Damage done to the honored name of the All-American was considerable, especially since Chevy had pulled out only months before. In fact, in Akron they still grouse that GM suspected that the All-American was a scandal about to happen and severed connections just in time to leave the Rubber City holding the bag. In any event the '74 Derby was a threadbare event that was run by the local Jaycees on an "austerity budget." Only 99 cars, fewer than half the predicating total, showed up at Topside, and celebrities, real or inflated, were hard to come by.
Perhaps worse, all those dailies that had annually run pictures of the All-American champ—freckles, braces and all—now called attention to the death of Motherhood and Apple Pie. Further, since the president of the United States was then trying to stave off indictment, most papers could not also resist noting how the All-American twig seemed to be bent these days.
Here are some of the reasons why, if you find yourself in Akron on Aug. 13, you will still be able to enjoy the running of the 51st All-American:
?The race never gets rained out.
?The franchise was expanded by 100% when girls were admitted into Boydom in 1971.
?In 1976 the competition was split into two divisions—Juniors (9-12) and Seniors (12-16)—which means there are also 100% more winners and that...
?...younger kids can get hooked on the Derby, making racers from the kits in barely a weekend's time.
?Novar Electronics Company, from nearby Barberton, Ohio, became the event's major sponsor in 1975 because its president, James Ott, had been the sort of little boy who liked to build things.
?The governor of Ohio, Richard Celeste, leaned on a local insurance company, and for 1988 the All-American was able to buy protection at only 2� times what it had cost the year before.