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County fairs and demo derbies


Paul from PA
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Recently posted on facebook marketplace in Rural Valley PA is a 1948 Lincoln. Restore or Demo car for $1.000. In my younger more foolish days I participated in a few Demo Derbies. First year was a donated 1968 Cadillac coupe deville, I drove a 1969 Chrysler New Yorker, won the heat race with that one. 1960 Cadillac Ambulance, got kicked out of the race. Said it was unfair even though the title said station wagon. 1973 Plymouth wagon with a toilet seat attached to the roof. It was a "moon" roof. I leased it from the salvage yard for two weeks. They did all of the hauling around for me. The last car was a 1966 Cadillac four door that I replaced the starter along the street and drove it straight to the fairgrounds and smashed it up. It's been forty years or more since then but I enjoyed it at the time. Picture attached was not me but someone I know driving a 1963 Riviera1730640264_derby011.JPG.6549d238a5d6e8a434fd10125f91010a.JPG

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I've never gotten the demo derby thing, but then I also don't get the cable home improvement shows that highlight the tearout phase with big sledge hammers either.

Now, maybe if the demo derby only allowed Pontiac Azteks... ūü§Ē

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I helped start the mini-cars in the Cincinnati tri state area--they were starting to get dangerous--I was getting to old & to fat to jump out the driver door window--with my salvage yard, I was making money selling derby cars--Tom     lots of pinto wagons

 

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1594578735_68Satellite.png.1c789beb92d0843ac8aab1157a077f06.png

 

Won the heat with this one, 1979 or 80 If I remember correctly. One of the most fun things I ever did with a car. Brought it back to the gas station to pull the rear, had a posi unit in it, before it went to the scrap yard. The Demo Derby was at Dorsey Speedway. At the point I could not see out of the back window any longer I thought the trunk lid popped up. I was shocked when I climbed out and looked at the damage. Also at some point I got hit in the driver door and the door panel was up against the steering wheel. 

 

 

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I never drove in a Demo Derby but was pit crew for a friend for two Summers at the county fair. I still think of the two very nice cars we destroyed. The first one a near mint 1950 Chrysler but in 1966 it was just an old car, we bought it from the original owner for $50. It got knocked out of it's first round but we got it running again for the final round which was for any car that could be made to run from earlier rounds. We got it going but the radiator had been pushed back into the fan, so we cut the fan belt and filled it with water and went for it. We won that heat and had to shut it off at the end. Later we tried to start it to pull it out of the way and the engine was seized.

 

The next Summer we tried again and found a 58 Lincoln, not as nice as the Chrysler but pretty close. Got knocked out almost immediately even though we thought we had a winner with that massive car. As I recall the fuel pump was too close to the front of the engine and one of the first collisions broke the fuel pump loose. That second year I stepped in a hole in the infield and thought I had sprained my ankle. Walked on it all evening and drove home after the fair closed down. Was really swollen the next day, went to the emergency and had an X-ray and had a broken heal and ended up in a cast and crutches to go back to college a few weeks later. So ending my illustrious demo career.

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52296392529_7766b85362_c.jpg2022-08-19_08-21-39 by Kerry Grubb, on Flickr

I was afraid to post these pics thinking I may get banned from here!  We went to the demo derby a couple of weeks ago in s PA. Place is called 'The Buck'. They mostly do tractor and truck pulls I think the demo derby thing is maybe a couple of times a year. Most of the cars were fairly new, caprices, a few wagons and big chryslers. Nothing at this time like was mentioned previously, that are worth much more than scrap. I suppose one day a person could look back and say 'I cant believe they did that to those cars!'

There was a late 50's Mercury that surprised me though. That one made me kinda sad!

 

52296132173_683b831e64_c.jpg2022-08-19_08-21-23 by Kerry Grubb, on Flickr

The main reason we went though was they were smashing up combines!! I had never heard of such a thing, and it was a sight to behold, LOL.

 

My grandson had about enough and we left before they did the mini van class. They also had a round with 12-15 year old kids. So no fear, this aspect of motor sports will live on to the next generation.

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20 hours ago, ch1929 said:

1594578735_68Satellite.png.1c789beb92d0843ac8aab1157a077f06.png

 

Won the heat with this one, 1979 or 80 If I remember correctly. One of the most fun things I ever did with a car. Brought it back to the gas station to pull the rear, had a posi unit in it, before it went to the scrap yard. The Demo Derby was at Dorsey Speedway. At the point I could not see out of the back window any longer I thought the trunk lid popped up. I was shocked when I climbed out and looked at the damage. Also at some point I got hit in the driver door and the door panel was up against the steering wheel. 

 

 

 

And the gas tank is still in there?

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