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Open Diff – What’s the craziest demolition derby you’ve seen?

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Photo by Chris Bojanower.

Like pretty much every other motorsport, demolition derbies have rules and they have winners and losers. As a result, demo derby competitors spend an inordinate amount of time and thought (for something that should just be stupid, dirty fun at the county fair) choosing the best vehicles for the purpose, tweaking the cars to outlast the competition, and devising ways to bend the rules that would make Smokey Yunick proud.

Organizers of demolition derbies know this. Some roll with the culture and tweak the rules back in a tit-for-tat that comes to define demo derby culture and turn it into something far more serious than necessary. Others realize that the whole point of a demo derby is for entertainment and novelty, so they shake things up a bit with oddball variations on the demolition derby: school bus derbies, figure eights, school bus figure eights, garden tractor derbies, RV derbies, and (my personal favorite) combine demo derbies.

A couple commenters here recently pointed some unusual variations: Joe Essid recalled seeing a luxury car demo derby in the Seventies. “I was horrified,” he said. “Mixed makes and some foreign exotics were in the mix. I had to watch…” And Paul Jordan reported seeing photos of a derby just for mid-Fifties “earlybird” Thunderbirds.

Whatever your moral stance on demolition derbies, odds are that you’ve seen a few in your life because, let’s face it, they’re a part of car culture. So tell us about the oddest, stupidest, wildest, or most ingenious demolition derbies you’ve seen.