The Time, I Got 2nd Place in a Demolition Derby.

in busy •  3 months ago  (edited)

The video above isn't the same year I was in it, but it's the same derby, same fairgrounds, and the same idea. If you want to get a feel for what it was like - watch the video.

Here is how it went: I was in my early 20s and had just retired my old car. For years I had joked about burning it or crashing it. One day, my stepdad suggested I should enter it in a demo derby, which sounded crazy, but super fun. So, that summer I was helping my Step-Dad work on my 1969 Buick Electra for the Sanders County Demolition Derby in Plains, Montana.


While this model is about the same, mine was beat up and I hated that car with a passion. I had just bought a new Suburu and I couldn't think of a more fitting death for that old beast than a demo derby.

The car was 22 feet long, heavy and was already basically destroyed. The body was rusting, the paint old.. The brakes were bad, the steering was loose and it just wanted to go fast. It was actually a dangerous old car. We removed all the glass, the inside door panels, painted a number and my name on the side.

The day of the derby, my Step Dad loaded the car on a trailer and we headed from North Idaho to Montana. I was nervous and on the brink of chickening out the entire time.

When it was time to drive into the arena I reminded myself of my goals. The goal is to use the back end of your car to hit the front end of other cars. That way you protect your engine and the radiator.
The rules were simple, don't hit another car's driver door, everything else was fair game. The drive into the arena took forever and my future husband and step dad walked alongside the car giving me advice. I was sweating and wishing I had never committed to doing such a silly thing.

There were 18 cars and they lined us up in 2 lines, back-ends facing each other.


My photos of this event are in storage, but this is what it looks like.

My heart was racing and in the crowd I could hear my family and friends yelling advice and thoughts, it was hot and dusty in the arena and with no windows in the car my eyes were already feeling gritty. The announcers took forever introducing the cars and my hands began to sweat. I had my step dad's awkward fitting helmet strapped under my chin, and my hands were shaking.

Finally the count down.. I could barely breathe, as I tried to calm my brain down and focus on what to do ... Like all the drivers I put the car in reverse and prepared to back up as hard as I could into the car behind me. I took a deep breath... and when the flag dropped I hit the gas and prepared to ram the car coming from behind...

The noise was a bit overwhelming as the cars revved their engines, spun their tires and the crowd yelled, the announcer's voice droned on, but I could no longer hear his words. The flying dirt from spinning tires was in my face and eyes, and I was in a bit of a panic. The air was filled with smoke, from dripping oil, flat tires and the occasional engine fire.

Finally, contact.... As I backed as fast as I could into a car that was also backing up at me, the crash was shocking when we hit. My helmet came down over my face and my contact popped right out of my eye on contact. I was a bit stunned. As I struggled to fix my helmet and realized I was not going to find my contact another car was in position to back into me again. My heart was still pounding and the adrenaline made it hard to focus. Someone who recovered more quickly than I did, stuck the front passenger door of my car, sending my helmet flying again and my car died on impact.

This is the funny part, I tried to restart the car, but it just clicked I paused for a few moments and watched the others crash into each other not really sure what to do. As my attention turned back to my own car, I realized that I had to put the car in park to restart it, and she fired back up.

That's when I realized the wreckage of cars around me was blocking my path to trying to ram the other cars that were still running. I had to work my way around and during that time, the other cars that were still running were bashing on each other, and my car wasn't that damaged yet. By panicking in the beggining, I actually got a chance to recover and get my bearings.

The rest is a blur of crashing and smashing and I got the mad nervous giggles, which also made me look crazy. :) In the end there were three cars left, and really I didn't drive that well, I got lucky that those two were fighting each other and my car lastest slightly longer than the person who got third.

By the time the whole thing was over I won second place and $500 bucks. (which paid to replace my contacts) I received a ton of attention in a small town that didn't have a lot to do besides go to fairs and talk about demo derbys. My broken car and the photos sat out front of the local gas station for a while and I received a trophy as well.

I had legit whiplash for days and although I never want to do it again, it was a super fun experience and I am glad I did it once.

I am not even a car person, I don't really enjoy driving and I have no idea what possessed me to such a thing. :) Just writing this down though I felt the anxiety and rush of the day and once again a flash of entertainment for making a crazy choice.

Ever done something oddly crazy and completely out of your daily life?


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  ·  3 months ago (edited)

Ever done something oddly crazy and completely out of your daily life?

I killed a big cobra yesterday, in the jungle...does that count?

Why yes it does!

It tasted ok to...does that count?

Ever done something oddly crazy and completely out of your daily life?

In my early twenties, I crossed the Mississippi River by what’s probably the most foolish way possible. If you’re not averse to a bit of criminal trespassing, one of the railway bridges connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul has a catwalk under it. If you do a DuckDuckGo image search for “catwalk under bridge”, you’ll see lots of solid construction with two sturdy railings. That was not my experience. I had a walk of old 2x10 planks and one quarter-inch cable strung between rusting metal poles.

