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History Vintage Soap Box Cars

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. hfracing53
    Joined: Dec 16, 2009
    Posts: 74


    My Soap Box Derby or old down hill racer . The outer body and the floor were in bad shape , but good enough for patterns , to make new panels . New wheels , tires and paint . Now I got a cool piece of garage art .

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  2. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,391


    !956/8, was 8/10. I did not have a real soap box car, a neighbor had one, gave me the idea, I lived at the bottom of a large steep hill in the city, myself with neighborhood Buddy's built our own box/race cars out of what we could scrounge up from local scrapyard, My Dad's Garage had the tools , some materials etc. Usually main frame was a couple of 2x4's with a 2x4 across front with a nail for pivot, steered with feet push and rope pull, front wheels were the shoe roller skates that came apart, rear same, or all wheels from a coaster wagon. Nobody's skates or wagon was safe. We always built 2 so we could race each other, Scraped off a fair amount of skin, spinning each other out, crashing, Ton of FUN! Mom put the end to our fun when one Buddy got a broken arm from a crash. Another great memory awakened by the HAMB, Thank You. John
  3. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,559


    Here are a couple of cars that my son raced back in 1981 & 1982. The black one is his Junior car and really ran quick. The white one is his Senior lay-back that he ran in 1982. It is currently in the Caruso Racing Museum in Las Vegas on permanent display. We had a great time building the cars. My son now owns his own High End cabinet shop.

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  4. bobadame
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 174


    I still have the wheels from the soap box car I built in 1962. Not sure why I still have them. Anyway, I've been collecting parts and pieces to build a lakester to run at Bonneville. If it ever actually gets finished I figured I'd call it Soap Box 2. My first and last race cars.
  5. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,286


    wow Im glad this resurfaced !!!

    my daughter and I raced from 2007 to 2011
    2010 she was the michigan champion at the All American World Championships
    and was the National Derby Rally series national points champion also in 2010
    she and I traveled all over the country to earn the points saginaw mi
    des moines & sioux city iowa kansas city cleveland and akron ohio & winston-salem NC

    the time spent with my daughter was priceless
    I recently gave all her cars & equipment to a younger cousin so he could compete this year

    Jim the derby dad my daughters ndr number was 276
  6. '65 nova
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 36

    '65 nova
    from New Jersey

    IMG_3658.JPG New Brunswick, New Jersey on the Johnson & Johnson Headquarters. Annual event & great time had by all especially our "special needs" children who were thrilled.
  7. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,600

    from Buffalo NY

    i found this photo online, it is from the late 30's in Lackawanna NY my hometown... it s right around the corner from where my Grandparents lived....

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  8. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,479


    [​IMG]There is a soap box derby here every summer on Waverly park hill. They get up to 40 mph. This is vintage 1958
  9. Erics53
    Joined: Apr 21, 2013
    Posts: 57

    from Ohio

    Does anyone know a serious collector of this kind of stuff? I have a rare piece that I would like to go to a good home.
  10. This photo is so cool. HRP

    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  11. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,686

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.

    [​IMG] This was in the Camera for about 2 or so years before getting devaluped,but its me driving early 50's with "try power" pushers my Siss,Patty Duffer n Peter Shaffer in out little racles speciel
  12. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,022

    from Hawaii

    Wow, what memories this brings back! I won the first Guam Soap Box Derby in 1970 and got to participate in a three week tour that included Detroit, Akron, for the races (Camp Y Noah was fun!), New York City and Washington D.C. as one of seven "foreign" champions. I still have my scrapbook, helmet and various trophies. What a fun time this was! I think one of the highlights of the Detroit visit was touring the Chevrolet Design Lab and getting to sit in some of the Corvette prototypes that were stored in the basement garage. We were even treated to a picnic at the home of then GM president Ed Cole at his home in Grosse Point. His wife Dolly and son Joe were really nice people. Little did I know at the time that I was at the home of the father of the small block Chevy. Great memories!
    In the photo below, check out the new '70 Chevelle. my Soap Box Derby carJuly 1970.jpg 0 Ch
    Ron Funkhouser and dana barlow like this.
  13. Maybe ot but id love to try this.

    Ron Funkhouser, OahuEli and 50Fraud like this.
  14. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,022

    from Hawaii

    Oh HELL yes! That looks like buckets of fun!
  15. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,936

    from indy

    I've got my dads from the 1940's. The steering wheel is a cast iron shut off wheel from one of the oil tanks at my grandpas oil company.
    It's hanging in my garage. It's REALLY heavy
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  16. This picture was given to me by my late Father...My Great Grand Father (third one in from the left) was
    a machinist at the Chevrolet Dealer in his town back in Ohio... enjoy soapbox.jpg
  17. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,936

    from indy

  18. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


    Three friends formed a club for retired Soap Box Derby cars in 1952. We were pretty proud of it, so I wrote this letter to the original Hop Up magazine (I'm the guy on the far right):

  19. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,406

    Marty Strode

    My old friend Jack Gillis in 1940, wearing a regulation helmet, and Chevrolet sponsor T- Shirt. Gillis 2.jpg
  20. Tommy Gun Dean
    Joined: Dec 19, 2016
    Posts: 1

    Tommy Gun Dean

    upload_2016-12-19_21-26-49.jpeg upload_2016-12-19_21-29-36.jpeg upload_2016-12-19_21-30-44.jpeg upload_2016-12-19_22-25-12.jpeg

    This past summer, I spent three weeks building a vintage soap box derby racer that was designed from a car that twelve year old, Bob Gravett built for the inaugural 1933 Dayton, Ohio race. His original work emulated the winning car of the 1932 Indianapolis 500, and would serve as the logo image for the All-American Soap Box Derby for the next thirty years. Gravett constructed his car from wood and sheet metal, then painted it black with the number “7” adorned on each side.
    I had previously built and raced a couple of soap box derby cars in the 1960s, when the cars were hand crafted without the aid of prefabricated floorboards, bodies, steering, and braking components. I wanted to experience the thrill of building a car based upon Gravett’s design that would accommodate an adult. The original intent of the soap box derby served to enhance the creativity of youthful craftsmen. The various cheating scandals and professionalism robbed the derby of its innocence and original intent. My summer project was a through back to a simpler era; try to use what could be found lying around the garage to construct a car, and just have fun.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
    unclescooby and Ron Funkhouser like this.

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