Improving Pre-cut Car Bodies


While some designs inherently possess the features that make them faster, it is possible to take a standard design with standard weights and improve it by making some small changes. Because I’ve seen a lot of coupe designs over the past several years, we’ll use that as an example.

By making the two modifications shown below, you will have a coupe design with the weight located in the rear of the car, which will dramatically improve its performance. These same techniques can be used to improve many of the standard designs you see at local Pinewood Derbies. So, if your child has his heart set on a design that isn’t inherently fast, you can use these tips to maximize the design’s potential.

Drill out wood in the center of the body

Drill out wood in the center of the body

Fast cars have as much wood removed from the center of the car as possible. This allows for more weight to be placed in the rear of the car. In this photo, I have used a drill to remove wood from the center of the coupe. All of this weight is now free to be relocated to the rear of the car.

Put the weight in the rear

Put the weight in the rear

Many people add weight to the car by attaching a long bar of metal to the bottom. Instead, drill three holes in the rear and fill them with lead. If you use a 25/64″ drill bit, you will be able to easily slide standard lead wire into the holes.

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