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#1 Gator Bob

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:13 PM

... when you were a 'kid'.

 

A hundred and fifty dollars.

 https://longisland.c...6272252234.html

 

00E0E_czMrdYMIQ2u_1200x900 today.jpg

 

 

 

 


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#2 Half Fast

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:33 PM

So even soapbox derby cars have sponsors :shok:

 

Cheers


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#3 chaparrAL

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:01 PM

I was sponsored by racing legends Paul Goldsmith and Ray Nichels.


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Al Thurman
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#4 Gator Bob

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:09 PM

Al, That is awesome...tell the story.

 

Inside Nichels Engineering


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#5 Courtney S

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:42 PM

My son won the Chattanooga local and went to the All American in Akron it was a great experience!

1498503943_061417NHFeat-SoapboxDerby-1C_


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#6 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:39 PM

They turned our hill into a waterfall sculpture the year I would have been eligible to race.  I already had an early gocart in 1955.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#7 Jairus

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:09 AM

I built three of my own cars, each sponsored by Farmers Insurance.  Derby association encouraged that.
Best I ever did was 3rd place out of maybe 50 entries in 1973.
My Brother won Salem Oregon in 1975 and we got a trip back to Akron!

The car you show is the Stock Class, which my kids never got a chance to play with.
Never built one of those.  Instead we started my daughter out on Superstock which had a plastic formed body instead of fiberglass.  They were a bit bigger and allowed more weight making them faster.
The following year, we built a stick car.  The last year that was allowed and there were only 4 entries in that class.
Stock and Superstock had maybe 15 each? 
It's a dying sport sadly.
Rules and regulations got so bad that nobody wanted to play.
And, couple that with a generation that can't do anything with their hands but push buttons or a touch screen.... and, well... you get the picture.

As for value, that car is well priced.  A good tuner could make it a winner provided the driver had the concentration.
 


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#8 Steve Deiters

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:22 AM

I stop at the soap box derby track that is just around the corner from the Speedway in Indianapolis when I see people running if I am in town.  There has to be fewer SBD tracks than slot car tracks in the country.  Car kits start at $465.00 

 

Kind of makes a flexi RTR and a turbo controller look like a very inexpensive alternative hobby with opportunities to run more plentiful doesn't it?

 

Check it out....

 

http://www.soapboxderby.org/



#9 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:36 AM

Soap Box Derby SHOULD be a merit badge for scouts similar to the pinewood derby for the Cub Scouts.   Slot car racing could be as well.


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Larry D. Kelley, MA
retired raceway owner... (for now)
race directing around Chicago-land

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60+ year pin Racing rail/slot cars in America


#10 Dave Crevie

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:23 PM

Just as Jairus said, I'm sure that soapbox has the same problem slot racing does with getting kids interested. The scouts

in DuPage do pinewood and rocketry. The neighbor behind me was a scout leader before his big divorce. He hit me up

for help designing rocket bodies. At that time there were only about six or eight entries in pinewood for his group, and

about a dozen in rocketry. I guess the nerds are more hands-on. 



#11 Gator Bob

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 03:02 PM

Promote - If I owned a slot shop I would have a Pinewood track and kits.

Exposer - Could be a great temptation to go from gravity to motorized. might hook dad or re-hook grandpa.

 

I lived on a hill (Churchill Rd.) ... never had anything like a Soapbox derby car. Best I ever built was a 'go-cart' (motorless).  Seven or eight years old.

 

2ea. - ~3ft 2"x"4s for front and rear axle supports

1ea -  ~5ft 2x4 chassis center spine 

1ea- Scrap piece of plywood for seat.

4ea - Wheels off a discarded heavy duty baby carriage Those were golden to find and caught 'flack' ( real Bullying  :sarcastic_hand:  :treaten: ) pushing those home :heat:  

2ea - 3ft threaded rod, nuts and washers

1ea - Long bolt and nut for steering pivot.

1ea ~5ft piece of steering rope

Big nails to bend over axle

 

The only thing we had to buy was the threaded rod and steering pivot bolt. Those were reused on the next build.  

 

Those 'designs' could go into steering 'lock' and ...weeeee fly right off the front only to find road rash and pea gravel next. ... ouch.


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#12 Dave Crevie

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:34 PM

I think every kid in the '50s and '60s built push karts, whether they were into cars or not. Then came Big Wheels, and

kids stopped building things anymore.


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#13 Gator Bob

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:08 PM

I would think more like 8 in 10 kids. It was a challenge with severely limited skills and access to tools. No App for that.

Today, maybe 1 in 10 engage without adult 'supervision'.

 

You're right BigWheels took over... but we had bikes to maintain too.

 

Didn't need much of a push on some hills.

https://www.youtube....h?v=0fSyx3wZXzM  


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#14 Bill from NH

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:23 PM

We used wood & baby carriage/stroller wheels for our buggies. That the next door neighbor drove truck for a lumber company helped our wood supply. When we could get them, we used wooden-spoked wagon wheels to make big buggies.


