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Pacifica District Soap Box Derby


Soap Box Derby History

American race was held in Dayton on August 19, 1934, after an idea by Myron Scott, a photographer for the Dayton Daily News. 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 a reality.
An accident in 1935 captured the public's interest, and boosted the event's profile. A car went off the track and struck NBC's top commentator and sportscaster Graham McNamee while he was broadcasting live on the air. Despite a concussion and other injuries (which would necessitate a two-week hospital stay), McNamee described the collision to his listeners and finished his broadcast.


Soap Box Derby Cars Distribution


Form a team of 2 cubs. It works best if both cubs are the same rank.  If two cubs pair up of different rank, they will be entered into the higer rank category for the race.  You can have a team of more than 2, however, it is double elimination so if the first two races are lost not everyone would get a chance to race   

Be prepared with the following when you pick up the car on June 4th (especially if only one family is there representing both boys - make sure you have everything you need from the other family): 

    • You must have a team name picked out
    • Know who the drivers are going to be and their rank(s)
    • Have 2 adults who will be acting as "pit crew" on the day of the race. 
    • Determine how much money you will owe and bring it with you (for both boys who are registering)!!! 


Soap Box Derby Race Rules
and Team Requirements:

  • For insurance reasons, drivers must be registered Scouts: Wolf to Webelos (No graduated Webelos)
  • Tour permits must be filed for each participating unit
  • Racing will be grouped by Den rank as follows: Wolf, Bear, 1st year Webelos, 2nd year Webelos
    (scouts race at their new rank as held after spring graduations)
  • Teams with drivers of mixed scout ranks must race in highest ranked scout group
  • Each team must have a minimum of two registered drivers (no maximum number of drivers)
  • Each team must have a minimum of two adult crew members (one at the start line, one at the finish line)
  • Seatbelt and helmet (bike, motorcycle or football helmets OK) required for each driver
  • Drivers must be familiar with & able to operate all car controls (practice in steering & braking is highly
  • No sharing of cars between race teams
  • No practice racing or trial runs on race day
  • Gravity race only (no pushing off, no power/drive/assist devices allowed)
  • Lane Racing: Disqualification for touching the centerline or interfering with the other car
  • Double Elimination Tournament: Race teams must lose twice to be eliminated from the event, time
  • Keep all drivers close to your car - race teams not ready to race after the third start call may be required
    to forfeit that race at the discretion of the race officials
  • Decisions of the race officials and judges are final
  • Your team must return your car to the Starting Pit

Car Specifications and Requirements:  

Soap Box Derby Car Specifications
and Requirements:

  • Maximum Overall Length 78 inches (new!)
  • Maximum Wheel Base 63 inches (new!)
  • Minimum Wheel Track Width 30 inches
  • Maximum Overall Width 36 inches
  • Each car must have a seat and braced backrest allowing driver to sit upright with feet forward (no headfirst driving position)
  • A safety belt must securely restrain driver, and must be securely attached to car frame
  • The car frame must be constructed from quality 2 x 6 wood and the axle supports from quality 2 x 4 wood (or equivalent material and design to provide strength and safety for the drivers)
  • Axles must be fastened securely to axle support - axles must be fixed and must not turn or rotate
  • Steering shall be done with the feet and/or with the hands holding a rope or mechanical steering device attached securely to the front axle support
  • Two 2 x 4 steering limiters (or equivalent) must be installed on the front axle support - the limiters must be fastened 1/8" maximum from the frame to safely limit turning radius (straight line racing requires only a minor steering correction)
  • An effective brake must be installed on the car, and must be easily operated while steering the car – brakes that drag on the road surface shall be faced with rubber (old tire tread works great)
  • Maximum wheel diameter is 12"
  • All wheels must have solid rubber tires
  • Wheels shall have plain sleeves or bushings only - No ball, roller, needle, etc. wheel bearings will be allowed - race teams will be required to remove wheels for inspection of bushings on race day (bring appropriate tools)


Race officials reserves the right to disqualify any car based upon safety and/or design. Please be Trustworthy Scouters with the construction of your race cars!



Soap Box 1

Soap Box 2

Soap Box 3

Soap Box 5

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