Fun, fast cars scheduled for this Sunday’s Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby |

Fun, fast cars scheduled for this Sunday’s Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby

Kim Apple, 8, is the granddaughter of Gary Apple, who built the slinky dog soapbox derby car. Gary Apple plans to race in this Sunday's Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby.
Submitted to The Union |

know & go

What: Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Pioneer Park, 421 Nimrod St., Nevada City

The slinky dog soapbox derby car isn’t something you see every day.

About 12- to 15-feet long and 8 feet tall, the two-man car is linked by a massive spring. The vehicle’s two parts essentially promise watchers they’ll spread across the racetrack as they speed down Nimrod Street during this Sunday’s sixth annual Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby.

“The back hasn’t ever passed the front,” said Gary Apple, the soapbox car’s creator. “It’s just like a real slinky dog.”

Apple will be one of about 30 participants at this year’s soapbox derby, from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Pioneer Park, 421 Nimrod St., Nevada City. The event is free for onlookers to attend.

Nimrod Street is closed to traffic during the derby. Signs in the area will direct attendees to available parking, said Rich Bodine, the event’s chief instigator.

Food vendors will be in the park. Money raised through food and drink sales and sponsorships pay for park improvements.

Over the years, the derby has helped pay for a bocce ball court, an outdoor seating area and water fountains.

The race features two types of vehicles: race cars and art cars. Race cars are timed during their heats. Speed matters for those who want to win in that category.

Art cars are like Apple’s, made to impress and not to speed past finish lines.

Onlookers can expect a race about every three to four minutes.

The derby sprung from Bodine’s time as a Cub Scout leader. He’d been approached about building a soapbox car and discovered adult races during his research. He decided to run an adult derby race and raise funds for Pioneer Park.

“Everyone loves the park,” Bodine said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User