All-American Soap Box Derby


Also found in: Acronyms.

All-American Soap Box Derby

First Saturday in August
The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program that has been run nationally since 1934. The idea came from an Ohio journalist named Myron Scott, who was assigned to cover a race of gravity-propelled cars built by young boys in his hometown of Dayton and was so impressed by the event that he began to develop a similar program on a nationwide scale. In 1935 the race was moved to Akron because of its hilly terrain, and the following year a permanent track was constructed through the efforts of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
The World Championship finals held at Derby Downs in Akron consist of three racing divisions: the Stock Division for girls and boys ages 9-16 competing in simplified cars built from kits; the Kit Car Division for youngsters competing in more advanced models, although still using standardized kits and shells; and the Masters Division for girls and boys ages 11-16 who want to test their creativity and design skills. They can build a car from scratch or purchase and assemble a Masters Kit and shell.
Competitors arrive on the Monday before the race and spend the week working on their cars, participating in trial runs, and relaxing before the big race on Saturday. The home-built cars used in the derby today bear little resemblance to derby cars in the 1930s, many of which were actually built out of soap boxes.
CONTACTS:
All-American Soap Box Derby
1000 George Washington Blvd.
P.O. Box 7225
Akron, OH 44312
330-733-8723; fax: 330-733-1370
www.aasbd.com
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 147
GdUSFest-1984, p. 137
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