The First-Energy All-American Soap Box Derby has a long history in Northeast Ohio and the world. This weekend, thousands of people will visit Akron, Ohio as part of the Soap Box Derby Championship. We admire the creativity and dedication it takes to build these cars! Check out these fun facts about the Derby!
- There are two championships with three divisions each. Each July, six winners emerge and are awarded with either a gold or scarlet jacket.
- Derby week is held every July at the famous Derby Downs track in Akron, Ohio. The week includes spectacular opening ceremonies, 5K runs, field trips, activities and more.
- The Derby began in 1933 in Dayton, Ohio when a local photographer was impressed by young boys building their own cars. He organized a national program with the help of national sponsor, Chevrolet.
- The first Soap Box Derby took place in Dayton, Ohio but was moved to Akron because of its hilly terrain.
- In 1935, the Soap Box Derby won international attention when Graham McNamee, a popular radio announcer, was struck by an out-of-control car.
- The famous Derby Downs track was constructed in 1936 thanks to the Works Progress Administration.
- The Derby group has periodically changed the length of the track for safety reasons as cars have improved and gotten faster over the years.
- The race has been held every years since 1934 except for a short 54year period during World War II.
Stop by Race Day down at Derby Downs on Saturday, July 26, 2014 to watch the world’s best soap box racers compete!