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Soap Box Derbies

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NEWS
July 20, 1999 | BETTIJANE LEVINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A week from Saturday, Juan Fierro and Troy Daniel Jr. will tuck down in their seats, grasp their steering bars and await the starting gun for the 65th annual International Soap Box Derby. Then they'll race 1,200 feet straight down a paved hill in Akron, Ohio, at speeds of up to 35 mph, trying to beat the wheels off the rest of the kids who are trying to break world records. But Fierro and Daniels--both 11 and both from L.A.--aren't exactly like the rest of the kids.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A man died after the homemade soapbox racer he was riding in spun out of control during a race and crashed into a parked car. LAPD Sgt. Jim Mascola said the incident took place about 7:45 a.m. Other racers said the victim was 21 years old and one of about 35 members of the San Fernando Valley Illegal Soapbox Federation out for an early-morning downhill race.
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NEWS
November 4, 1990 | LAUREN LIPTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
What has four wheels, goes really fast, and leaves behind a trail of I suds? Actually, nothing. But soap box racers probably come closest to that description. See for yourself with Nickelodeon's Special Delivery: The All American Soap Box Derby, in which contestants ages 11 to 17 gather in Akron, Ohio, to race for scholarships and prizes. This year's winner was Sami Jones of Salem, Ore., with Danny Groth of Flint, Mich. taking second. The high-speed sports spectacular was taped Aug.
NEWS
July 30, 2006 | Sean D. Hamill, Special to the Chicago Tribune
Mikayla Wobrak seems an unlikely symbol of the cultural changes that saved the All-American Soap Box Derby from ruin. She doesn't know who Indy Racing League driver Danica Patrick is, and, smiling, she describes how she was inspired to begin Soap Box racing not by drag-racing pioneer Shirley Muldowney, but by two boys who live next door to her in North Huntingdon, Pa. But, after being told that girls were banned from the derby until 1972, Mikayla, 11, suddenly sounds like a suffragist.
NEWS
June 15, 1995 | JANE HULSE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Twenty-seven m.p.h. might not sound fast, but if you're a kid tearing down a steep hill in a homemade racer, it feels like a hundred. That's the thrill of the All-American Soap Box Derby, which comes to Ventura on Sunday. The young drivers will be racing down Hillmont Avenue beginning at 9 a.m. The stakes are high. The winners go to Akron, Ohio, for the world championship competition Aug. 5.
NEWS
August 19, 2004 | Dan Neil, Time Staff Writer
Think of it as the grand prix of Newtonian physics. This weekend some of the biggest names in motorsports will square off -- quietly -- as part of the fourth Extreme Gravity Racing Series. High-tech, soapbox derby-like vehicles from Bentley (winners of last year's 24 Hours of LeMans) and Porsche (winners of just about everything else at one time or another) will trundle noiselessly down a 74-foot ramp and onto a 300-foot stretch of asphalt in front of the Ford Motor Co.'s offices in Irvine.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A man died after the homemade soapbox racer he was riding in spun out of control during a race and crashed into a parked car. LAPD Sgt. Jim Mascola said the incident took place about 7:45 a.m. Other racers said the victim was 21 years old and one of about 35 members of the San Fernando Valley Illegal Soapbox Federation out for an early-morning downhill race.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 1997 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As scattered parents looked on and puzzled neighbors poked their heads out their doors early Sunday, nearly four dozen children in kayak-shaped cars raced down a quarter-mile stretch of Broadway in the first official All American Soapbox Derby in South-Central Los Angeles. Hunched low in the cockpits of their plastic, gravity-powered race cars with helmets fastened, 44 children hurtled down the pavement at speeds of up to 35 mph. "It's really fun!"
BUSINESS
September 27, 1999 | JOSEPH MENN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers were not happy. Sure, John Doerr and the firm's other venture investors were together worth well over $100 million from backing the likes of such onetime technology start-ups as Amazon.com, Netscape Communications and @Home. And yes, their firm is the cornerstone of Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, the epicenter of the world's venture capital billions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 1993 | DAVID HALDANE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A cracked asphalt track heading nowhere in a field strewn with weeds is all that remains of a piece of Americana. Here, on private land near the intersection of Jamboree and Santiago Canyon roads, hundreds of spectators used to gather at Orange County's only soapbox derby track to watch their favorite peewee drivers whoosh by at unbelievable speeds. During the same period, as many as 60,000 fans regularly turned out for the national championships in Akron, Ohio. Then times changed.
