Official Rules

Download 2017 Official Race Rules

Cars will be divided into two categories, Modified and Freestyle. Modified cars will be those with ball or roller bearing wheels. Freestyle cars will be those with sleeve bearing and all other types of wheels.

The Derby will be held Sunday, September 17, 2017 on the Rogers Street hill from Gorton’s to Massachusetts Electric. Cars and drivers must be present for check-in at 10:00 AM.

All drivers and their cars must be presented for pre-race inspection on Sunday, September 11th, between the hours of 9:00 AM and Noon. Inspections will be held at C.B. Fisk, Inc. 21 Kondelin  Road, Cape Ann Industrial Park, Gloucester, Massachusetts. Cars that are not presented for  inspection or do not pass inspection will not be allowed to race. Entries will not be allowed on  race day. Sorry, no exceptions.

1.  Cars must have four wheels touching the ground, two sets of opposing wheels front and rear.

2.  Cars must be no wider than 48 inches overall.

3.  Cars must be no longer than 84 inches overall.

4.  Cars must not weigh more than 250 pounds including driver. Weight may be added to achieve this limit, but all weights must be firmly attached to the car. No car will be allowed to race with loose weight. All cars and drivers will be weighed before each race.

*5.  Overall wheel diameter must be 10 inches or more, but not more than 16 inches.

*6. Cars may not extend more than 16 inches beyond either axle.

*7.  Ground clearance may not be less than 3 inches, including brake mechanism.

8.  Braking systems must be foot pedal friction type. No hand brakes will be allowed.

9.  Steering must be column and cable or rack and pinion type. No rear wheel steering or hand ropes will be allowed. No free play will be allowed in steering cables. Rack and pinion gears and joints must be well fitted.

10. Steering motion may not exceed 1½ inches in each direction.

11. Cars must be freewheeling. No motors, magnets or motive power other than gravity will be allowed.

12. All entrants must wear helmets. Elbow and kneepads are recommended for open bodied cars.

13. All drivers must be at least eight years old, but not yet fifteen years old, as of the day of the race.

14. All cars must have numbers not less than 4 inches high visible from each side of the car. Numbers will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

15. Each car shall have one driver. No multiple driver entries will be allowed; the same car may not be entered more than once per race event.


The Fish Box Derby reserves the right to disqualify any car or its driver at any time it deems the car unsafe or the driver or his or her crew display unsportsman-like behavior.


Please call 281-6057 or 283-1932 for any further information.



The Spirit of the Rules


The Fish Box Derby Rules are intended to provide fair and uniform regulation governing competition. These rules create competitive opportunities for each division. It is not possible to write individual rules governing every circumstance, therefore the “Spirit of the Rules” shall grant the authority and the responsibility for the interpretation of the written rules to the Fish Box Derby and its appointed committee named for that purpose to fairly supervise and judge all aspects of competition.

The Fish Box Derby is not affiliated with the All-American Soap Box Derby, however the AASBD is a good source for complete car kits, wheels, brakes, axles, and other parts. They may be contacted at 330-733-8723 or at P.O. Box 7225 Akron, Ohio 44306-7225. They also have a web site at Look for the heading “Racing Info” and choose “Online Store Front”. Also see http:/, or http:/