Rules and Specifications



The guiding philosophy behind Orange Crate Derby is that it is fun for kids. Our motto is “Family, Fun, Fair.” The cars are designed to be as simple but safe as possible, and can be built by adults and kids with commonly available tools and parts. It is not an exercise for adults to compete against each other using Aerospace Engineering skills or manufacturing techniques to win at all costs.

These are the specifications by which all new cars will be inspected for 2016 and beyond. Cars built before this may be ”grandfathered” in by the Technical Committee. An older car may be required to update parts to make it safe and current.

  • Use the photos, captions, examples and specifications in the Build-A-Car section to build your car and let the kids help. They love to name the cars, paint them and drive them.
  • New builders must attend at least one “Build-A-Car “ clinic. Bring your unfinished car and ask questions! The dates are shown on the website under Events.
  • The frame of the car can be no longer than six feet. A 2×4 bumper may be added to the front.
  • No part, including the wheels, can extend beyond the frame.
  • The most important aspect of design is the Orange Crate. Build it to the specifications shown. No exceptions.
  • Use the fully threaded axle rods available at Home Depot or Lowes.
  • Do NOT add fins, spoilers, exhaust pipes, windscreen, steer horns, rear view mirrors, fuzzy dice, etc.
  • Steering wheels are to be made of wood.
  • No metal (except those required, like hinges, cables, pulleys, etc) to be in front of the driver.
  • ALL cars will have safety sides to protect driver.
  • The axles will be under the frame. Use the examples shown to guide the construction of your car.
  • No added weights.
  • The brake housing must be open and visible
  • Read race day instructions

NEW  Safety Cockpit

Check out this car. The backboards and side boards form a “protective safety cockpit” for the drivers. See if there’s a way to incorporate this into the older existing cars. I am putting them on the new cars I make and we’d like sides on all cars for 2015.


Download a copy of the Rules for Racing.

Rules and Regulations

Video of a Families Experience

View how one family participated and had fun building and racing Orange Crate Derby Cars.  

For all 7 & 8 year olds, mandatory for all new cars and community cars the seats will be enclosed with a “Safety Cockpit” and all cars which are already built are encouraged to add cockpit sides for your child’s safety.