Looking for a fun and educational hobby that you can do with your child? Box car racing, commonly referred to as soap box car racing, is the building and driving of home-made cars. These small cars do not contain a motor and simply rely on the power of gravity, reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Soap box cars are capable of holding a driver, typically a child, and are built for the purpose of recreation or racing. The building of the box car itself can be very educational for a child, allowing him or her to enhance their building skills. Logical plans need to be created prior to the building, as box cars require tad bits of basic engineering, art work, and sometimes even electrical work in more advanced cars. Learn about the history of box car racing and how to build your own.
History of Box Car Racing
- Pinewood Derby History: The history of the first Pinewood Derby and the first race that started in 1953.
- Historic Photographs: Here you will find a collection of historic photographs from some of the first soap box derby cars.
- Kidz World: Information on the history of soap box car racing with details on the materials used in the first race cars.
- History of the Soap Box Derby: Learn about the history of the official Soap Box Derby that began in 1946.
- Soap Box Racing in Hartley Park: Information and a video on the history of soap box car racing and how it was a great activity for the entire family.
- Time CNN: Brief history of soap box car racing, as well as photographs from the 72nd All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.
- History of the Pinewood Derby: Details about the history of the Pinewood Derby and its founder, Don Murphy.
- Timelines: Photographs and information from the first All-American Soap Box Derby.
How to Get Started With Box Car Racing
- Box Car Racing Guidelines: List of important guidelines that are required when entering a box car race.
- So You Want to Build a Soap Box Car: How to get started in the hobby of box car racing.
- Sertoma Mile High Soap Box Derby: Information on eligibility, divisions, registration, ordering of a box car, and sponsors.
- Soap Box Derby of Culpeper: Learn about the goals of the soap box derby and how to participate in this hobby.
- DuBois Soap Box Derby: Information on the different types of box cars that can be created for racing.
- Kansas City Soap Box Derby: Information on getting started in soap box racing by getting on the mailing list and choosing a car that’s best for you.
- Columbus Soap Box Derby: Details on the official rules of building a box car and how to enter a race.
- Marietta Soap Box Derby Information: Five steps needed to get started with soap box racing.
Materials Needed to Make a Box Car
- Building a Pinewood Derby Car: Information and instructions on how to build an official Pinewood Derby car.
- Soap Box Car Specification and Parts: Diagram of a soap box car and specific specifications and parts.
- Derby Go Kit: The Derby Go Kit has all the basic materials needed to build a soap box car and is used in many high profile events.
- Standard Class Regulations: List of materials and regulations for the official soap box derby cub scouts.
- Classic Car Plans: A Soap box car plan that includes plywood, and an assortment of hardware.
- Go-Kart Plans: Instructions on how to build a simple wooden go-kart to use as a base for a motorless box car.
- Build a Racer: Several pages that focus on the various aspects of building a box car the proper way.
- Soap Box Derby Basics: Everything you need to know about building and racing soap box cars.
Organizations and Societies
- All-American Soap Box Derby: Official Soap Box Derby website with details on racing programs and sponsors.
- National Derby Rallies: Here you will find National Derby Rally photographs and information on national championships in the United States.
- Cleveland Area Soap Box Derby: CASBD is a non-profit organization that promotes the sport of soap box derby racing in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Salem Soap Box Derby: Youth racing program located in Salem, Oregon that teaches kids the basic skills of workmanship and craftsmanship.
- DC Soap Box Derby: Information and photographs from the Washington DC Soap Box Derby.
- Cincinnati Soap Box Derby: Learn how to get started in the exciting sport of soap box car racing.
- Kitsap Soap Box Derby Association: Box car derby race located in Kitsap County each year in June.
- St. Clairsville Soap Box Derby: Non-profit organization that promotes fun racing for the family and drivers between 8 and 13 years of age.
- Winning Ingredients for Soap Box Derby Racers: Book that helps each racer understand the science of making the perfect box car.
- Popular Mechanics: Pointers on soap-box winning designs and how to build the best box car.
- The Commission for Soapbox Safety: Informative soap box article that presents important skills and requirements.
- 1957 Soap Box Derby Racer: Interesting article about a coaster car that was operated by Van Steiner in the All-American Soap Box Derby in 1957.
- The Soap Box Bible: Book on how to build your own soap box car, buggy, or go-cart.
- Franklin’s Soapbox Derby: Book about soapbox racing for small children between the ages of 6 and 7.
- How to Design a Soap Box Derby Race Car Body: Design tips and advice when planning out the soap box derby car body for the masters division.
- Soap Box Derby Magazine: Information on the family sport of soap box racing from Oceanside Magazine.