NEWS
August 19, 2004 | Dan Neil, Time Staff Writer
Think of it as the grand prix of Newtonian physics. This weekend some of the biggest names in motorsports will square off -- quietly -- as part of the fourth Extreme Gravity Racing Series. High-tech, soapbox derby-like vehicles from Bentley (winners of last year's 24 Hours of LeMans) and Porsche (winners of just about everything else at one time or another) will trundle noiselessly down a 74-foot ramp and onto a 300-foot stretch of asphalt in front of the Ford Motor Co.'s offices in Irvine.
OPINION
August 13, 2003 | Melanie Payne, Melanie Payne is the author of "Champions, Cheaters, and Childhood Dreams: Memories of the All-American Soap Box Derby" (University of Akron Press, 2003).
For a few hours one recent Saturday, Wilton "Bill" Blakely, a 13-year-old from North Carolina, was on top of the world. He was a member of an elite group of fewer than 120 people who could call themselves All-American Soap Box Derby world champions. Bill had taken the triumphant ride back up Derby Downs race track in Akron, Ohio, where minutes before his gravity-powered racing car had coasted to victory. He was wearing the gold jacket that distinguished him as the champ.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2001 | GAIL DAVIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A Pacific storm sprinkled a tenth of an inch of rain across most of the county early Sunday--dampening roads but not putting a crimp in holiday weekend activities. About three-tenths of an inch is expected by late this morning, tapering off to light showers in the afternoon. Today's highs should be in the low 60s and temperatures should drop to between 45 and 50 by tonight, according to the National Weather Service. More rain is expected Friday.
BUSINESS
September 27, 1999 | JOSEPH MENN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers were not happy. Sure, John Doerr and the firm's other venture investors were together worth well over $100 million from backing the likes of such onetime technology start-ups as Amazon.com, Netscape Communications and @Home. And yes, their firm is the cornerstone of Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, the epicenter of the world's venture capital billions.
NEWS
July 20, 1999 | BETTIJANE LEVINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A week from Saturday, Juan Fierro and Troy Daniel Jr. will tuck down in their seats, grasp their steering bars and await the starting gun for the 65th annual International Soap Box Derby. Then they'll race 1,200 feet straight down a paved hill in Akron, Ohio, at speeds of up to 35 mph, trying to beat the wheels off the rest of the kids who are trying to break world records. But Fierro and Daniels--both 11 and both from L.A.--aren't exactly like the rest of the kids.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 1999 | ANNA GORMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Hunched low in the cockpits of their race cars, the derby daredevils tested their brakes, adjusted their helmets and eyeballed the track. "Drivers ready?" derby veteran Ollie Brower asked the children to his left and right. "One, two, three. Go!" And they took off, racing down Hillmont Avenue in Ventura at about 30 mph. Cheering parents--many wearing soap box T-shirts and hats--clapped and snapped photos.
NEWS
October 6, 1998
Myron Scott, an Ohio newspaper photographer who created the All-American Soap Box Derby and later worked at General Motors, where he coined the name "Corvette," has died. He was 91. In 1933, Scott, a native of Camden, Ohio, was sent on assignment by the Dayton Daily News to do a photo essay on what children do for fun. In a town near Dayton, he photographed six young boys racing homemade cars down a hill.
SPORTS
August 11, 1991
Danny Garland of Studio City, driving a car he started building last Christmas, won the Master Division of the 54th All-American Soap Box Derby on Saturday at Akron, Ohio. Garland, 14, won the 12-16 age division and posted the day's fastest time, covering the 953.75-foot course in 28.03 seconds in a qualifying race. Garland was awarded a $5,000 college scholarship for placing first.
NEWS
October 6, 1998
Myron Scott, an Ohio newspaper photographer who created the All-American Soap Box Derby and later worked at General Motors, where he coined the name "Corvette," has died. He was 91. In 1933, Scott, a native of Camden, Ohio, was sent on assignment by the Dayton Daily News to do a photo essay on what children do for fun. In a town near Dayton, he photographed six young boys racing homemade cars down a hill.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 1998
More than 75 young contestants are expected to race down 3rd Street in East Los Angeles today in preliminary trial runs of the nationwide "All American Soap Box Derby Rally." Sponsored by the Century Youth Activities League of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the event serves as a tuneup for regional races in June, when winners will earn a chance to advance to the national finals in Akron, Ohio. "You should see these kids light up about this," said Lt.
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