Wacky Soap Box racers - 1980


“Early in the year, the Knott family gave the ‘go ahead’ for a multi-million dollar construction and enlargement program at the park. The result was three new attractions being constructed that would open in time for summer. This was the Knott’s way of sharing the joy of their Diamond Jubilee celebration with visitors to Knott’s Berry Farm. In the “Roaring 20’s” area, Knott’s “Wacky Soap Box Racers” takes the place of the Cycle Chase. Now the whole family can share in the fun: which is considerable.” - James Hancock, Los Angeles Times - 1980.

“I don’t think management did it intentionally, but everyone backed off on this project. I think they all sensed it was a potential time bomb. I was young, so if it didn’t work so well it could get passed off on the new guy. Of course, this also gave me more artistic control...- Eddie Sotto, 1993.

By 1979, Knott’s Berry Farm knew they had a problem on their hands with the Motorcycle Chase. The homage to Coney Island’s ‘Steeplechase’ ride had caused numerous injuries, due to the fact that the center of gravity was much higher than it should have been when riding atop the fiberglas vehicles. A young designer named Eddie Sotto came to their rescue with a new concept using the existing track - take the guests through a living cartoon, while riding Soap Box Racers - just like in an old ‘Our Gang’ comedy. The concept paid off in a big way, boosting attendance in 1980, and created a beloved attraction that lasted until 1997, replacing it with the ‘Windjammer’ roller coaster.

Lift one music - ‘Shades of Sennett’

Sandbox Bar music (edit)

Eddie Sotto talks about

Rick Campbell’s initial “Bobsled”

concept - June 14, 1993

Eddie Sotto talks about

the music played

in the queue - June 14, 1993