Film of Soap Box Derby, Portland, 1940

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


The 5th annual Soap Box Derby, sponsored by the Portland Press Herald, the Evening Express, and the Chevrolet Motor Company, took place on Park Avenue in Portland in July of 1940. The 695 foot course passed the Portland Exposition building, Richardson's field, and ended at the fire station at the intersection of Park and St. John's Street. In 1940, 55 boys participated -- 24 from Southern Maine and 31 from other areas around the State. Each participant was given a t-shirt, steel crash helmet, and a Popsicle. Heats ran with three cars at a time. There were no brakes on the cars so a "safety team" helped them stop. The winner received a trophy, wrist watch, and an all expenses paid trip to the All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.

According to articles in the Portland Press Herald, participants included Joseph Rando of Portland, Chester Naples of Rockland, Clifford Goody of Westbrook, and Kendall Chapman of Bath. Kendall Chapman, 14, was the 1940 Derby champion. His tiny, ultra-streamlined car was named "Miss Graymore."

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About This Item

  • Title: Film of Soap Box Derby, Portland, 1940
  • Creator: City of Portland public works
  • Creation Date: 1940
  • Subject Date: 1940
  • Local Name: Parkside
  • Town: Portland
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: filmstrip, 16mm
  • Local Code: Coll. 4006
  • Collection: City of Portland, Maine film collection
  • Object Type: Moving Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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