- The regulation pine block for the Pinewood Derby measures 2 3/4 inches wide by 7 inches long. The finished size of a car must be not more than 5 1/2 inches tall, 2 3/4 inches wide and 7 inches long. Within these limitations, you can carve, cut and build up your car to resemble just about anything. An antique car is a challenging design because of its complexity and small features such as independent headlights.
- Many people build humorous models that don't even look like cars. Calvin and Hobbes in a wagon, rolling bathtubs and even a car that looked like a racetrack with Pinewood Derby cars on it have been entered at Pinewood Derbies. While joke cars probably don't do so well on the racetrack, they are always a favorite in the judging for originality and appearance.
- Race cars are, of course, a favorite theme. By taking the measurements of race cars from photographs, you can build your car to the proper dimensions and then paint it with the color scheme and number of your favorite race car driver.
- Believe it or not, Pinewood Derby cars can be made to look like people. Among the best choices for a car like this are famous people who will be recognized instantly. Abraham Lincoln, Mae West and Albert Einstein are good examples. The image of the celebrity can be created either by carving it directly out of the block of wood, or by adding elements to it, such as Lincoln's hat or Einstein's distinctive hair and mustache.
- Some Scouts make cars that are rolling dioramas or are based on themes. Examples include cutting the car body to look like two small icebergs with penguins on them; a pair of hands holding dumbbells that are made of the wheels of the car; a s'mores car that looks like graham crackers with chocolate and marshmallow between them; and a car made to look like a pair of chopsticks holding sushi.