Specifications for Soapbox Race Vehicles

Dan Piasecki from Greenfield working on his soapbox cart

The following is a list of requirements for your Race Vehicle. Vehicles not conforming to these requirements will not be eligible to race.

Vehicle Requirements

  • Must be solely gravity powerd
  • Must not be made from a kit -- this is a DIY race
  • Must have only one rider
  • Must have brakes that can stop the cart in a short stretch of road after the finish line
  • Must be able to turn easily, at high speeds
  • Must have at least three load-bearing wheels (no one- or two-wheel vehicles)
  • Must have a floor, not just foot pegs, that contain your feet and knees
  • Must be no larger than 8' long and 4' wide, though 6 x 3 seems best and allows it to fit in a pickup truck. There is no height restriction.
  • Must have a strong open hook or cleat on the front center facing forward, and another in the back. Your cart will be part of a chain of up to four carts, each hooking on to one another. The frame of your cart must be able to withstand being towed up a steep hill.
    • Kid class vehicles cannot exceed 250 pounds combined weight (with driver)
    • Teen class vehicles cannot exceed 350 pounds combined weight (with driver)
    • Adult class vehicles cannot exceed 450 pounds combined weight (with driver)
  • Cart must have a space on the left and right side for your 1' diameter race number (to be painted on by you -- black on white is best). Square or circle, doesn't matter.
  • Must not have any sharp edges, either inside or out, that could harm passers-by or racer in the event of a crash
  • Carts may be shared with another driver, but not within the same age division unless riders take turns in the two heats. This rule exists in an effort to minimize race delays.
  • Cart visuals must be at a PG level, with no nudity or profanity, and have no politics or candidate advertising.

Racer Requirements

In addition to these vehicle rules...

  • Each racer MUST have a helmet (bicycle helmet is ok) and make sure it's properly strapped on
  • Each racer MUST have eye protection (shop glasses or helmet with shield)
  • Each racer MUST have elbow protection (jacket is ok)
  • Each racer MUST have sturdy gloves (leather / canvas gardening / winter)
  • Each racer MUST NOT wear open-toe shoes (like sandals or flip flops)
  • Knee protection is suggested as well. If your cart breaks or you crash or are thrown from the vehicle, these precautions will save your skin, literally.

Vehicle Recommendations

  • May be sponsored by local business(es) to help defray construction costs
  • May make noise or sounds while in motion (actually encouraged)
  • May be made of wood, metal, stone, plastic, string, tape, fiberglass, ice, fine Corinthian leather, 1500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, or any combinations of material you see fit as long as it weighs less than the racer class weight limit and is safe to drive.
  • May have extra weight (sand bags, etc) attached as long as it weighs less than the racer class weight limit, and the extra weight is firmly attached
  • TIP: thin wheels; well oiled bearings. No hard plastic wheels as they don't grip the road as well as rubber and WILL slide on the curve

Watch this video showing the track in action.

More details can be found in the Racer Manual.

Racers are encouraged to email a photo of their vehicle in various states of construction. We will post them to this website and social media. Make sure your cart number is visible in all photos so people know who to root for!