Boxes On Wheels: A Guide To Box Car Racing

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

Materials Needed to Make a Box 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

Recommended Reading

Build Your Box