The Greater Pittsburgh Soapbox Derby is looking for drivers to participate in the 2003
Question: How do I get started?
First, we'd like to state that we all were beginners at one point, so don't hesitate to
ask questions. You'll find that all derby people will gladly answer your questions to the best of their knowledge.
It's like a big family.
OK, let's get started:
You'll need to choose which division you'll be racing in:
Good beginner division. Lean-forward car is smaller and weight limit
(car+driver) is 200lbs. Very strict on car construction rules. Comes in a kit.
Also a good beginner division. Lean-forward car is larger to accommodate
a larger driver and weight limit (car+driver) is 230lbs. Very strict on car construction rules. Comes in a kit.
Masters "Scottie" Division
For experienced drivers. Lay-back car is somewhat customizable.
Weight limit (car+driver) is 250lbs. Customization is encouraged with more strict regulations than the Stick car.
Comes in a kit, requires some body work. Word "Scottie" refers to the car's name, "Scottie Special", named after Myron Scott, founder of the Soap Box Derby.
Masters "Stick" Division
For experienced drivers. Completely custom car can be lean-forward
or lay-back. Weight limit (car+driver) is 250lbs. Customization encouraged with regulations for length, width,
girth and safety considerations. Axles and wheels must come from Akron. Word "Stick" refers to making molding the car
body from scratch out of wooden sticks, rather than having the body already formed as in the Scottie car kit.
Once you've decided which division is best for you to race in, purchase your car kit or
get started with plans on your Masters Stick car. Obtain the car and Z-Glass wheels. Most people get theirs from the
All-American Soap Box Derby, in Akron, Ohio (otherwise known as the AASBD, or just "Akron"). You can also purchase a car kit from someone who has one, keeping in mind that only axles that are
7 years old or less are eligible to race in the Soap Box Derby. Axles are clearly stamped with the AASBD logo and year
they were created.
Now get started on construction. The Stock and SuperStock division car kits can
be built within 2-3 days, then you'll "tweak" the car as you get experience in the derby. Scottie Special cars and Stick
cars take longer to construct. Don't forget to add weight to the car you're driving so you'll be at the division's weight
limit! Many derby folks have enough weights to get their car up to the maximum allowable weight, and then some small
weight to account for weight fluxuations with the driver (depending on how many hot dogs he/she ate at the concession stand
during yesterday's race). :)
The first time you race, you'll need to bring in a copy of the racer's birth certificate
as proof of age.
On race day show up at about 8 am ready to go, you'll get weighed in, you'll take your
trial run down the hill, then you'll get scheduled to race against a competitor. Then the REAL fun begins.
Question: What are the costs associated with Soap Box Derby?
There are some costs associated with racing in this sport, and some or all of them can
be paid for by a sponsor.
First, there's the cost of obtaining a car and obtaining a sponsor
Then there are race fees (registration) $25
Question: How old do I need to be to race?
All-American Soap Box Derby:
For the Stock and SuperStock divisions, 9-16. You need to be 9 by the time the AASBD
World Championship race is held.
For Masters division, 11-16. You need to be 11 by the time the AASBD World Championship
race is held.
Question: Are there national events?
All-American Local Soap Box Derby Race
This is a one-day, winner-take-all race, with the first place finisher in each division
going back to Akron for the World Championship race. This Championship is held
at the end of July.
Question: How can I become a sponsor of the Derby?
The best way is to get in touch with one of the Board Members of the Greater Pittsburgh Soap Box Derby Association, and tell them that you or your business will sponsor a driver.
Sponsors can pay for cars that some racers could not otherwise afford. There
are many ways to help!
Question: How do I contact the Greater Pittsburgh Soapbox Derby?
Call either Chuck Freyer @ 412-461-7832, or John Wagner @ 412-462-1957. Visit our website
@ http://communitylink.Pittsburgh.com/groups/pghsoapboxderby. Or you can attend one of the Derby meetings held the 2nd Thursday
of each month at the Elk Lodge #11 located on Buttermilk Hollow Rd in West Mifflin, (next to Playmor Bowl)