In 1930s & Before, 3-Robert (Bubba) King, Jr. 1921-2004, 3-William (Happy) King 1922-1998, FAMILY: BROTHERS (BOB), POSTS on July 24, 2009 at 7:17 am

happy soap box

soap box bob

soap box derby envelope

soap box derby envelope BACK

soap box derby with border BACK

soap box derby BACK

(Editor’s note: The stamp on the envelope reads, “BLANCHARD’S STUDIO 1322 AIN ST. Makes good photo-graphs at reasonable prices. We also do kodak finishing.” The back of the photo of the Silver Streak is stamped “Blanchard’s Studio, 1322 Main St., Columbia, S.C.”)

  1. This is Granddaddy’s Soap Box Derby car that he built himself and I assume the first picture is of him with his interesting helmet. He won the derby in the his car, the Siver Streak. I think the second picture is of my Granddaddy – Bob King, Senior, standking behind the car. What is really fun is to notice the black 1930’s autos in the background.

  2. 🙂

    Makes me smile

  3. Daddy used to tell me about his Soap Box Derby win when I was growing up. One time I asked him what he won, and he said it was a small motorized car like a go-cart, but with a hard body rather than just a frame. I asked him where it was, and he said it was still at the College Street in Columbia. Of course the next question was how quickly we could get it to New Bern. I was about 12, so it felt like was going to be 100 years before I could drive a real car. We finally got it to New Bern, and put it on the front porch.
    It was in pretty bad shape. The motor didn’t run, the body was OK, but the paint job was bad and the drive hub was split. Nobody made parts for the vehicle, so reconstruction was going to be hard. I wanted to get it running in about a week; Daddy thought it would take longer. I wanted to work on it every free waking minute; Daddy had other things to do. It seemed like forever (actually about two years), we got the motor running and I took the gearbox apart and put it back together. Daddy figured out how to mend the hub. It was cast iron so couldn’t be welded, but he found someone who was willing to braze it. We had it done, and found tires that fit pretty good. Then came the day we were going to have a trial run. We got it off the porch, I cranked the motor, and s-l-o-w-l-y let the gearbox down on the V-belt. The car started to move forward – my heart was in my throat – then the belt grabbed and the hub split right along the braze line. The car went back on the porch and never moved again – until it moved from 1806 Tryon Road to 110 Gangplank. There was some talk about repairing it for Matthew, but it seemed to be beyond help. I learned a good bit about machinery, but my adolescent dreams of motoring up and down Tryon Road were dashed.

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