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Bill Fernald

 

You have to be odd to be #1. :laugh2: 


#15 Dave Crevie

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:03 PM

We even used to put chain saw motors on bicycles. The street in front of my house has a slight downhill slope to

the south, so we could get them really going. There was a barricade made of railroad ties at the end of the block,

so if you couldn't make the left turn onto McKinley, chances are you hit the barricade. Wonder no one got killed. 



#16 Samiam

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:12 PM

You wanted this......

.... when you were a 'kid'.

 

I want it now! :to_become_senile:

 

Just gave him a call and it's still available.


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#17 Gator Bob

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:26 PM

We used wood & baby carriage/stroller wheels for our buggies. That the next door neighbor drove truck for a lumber company helped our wood supply. When we could get them, we used wooden-spoked wagon wheels to make big buggies.

 

Got Wood? There was always a new house going up near by. Precut, nobody got stitches... that day. How dumb were we to get a nail through the foot on a job site? :shok:

 

Never had anything with wooden wheels, that was as they say "before my time". :laugh2:


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#18 Dallas Racer

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:11 PM

We used wood & baby carriage/stroller wheels for our buggies. That the next door neighbor drove truck for a lumber company helped our wood supply. When we could get them, we used wooden-spoked wagon wheels to make big buggies.

 

Bill, I looked for pics of push carts with wooden wheels and couldn't find any. Did your childhood predate the invention of the camera? ;)

 

Bridge.jpg


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#19 Bill from NH

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:57 PM

Do a net search on "wood spoked wagon wheels". I used Bing.


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You have to be odd to be #1. :laugh2: 


#20 Dallas Racer

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 10:58 PM

I was just attempting to make a joke implying you must be really old to be using wood spoke wheels on your push carts. ;)

 

I am a bit confused. When I think of wood spoke wheels I think of horse drawn wagon wheels. I can't imagine you were using those. I think we used push lawn mower type wheels on our push carts.


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#21 Bill from NH

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 11:13 PM

Yes, we used horse drawn(& ox drawn) wagon wheels when we could get them to build big wagons for moving large items. Once we moved a one-story camp built on private property & had to be moved, a half mile down a state Rte. 136 to a friend's house, where we added a second story to it. This was in rural Maine about 60 years ago. I am old & not getting any younger. :sarcastic_hand:


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Bill Fernald

 

You have to be odd to be #1. :laugh2: 


#22 chaparrAL

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 08:59 PM

Bob,thanks for posting that link .

Yes I was quite fortunate that they were close. MOPAR money paid for the new shop you see in the pics. Those shop photos are taken from a balcony where Mr Nichels and Goldsmith had their offices. I was there.

The old shop where Datona 500 winning Pontiacs were built turned into GOODYEAR tire store, a partnership by Mr's Nichels and Goldsmith.  That was my sponsor.

 I got a shop tour by Mr Nichels himself . We always attended the Open House events but this was incredible. Then I got to meet my hero who we watched on Wide World of Sports. With a big smile he reached out to shake my hand.  Then a phone call was made down the street to the airport. We were then flown around over where I went to school, where I grew up, the local speedway, ect. What a treat! Mr Goldsmith owned the Griffith /Merriville aiport  and still does.

 The new shop had two dynos and always a Hemi would be on the except once when there was an Offy with a 6-71 bolted to the side.  The only Indycar that year with this setup that my research turned up is John Mecoms entry for Roger Ward s last Indy entry.

 I dont know how my Dad knew these guys. But I do remember when the USAC races we went to were over we did not go straight to the parking lot. We went to the pits where the racers would be drinking beers as they loaded the cars.

 Not only was Paul Goldsmith a Datona Winner on the beach, and AMA and USAC champ but also a pilot. In the 1990's he did some flying for Tom Wakinshaw Racing. I just learned recently he still hangs out at the airport!  Hell, I just drove by there two months ago. I wish I had thought to take my 99 Plymouth Monogram Slot Car for him to sign. Too bad I maybe could have shook his hand again and thank him for the memories.

600138_248834655253369_242841595_n.jpg


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Al Thurman
"Everything you love, everything meaningful with depth and history, all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed, and sold to people you hate." Von Dutch [Kenneth R. Howard] 1929-1992
."If there is, in fact, a Heaven and a Hell, all we know for sure is that Hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Pheonix." Dr Hunter S Thompson 1937-2005
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#23 Gator Bob

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:05 PM

What a great story Al.

 

Makes it all worthwhile, a basis for a chapter in your book.

All that greatness in one place, meeting and hanging with heros.. Rocks!


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#24 Gator Bob

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Posted Today, 03:01 PM

1600 Crackers - "$35 and $10 shipping" ...lol


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#25 Samiam

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Posted Today, 04:48 PM

I only counted around 10 or 11 "crackers". 


Sam Levitch
 
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