How to cheat at the soapbox derby

According to the rules of the All-American Soap Box Derby, the racing cars had to run by gravity alone. But in 1973, suspicion fell on the winner of the Derby, 14-year-old Jimmy Gronen, when officials noticed that his car mysteriously "surged forward" at the start. Inspection uncovered a powerful electromagnet installed in the nose of his car. A switch behind the headrest activated the electromagnet, attracting it to the metal rod used to hold back the car at the starting line, giving it an initial boost of speed. The cheating scandal shocked the nation. An Ohio prosecutor said, "It's like seeing apple pie, motherhood and the American flag grinding to a halt." [via]

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 30, 2013
     Category: Sports | 1970s | Cars

I remember when this story broke, The picture of jimmy gronen that ran with it shows him posing with his uncle, The smile on his face struck my ten year old mind as very devious looking. Wish I could locate it,Tried a google but did not find it.
I did admire the engineering involved in the cheat, but it was still a cheat.
Posted by Tyrusguy on 07/30/13 at 10:30 AM
I too remember this story.
We were heavily into go karts at the time, although they were very crude, but we had a great hill on a dead end lane, so no traffic.
we used to catch hell for scaring the crazy cat ladies cats.
Posted by Billy on 07/30/13 at 11:05 AM
What is it with adults who meddle in their kids activities? Helping build a soapbox car for competition is one thing but taking it into a wind tunnel is really over the top.

I remember the Lange line of skis and boots. IMO way overpriced for the rich dilettante ski poseurs who didn't know the first thing about a snowplow turn.
Posted by KDP on 07/30/13 at 12:09 PM
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