San Francisco’s Soapbox Derby is back

On Sunday afternoon, McLaren Park in San Francisco hosted a revival of one of the city’s greatest art events. Initially held in 1975 and 1978, SFMOMA raced downhill cars designed by artists, ranging from real edible bread to rolling pin.

This year’s race featured teams of 57 artists, who competed for awards ranging from the fastest to the “most illusory”. The team behind the MUNI Toons public transport black racer predicts that not every car is likely to reach the finish line, and it has been proven that many cars spin or break while traveling on John F’s curved mountain. Shelley Drive.

Apr. 10, 2022 ‘Sophie’s Succulents’ racer stands in a barrier after an accident while racing at the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Thousands of spectators lined up at the racetrack for 10 to 20 people. They cheered and photographed the creative and diverse offerings of the soapbox racers.

An observer holds a board promoting Soapbox drivers during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
An observer holds a board promoting Soapbox drivers during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Audiences watch the cardigan racing Soapbox at John F. Shelley Drive during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
Audiences watch the cardigan racing Soapbox at John F. Shelley Drive during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

A soapbox racer including a tent racing to the finish line on John F Shelley Drive during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
A soapbox racer including a tent racing to the finish line on John F Shelley Drive during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Ron Cowell races his 'Ron' racer on April 10, 2022 during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
Ron Cowell races his ‘Ron’ racer on April 10, 2022 during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California.
Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE


Some racers at the SFMOMA Sophobox Derby. (Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE)

Before heading down the track, soapbox racers are on display at the racetrack, where people of all ages can carefully inspect vehicles and talk about their work with artists.

Visitors enjoy the soapbox racer
Apr. Sophie’s Succulents “Sophie’s Succulents” during a SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California on October 10, 2022.
Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Apr.  Spectators enjoy a soapbox racer in the racetrack during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California on October 10, 2022.
Apr. Spectators enjoy a soapbox racer in the racetrack during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco, California on October 10, 2022.
Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE


Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

“One night, we definitely wanted to do this,” Noah Pilsen said as he ran down the path into a tub using a bubble machine, with co-driver Alex Morris, whom he called “bath time.”

Apr.  Nosh Pichen and Alex Morris pose with their soapbox racer before the race heats up at the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco on October 10, 2022.

Apr. Nosh Pichen and Alex Morris pose with their soapbox racer before the race heats up at the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco on October 10, 2022.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

“Because our test run was not successful, we did not expect to do that until the end,” Morris said with a laugh. “But we did it.”

Sarah Parker is photographed with a soapbox racer on April 10, 2022 at the SFMOMA Sophox Derby racetrack in McLaren Park, San Francisco.

Sarah Parker is photographed with a soapbox racer on April 10, 2022 at the SFMOMA Sophox Derby racetrack in McLaren Park, San Francisco.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

At the finish line, four referees meticulously watched each racer. They include Queen of Track and educator Persia, musician and activist La Dona, Amanda Pope, creator of the 1975 soapbox Derby documentary, and Dorcas Moulton, who participated in the 1975 event with the soapbox racer made of bread.

Apr.  Judges (from front to back) Persia, La Dona, Amanda Pope and Torcas Moulton watch the racers as John F. Shelley rides the racetrack during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco on October 10, 2022.

Apr. Judges (from front to back) Persia, La Dona, Amanda Pope and Torcas Moulton watch the racers as John F. Shelley rides the racetrack during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco on October 10, 2022.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

“The engineering quality of most cars is much better than the first time,” Moulton said after the event.

“When you saw those cars colliding with the barrier, there were a lot of things like that [in 1975]”Moldon added.” Most of them had real brakes and real steering. “

Apr.  10, 2022 during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco.  Dr. Shelley.

Apr. 10, 2022 during the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco. Dr. Shelley.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

After the final heat, spectators and racers crowded the nearby Jerry Garcia Amphitheater to find the award winners. Many awards were presented, including the most spiritual, the clenchiest, the most agile, the most congenial, the most beautiful vibe, nociest, best snippet and most circular. Final Award Most Valuable: Fastest Soapbox Racer. John Casey won it with his soapbox racer “The Harry Eyeball”.

On April 10, 2022 at the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco he held the John Case Trophy, which won the fastest racing time with his Sophox racer.

On April 10, 2022 at the SFMOMA Sophox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco he held the John Case Trophy, which won the fastest racing time with his Sophox racer.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Apr.  10, 2022 John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco.  A soapbox racer including a tent racing up to the finish line on Shelley Drive.

Apr. 10, 2022 John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco. A soapbox racer including a tent racing up to the finish line on Shelley Drive.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Scroll down to see more photos of all the activities.

John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco.  Spectators line the side of the road to see the soapbox racers on Shelley Doctor.

John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco. Spectators line the side of the road to see the soapbox racers on Shelley Doctor.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

During the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, the knitted soapbox racer catches the eye of onlookers as he races down the hill.

During the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco, the knitted soapbox racer catches the eye of onlookers as he races down the hill.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Apr.  10, 2022 At the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco two spectators get a good chance of racing.

Apr. 10, 2022 At the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco two spectators get a good chance of racing.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco.  Shelley Drive crosses the finish line with a soapbox racer.

John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco. Shelley Drive crosses the finish line with a soapbox racer.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

On April 10, 2022, visitors reached the barrier on a piece of cotton that threw a soapbox razor during a run at the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco.

On April 10, 2022, visitors reached the barrier on a piece of cotton that threw a soapbox razor during a run at the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco.  Viewers see a soapbox raced in a cardigan race on Shelley Drive.

John F. Kennedy during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco. Viewers see a soapbox raced in a cardigan race on Shelley Drive.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

John F. during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco.  Peter Taylor helps push his soapbox racer Muni Toons across the finish line on Shelley Doctor.

John F. during the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby on April 10, 2022 at McLaren Park in San Francisco. Peter Taylor helps push his soapbox racer Muni Toons across the finish line on Shelley Doctor.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Jason

Apr. 10, 2022 During the SFMOMA Soapbox Derby at McLaren Park in San Francisco, Jason “J” Brommell waved toward the crowd after successfully running his Safeway Shopping Cart Soapbox racer.

Douglas Zimmerman / SFGATE

Editor’s note: This story was edited at 10 a.m. on April 11 to edit the headline as SFMOMA’s first soapbox derby since the 1970s.

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