FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Derby Spotlight - Nevin Ream


Nevin ReamNevin in 2004 with his Masters

Derby Spotlight – Nevin Ream

Soap Box Derby racing was a major part of Nevin Ream’s life.  It quickly became a family affair for the Ream’s as they all enjoyed Derby racing, from building his car to cheering him on at various races.  According to Nevin’s father Bob Ream, “he loved racing with all of his heart.  From that first year in 2000 of losing his last two races and finishing second, to crashing in the National Derby Rallies in 2005, he always put his heart and soul into it.” Nevin recently passed away in December 2016 just shy of his 28th birthday.

His experiences and success in the Derby as a child led him to pursue a STEM related career. He was a member of the Air Force 512th Air Wing at Dover Air Force Base as well as a machinist at Ecore International. Nevin attended Bucks County Technical School and Stevens College of Technology to gain the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed in his career path.  Not only did the Soap Box Derby spark an interest in science for Nevin, but his participation in the Derby taught him many valuable life lessons as well.  He learned the importance of helping fellow racers even if they are the competition.  Nevin became very involved in helping others with race day preparations, promoting the sport and helping other kids learn how to drive a Soap Box Derby car.  His greatest influence in racing was “Derby Don” Lennox, who was a great role model and teacher of the sport. 

Nevin raced from 2000 to 2005 at his local races in Buck County as well as making the trip multiple times to race at the All-American Soap Box Derby in all three divisions: Stock, Super Stock and Masters.  Finishing with first place rankings in all three of the divisions at one point throughout his racing career made him a huge success. The Ream’s became close with many other racing families throughout the years and would travel to races with them to give Nevin the opportunity to participate each weekend. Other members of the Ream family also became involved in Soap Box Derby racing due to Nevin’s passion and excitement for the sport.  His father has been involved with the Bucks County Soap Box Derby Organization since 2000, his sister Rachel raced from 2001 to 2005, his niece Kylie has been racing since 2014. Nevin had two daughters, Hailey who is 7 years old and Kelsie who is 1 1/2 years old and Hailey is expected to enter her first local race this year! 

Bob Ream said, “The best part of being involved in the Soap Box Derby was all of the new friends their family made and memories they shared together through racing.” A new generation of race memories can now be made by Nevin’s daughters.  



Rachel, Nevin's sister posing with her Soap Box Derby car sponsored by her brother in 2004. 



Nevin and Kyle in 2004 at Derby Downs.



Nevin at the Bucks County Soap Box Derby local race in 2004.

Note: This is the fifteenth in a series of spotlights on former Derby racers who have gone on to study/work in a STEM related field. If you know of someone who we could spotlight please let us know at 

Past Spotlight Features

Nicole Stout - Spotlight (January 2016)

Michael Gallo - Spotlight (February 2016) 

Todd Hinton - Spotlight (March 2016)

Alan Uhler - Spotlight (April 2016)

Kristi Murphy - Spotlight (May 2016)

James Fell - Spotlight (June 2016)

Michael J. Corson, Jr. - Spotlight (July 2016)

David Reid - Spotlight (August 2016)

John Horner - Spotlight (September 2016)

John Hamels - Spotlight (October 2016)

Kenneth Holmboe - Spotlight (November 2016)

John Menches - Spotlight (December 2016)

Steve Cox - Spotlight (January 2017)

Rachel (Dyer) Samm - Spotlight (February 2017)