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Robert Smith
Robert Smith

How to Build and Drive a Demolition Derby Car

Demolition Derby: The Ultimate Guide to Crashing Cars for Fun

Do you love cars? Do you love smashing things? Do you love adrenaline? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be interested in demolition derby, a motorsport where drivers compete by ramming their vehicles into each other until only one is left running. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about demolition derby, from its history and rules to its tips and tricks. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, this guide will help you get ready for the ultimate car-crashing experience.

demolition derby

What is Demolition Derby?

Demolition derby is a form of motorsport where drivers intentionally crash their vehicles into each other in an enclosed arena, usually a dirt track or a fairground. The goal is to disable the other vehicles while keeping your own vehicle operational. The last driver whose vehicle is still running wins the event. Depending on the rules, drivers may also score points by hitting certain parts of the other vehicles, such as the doors, the hood, or the trunk.

The History of Demolition Derby

Demolition derby originated in the United States in the late 1940s or early 1950s, as a way to entertain the crowds at stock car races. The first recorded demolition derby event was held in 1951 at Carrell Speedway in Gardena, California, by stuntman Don Basile. The popularity of demolition derby grew in the 1960s and 1970s, as it was featured in movies, television shows, and magazines. Some of the most famous demolition derby drivers of this era were Joey Chitwood, Wild Bill Shrewsberry, and Jimmy "The Flying Greek" Kourafas. Today, demolition derby is still a popular attraction at county fairs, festivals, and special events across the US and around the world.

The Rules of Demolition Derby

The rules of demolition derby vary depending on the event organizer, the location, and the type of vehicles involved. However, some common rules are:

  • Drivers must wear helmets, seat belts, and other safety equipment.

  • Drivers must remove all glass, lights, mirrors, and other loose or flammable parts from their vehicles.

  • Drivers must not hit the driver's side door of another vehicle, as this could cause serious injury.

  • Drivers must not hit a vehicle that is already disabled or has its hood or trunk open, as this could cause fire or explosion.

  • Drivers must not hit a vehicle that is on fire or has a driver who is signaling for help.

  • Drivers must make contact with another vehicle at least once every 60 seconds, or they will be disqualified.

  • Drivers must obey the signals of the officials, such as flags, horns, or sirens.

The officials have the final authority to determine the winner and to stop the event if necessary.

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The Types of Demolition Derby

There are many different types of demolition derby events, depending on the size, shape, and style of the vehicles involved. Some of the most common types are:

  • Full-size demolition derby: This type involves large vehicles such as sedans, station wagons , and SUVs. These vehicles can withstand more damage and deliver more impact, but they are also slower and less maneuverable. Full-size demolition derby events usually have more participants and last longer than other types.

  • Compact demolition derby: This type involves small vehicles such as hatchbacks, coupes, and subcompacts. These vehicles are faster and more agile, but they are also more vulnerable and less powerful. Compact demolition derby events usually have fewer participants and last shorter than other types.

  • Truck demolition derby: This type involves trucks of various sizes and shapes, such as pickups, vans, buses, and semi-trucks. These vehicles are very strong and heavy, but they are also very slow and bulky. Truck demolition derby events are rare and often have special rules and regulations.

  • Figure-8 demolition derby: This type involves vehicles racing on a figure-8 shaped track, where they have to cross each other at the center. This adds an element of speed and risk to the demolition derby, as drivers have to avoid or hit the other vehicles while racing. Figure-8 demolition derby events are usually held on paved tracks with barriers and ramps.

  • Team demolition derby: This type involves teams of drivers working together to eliminate the other teams. Each team has a designated color or number for their vehicles, and they have to protect their teammates and attack their opponents. Team demolition derby events are usually held on large dirt tracks with obstacles and hazards.

How to Prepare for a Demolition Derby

If you want to participate in a demolition derby event, you need to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the challenge. Here are some steps to follow:

Choosing a Car for Demolition Derby

The first step is to choose a car that suits your budget, preference, and event type. You can buy a car from a junkyard, a dealer, or a private seller, or you can use your own car if you don't mind destroying it. Some factors to consider when choosing a car are:

  • Size: Larger cars are more durable and powerful, but smaller cars are more agile and efficient.

  • Engine: Rear-wheel drive cars are more stable and easier to control, but front-wheel drive cars are more common and cheaper.

  • Transmission: Automatic cars are more convenient and reliable, but manual cars are more fun and flexible.

  • Fuel: Gasoline cars are more available and affordable, but diesel cars are more resistant and explosive.

  • Model: Older cars are more simple and sturdy, but newer cars are more advanced and safe.

You should also check the condition of the car, such as the tires, brakes, battery, radiator, belts, hoses, fluids, etc. You don't want your car to break down before the event starts.

Modifying a Car for Demolition Derby

The second step is to modify your car to make it ready for the demolition derby. You need to remove all the parts that are not essential or that could cause harm, such as glass, lights, mirrors, airbags, etc. You also need to reinforce some parts that are vital or that could protect you, such as bumpers, doors, roll bars, etc. Some modifications you can make are:

  • Welding: You can weld the doors, trunk, hood, and other parts shut to prevent them from opening or falling off during the event. You can also weld metal plates or bars to strengthen the frame or the body of the car.

  • Cutting: You can cut off the roof, fenders, bumpers, or other parts that could get in the way or reduce the weight of the car. You can also cut holes in the hood or trunk to allow air flow or access to the engine or the fuel tank.

  • Bending: You can bend the edges of the hood or trunk inward to prevent them from catching fire or puncturing the tires of other cars. You can also bend the bumpers outward to create spikes or hooks that could damage the other cars.

  • Moving: You can move the battery, radiator, fuel tank , or other parts to a safer or more convenient location, such as the passenger seat, the back seat, or the trunk. You can also move the driver's seat to a more comfortable or protected position, such as closer to the center or the rear of the car.

Adding: You can add extra parts or materials to your car to improve its performance or appearance, such as tires, wheels, sho




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