Greater Danbury Soap Box Derby Local Race infirmation Page Greater Danbury Soap Box Derby History

The first All American Soap Box Derby was run at Dayton, Ohio in 1934 with 34 cities across the country sending their local winners to compete. In 1935, a national control committee was appointed, uniform rules adopted, and the race site moved to its current home in Akron, Ohio. All local winners go to Akron in July to participate in a week-long program at the Derby Downs that culminates with race day and, for the entrant lucky enough, to win the World Championship.

Danbury's first Soap Box Derby Race was run in 1948 with the VFW, George A. Lewis (a Chevrolet Dealer), and the Danbury NewsTimes sponsoring the race. White Turkey Hill Road was the site of the race until 1950.

The Chevrolet dealership underwent a change in 1951, when Dan-Ridge Chevrolet emerged and the change-over resulted in a lost year for the Derby. In 1952, however, the Derby resumed with the VFW, News-Times and Dan-Ridge as sponsors. That marked the end of Soap Box Derby in Danbury for 23-years - until 1975, when the VFW agreed to be the sole sponsor for the "Great American Gravity Race". White Turkey Hill Road was reinstated as the race site for two years, then was replaced by Casper Street, where it is still being held.

Our present franchise covers many of the towns surrounding the Danbury area. Our champions go on to Akron, Ohio, each July to compete in the All American Soap Box Derby finals - representing the Danbury area in this international gravity racing event. We have had two WORLD CHAMPIONS and several top place finishers in the All American Soap Box Derby finals.

Now our Derby also holds Spring and Fall Rallies in the Francis J. Clarke Industrial Park located in Bethel, CT.

The Association Meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7:00 P.M. at:
The V.F.W. Hall
5 Bryron Street
Danbury, CT
All are invited
(Click for Map)

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