Goodyear athletic director Ed Chief Conner serves as the official starter of the 1934 Akron Soap Box Derby on Tallmadge Hill. Note the unusual designs of downhill racers in Akron's inaugural event.
Young racers wait their turn at the top of Tallmadge Hill during the first Akron Soap Box Derby on Aug. 3, 1934. Located east of Britain
Road on East Tallmadge Avenue, the red-brick hill served the derby for two years until Derby Downs opened near Akron Municipal Airport.
Rubber executive Charles W. Seiberling presents a $50 check to Akron Soap Box Derby winner Charles Baer, 11, on Aug. 3, 1934. The boy is wearing a Red Peppers football helmet.
Comedian Lou Costello, TV, stage and screen starclowns around in group of champions in the losers box at the Soap Box Derby as they cheer on other contestants. 1954.
The super-sized version of the soap box racer that inspired the derby debuts at the dedication of the High Level Bridge in 1949.
The 1946 All-American Soap Box Derby parade at Derby Downs.
Shirley Temple, star of warner Bros. "Mary Hagen," in 1947 Soap Box Derby car.
Mrs. Mildred Townsend, VP Richard Nixon, and racer Barney Townsend, at the 22nd All-American Soap Box Derby in 1959.
Actor Ronald Reagan(from left to right,) Ventriloquist Paul Winchell with dummy Jerry Mahoney, Darwin Cooper and Andy Devine ride in the Derby parade at Derby Downs. Cooper is the Champion of the downhill run, the Soap Box Derby of 1951. (Beacon Journal file photo)
Competitors make their way down the hill as they wait to run their heats on Race Day during the 73rd All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs in July of 2010. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)
New Soap Box Derby President Joe Mazur at Derby Down. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)
A racer prepares to cross the finish line while competing in a heat in the Akron Metro race at Derby Downs last month. The race will send winners of the Stock, Super Stock and Masters divisions to the All-American Soap Box Derby in July. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)
Rally masters champion Scott Robert Miesse (left), of Strongsville, Ohio, rally super stock champion Dennis VanFossen, of Barberton, Ohio, and rally stock champion Vince Sprague, of Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrate their wins at the 70th All-American Soap Box Derby in, 2007. (Ken Love/Akron Beacon Journal)
Arvonu Jackson, (right), of Wilmington, Delaware, and his nephew Mark Harris, 8, move Mark's stock car into the garage after it passed its brake and weight check at Derby Downs in 2006 as All-American Derby Champions prepare for this weekend's race. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)
All American Soabox Derby kissers Alix Reilly (left) and Leah Norman, both 17, kiss a grimacing super stock Soap Box Derby champion Zac Carr, 11 of Middleton, N.H. at welcoming ceremony at Canal Park in 2005. (Akron Beacon Journal/ Mike Cardew)
Jeff Iula poses with his custom license plate at Derby Downs in 2002.
Spectators sit in the shade behind the grandstand to escape the hot sun while watching the races on Race Day during the 73rd All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downsin July of 2010. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)
Racers cross the finish line after competing in their heat during the 71st running of the All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs in 2008. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)
A racer and driver guide their car down the course in an elimination heat during the 2010 Super Kids Classic at the 73rd All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Down. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)
A racer passes beneath the checkered flag at the finish line during the running of the 72nd annual All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs in July of 2009. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)