About the Soap Box Derby
The Soap Box Derby is a
youth racing program which 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 Dayton,
Ohio, newsman Myron Scott . He covered a race of
boy-built cars in his home community and was so
impressed with this event that he acquired a copyright
for the idea and began development of a similar program
on a national scale.
The first All-American
race was held in Dayton in 1934. The following year, the
race 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
Each year since, with the
exception of during World War II, youngsters from
throughout the United States and several foreign
countries have come to Akron with the racers they have
built and driven to victory in their home communities.
There will be three racing
divisions in most locals and at the All-American
competition. The Stock division is designed to give the
first-time builder a learning experience. Boys and
girls, 8 through 13 compete in simplified cars built
from kits purchased from the All-American. These kits
assist the Derby novice by providing a step-by-step
layout for construction of a basic lean forward style
car. The Super Stock Car division, ages 10 through 17,
gives the competitor an opportunity to expand their
knowledge and build a more advanced model. Both of these
beginner levels make use of kits and shells available
from the All-American. These entry levels of racing are
popular in race communities across the country, as
youngsters are exposed to the Derby program for the
The Masters division
offers boys and girls, 10 through 17, an advanced class
of racer to try their creativity and design skills in.
Masters entrants may purchase a Scottie Masters Kit with
a fiberglass body from the All-American Soap Box Derby.
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 spirit of competition and the
perseverance to continue a project once it has begun.
More Information about the Soap Box Derby