Michigan Hill, a natural race strip in La Cañada allowing 1,056 feet of gravity-inspired acceleration, will allow young racers to test their mettle this Saturday in the Ninth Annual Greater Los Angeles Soap Box Derby sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada in association with the California Family Soap Box Derby Association.
Soap box cars will soar down the hill at around 35 miles per hour. Race officials had to adjust the starting line to begin one-third of the way down as a safety precaution. If the full length of the hill were to be used, cars could easily reach speeds of up to 50 mph. Every car is equipped with brakes, but just in case, a soft wall of hay awaits at the end of the race strip to catch out of control cars.
“Safety is our primary concern,” assures Mary Gant, Kiwanis Club member and La Cañadan of the Year.