Published on June 7th, 2012 | by Emma Gedge0
The Wurzels Favourite Sport! The Combine Demolition Derby
So, for those who aren’t familiar with the delights of a Demolition Derby, put simply it’s an event in which five (sometimes more) drivers compete by purposely ramming into each other.
The last person left with a functioning vehicle (presumably it just has to be able to move, looks don’t come into the equation) is deemed victorious. It all usually takes place in some form of field soaked with water, the idea being that the ground will turn to mud and slow vehicles down, supposedly making it safer?
Anyhow, for those who seek more madness, danger and just general weirdness the Combine form of the demolition derby is right up their alley. Combines are specifically outfitted for the competition. Any heavy and useless parts are stripped off, whilst the front is reinforced with extra bars and chains in an attempt to ‘toughen up’ the competition combines.
For three rather epic hours these Frankenstein-like machines collide in a display of brute force and fearlessness (or just plain madness) until the last Combine is left standing with it’s front still in one piece (apparently aiming for the tires is a good tactic). Though there can be a draw if the last two standing combines are somehow tangled together in a heated mess of metal, and probably smoke too. There are often numerous heats after which ‘repair time’ is given before commencing the next, there can also be certain categories for drivers and even a consolation round for losers.
Rules-wise it’s not particularly complicated; combines should be more than 25 years old (no matter how good you are, using a brand new one would prove to be slightly expensive anyway!) and some competitions enforce rules on height, tire size, contents of the gas (petrol) tank and age of the contestants. However, most of the attention is focused on the ‘colorful’ names given the combines by their drivers and there’s sometimes even a prize of up to $1500 for the best decorated combine, serious stuff right there.
Incredibly, despite the obvious theme of danger there have been few injuries other than one unfortunate driver in 1999 falling out of his combine and breaking his leg, oops. All in all the Combine Demolition Derby attracts thousands of spectators, with competitions all across the US and Europe, though perhaps the most popular is held in Lind, Washington.
There’s just no excuse, $15 entry for a weekend of general awesomeness, you’ve got to go! Only issue you may have is explaining to friends why you’ve spent 3 hours (or a whole weekend) watching combine harvesters smashing into each other. Though we reckon it’s worth it and who knows, maybe you’ll catch the bug and enter your very own Combine Demolition Derby, though be prepared to pay over $1000 and you’ll probably have to find a sponsor too. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted!