Canada’s Demolition Derby – the fighting cars

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - 16:08:06

(VOVworld) – For some people, having a car is a dream. But in Canada, people use cars in a game called The Demolition Derby, where cars are crushed until they are wrecked and going nowhere. Let’s hear more from Doctor Brian McNaul, who has lived in Hanoi for eleven years, to find out more about this thrilling game.

Q: Hello Doctor McNaul. Thank you for being on air with me on VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous. Canada is famous for its dangerous and thrilling Demolition Derby. Can you tell us a little about it?

A: It is a summer time event. You have four fairs that start in middle of August to the end of September. Highlight of the evening particularly for the men is the Demolition Derby. You basically have 6 cars-the winners, 3 facing each other. The idea of the game is to be the last car moving. You crash into them. The cars literally get torn apart, great fun particularly for young boys who see this. After maybe 5 minutes, there’s a lot of steam and smoke from wrecked cars that were brought along. It’s the winner. It gets taken out of the system and another 6 cars come in, same thing happens. After maybe 3 times, there’re only 3 or 4 cars left. They’re all broken. They try to smash each other up and the one who is still moving in the end is the winner.

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The first heat of the Demolition Derby at the Westmoreland County Fair in Mt. Pleasant on August 24, 2010 (Photo: Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazett)

Q: You mean only one car will be left as the winner?

A: One car left, yeah. There’re maybe 20 to 30 cars enter the derby, so you do 6 to 8 cars at a time, and then the next 6 to 8 cars, and then the winners from each round will go to the final, maybe 3 rounds, just depends on the number of cars.

Q: Well, I think the game is a little bit expensive.

A: Some wonder why people take perfectly functioning cars and wreck them. You should understand North American culture a little bit, you know, the cars are everything. Most people in the countryside they need 1 to 2 vehicles and the cars there are very cheap. You can get a 10-year-old car for 2-300 USD. And if you’re a mechanic, you do it up, you make it work, you only have to make it work for one night, and you basically have a car that can actually move rapidly. So it’s not an expensive sport. It’s for mechanics and people who are interested in it. It’s a great fun.

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Cars are crashed at Monroe County Fair Demolition Derby 2015 (Photo: toledospeedway.com)

Q: It’s a little bit aggressive and dangerous game, isn’t it?

A: It’s quite dangerous, but the distances that you can move when a car crashes another car may be 10miles per hour, no more than that. The safety standard is the drivers have to be still in the cage and wear a helmet. So safety is applied and I have never seen anybody badly injured. It’s crazy but it’s legal. You know, there’re safety standards, there are always ambulances standing by with equipment, there are always ambulance staffs, they have to prepare for the worst case, usually. 

Q: Is the game only for men?

A: Oh no no. There are a lot of women. A lot of women love the Demolition Derby. You can enter if you want. But it’s something for mechanics, so many of the drivers are mechanics, so they will fix their own cars. I’ve seen some women drivers in the Demolition Derby, but 98% of drivers are men.

Q: Is there any award for the winner?

A: It can be anything. It can be something you put in your car. It’s just a game.

Q: Thank you Dr Brian McNaul, for talking about the Demolition Derby, the most exciting car game in Canada. Keep tuning in to our program on 104 FM every Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, for more cultural aspects from around the world. Goodbye from me Thu Ly. I will catch you next time!