The Soap Box Derby is a youth soapbox car racing program which has been run in the United States since 1934.
World Championship finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. Cars competing in this and related events are unpowered,
relying completely upon gravity to move
During its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, when Chevrolet was a sponsor and famous TV and movie stars made guest appearances, as many as
70,000 people would gather in August to eat snow cones and cheer hundreds of youthful racer/builders (boys only in early years) ages 11-15
who were the champions of local races around the nation and from several foreign countries. In 1947, actor James Stewart was appearing in the
Broadway play Harvey; in order to attend the event, he cancelled a weekend's worth of performances and refunds were issued to ticketholders.
At its peak, the Derby was one of the top 5 sporting events in terms of attendance.
Today there are broader categories that extend the age range to younger racers and permit adults to assist in construction. This is especially
helpful for younger children who cannot use power tools, as well as to provide an outlet for adults.