The Art Of Racing (Soap Box) In The Rain

Illustration for article titled The Art Of Racing (Soap Box) In The Rain

NASCAR drivers go running for the garages like pansies the moment they see one spot of precipitation hit their windshields. Ten year old kids racing All American Soap Box Derby run rain or shine.

Illustration for article titled The Art Of Racing (Soap Box) In The Rain

The weather looked like it might hold off as things got started at the South Placer Soap Box Derby in Lincoln, CA. But after a few hours into the racing, the track and all of the competitors were soaked.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Art Of Racing (Soap Box) In The Rain

That didn't deter the drivers one bit. They strapped on their helmets and drag raced, round after elimination round, as the rain showered the event. And most of the soap box cars are convertibles.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Art Of Racing (Soap Box) In The Rain

Dad's worked overtime trying to get that perfect alignment so their kids might have a shot at racing victory. The jury is still out on who cares more about actually winning the race, the kids or the insane Derby Dads.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Art Of Racing (Soap Box) In The Rain

Even with the rough weather the kids had a blast racing against each other (and the elements). Rain on the hoods of these Masters cars gets windswept into the small slit that the drivers see through under their helmets, momentarily blinding them for a second as they speed down the hill. Beat that for tough racin' Jimmie Johnson!

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Art Of Racing (Soap Box) In The Rain

Some of the elaborate paint jobs are unbelievable for a lot of these soap box derby cars. This one here has some sort of wicked flame graphics. However, the color is bit doo-doo brown, in my opinion, making this car appear to be a flaming turd as it goes down the track. I heard one dad tell his kid, "Whatever you do, don't lose to that car… it's a piece of shit."

Advertisement

Careful what you say, that car won the whole deal and was crowned King of the Hill.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

I'm trying to imagine how the current bodywork represents,—in any way, shape, or form—the soapbox it was originally based on.

And this is made extra hard because I have never seen a soapbox before.

You know what would be awesome? Stepping back, looking at how ludicrous and unimaginative these cookie cutter soapbox cars have gotten, and going back to the roots of soapbox derby: building something with your dad that rolls down a hill and has some vague kind of steering and brakes.

Like Flugtag, but without the big drop into a lake at the end.

And wouldn't it be great if dads had to ride down the hill with their kid? But only the kid could control the car? What a rush! (And it would be preparing dad for first driving lessons, which won't be more than a handful of years further down that inclined slope.)