2014 San Jose
Adult SoapBox Derby

As a group with common interests, we are always looking for creative projects. Projects that allow a participant to design, build, and if possible compete with what results. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, it has been difficult to find events of this kind within the Bay Area. As a result, we are organizing the first annual San Jose Adult Soapbox Derby for Labor Day weekend 2014. The derby will run down Silver Creek Valley Road in San Jose.

The San Jose Adult Soapbox Derby will fill your need for speed with a project that you create!

Due to the limited space we have for each class, we will only be able to accept 25 Speed Cars, 25 Art Cars, and 10 Ultimate Cars.

Check out our Kickstarter launch video below.

Speed Cars: This is a budget minded speed class. The build (excluding the cost of brakes) must be $500 or less. Cars in this class will start about three-quarters of the way up Silver Creek Valley Road. A well designed car will achieve speeds of 45-50 mph. This is your opportunity to build a speed demon at a reasonable price. If you are the fastest in this class you will be the envy of all the teams.

Ultimate Cars: Will start from near the top of Silver Creek Valley Road. There are no dollar limits on this class. If you want to build something exceptional (maybe with the help of a sponsor or two) and show that you can engineer the most technological, fastest car, this is the class for you. You WILL go way too fast and It will be awesome!

Art Cars: This is the party crowd's car. Cars should be creative, fun, whimsical, and clever. The teams typically have coordinated costumes to go along with the theme of their car. You can have water cannons and/or water balloons to attack your competitors with and generally have a good time. There will be awards for crowd favorites, best use of water based weapons as well as others. Have fun with it, you can add wheels to just about anything!

For the complete rules, click on the rules tab at the top of the page

An event of this size has many moving pieces. We have already filed for the permit and received preliminary approval from the Police department to close the necessary roads and host the event as planned. However, weather, unforeseen problems with the ongoing permitting process, and inability to raise the necessary funds to pay for all the various pieces could all make hosting the event impossible.

We think the circumstances which would prevent us from having the event are unlikely and have waited to kick off (pun intended) our Kickstarter campaign until we felt we had moved past the most formidable hurtles. At this point we feel comfortable that the event will take place but it is worth noting there are always risks.

Risks and Challenges with Hosting a Soapbox Derby:


The August 30th race is cancelled. Unfortunately for all those hoping to have a soapbox derby in San Jose this August, we have been unable to get enough entries to make the event happen. We are very disappointed, and would have really liked to pull this off. It could have been a great event for the community and lots of fun for the teams. Bummer.

As a first year event, There are many pieces to the puzzle that must come together. There are also financial requirements that must be met to put on an event of this size. Some of these include permits, hay-bales to line the roads with, insurance, security, timing system, advertising etc.... Some of these expenses can be covered by the entry fees. However, as a first year effort, there are additional start-up costs that need to be covered in order to get the ball rolling. This is where Kickstarter can help. 

why do we need your help?

Soapbox cars are otherwise known as gravity cars. Essentially, they are three or four wheeled vehicles that are only powered by gravity. Soapbox derbies are still fairly popular for children with nationally organized/sanctioned races. However, there are only a handful of adult soapbox derby events across the country.  

The cars used in the children's races are usually kit cars with little room for creative exploration. The adult soapbox derbies are relatively open with minimal restrictions on what you can and can not do. These events are exciting just to walk around as both a spectator and competitor looking at what people come up with to get their car rolling. 

We have raced in two events in this region of the country. Both events were unique in their own regard. We are ready to add our own twist to the adult soapbox derby arena with the first annual San Jose Adult Soapbox Derby. By adding the Ultimate Car class, we hope to make this event the fastest soapbox derby in the country!

what is soapbox derby?


Three Classes: Speed, Ultimate, and Art

About SJ Soapbox.com