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Club Background

Greater Pittsburgh Soapbox Derby




Greater Pittsburgh 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, Ohio.

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 scale.



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


Stock 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.

Super Stock Car (Ages 9 thru 21)* - A larger kit, similar to the Stock Car, but designed for older, larger drivers.

Masters 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 Championship race.

* 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 available.

Double Elimination - 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.

Timer Differential - 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 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 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 begun.


For more information, or to be placed on our mailing list, please contact us at:


History of Our Club

The Greater Pittsburgh Soapbox Derby has been running down Eden Park Blvd in McKeesport Pa. for over 25yrs

Our Club Officers
President - John Wagner
Derby Director - Bryan Brain 

Drivers Wanted
Ages 7-21


Local Race Director Brian Brain