For no reason I can now explain, I crossed the catwalk from Minneapolis to St. Paul at 2 in the morning with the river flowing at least 60 feet (80?) beneath me.

Wow! That's a cool one! :)

I'll have to write about the time I almost got hit by a train, pretty after that I am out of exciting stories. :)

  ·  3 months ago (edited)

Now that monster would have serious cred in NZ!

Some tripper might see one, take some photos, and start using them for art edits...

The car was a beast and if I hadn't killed it, it might be old enough to be a classic now. At the time it was just an old dumb car that no one wanted due to the amount of gas it took to drive it. :)

Nice art, how are things?

Life over the edge has its costs in blood and tears, but it pays in adrenaline and scars!

Interesting to read a different kind post of yours.
I must admit that I was a bit disappointed in the end.
Somehow I was expecting from you some kind of comparison with our beloved blockchain, hehe.

I thought about it, but it's best if I don't talk about steem today

I love driving, and not at all a car geek.
This sounds fun, bordering on more than terrifying!!!

Amazing from the sounds if it.

My hat is off to you!

Most of my slightly crazy and out of my ordinary life, stuff involves, frankly, stupidity.
Old Guy me, is never gonna fess up to some of the stooopid stuff young-guy me did.

Thankfully, there were no Cell Phone cameras or facebook back then.

it must be a crazy experience. never had an opportunity to see this (i know it exists), is it still a thing there?
And how does it work? you have a car that you want to demolish so you just enter the contest?

as i don't do crazy stuff, bungee jumping was probably one of the craziest.
also had an opportunity to fly with the car (drive as fast as you can up the hill and then you lift off) but was a passenger and did not really think about what is going on, even we did it 3 times. Not a smart thing to do.

I just looked it up and it seems they still do it. For me it feels like a life time ago.

Yeah, we entered the car, I think there was a fee. Then you show up and crash the car until all the cars are immobile. :) A tow truck comes in and pulls them out. :) The local gas station agreed to pay the junking fees if I would let them display it for a month afterward. :) When I go home sometimes people still bring it up.

It was a pretty unusual thing to do, and I was remembering it, I gave myself a huge rush of anxiety. :) Funny things we do.

so you were a town hero :D

adrenalin rush was probably great. after bungee jumping i had like 20 minutes when i thought i could do anything :D it passed :D

yeah, I really did get a lot of attention. My car was at the gas station my trophy in the bar.

The worst part of it is, I only got 2nd because I kind of panicked while everyone else was wreaking their cars. Hahaha. :) It still gives me a nervous giggle.

so the point is, you don't have to always be in a hurry and chase to get where you want to :D

i learned that the easy way. every time i was in a hurry to catch a train and i passed someone who was just chillin, you know what happened? i got to a traffic light, and the man that i passed just steps beside me :D

Thanks for the post. I enjoyed reading it. One of my first cars was a '72 Skylark, so I can sort-of relate. I never wanted to destroy it, but I was glad to replace it.; -) I had nearly forgotten about demolition derbies, but now I remember seeing them on TV as a kid in the '70s. I had no idea that they were still going on anywhere in the 2000s, though. It's quite an unusual opportunity for you to have participated in one.

I included a link to your post in my recent article, Interesting Links: June 6, 2019, and set the beneficiaries so that you'll receive 5% of that post's rewards.

I bet the people running EMS hate these lol.

Thanks for sharing a story only you can write. THAT’S what will make this place special.

Oh yeah, I bet they do! Also in a world filled with people seeking safety, I shocked there are any of these left, but I googled it, and even this one is still going. :)

Luckily I have it out of my system and will not need to do it again.

I’d do it.

I have a strange bucket list lol.

omg it's interesting how parenting worked in our days. Hahahaha

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It is nice reading something different from you. I can only imagine what the experience was like. I'm 25 and I'm certain I wouldhave a heart attack doing that. I haven't done anything crazy. I'm very cautious and intriverted. Maybe I had one crazy experience in high school. Might share that tomorrow.

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cool story thanks!

Great story to share, it seems an interesting experience. I've never seen a show like that, except in movies.

This sounds like an opportunity to drink !BEER and drive

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Cool story. I guess the place you grew up in was small of theybtalk about that.
There used to be on in a small town a few hours from where I grew up. The cops hated it, but it was on private property owned by the kind of people you definitely don't want to take civil action against after agreeing not to.
I wonder with airbags, safety features and plastic bumpers how this would be possible with modern cars today. Sadly, it may become a thing of the past.

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Oh yeah, I'm surprised they still allow it. Yes it was a small town in a line of small towns from North Idaho to Northern Montana, there is a large stretch there without a lot of population. That's why it was kind of a big deal. :)


this story can be concluded that it is very interesting and full of inspiration

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omg it's interesting how parenting worked in our days. Hahahaha

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I always wanted to do demo derby with a car. I did drag race my Chevy Blazer but that was it. That was fun but was pissed they made me buy these shitty overpriced sweat pants because they said I couldn’t race with shorts.