SBD Links

Every so often we come across other Soapbox Derbies – and every so often people email us asking for general info about Soapbox Derbies in New Zealand. Following is the info we have come across:

The All American Soapbox Derby

This is our one, run by Rotarians for children using kit set cars from America.

The NZ International SBD Trust holds the franchise to this, runs the races under AASBD Rules and the NZ Champion competes in the World Finals in Akron, USA in July. Trustees are representatives from each of the Rotary Clubs who run the races:

  • Auckland East Rotary
  • Waitakere Rotary
  • Whangaparaoa Rotary
  • Whangarei Sunrise Rotary

We are actively promoting the concept to other Rotary Clubs in the country and hope to expand the Race Centres throughout New Zealand.

More information available from

The following site has some fantastic links to ideas on building the cars, the physics behind the racing and racing tips – along with links to other AASBD racing sites

Other Major Trolley Derbies

Nelson Trolley Club

rotary-Prototype-150Nelson Trolley Club group started in the 60’s and are seriously into home made soapbox cars to the point where their Mayor has declared Nelson the Trolley Capital of New Zealand.

They have some great resources on their site – including how to build trolleys for both adults and a new prototype for children

Currently other groups are are expanding their concept into Wanganui and South Auckland so it is well worth checking them out.

Their archive site is: and this contains other design ideas and tips

Mangere Bridge Trolley Derby

Mangere Bridge Trolley Derby have been in deep discussions with the Nelson Trolley Club and held their inaugral race in November 2012 on Ambury Road with a race format based on Nelson. They also have workshops on trolley design and lots of ideas.
Manukau Courier Article – 16/10/12
Rotary Club Bulletin 21/11/12 with photos

Warkworth Trolley Club

Warkworth have their inaugral race in 2014

Wanganui Trolley Club

Wanganui also joined the fun in 2014

Other Trolley Derbies

Police Bluelight

Bluelight teams do things for the kids. Some are into discos, BBQs, Fun Days and camps, some do other activities… and some do derbies.

  • In 2010 an East Auckland Police Bluelight team ran a SBD for cars built by their local high schools. The kids made the carts in their technology classes. A few Rotarians helped with the timing – and ideas for planning etc – so naturally a selection of photos ended up in the Waitakere Club bulletin (page 3)
  • Again in 2010 the Hamilton Bluelight team ran a race and photos of this were spotted in the NZ Herald – and copied into our Club Bulletin (last page)
  • The New Zealand Bluelight website lists a few others:

Waihi Trolley Derby

Racing in October 2014. Details here

Red Bull

Red Bull ran their 3rd trolley derby for adults in the Auckland Domain in April 2011. Will they do it again? Probably. Keep an eye on their website.

An article from their 2011 event is at:

Taiaotea Air Scouts

This group ran a derby in 2011 as part of a team building exercise. (We only know about this as their hay bales appeared on Trade Me – and we have the words “soapbox” on our watchlist)

Other “Gravity” Events

Model Trolleys

If zooming at speed down a track isn’t for you, how about model racing?

  • The Nelson Trolley Club have photos
  • They get some of the parts from Pinewood


If all that sounds far too exhausting – try the movies: They may even inspire.

  • Kiwi Flyer – a NZ movie of a released in September 2012 to theatres.
  • 25 Hill – an American movie about an AASBD boy racer on DVD

And now for something completely different…

This one needs water, a jet ski and a flying board rather than land – but is amazing to watch:
Fly Boarding

Other Links

If you know of a Trolley Derby or other useful trolley or gravity sites – email us at and we will be happy to add a link.

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Meetings are held every Wednesday at 6pm but check our calender for our latest schedule.

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