By: Scott RossPublished: August 19, 2022

Myron Scott

Myron Scott was working as a photographer for the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, when his editor told him one day in 1933 to get some photos of kids at play. As luck would have it, he happened upon a group of boys racing down Big Hill Road in nearby Oakwood, in cars made from soap boxes and orange crates and buggy wheels.

Seeing an opportunity for a great photo-op, he told the kids to come back some days later with a few more friends for a big race. Nineteen kids showed up and they drew quite a crowd, with a 12-year-old named Bob Gravett taking first place in his car with the number seven painted on the side. That car remains to this day the race's logo.

The following year, on August 19, 1934, the first annual All-American Soap Box Derby was held, with a field of more than 300 racers from all over the country, drawing more than 40,000 spectators. The winner of the first official Soap Box Derby was young Bob Turner, who showed up in a car made out of wood salvaged from a saloon bar. But the Soap Box Derby was merely Scott's first contribution to great American car culture.


Robert Turner, winner of the inaugural All-American Soap Box Derby

General Motors' Chevrolet division had signed on as a sponsor of the race and so got Mr. Scott's services as part of the deal. In 1952, Scott was invited to a meeting where the company was to discuss potential names for a new sports car that was in development. Attendees were told the name should start with the letter "C" and that animal names were not acceptable. Over the course of the meeting, countless words were rejected, so Scott went home and started flipping through the C's in his dictionary.

The following day he sent a note to his boss that read, ''How would you like to go for a ride today in my Corvette?'' And with that, Scott had made automotive history for a second time, though he was quick to point out years later that he never got so much as an extra day off for conceiving of the name.


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