Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars

I’ve never seen a live race of soap box derby cars before. I don’t really think that I’ve seen them that often in person either.

Today my boys got a unique opportunity to see what it was like to ride in one.The Cincinnati Soapbox Derby had a “free drive” day. Kids age 7 to 17 could test drive the cars for free. This was the perfect opportunity to see why kids love derby cars.

There was a display that showed how simple the inside of the design of the car was with a steering wheel and a brake.

Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars

Soap Box cars are no longer built from scratch as they were in the 1970s and prior years. All cars come as part of a kit, which include the parts needed to assemble a racer. Car kits are purchased from the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio. Kit prices range from ~$600 to ~$750 including wheels, tax and shipping.

A Local race is the traditional Soap Box Derby event and is held only once per year in each Derby city. Unlike rallies, a Local race is only one race, taking place on one day. Entrants are limited by geographical area. A driver must only compete in the Local that is closest to his home residence. The winner of the Local race moves on to Akron to represent their city in the All-American Soap box Derby, which takes place, typically, on the third Saturday in July. Cost to enter the Cincinnati Local is $50 per driver. – From Cincinnati Soap Box Derby Website

Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars

We filled out waivers and then the kids got to test the cars on a small hill to make sure they knew how to steer and use the brakes.

Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars

I’m sure he wasn’t crazy about the pink car but he did enjoy the ride.

Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars

Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars
Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars

The boys did well on their brake test and were ready for the bigger hill.

The first time down the big hill they used their brakes a little sooner than needed.

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They quickly stretched the limits the next few rounds.

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My kids had a blast trying out the cars today. You can learn more about Cincinnati Soap Box Derby from their website.

Have you or your kids watched or ridden in a soap box derby car? I would love to hear about it.

2 thoughts on “Testing out Soap Box Derby Cars”

  1. Hi
    I lived and breathed soap box derby from 1968 to 1972 in flint Michigan. September was not just the start of the school year, it was when I started planning my car and measuring myself to make the car fit me. You didn’t get in a soap box derby, you put it on. Even though I never won my city race, they are some of my most treasured memories. In fact, the car I made my last year is hanging in my garage today. I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

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