FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown

The early years-1950's

 Vintage Aashield

Oregon Soap Box Derby began way back in 1951 (under the name Salem Soap Box Derby) with the construction of the racetrack in Bush Park and held the inaugural Local Championship Race in the summer of 1952. This long history and many years of tradition mark Salem as unique in the Northwest. Much has changed since then but all these later the tradition of teaching strong values, competition, and fun through Derby as a family and community event remain at the forefront. We hope you will enjoy this glimpse into our past even as we are looking toward the future of this great event.

Salem Statesman Journal newspaper article

Read about how the track was built and the first championship race in 1952.


Late 1950's, pre-race parade of all racers up to the top of the hill. At that time only boys 10 to 16 years of age were allowed to race.

Late50s Parade


1952- Salem's First Local Championship Race, Final heat brothers Dan Adams in Lane 1 (left) vs Doug Adams in lane 2, (right).

1952 Champ Heat 1


Late 1950's, view of the track from top side.

 Late50s Starting Line


1959 Championship heat, Class A Champion Bob Cummins (center lane) defeats Class B Champion Robie Norton in Lane 1 (left).

1959 Champioship Heat


1952- Salem's First Local Champ Doug Adams with runner up Dan Adams.

1952 Champs


1952- Salem's First Champion, Doug Adams, on his Champ's Parade.

1952 Champ Parade


Race Day crowd at Finish Line, late 1950's Flag Man is Doug Adams, Salem's 1st Champion.

Late50s Crowd Finish Line


1959- Salem's City Champs, (left) Class B Champ Don Brimin and (Right) Class A and City Champ, Bob Cummins.

1959 Champs


1979 Newspaper article

Hours Of Work Article Big

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