Pinewood Derby Car Design. Which is faster? Canopy or Weight Pocket?

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Which is faster? Canopy or Weight Pocket?

All pinewood derby cars are not made equal.  I recently had a customer ask Which is faster? Canopy or Weight Pocket? A pinewood derby car made with a tungsten canopy or a wedge style car with weight pockets underneath? I really had to take a look at this to get an idea of what was going on.

Which is faster? Canopy or Weight Pocket?

Here is  a superimposed picture of the two placed on the same BSA Slot body.  As you can see, there is more rear volume in the weight pocket style car.  A proper placed tungsten canopy, there is very little weight to the rear of the car.  To get a proper COG, the tungsten canopy has to be moved just slightly forward of the rear axle.

This CAD drawing is if my new Car Design – Full Tilt .  I can place 2oz of weight behind the rear axle to give the maximum potential energy possible.  With a sliding 1.8 oz weight in front of the rear axle, you can adjust the center of mass to virtually 1/2-1″ based on how aggressive you want to make the car.   The closer the balancing point (COG / COM ) to the rear, the car will push longer down the ramp thus giving you faster car.

Tungsten Canopy, although density is greater than lead, the COG is fixed, not adjustable.   This limits your ability to customize its placement.  Although ideal for most racers, if you have a super competitive pack I would highly suggest either a weight pocket style car or a lead glue-on canopy simply because math will be in your favor.

Derby Dust Custom Lead Canopies

 Which is faster? Canopy or Weight Pocket?


With that said there are super fast canopy cars out there.  For example, if you use a glue on lead canopy that we offer, you can move the weight around to get you that extra advantage.  Very reason why we made this canopy.  Our lead canopy you can customize in weight, design, and with a flat glue on bottom, you can place it anywhere on a car and adjust your COG.  You can even turn it sideways to add all the weight in a very concentrated location.

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