Dec 2, 2008
I originally started writing this in the MountainXpress forums, but ought to pass it along here.
I drove demolition derby for 5 or 6 years in a row when i was living in the Northern Virginia area (Manassas had the best fair i think), and every year we'd send our application in; get our car number back; buy a $100 car; pre-smash it up - knocking all of the glass out; weld it shut; put in a motorcycle gas tank; paint it up and go smash the **** out of it!
Make sure to weld your trunk firmly, not just wire it shut. The first year (as seen above) we wired the trunk shut, but the first hard hit - remember, your butt is your weapon - snapped the wires and the trunk lid came up making it very difficult to see. And hitting a 'dead car' or a driver's side door with the back bumper is an illegal move.
Study the car classes carefully and try to buy the heaviest, strongest car for the class. For the compact cars early hondas and toyotas are best and the midsize group the older more 'metal' cars. In the heavy group, try and find a Cadillac or better yet a Chrysler Imperial if they allow it (it was built on a truck frame).
Underfill the tires a bit. You'll be fighting on mud and you want the most rubber on the 'road', plus it will allow the tire to 'give' a bit before it punctures. Don't fill the tires with water, you'll be found out.
At the very start, hesitate. This allows everyone else to pull out and all those juicy chrome radiators/grilles are available for the taking.
Oh, i have tons of advice, but the main thing is be safe with a great helmet and leather or fireproof clothing and enjoy the heck out of it! Remember, too, that it's entertainment - kinda like WWWrasslin' so play it up, mug it up, drive crazy on the field and get involved.
oh, and bring a great mechanic with you - you're allowed one in most derbys... if you win, you'll be driving in the final round and you want that car to survive just long enough to give you the win.
Oh, one optional last piece of equipment? A hot tub. You will absolutely ache from head to toe for at least a week after. But the best part is when you're driving around town, you know exactly what it takes to knock the driver who cut you off into the ditch!