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Soap box derby brings out the racer in kids

No engines, all attitude.

That could have been the mantra of many of the extremely fuel-efficient speed racers who participated in this year’s annual Soap Box derby.

Piloting push-powered vehicles put together with nails, spit, polish and a few prayers, upwards of 40 participants and their homemade racers tested their mettle, as well as their skills with a hammer and screwdriver as they took on the 17th Street hill between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Two downhill contests were held, one for kids between 7 and 13 and one for adults.

Winners of the children’s race received free ice cream, according to members of the Open Source Gallery, who not only sponsored the race, but opened their doors to teach area kids how to construct their own mean machines.

“The children come up with their own ideas and then we helped them build their cars out of recycled materials,” Monika Wuhrer, co-founder of the Open Source Gallery, told reporters last week.

Some of the soap box cars may not have survived the Saturday’s challenge. But their drivers did, and were eager to go back to the drawing board and race another day.

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