.  No wet lubricants (such as oil) are allowed.
  12. No hubcaps or wheel coverings may be used to hold in lubricant.
  13. All weights must be securely fastened to the car.
  14. No sliding, moving, movable or liquid-based weights are allowed.
  15. Only race officials will be permitted to fix wheels that fall off during the race.  Repairs will not be allowed for any other damage to the car during the race, including weights that fall off.  The car will have to continue racing without the weights.  If the damage is such that it prevents the car from completing all 4 runs, the car will be disqualified.
  16. In case of close calls or questions, the decision of the derby chair is final.


  1. Medals will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place for Speed in each den
  2. Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place for Speed at the pack level.  The winner of a Pack trophy will not be awarded a den ribbon.
  3. Trophies will be awarded at the pack level in the Show categories for:
    • Most Awesome (chosen by the scouts)
    • Best Workmanship
    • Most Likely Built by a Kid
    • Best Paint Job
    • Most Colorful
    • Most Patriotic
    • Most Futuristic
    • Most Humorous
    • Most Unusual
    • Most Innovative
  4. All cars in the Pack are welcome to represent Pack 234 at the Pacifica District Pinewood Derby.  The pack will pay the entry fee for the cars.  Due to volume, scouts usually need to choose either speed OR show category for the District Derby.