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Ready 2 Roll

David Gignac oils “Old Sparky,” named because its all steel wheels have been known to cause sparks during the Soup Box Derby. Gignac raced the all steel vehicle in Saturday’s 2005 race. - Gayle Saran
David Gignac oils “Old Sparky,” named because its all steel wheels have been known to cause sparks during the Soup Box Derby. Gignac raced the all steel vehicle in Saturday’s 2005 race.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

The rules were simple: If the vehicle could roll downhill without any man, woman or motor power, it was qualified for the 2005 Soup Box Derby in Langley Saturday.

Twenty-four “drivers” pushed or pulled their vehicles into place. At the end of the four-hour event, Tucker Stevens was declared the winner, although every participant was awarded a trophy.

This year’s Soup Box Derby was cosponsored by the Langley Community Club and the Langley Men’s Club.

Bob Dalton, president of the Langley Community Club, said the race was a unifying event for the both clubs and families who worked together building their entries.

“We raised $2,500 for one of the items on the City of Langley’s wish list. We haven’t determined what that will be yet,” Dalton said.

Participants raced down First Street to Anthes Avenue in a variety of homebuilt contraptions.

For the day, the street was dubbed the “Coldwell Banker/Tara Properties Raceway.” The company donated $500 to the cause. Sixty bales of hay lined the street to help protect drivers and onlookers in case anyone lost control on the trip downhill. Local businesses paid $30 to have a sign with their name on it against a bale of hay.

Just beyond the finish line, bales were lined up to stop anyone who couldn’t stop on their own. It was called the “wall of death.”

“We finished and no one got hurt,” Dalton said.

David Gignac, a race official and participant said his vehicle is built entirely of steel, even the wheels.

“After the 2002 race, it gained the named ‘Old Sparky’ because of the sparks that flew off his wheels,” Gignac.

Winner Tucker Stevens, proudly show off his three-wheeler contraption.

“Somewhere a senior citizen is missing their bicycle. Paul Samuelson acquired the machine, but I’m driving it,” Stevens said.

Racers spent an hour of so Saturday morning tuning up, registering for the race and eyeballing the competition.

Ed Field’s machine was a surplused gurney from Whidbey General Hospital. He named it “the Silver Bullet” and was particularly proud of its disc brakes.

Tim Leonard and Jordan Dibble built their craft and named their low wood sided car “The All Nighter” because they put it together the night before the race with all recycled materials.

“The only thing we bought was two bolts,” Leonard said.

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