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Race the Derby

The Madison Ave Derby is a race for amateur drivers fueled by creativity and family fun. We invite racers of all ages to participate and show off their unique designs!

Racers are eligible to compete in the following categories:

Most Original

Most Creative

Most Humorous

Best Craftsmanship

Best Theme

Best Team Spirit

...and of course, Speed! (for scratch builds only)


Remember: no helmet, no ride!

Safety Regulations

The Derby has posted these building resources to share information about important safety and general regulations and provide several links to external resources that can assist participants in creating their entry for the Madison Avenue Derby.​

Helmets are Required

All participants are required to wear a helmet for the derby, and there are no exceptions. Our first priority is that all of our participants are safe. Helmet checks will be performed at registration and are a prerequisite for participation. Bicycle, motorcycle, or football helmets are acceptable.


Steering Limitation is Required

There are no turns on the track at the derby, so there is only a need for about 5 degrees of steering capability. Oversteering can cause a vehicle the overturn or leave the track which can cause a safety issues for both spectators and participants. Steering checks will be performed at registration and are a prerequisite for participation. 


Braking Capability is Required

It's recommended that a pedal brake is used so the driver's hands can be used for steering, but there are a variety of options for braking. It's also recommended that light materials are used so the brake is able to easily attain stopping power. Braking capabilities are inspected at registration and are a prerequisite for participation.

General Regulations

Build and Registration Regulations

  • Cars should be scratch builds (kits are not eligible for speed trophies)

  • Cars require two front and two rear wheels

  • Wheels must maintain ground contact at all times

  • Cars are limited to 2 runs

  • Cars are limited to 3 occupants (1 driver,  up to 2 passengers)

  • Cars are limited to 6 participants (2 runs, up to 3 occupants each)

  • All participants require a ticket (6 max per car)

  • All participants should be registered at the same time 

Mandatory Car Dimensions

  • Axle Length (front & rear) Maximum 5 Feet from ‘outside-to-outside’ of wheels

  • Maximum ‘Overall’ Length is 7 Feet for Under 18 Age Group

  • Maximum ‘Overall” Length is 8 Feet for 18+ Age Group

  • Wheelbase (front to back axle measurement) Minimum 40″ 

  • Ground Clearance (Floorboard to ground) Minimum 3″, Maximum 7” to ensure low center of gravity

  • Width Maximum of 6 Feet

  • Height Maximum of 5 Feet

Additional Building Resources

The Derby does not provide any specific instructions to builders other the safety requirements listed above, but the guides below are excellent resources for builders. All of the information on these sites is the property of those sites, and the Derby Team believes that each site is an excellent and viable resource for our participants.

How to Build a Soapbox Cart - Skil

Easy Soap Box Derby Car Build - Autodesk Instructables

​How to build a winning Red Bull Soapbox racer - Redbull

​Building a Car - Official Soapbox Derby

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