Instructables

Oh No not another flippin' soapbox

Picture of Oh No not another flippin' soapbox
floor.jpg
chassis rails.jpg
radiator 4.jpg
steering.jpg
boattail 5.jpg
boattail 4.jpg
steering arm 2.jpg
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steering arm.jpg
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A couple of months ago I applied to enter the Red Bull Soapbox Derby at Alexandra Palace and as I sold the Model 'T' at Bonhams last September and the prototype of the '32 sedan is looking a little 'careworn' I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to design and build a new one.  Eventually I decided on a Indianapolis single seat racer from the mid thirties, a bit 'Milleresque'.  Construction technique follows the previous models.  Plans will be available when I get round to it.

All of the solid timber is Sapele and is obtained from recycled patio door cills from a local window company all for £10.  Softwood could be used instead stained or painted. The floor is 18mm ply, the chassis rails are 4 inch by 3 inch and taper in 2 planes.  The bend in the chassis rail was achieved by 'pie cutting' a wedge and adding a reinforcement piece glued and screwed behind the rail (see photo).

The radiator surround is made up of several blocks glued together and carved to shape, it is squarer than the '32 grille and is therefore a bit easier to carve, much of the shaping can be done with a saw.  The side panels are Mahogany veneered MDF, bending them to form the lower part of the boat tail stressed them to the limit, plywood would have been easier.  Flexi ply would have been easier still.  Normally I would make the bonnet halves from flexi ply and then veneer  them but this time I found some 1.5 mm ply that I thought would do the job but I wasn't happy with the end result so I ended up veneering them anyway.  The windscreen is Ash mitred, screwed and glued with an off cut of Perspex rebated and silicone in place.  Wheels are 20 inch, 40 spoke BMX with 14mm axles.  I made the exhaust from a garden parasol pole, I drilled a hole about an inch deep at the end to make it appear hollow, which has made a few people wonder what it's made from.  The support for the BMX calliper brakes is a 1inch square box section steel which passes through square holes in the chassis rails.  If you have a morticer (like me) remember to make the holes in the chassis rails before you make the chassis (I didn't).  I had the seat back professionally upholstered as it is now impossible to by ready pleated vinyl in this country anymore.

Rick mentioned that the steering is the hardest part and he's right but after 5 different designs I think I may have stumbled on the best method.  The main part as you can see from the latest photo is and old fashioned hand drill bought on ebay for around a fiver I think the photo is self explanatory but will add another couple of photos of the steering arm end.

The front axle was bent out of 19mm mild steel round bar at a local metal fabricator, all pivots and steering links are rod end bearings bought on ebay. 

I will add more photos as I progress with the build.

joske24 days ago

Hello Peter

Thank you for the inspiration. My little girl had the time of her life with our home-made soapbox. She even got the price for the best design. Fortunately we didn't have to compete against one of your soapbox-artworks. ;-)

picture.jpg
Peter Vivian (author)  joske23 days ago
Looks fantastic! love to see some more photos. I've got a new one nearly finished I will post pics when it's done.
All the best

pete
djangelt1 month ago
Can you post the link to were the plans for some of your carts are. Or email it to me. I want to build one of these for my 1 year old son. I know I'm starting pretty early.
Angelt2451@gmail.com
Thank you.
Peter Vivian (author)  djangelt1 month ago
Hi the only plans I have currently are for the '32 Sedan (number 55). These are available directly from me via email, payable through Paypal the address for which is petervivian5@gmail.com price is £25. I do have line drawings for the model 'T' but there is no constructional or engine details these are £15. Plans for the Indycar (number 84) are currently being produced and there is a new one coming soon which I shall feature on Instructables but keeping it quiet at the moment. All the best Peter. BTW the new soapbox website is now up and running you can find it at http://superiorsoapbox.co.uk
marreromike4 months ago
Peter how can I get your plans I cannot find them on ebay.
motoring7 months ago
That is great. I have a 18 year old girl that is looking to make something similar to this. Thanks for the inspiration
altomic9 months ago
Awesome, simply awesome. I just showed my 8 year old daughter your cars and she is aching to build one this very second.
Peter Vivian (author)  altomic9 months ago
Hi thanks for your comments, plans are available for some of the carts but I think she might be a little young to build one all on her own!
Brandon and Sonya 3.jpg
foobear10 months ago
Ooh that is a beauty. that's quite a thing
mioffreda1 year ago
hello peter
please a need the measurement of this car.

tnahks
mioffreda@hotmail.com
Peter Vivian (author)  mioffreda1 year ago
Hi it's 6 feet long overall (about 1.8metres) and just under 3 feet wide (about .0.85m)
Peter Vivian (author) 1 year ago
Sorry not updated recently but had workshop related accident - 2 broken fingers + several stitches OUCH!. I didn't get accepted for the Red Bull event I think they were going for more novelty based carts. I have attached a couple more photos. Add images is not working at the moment so will try again later
tramontano1 year ago
Amazing work!

Now find a way to put a motorcycle V engine transversely on the front of that grill, and transmit the power to the rear wheels, and you'll have something I would buy - just like the Morgan 3-wheeler!

http://www.morgan3wheeler.co.uk/
Peter Vivian (author)  tramontano1 year ago
Found a Briggs and Stratton V twin from a lawnmower, looks like the 3 wheel Morgan might be a goer.
Peter Vivian (author)  tramontano1 year ago
Weeell that's an interesting point you make. I have so far resisted building a Morgan even though I really like the idea as Morgan themselves make a child's pedal 3 wheeler but recently I was given a Brompton 20 inch wheel with a drum brake that's no good for a 4 wheeler but perfect for a trike now if only I can find a small V twin. The other option is for a dummy wooden engine with an electric motor hidden in the tail! You've set me thinking.
seamster1 year ago
Oh yes, another flippin' soapbox!

I loved your other ones, and this one is looking great too. Can't wait to see more of it.
pfred21 year ago
Where do you get those rims with those hubs in them?
Peter Vivian (author)  pfred21 year ago
They are 20 inch, 48 spoke BMX wheels with the essential 14mm axles. Usually use inch and a quarter to inch and a half tyres at the front and 2 inch at the rear. Bike wheels are not designed to be used as stub axles but if they'll support my 18 stone they should be OK. Always used silver on my carts before but thought all black would look cool on a race car.
rickharris1 year ago
The hard bit is the steering mechanism and the drive - Is that in the next episode?
kretzlord1 year ago
Sir, that is not a "flippin' soapbox". It is, in point of fact, a marvelous ride for any fun sized gentleman (or lady)
l8nite1 year ago
I recall drooling over your other cars, this one promises to be just as gorgous
so cool