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Arts and Crafts

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Soapbox Art Part 2

Since soap used to be transported to the stores in wooden crates, a lot of uses were found for this sturdy packaging material.

Speakers would take a stand on the soap box and let the public know what was on their minds; hence the expression 'being on the soapbox'.

Another use was building home-made cars by using the wood of the soap crates and roller-skate wheels and race them. The soapbox cars also are referred to as buggy, trolley, cart, go-cart, bogie, cartie/cairtie, guider, piler, gambo and billy-cart, depending in which country you are.

When this sport actually began is not really known, but they were already held in 1933 in Dayton, Ohio, where the Daily News newspaper photographer Myron Scott wrote an article on the event which he attended.

He was so smitten with the sport that he acquired the rights for the event and organized a national Soap Box Derby in 1934 with the finals being held in Dayton.

At present, materials such as aluminum, fiberglass and CFRP are being used for building the soap box car and there are some rules you need to adhere to when constructing one; your creation is not supposed to have a motor, it must have some sort of brakes and the driver is required to wear a helmet.

If you are interested in building and racing a soap box car, then you may want to inquire whether your city has a track for it. Several cities, especially the hilly ones, have a specific, permanent track for racing these DIY cars.

When this project is out of your league then you can always stick to building an even smaller race car out of an empty, cardboard detergent box!

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