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Your pick of the coolest Pinewood Derby car at Outdoor Retailer

Update Friday, Aug. 8: And the winner is … the Airhead Tricked Out Car, with 30 percent of the vote! Congrats on your People’s Choice award. We received 2,686 total votes.

Airhead Tricked-Out Car

Airhead Tricked-Out Car

The original post follows, but voting has now closed.


What happens when you give top outdoor gear manufacturers a Pinewood Derby car kit and tell them to design a car that represents their creative and competitive spirits? Pinewood Derby OR We found out this evening at a special Pinewood Derby hosted by the Boy Scouts of America’s Scouting Works team.

Outdoor Retailer is a biannual event in Salt Lake City, Utah, meant to highlight the industry’s best outdoor gear brands. And with 2.7 million members, the BSA helps connect these manufacturers with America’s youth in the outdoors.

But, then again, Scouting’s unofficial purpose is also to bring out the kid in each of us … particularly with tonight’s showdown between 25 custom-designed cars on the track.

The event raised $2,500 for Choose Outdoors, a nonprofit that helps get more youth outdoors in public lands across the U.S. And we’re leaving it up to readers to view photos of each car and vote for their favorite design in the People’s Choice category.

Voting will close at midnight Thursday, Aug. 7; the People’s Choice design winner will be announced here Friday. Click through to view a slideshow of images featuring the 25 Pinewood cars, and vote for your favorite. (You can also find more details on the competition at the link below.)

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Tonight’s derby featured two categories of racing: the “classic” division (featuring the same rules used at your son’s Pinewood — cars cannot weigh more than 5 oz.) and the “anything goes” category (so long as it fit on the track, it was OK to race).

Within each category, the fastest cars won a $10,000 media package to the BSA’s magazines (Scouting, Boys’ Life and Eagles’ Call). Other prizes included a Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel kit for second place, and third place was awarded a BSA Stag-Horn Handle knife.

The fastest cars in the “classic” division? Granite Gear took first, with Sterling Rope in second and Recreation Law in third.

As for the “anything goes” division: C4 Waterman took first, McNett in second and Zuke’s in third.

The following cars took home a wooden car stand with a plaque denoting other winning titles, including: Ugliest Car, Pale Morning Media; Best Accessories, Benchmade Knife Company; Best Outdoor Theme, Wenonah Canoe; Best Representation of Company, Liberty Mountain; Best Use of Sustainable Materials, Bison Designs – Gone Fishing; Most Likely to Fall Apart If It Was a Real Car, Outdoor Research.


(If you want to go behind the scenes at Outdoor Retailer, follow @gretchenBSA on Twitter. Plus, check out my daily list of five awesome gear discoveries from the show at blog.scoutingmagazine.org.)

6 Comments on Your pick of the coolest Pinewood Derby car at Outdoor Retailer

  1. Not voting. But if I have a moment, I’ll forward the link to some cubs to see what they think.

  2. Vote for Airhead Tricked-Out Car!!!

  3. Suzanna Ranson // August 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm // Reply

    My Cub Scout told me which one to vote for — three guesses and the first two don’t count for a kid who LOVES Star Wars.

    • Yup, that’s pandering to the expected audience, big time. Of course, so is Benchmade’s sharp pointy thing, but they are at least in-theme, and a beautiful stylistic and technically challenging adaptation.

  4. Wow, I can’t believe Channel IQ is leading the polling at this point (Thurs noon PDT). That’s a very limited interpretation of a fast-wedge design, and not even particularly relevant to outdoor products. The rest of the leaderboard has a set of innovative in-theme car presentations (with some allowance for the StarWars car), and I can see the Pale Morning Media entry getting some joke votes, but really IQ? Someone’s been getting the entire office to vote for their own entry or something.

  5. ScoutingManiac // August 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm // Reply

    Very cool designs! Going to show these to my Cubs to maybe spark some interest in creating more unusual designs for next years Pinewood Derby.

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