Soap Box Rally in Bergamo is a real race, but on wooden cars without a motor! Each “racing car” is made of wood, including even wheels, has no motor, and moves only due to the manual overclocking, but while driving down the steep descent it gains real speed!
The crew of each car are two brave racers: one of them tries to push and overclock the wooden “car” as much as possible, the second one makes his best to control the direction of the car’s movement. And then the non-motor constructions begin to sweep swiftly down the race track, overcome all the obstacles on the way, swim across the water, jump with a roar on the trampolines, and what is the most surprising – practically without damages arrive to the finish!
The history of these races began at the beginning of the last century in the United States. According to one of the versions, the origin of the name and the idea of the race itself is as follows: the soap seller, wishing to increase sales of his products, came up with a kind of advertising action – to give for free to buyers of his soap a set of wooden elements from which it was possible to construct a small car.
It is not known why the seller of soap decided to give a car designing kit, but as a result, the idea of constructing small wooden cars became so popular in the USA that they began to hold races of such “cars” and to call them Soap Box Rally.
Currently, such races are popular both in the USA and Europe, particularly in the north of Italy. The first race in Bergamo was organized in 1955 by a group of young enthusiasts who have seen the American race on TV and decided that it is not difficult at all to arrange the same racing competition in their hometown.
And since then every year for racing in Bergamo they construct – and brightly paint depending on the crew’s fantasy – wooden “bolides” for participation in – incredible in its idea and crazy in its realization – the Race Soap Box Rally!