Soap Box Derby

    Each year, Akron is host to the World Championship Finals of Soap Box Derby. Begun in 1936, the Derby is a competition of soapbox or coaster box cars, which depend entirely upon gravity for their motion. No other source of power is allowed in the race. Drivers begin at the top of a hill and achieve speeds of over 30mph before crossing the finish line. Qualifying races are held in cities across the US and the rest of the world before approximately 500 racers survive to the World Championships. Historically the Soap Box Derby was the domain of children, but other age groups have been added due to eagerness of adults to aid the children in construction of the soap box cars and the associated allegations of unfairness. Females have been allowed to participate in the races since the 1970. Since being started in the United States, soap box derby has spread to other countries, most notably Germany.

    The World Championships are usually held at the end of July. See the All American Soap Box Derby web page for more information.