Dads And X-Wing Fighter Cars Are Spoiling the Soap Box Derby – Again.

Smallburg has a massive Soap Box Derby race on a specially designed and built track with grandstands, food tents, wi-fi, loudspeakers and timing traps.

And that’s sad.

…David Brinkley, was also getting ready to race. He was scheduled to participate in the Nat Love Memorial Race for adults. The entry fees will be donated to children’s charities.

The dads once again are having too much fun at an event that is designed for kids.

Dads killed the Soap Box Derby once before.

A kid was caught cheating by adding a magnet to the nose of his car. When the starting plate dropped the slight additional pull to the car was enough to give the kid a unbeatable margin of victory. The kid’s wheels were also doped to be extra slick while turning on the axle.

His adult guardian (not technically a dad) was indicted for deliquency of a minor. The dads had messed up.

That was in 1973.

Today, in an attempt to eliminate cheating, all the cars must be purchase from the Soap Box Derby company. There are build clinics that must be attended by an adult with a kid.  Cars are as close to identical (except for graphics) as possible. The cars are impounded the night before the race, wheels are removed and reassigned on the day of the race. There are heats, it’s no longer a one and done race. It is a great family event.

But this hasn’t stopped the adults from having their Soap Box Derby fun… adults are forming their own division.

Rules are not strict so we can keep it fun.  Be inventive!

Be inventive! Have fun! On the front page of the rules: kit cars are strictly prohibited! Kit cars are for kids.

So the dads are building Soap Box Derby cars like this X Wing Fighter from Star Wars.

Is it cool? Absolutely. Would a kid just love to fly the X-Wing Fighter down a hill? Absolutely. Is it a Soap Box Derby car? Absolutely  not.

In Smallburg, adults who work for companies who sponsor the Soap Box Derby cars are allowed to participate in the Adult Oil Can Derby the Thursday afternoon before the Friday/Saturday Soap Box Derby.

I had as much fun as the rest of the sponsors.

Currently, there are only two cars for the Oil Can Derby.

I’m not optimisitic.

Adding a Dad’s Division is not a good sign. Hopefully, the guiding forces for the Soap Box Derby will realize this and clamp down on the adult events.

I’m not optimisitic.

In a town that races mini-Corvettes in a charity race and is dominated by professional mechanics, it’s only a matter of time before the Soap Box Derby for kids is over-shadowed by the Soap Box Derby for Adults.

Gentlemen, Start Your Cheating.


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Dads And X-Wing Fighter Cars Are Spoiling the Soap Box Derby – Again. — 7 Comments

  1. The Nazareth Adult Soapbox Derby is a stand-alone community event. It is not associated with any youth derby or sanctioned derby. I think your generalized assessment that adult derbies somehow negatively affect youth derbies is off base. Each adult derby has its own origin, spirit, goals, and logistics. It is not fair to lump them all under one umbrella.

    • Even worse! NO involvement of kids. Soap Box Derby should sue for copyright infringement. Adults should not use the good name of Soap Box Derby to promote an adult event. Fair has nothing to do with my opinion. 🙂

  2. The kids’ involvement ends when the flag drops. But they are certainly involved. Heavily. I think one thing our gravity race does is shows them it’s more about design, art, charity, community, and fun than about competition. I don’t know that the AASBD accomplishes that.

    BTW, I am a blogger myself so I know all about the fun of getting people all worked up. So I am trying not to get too wrapped up in this argument (even though I am).
    Kris recently posted…2011 Nazareth Adult Soapbox DerbyMy Profile

  3. Sometimes you have to realize that these dads are living out lives through their kids. What do kids know about rigging a derby kart or even to think up the idea of placing a magnet in the front to increase a gravitational pull. Makes one think.

    Great post!

  4. You’re a bit of of a dick, aren’t you? Saw your Instructables comments on the X-Wing. Yep. Dickhead.

    Yeah, you’re sixty. So what? Not far ahead of me. Hope to hell I don’t turn out like you, dickhead.