In the midst of the Wunderground, an exhibit of rare Porsche cars held underneath the Galpin Porsche dealership in Santa Clarita, groups of Cub Scouts conducted their own car races Saturday — racing miniature wooden cars.
Cub Scout Pack 490 held its annual Pinewood Derby, in which Scouts are given a block of wood to cut, design, add weights, sand and paint their wooden cars. Each car can weigh up to 5 ounces and competes in each lane set up for the race.
Awards are given to the top three race winners, plus an award for best design, kid’s choice and best sportsmanship, according to Den Chief Steve Ladanyi.
“We have about 45 kids in the troop, and about 40 of them are participating,” Ladanyi said. “The derby was a good turnout this year. We have a lot of Scouts, and the Scouts are ranging anywhere from kindergarten up to fifth grade.”
Ladanyi said the Scouts are all creative with their wooden cars and he’s impressed every year by the commitment from Scouts. Ladanyi’s son Sandor was competing this year, and he gave his son complete freedom to make his car but made sure to cut the pieces for his son.
“Other than cutting it with the saw, the rest of it is done by my son, because I don’t I want him to lose his fingers,” Ladanyi jokingly said.
Pack 490 doubled in size since the onset of the pandemic, with many Scouts participating, according to Eden Reagan, Cub master of Pack 490.
Reagan said the increase in membership is related to the easing of COVID-19 regulations. As membership increases, Reagan is excited to work with a group of diverse, fun and excited boys.
“We’ve got boys from all over, and they’re learning that it’s OK to be friends with people that maybe aren’t the same as them or not in the same school,” Reagan said.
Reagan said what’s great about the Scouts and the derby is the camaraderie and not about the best, smartest or fastest, but building character together.
For events like the derby, Reagan taught the Scouts songs to try out at events or camping. Additionally, taco nights are popular with the troop, and after the races, the Scouts would be fed.
“Typically we do tacos, so we have a taco truck coming tonight,” Reagan added.
A concern for Ladanyi and Reagan was finding an indoor venue, and Galpin Porsche allowed the event in the Porsche exhibit underneath the dealership.
The exhibit features vehicles showing the historic racing history of Porsche and the many racing teams that make Porsche synonymous with racing.
Galpin Event Coordinator Mikaela Bordeman was told that a previous venue had to cancel last minute, and the Scout leadership asked her if they could use the venue. Bordeman was excited about the chance to have the event at the museum.
“It’s perfect and what better place for these kids to have their races than around a bunch of cars,” Bordeman said.
Bordeman took precautions to section off the vehicles but said the Scouts were respectful while being near the vehicles.
Sandor Ladanyi was excited to have the Pinewood Derby at the Porsche facilities, and said he had fun setting up the cars and racing with his friends.
“The cars are just super cool, and everything’s so nice about this place, I feel like I shouldn’t be here,” Sandor Ladanyi said.