National Geographic : 1955 Apr
441 Akron Beacon Journal Cheering Thousands Witness a Thrilling Finish in the Soap Box Derby Finals Automobiles and trucks are barred from Akron's flag-lined Derby Downs; the specially built raceway is used only for the Soap Box competition (page 439). Gravity alone carries the streamlined vehicles down the course. Combined weight of boy and car may not exceed 250 pounds. Contestants, 11 to 15 years old, pick up speed on the 16-percent grade at top of hill. Judges control the contest from the triple-deck overhead bridge at finish line. A succession of 3-car heats, waved off at 75-second intervals, determines the champion. Navy blimps are made, tested, and serviced in Goodyear's mammoth air dock at upper right.