Greater Pittsburgh Soap Box Derby
WHAT IS THE SOAP BOX DERBY
The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program for both girls
and boys ages 7-21 and has run nationally since 1934. World Championship finals are held each August at Derby Downs in Akron,
The idea of the Soap Box Derby grew out of a photographic
assignment of newsman Myron Scott from Dayton, Ohio. He covered a race of boy-built cars is his home community and was so
impressed with the event the he acquired a copyright for the idea and began development of a similar program on a national
THE SOAP BOX
The All-American Soap Box Derby is a national organization that sanction local races and hold a championship race each year in Akron Ohio. There are 3 divisions in the All-American Soap Box Derby
Car (Ages 7 thru 16)*- A simple kit car requiring minimum construction and providing
maximum racing fun! An excellent entry-level car for younger drivers.
Stock Car (Ages 9 thru 21)* - A larger kit, similar to the Stock Car, but designed for older, larger drivers.
Car (Ages 11 thru 21)* - The high-tech, hand-made, innovative class
of Soap Box Derby cars. Individually designed and constructed, these cars require substantial skill and time to complete.
The new "Scottie" kit is available.
All drivers are racing in our annual All-American Local Race
for fun, trophies, and for the winner of each division a week in Akron to represent the Greater Pittsburgh Area in the World
* Ages for All-American drivers are based on
the drivers age on August 1
RACE FORMAT for All-American
local races held by the GPSBD
The race will be
run in a double elimination, lane swap/wheel swap, timer differential format. This is the fairest, most up-to-date format
Racers with one loss continue
to race in the Challengers Bracket until they are eliminated by a second loss.
Lane Swap/ Wheel Swap - Each heat consists of two phases (two trips down the hill). Between phases the cars trade wheels and trade lanes. So,
both cars get to run in each lane and use both sets of wheels, which evens out any difference between the wheels and the lanes.
The time between the arrival
of the two cars at the finish line is measured to the nearest 0.001 second for both phases. The driver with the larger winning
margin in the two phases is the winner of the heat.
THE SOAP BOX DERBYS EARLY YEARS
The first All-American
race was held in Dayton in 1934. The following year, the event was moved to Akron because of its central location and hilly
terrain. In 1936, Akron civic leaders recognized the need for a permanent track site for the youth racing classic and through
the efforts of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Derby Downs became a reality.
Each year since,
with the exception of during World War II, youngsters from throughout the United States and several foreign countries have
gone to Akron with racers they have built and driven to victory in their home communities.
THE GOALS OF THE SOAP BOX DERBY
The goals of the Soap Box Derby program have not changed since it began in 1934. They are to teach youngsters
some of the basic skills of workmanship, the sprit of competition, and the perseverance to continue a project once it has
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