Soap Box Derby Champion – 1967
Dad was definitely proud of winning the Soap Box Derby in 1967. He would talk about how Grandpa made him practice by hauling his car up to the top of the hill down from the farm and he would practice driving that thing as straight as an arrow. Up and down the road he went. He had a lot to live up to since his older brother Garry had won too. There is nothing like a little sibling rivalry to bring out a little extra in a kid.
All of the practicing got him to the nationals, but he did not take home the big trophy because he said he got scared. Back then they took the cars all the way to the top of the hill and by the time they hit the finish line they were doing 90+, if I remember the story correctly. The other trick you had to do in order to win was to use a different type of oil on the bearings to reduce the friction, thus getting the car to go even faster. He said that if he had been a little older (he was only 12) unlike the kid that won who was 16 he would have done it. The Derby is not what it once was.
I thought it would be good to share a few of the photos on it.
Dad with his finished car before the race.
Need for speed?
You can tell he was a pretty small kid. There is a picture of this girl giving him a kiss that was on the front page after he won. He was all smiles.
This was all that was left of the car 25 years later, it sat down in the basement for years. Josh will be restoring the car to its original state.