Soap Box Derby Memorabilia at Landmark General Store

MESOPOTAMIA, Ohio — The End of the Commons General Store, 4366 Kinsman Road, has on display the original 1960 Grand Champion Soap Box Derby car donated from winning driver, Allen Frantz, of Bristolville.

The End of the Commons General Store is Ohio’s oldest general store and has operated continuously for 170 years. In 1982, Kenneth and Margaret Schaden purchased the store; the Schaden family continues to run the business today.

The store’s Soap Box Derby display features Frantz’s 1960 innovative and winning derby car along with the checkered flag, photos and memorabilia commemorating the beloved event.

Cars competing in a soap box derby relied completely upon gravity to move. Frantz’s winning car was sponsored by the former North Bloomfield Banking Co. The 1960 Trumbull County Soap Box Derby race was sponsored by the Warren Tribune Chronicle and was one of the most celebrated local events of the era.

After winning the Trumbull County Soap Box Derby, 14-year-old Frantz made it to the All American Soap Box Derby in Akron, where drivers from all over the United States came to compete. During the All American Soapbox Derby’s heyday in the 1950’s and 1960’s, TV and movie stars made guest appearances, and as many as 75,000 people gathered to cheer hundreds of youthful racers and builders, ages 11-15, who were the champions of local races.

Pictured: The Frantz family with the winning car in the 1960 Trumbull County Soap Box Derby.

SOURCE: End of the Commons General Store.

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