Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weird Portland Wednesday: Adult Soapbox Derby

It started in the summer of 1997.  Portlander Paul Zenk brought an amazing tradition to Portland after watching a huge adult soapbox derby in San Francisco two years earlier.  His idea was to bring the soapbox racers down from the top of Mt Tabor--our own (semi)active volcano that is right smack in the middle of SE Portland.  According to their website, that summer "six men climbed to the top of Mt Tabor pulling their creations of death and destruction behind them. It was early in the day yet the smell of beer and sweat already filled the air. They lined their impossible vehicles up and strapped on their glasses , helmets and the PDX Adult SoapBox Derby was born."

photos by Jason DeSomer
 While it started out slow all those many years ago, last Saturday over 8,000 people observed as 45 cars careened down Mt Tabor, fed by gravity and beer.  Food vendors ran out of food later in the day. 

Some people begin drafting and building their cars many months in advance.  All are creative and fun.  The winner, #50 Gravity Wave, made it down the seven-tenths of a mile track in 75.4 seconds.  Winner Winner Chicken Dinner of Portland was second in the Derby's race, followed by Fang, also of Portland.

Any idea how he actually got into this car??

Once again we bring beer, food and fun to the community...just our way of keeping Portland Weird.

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