Three of our highly skilled apprentices at Bowker BMW on Trident Park in Blackburn, joined forces to enter this year’s Accrington Soapbox Challenge.
The Bowker BMW ‘soapbox car’ is being made from sourced recycled tables and chairs, plus BMX bike wheels and other repurposed items.
19 year-old Accrington College student Luke Comberbach and Blackburn College students 17 year-old Jack Orrell and 19 year-old Ciaran O’Boyle have worked together in between their other jobs to spearhead the Bowker challenge.
Ciaran said: “We’re very excited. It’s been great fun to build the cart. And we think we’ve got a good chance. We recycled old tables that we sourced from college. We used an old chair from a gaming steering wheel setup. We found the bmx tyres on the internet. Whatever we could lay our hands on really!
“The three of us have done most of the work. But other Bowker technicians have helped with advice and opinions. One of them came up with the design. Then we put it together. We’ve learned so many new skills. I’d never welded before. I’ve learned how to weld. So, hopefully the pieces will stay together!”
This year’s Soapbox Challenge takes place in Accrington town centre on Saturday, 27th August 2022. The last event saw 26 contestants, over 9000 spectators, plus family fun stalls and activities.
‘Soapbox cars’ were historically made from wooden soap crates. More recently, materials have become more varied since the first publicly recorded Soapbox race in 1904.
Competitors have been challenged to create a four-wheeled non-motorised Soapbox vehicle, using only gravity for fuel and speed. The soapbox must have a form of steering, the ability to brake and competitor safety helmets must be worn.
Aside from that, there are no rules. It’s simply the first to reach the finishing line wins! Novelty prizes will also be awarded to competitors with the Best Soapbox Design and Best Team Costume.