Car Design Rules

Wooden Car Body

  • The body must be the official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit provided by the Pack (see UPC code on the box – all cars in the race must be created from this kit or one you have purchased with this identical UPC code).
  • In no case will non-BSA car-kits be allowed in the official races. Bodies of other materials or from non-BSA commercial kits will be disqualified. If you have concerns about the validity of your kit purchase, we strongly suggest you keep the box and receipt of your kit so judges can review it.
  • There is no designated front or back to the supplied body, either end may be the front (although axel locations may not be modified see rules).
  • No modification to the front of the car to give an unfair advantage on the start will be allowed as determined at the discretion of race officials (see exceptions for Friday night exhibition races). The starting gate is a vertical dowel rod in the center of the track.
  • The front middle of the car must be the furthest point forward.
  • The front middle of the car must have at least a ¼” flat surface to work with the starting gate. No sharp “V”.
  • The body may be shaped, hollowed out, or built up from the original block, as long as it meets all other specifications.
  • Any additions to the original body, i.e. steering wheels, drivers, decals, paint, weights, body skirts, fenders, etc., MUST be firmly attached.
  • The original BSA supplied wood block is required.
  • Cars designs that interfere with other cars on the track or may damage the track even though it may meet specifications will be disqualified.
  • LENGTH: Overall length may not exceed 7 inches. An official BSA gauge or other measuring device will be used to ensure width within these guidelines.
  • WIDTH: The car width at the wheels may NOT be modified. Width must not exceed 2¾ inches. An official BSA gauge or other measuring device will be used to ensure width within these guidelines.
  • HEIGHT: No more than 5 3/4 inches.
  • Wheelbase (the pre-cut grooves for the axel-nails) may NOT be modified nor may they be relocated. The axle-nails must be placed in the slots provided on the cars as shipped from the factory. An official BSA gauge or other measuring device will be used to ensure width within these guidelines.

Wheels and Axles

  • Wheels and axle-nails used in the construction of your car must be furnished from the official kit OR colored wheels manufactured for the Boy Scouts of America (available from the Scout Store).
  • Official BSA wheels of the kit or of all colors purchased separately from the Boy Scouts of America have the words Boy Scouts of America embossed in the plastic of the wheel.
  • Cars using third party non-BSA wheels will be disqualified.
  • NO washers, bushings, bearings or springs are allowed – only the plastic wheel and the axle-nail to attach the wheel are allowed.
  • No solid axles are allowed, only the axle nails supplied with the kit.
  • Wheels may be sanded to remove the flashing only. NO reductions in width or diameter, or changes in shape are allowed. The sanding of the wheel “tread-area” is the ONLY wheel modification allowed.
  • Wheels can be painted, but they must be official BSA wheels – do not remove the raised letters of the wheel which indicates they are official BSA wheels or the car will be disqualified.
  • All four (4) wheels supplied with the kit must be used in the construction of the car.
  • Each of the four (4) wheels must be located at the intersection of side of the pinewood block and the pre-cut axle groove at their intended location.
  • The axle nail may only be used to attach the wheel to the pinewood block.
  • No more than 4 (four) official BSA wheels may extend beyond the bottom surface area of the car.
  • No other non-static, movable components may extend or be attached or extend beyond the bottom plane of the pinewood block (static items that may extend below the bottom plane of the vehicle for example may include weights or other decorations).
  • Static items that touch the track do so at the owner’s peril.
  • Non-static items such as washers or other mechanical items meant to supplement or replace any of the four (4) wheels will not be allowed.
  • There is no rule that requires all four (4) wheels actually touch the track, as in some cases, poor construction or strategy may allow only three wheels to touch – however, all four (4) wheels must be present in the “natural” location


  • The weight of the race-ready car must NOT exceed five (5.0) ounces as measured on the official scale(s) supplied by Pack 40. Note: other home scales may vary a bit from Pack 40’s official scale.
  • Pack 40 will supply scientific reference / calibration weights to check the accuracy of the Pack 40 scale(s) if there is a question.
  • Scales are calibrated as needed.
  • Car owners may adjust their weights during the check in event as needed before turning over the car to the race officials.


  • Cars must be free-wheel with no stored energy, movable weights or other propulsion devices.


  • Dry powdered lubricants, such as graphite may be used.
  • Oils or silicone sprays may damage track and are prohibited and will cause disqualification.
  • NO graphite additions will be allowed after the car has been checked-in