Father, son bond over love of race cars
The News-Times/Wendy Carlson
Tim Emmons shares a passion for racing with his son, Justin.
NEW MILFORD — Tim Emmons knows his way around a race track. He has built five race cars and has a bright red, 2005 Chevy Monte Carlo he built from the chassis up.
Yet Emmons' real pride and joy is the little block of wood he carved when he was helping his 7-year-old son, Justin, for the Cub Scout's annual Pinewood Derby.
A "pencil'' car won Emmons first prize in the Parent Derby, the precursor to last month's Pinewood Derby.
And his son, a Northville Elementary second-grader in Pack 467, won a trophy for the "Most Ingenius'' for his purple, yellow and green Lego car.
For the second year in a row, this father and son team spent a weekend taking their tiny blocks of pinewood — 5 ounces to be exact — and transforming them into miniature cars suitable for an indoor, 36-inch, four-lane looped track that attracted a sizable audience of family and friends for the "big race'' held at Sarah Noble Intermediate on Jan. 21.
Justin's car was narrow in the front, with an open drivers-seat, and flat on the back, and he decorated it with assorted Lego stickers and figures because he is a Lego aficionado.
"I knew that's what I wanted to do because I like building Legos, and so I wanted to make a Lego car,'' Justin said.
As for his father, Emmons built a car that was quite unique, even though it was sort of a last-minute idea. The bottom half is a thin, flat piece painted white with a yellow lead pencil and eraser as its top. He named it "Pencil Neck.''
"You can do anything you want,'' said Emmons, 39, Cub Scout den leader.
Unlike his son who was clear about what he wanted to build, Emmons' design sort of evolved as he thought about what he could do that would be fitting and educational. The "pencil'' fit the bill.
"I'm one of those guys who waits till the last minute to do it,'' said Emmons, who works full time for San-P Homes.
A year ago, Justin came home and asked his father about building a car, and they both built standard looking race cars; Justin's was a black "Snake,'' and his father's was red with racing stripes. They placed in the middle of the pack.
This year, however, they were more imaginative.
"I said I hope this car goes faster than the other ones,'' Justin said. "I wanted to make it to the finals.''
For the derby race, there are numerous prizes awarded for everything from slowest car to the funniest. Justin said he remembers how excited he was when he heard his name called.
"I heard the name, Justin, but at first I wondered if it was someone else,'' Justin said. "But then I knew it had to be me.''
When he realized he had won a trophy, he said he felt a strong sense of accomplishment.
"I felt proud of it,'' Justin said.
For his dad's race, Justin was equally proud.
"I cheered,'' he said.
For Emmons, the whole experience is about building strong family relationships and bolstering boys' confidence in their own creativity and abilities.
"It's what they look forward to,'' Emmons said.
Cub Scouts will sponsor a business derby in May. Businesses can create their own car for $50. All the proceeds will go to the Scouts. The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 7 at Sarah Noble Intermediate.
For more information about the Business Derby, contact Emmons at 350-9395.