The All-American Soap Box Derby World Champion for 1939, designed, built and piloted by Cliff Hardesty of White Plains, New York. At the Nationals in Akron, Cliff's design was so advanced at the time that officials expressed concern that he may have had help in building it, and that he had to prove otherwise. Upon examination, he demonstrated before a committee that he was fully knowledgeable on the subject, indeed improving on it, which impressed the officials. Ultimately, he was allowed to compete. This racer comprised a stout aerodynamic fuselage with high sides that completely enclosed the occupant, an acrylic windscreen and full-length headrest fairing. Windscreens were discontinued in the late 1940s by the Derby for safety reasons , and headrest fairings were rare until the late 60s, when layback cars used them widely. The body, a narrow teardrop design mounted onto a suspension, was made from wood slats and sheet metal. The axles were fitted with wing-like axletrees.
This model is created from black and white archive photos capturing Cliff's victory in Akron. It is shown here as it did at the All-American, equipped with the official Soap Box Bridgestone wheels. These were the Derby's first generation of issued wheels, made of riveted steels discs with a solid rubber strip. A few years later a second generation welded unit was issued. Interior details are estimated, as I have no photos of or information on them. The livery shows the car's sponsor, The Reporter, and the car's number.
Overall length - 75 3/4"
Overall width - 34 1/2" (note: regulation standard)
Overall height - 22"
Wheelbase - 60"
Body width - 13 1/4"
Ground clearance - 3 1/2"
Cockpit opening length - 13 1/8" (note: from headrest to where helmet meets windscreen)
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