Photographic archive documenting a teenager’s two-year Soap Box Derby competition career to include participation in the national All-American Soap Box Derby finals at Akron, Ohio
Photographic archive documenting a teenager’s two-year Soap Box Derby competition career to include participation in the national All-American Soap Box Derby finals at Akron, Ohio
Photographic archive documenting a teenager’s two-year Soap Box Derby competition career to include participation in the national All-American Soap Box Derby finals at Akron, Ohio
Photographic archive documenting a teenager’s two-year Soap Box Derby competition career to include participation in the national All-American Soap Box Derby finals at Akron, Ohio
Photographic archive documenting a teenager’s two-year Soap Box Derby competition career to include participation in the national All-American Soap Box Derby finals at Akron, Ohio
Photographic archive documenting a teenager’s two-year Soap Box Derby competition career to include participation in the national All-American Soap Box Derby finals at Akron, Ohio

Photographic archive documenting a teenager’s two-year Soap Box Derby competition career to include participation in the national All-American Soap Box Derby finals at Akron, Ohio

Lancaster and Akron Ohio: 1969-1970. Unbound. This archive contains approximately 140 photographs ranging in size from 2.25” x 2.75” to 8” x 10”. Most are b/w (about 30) and color (about 110) 3.5” square or 3.5” x 5” snapshots. The others are all b/w and include official “photo finish” shots and professional publicity photos. Also included is a letter with a xerographic image of another racer and his car. All are in nice shape; about a half dozen of the snapshots have faded and a similar number are blurred. A few of the images have notations in the margins or on their reverse. A few also have insignificant paper remnants on their reverse, presumably from a scrapbook. Very good. Item #009057

Based on some photo dates, Brenstuhl entered Soap Box Derby competitions in 1969 and 1970 when he twice won the city championship for Lancaster which qualified him to compete in the national All-American Soap Box Derby held annually in July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio.

These photographs capture David's and his family’s involvement in the competition process, various cars, travel, race starts and finishes, cars speeding down derby hills, spectators at local events and packing the grandstands at Derby Downs, celebrity involvement, ceremonies and award dinners, trophy presentations, etc. including: * Two color snapshots from a party showing the 1969 national champion, Steve Souter of Texas, and the first national champion from 1934, Robert Turner, * An inscribed xerographic image of the 1970 national champion, Sam Gupton, and his racer sent by Gupton following the championship and complimenting Brenstuhl on his car and racing, * Parade snapshots of celebrities participating in the 1969 national championship: Joanne Worley from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics, Hugh O’Brien from Wyatt Earp, actor-singer Noel Harrison, Lorne Greene from Bonanza, and hometown basketball star, Gus Johnson from the Baltimore Bullets. (Also one of Greene climbing into the grandstand.), * One snapshot of the 1969 America’s Junior Miss (the title was changed to Distinguished Young Woman in 2010 to help differentiate it from beauty pageants) riding in a parade car and what I think may be a few more with Brenstuhl, and. * An 8” x 10” publicity photograph of the three participants of the 1970 celebrity race held along with the national championship: Lloyd Hughes from Room 222, James Drury from The Virginian, and Apollo 13 Astronaut Dick Gordon, who apparently won the event since he is holding the Oil Can Trophy.

A terrific visual record of what at the time was a major annual competition that generated considerable national interest. Two years later the Derby lost Chevrolet as its primary sponsor for being “outdated and too expensive.” It also lost its innocence the following year, when the national champion was disqualified after the discovery that his engineer uncle had doctored the racer’s tires with a solution to reduce rolling resistance and installed a hidden electromagnetic device that pulled the car forward when the starting paddle receded. At the time, the Akron prosecutor compared the cheating to another then current scandal involving Marilyn Chambers, “It's like discovering that your Ivory Snow girl has made a blue movie.”

As of 2018, nothing similar is for sale in the trade, and no similar archives have sold at auction per ABPC or Rare Book Hub. OCLC shows two institutions have much smaller groupings related to local races and the Akron-Summit Public Library has a 450 item collection including artifacts, films, documents, and official photos, but apparently not much in the in the way of vernacular photos from a competitor’s viewpoint.

Price: $600.00

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