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Slightly OT but anybody else here run in the Soap Box Derby?

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The only benefit to cleaning my mom's attic is that I found some more pictures.    So,  I won in 1977,  my next brother down raced in 1978 in Senior and then my little brother ran Junior in 1980 and won also.   For some reason all the pictures of me are crystal clear from 1977,  but after that it looks like we were using a camera from the late 19th century.


Here is my brother's Senior car from 1978 or 79.  He would have been 12 or 13.  Notice it looks a lot better than mine.  My dad got very interested after I won.



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These are shots from 1980.   During Derby week they would hold an open house on Friday I think.  The cars would all be lined up for display.   The Senior cars are in front here and the Junior cars are in back. You get an idea of the differences and level of sophistication.




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2 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Great thread.  We never experienced this as a kid where I was from, even though we had nothing but hills and mountains. 

I thought i would contribute this. I thinks it's an NOS Billboard circa 1971? 


looking at the cars I might say late 50s to early 60s.

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On 11/20/2020 at 11:50 AM, trimacar said:

It was not just the build and the day of the race, there was also an inspection day to make sure no rules were broken (and there are a lot of rules).  There are ways to make a car go faster down a hill, I never learned them, obviously.  The people that know the legal tricks and how to implement them do well.  The forbidden tricks are a little more risky, minor things they’d let you fix on inspection day, a blatant cheating attempt and it was zero tolerance.


Once a car was approved, the parent and driver didn’t see it again until race day, so no tricks after inspection.


Just an example, you can shim your axles so that the driver can shift weight, and only three wheels touch the ground, thus less rolling resistance. Not allowed by the way.


the most famous cheating trick was the winner of a 1970’s Derby.  There was a metal gate which held the cars and then flipped forward to start race.  Officials noticed the winner’s car seemed to jump forward when gate went down.  Turns out there was an electromagnet hidden in the nose of the car...

I thought this video was really interesting, it's all about the electromagnet car but also talks about the history of the derby and what the experience was like for the kids who ran in it. Worth a watch if you're interested in the derby.



Edited by AL1630 (see edit history)
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