- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - For the first time in 50 years, Muscatine held a soapbox derby race as part of its Fourth of July celebration.

About 30 competitors entered Monday’s race. Participants could only spend $500 on their cars that reached speeds between 25 mph and 35 mph while rolling down a hill.

Previously, the city held a soapbox derby annually from 1937 to 1966. Organizers revived the adults-only event to offer a fun competition on the holiday.

“It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of work,” race director Josh Onken said. “What makes it for me is seeing all the people here, whether participants or spectators, just enjoying themselves.”

Competitors Cory Gorsuch and Justin Smith said the event gave them the chance to live out a dream they’d had since watching “The Little Rascals” characters race soapbox cars.

“Ever since I saw the movie ‘Little Rascals.’ I guess I never really did the Pinewood derby or Soapbox derby so might as well be a big kid,” Gorsuch said.

Another competitor, Todd Hansen, earned household bragging rights by recording a faster time than his son. Both Todd and Tyler Hansen built cars to compete, but Todd’s came from a kit while Tyler’s was his own design.

“Honestly, I wanted him to win,” Todd Hansen said. “I got this overwhelming sense of accomplishment with how well he did on the car.”

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