Get on your soapbox!
August 24, 2009 1:33 PM   Subscribe

In addition to poor construction, the vehicles most likely to crash have 1) poorly secured bicycle wheels 2) a high center of gravity and 3) high occupancy. Add in alcohol, a steep down grade and spectators throwing water balloons, and you get the perfect storm for destruction.

This past weekend, the 13th Annual Adult Soapbox Derby (all slyt) was held on Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano in Portland, Oregon. Cars built for speed can reach 40 mph, and cars built for art can be downright outrageous.

The rules are fairly strict - e.g. no car can cost over $300 to build. Official rules here.

Photos of some of the crazier soapboxes from 2009.

Photos of some of the crazier soapboxes from 2008.

Older photos can be on the official website.

How to build a soapbox car.

As you might expect, the All-American Soap Box Derby, the organization that hosts the annual soapbox derby championship, is in financial trouble.
posted by Lutoslawski (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cars built for speed can reach 40 mph, and cars built for art can be downright outrageous.

My eyes played a sorta Spooner on me and I totally read that as "outright dangerous" which seemed like it would apply more to the "speed" cars.
posted by kmz at 1:44 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


wow kmz. I did the exact same thing and didn't realize it untill I read your comment.
posted by lucasks at 1:51 PM on August 24, 2009


The All-American Soapbox Derby (last link) is not affiliated with any of the various adult soapbox derbies.
posted by box at 1:54 PM on August 24, 2009


The All-American Soapbox Derby (last link) is not affiliated with any of the various adult soapbox derbies.

Yes, that is true, hence the 'annual soapbox derby championship," which is a different race entirely, but you're right, its not clear. I meant it as a foot note. Sorry I should have clarified.

It's cool if a MOD wants to take it out, otherwise note that the AASBD is not affiliated with the Portland Adult Derby.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:07 PM on August 24, 2009


I spectate every year. And every year it is great fun. And if you missed it, be sure to catch this Portland institution next year.
posted by asfuller at 2:21 PM on August 24, 2009


Sometime this fall, the 15th Annual Illegal Soapbox Derby will be tearing up asphalt in San Francisco. The posters are awesome, although I can't find the gallery for all of the previous years.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 3:02 PM on August 24, 2009


Could everyone please get off the track. Everyone off the track. Please no strollers on the track. Could everyone please get off the track.
posted by carfilhiot at 3:03 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


(all slyt)

I think your definition of "slyt" may have gone the way of the soapbox cars...
posted by pokermonk at 3:10 PM on August 24, 2009


single multiple link YouTube [and other sites]


Not as catchy, I guess.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 3:50 PM on August 24, 2009


I hit 40 mph daily on bicycle wheels. Pretty well secured, though (so far).
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 3:51 PM on August 24, 2009


Dear lord I how love Portland. I couldn't make it this year, but I second asfuller and highly recommend attending if at all possible.
posted by churl at 3:59 PM on August 24, 2009


I think your definition of "slyt" may have gone the way of the soapbox cars...

Yeah, I know - I was just trying to say that each link is pretty much just to one video (or two)...I almost didn't put it in. But then again if I didn't, I'm sure I woulda got some snark on that too. Ah mefi, damned if you do...
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:26 PM on August 24, 2009


What kind of a world do we live in, where people can drive a homemade soapbox down the side of a volcano and still be called "adult" racers?

An awesome world.
posted by DU at 5:48 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hit 40 mph daily on bicycle wheels. Pretty well secured, though (so far).

Which is great until you reach the U-shaped curve at the bottom of the course. Fortunately there are dozens of trees to keep you from careening down the hill. Bike racing that course, I take the curve comfortably at 25 mph or so without braking. I don't think I'd be too happy about hitting it at 40 though.
posted by turbodog at 2:19 PM on August 25, 2009


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