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Pinewood Derby Cars


When we found out I was pregnant, Joe began to anticipate our future children's Pinewood Derbies. He recalled the fun he'd had with his dad, planning and building cars and racing them at Cub Scouts.

To say he was eager is an understatement.

When Grace was one or two, Joe bought a Pinewood Derby car kit. He never made the car, just kept the kit with his tools, ready for someday.

In the fall, Joe and Grace learned that they would be able to participate in our church's annual Pinewood Derby this month.

As it approached, Joe got more and more excited. He planned his car in free minutes after dinner and before bedtime. He talked Grace into planning her own car.

We picked up official Pinewood Derby supplies at the craft store. Grace knew just where we could buy the Barbie head her car needed.

Joe sketched and erased and sketched more.

After a mishap with a jigsaw, Joe had to modify his design, but he persevered. He sanded the snafu away, almost as good as new.

The two of them painted and decoupaged in the afternoons. Coat after coat of paint covered the bare wood, and the cars' personalities began to shine.

One night after everyone was asleep, Joe painted spokes on their wheels, shaved a little from Barbie's shoulders, and installed weighty exhaust pipes.

Their cars were perfect. Each reflected its creator flawlessly.


On Pinewood Derby day, Joe and Grace raced their cars over and over. Allie cheered.

Grace went undefeated, and Joe lost only once – to the little girl who eventually won the whole event.

They're already thinking about next year's cars.

© 2013 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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