The Soap Box is a youth soapbox car racing program which has been run in the United States since 1934. World Championship finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. Cars competing in this and related events are unpowered. They rely completely on gravity for propulsion.
“The idea of the Soap Box Derby grew out of a photographic assignment of Dayton, Ohio, newsman Myron Scott. He came across a group of boys racing their homemade cars in the summer of 1933, and was so impressed with the event that he acquired a copyright to Soap Box Derby and went in search of a corporate sponsor to establish a national program.” (SoapboxDerby.org)
An accident that occurred in 1935 captured the public’s interest and boosted the event’s profile. A car went off the track and struck NBC’s top commentator and sportscaster Graham McNamee while he was broadcasting live on the air. Despite a concussion and other injuries (which resulted in a two-week hospital stay), McNamee described the collision to his listeners and finished his broadcast.
The All-American Soap Box Derby (1935)
Soapbox Derby In USA (1937)
Soap Box Derby (1950)
Soapbox Derby heyday
During the All American Soapbox Derby’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, when Chevrolet was a sponsor and famous TV and movie stars made guest appearances, as many as 70,000 people gathered in August to eat snow cones and cheer hundreds of youthful racer/builders (boys only in early years) ages 11–15 who were the champions of local races around the nation and from several foreign countries.
“From its inception through 1970, the Soap Box Derby was open to boys only. Girls began racing in 1971.”
See more about the history of the Soapbox derby: Soapbox derby.org
Winning Ingredients for Soap Box Derby Kit Cars
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