the demolition derby.

It's a struggle to find where to begin here. There is just an abundance to share and, if I'm being honest, I'm worried about you. I want to make sure you get your moneys worth here and feel demo derby satisfied by the end. God, I am just such a giver.


So. When I left off, I had introduced you to our beloved Ranch Wagon:

It was one heckuva team effort to get this car ready. Chuck, faux step dad Mark, Chuck's childhood friend (and fellow demo driver) Ryan, and a gaggle of neighbors all went to work. I brought waters out a lot during the week so when I retell this story in coming years, I did most of the work. I will explain the hand I played in welding the doors, rewiring the ignition system, and chaining down the suspension.

From dusk to dawn, someone was out there with Chuck working on the car. Those men were non-stop demolition machines. (pics below if you are so inclined)

Sam was dying to join them.

Where Sam spent most of the week.
Because I'm shallow and awful, my favorite part of the derby probably is the Parade of Cars where the crowd decides who is "Best in Show". I'm a skosh competitive so I decided we were going to win this or at minimum top 3. I promised myself a trophy and Monica Gellar Allison was gonna get one somehow. This was one avenue to it.

So, once the car was done, it was handed over to hair and makeup, aka The Women Folk. I'm not trying to be sexist but I don't exactly know how to rewire the ignition from a key to a push button. If I did, maybe I could have helped with that. Instead, I did a dynamite job picking paint colors.

The Painting Committee: Large Marge (Susie), Janelle, and Nan. There was some light vomiting from over heating on my part and other people sweated through multiple pairs of underwear.
It was pretty obvious what this car needed to be painted like. I mean, c'mon. It's a station wagon. It's hideous. It's just a tiny bit of wood paneling away from being The Family Truckster.

I will not pander to you and provide a picture of The Family Truckster. I will assume you are old enough, mature enough, and have a level of humor sophisticated enough to know The Family Truckster. If not, pause, google recon, and rejoin us when you can. Wait, pause again, rent Vacation, and take a looooong look at your life.

Chuck's Mom hit the jackpot and found wood grain contact paper for our truckster. Why does this even exist? I'm not sure except maybe God wanted our demo car to be amazing and this was his sign.

Green paint. Wood paneling. A trim of yellow around the panels. And we were close. But we needed Aunt Edna, duh. A quick round of Good Will hunting and some Dollar Store purchases and we had officially nailed it.

But you be the judge.

Try and breathe because I'm assuming you have lost your mind like we had. Take a few long looks. Finding all the details is Derby Where's Waldo. It was a joy to send this out into the arena.

And an even bigger joy to win Best in Show. I'm not trying to rub it in the other cars' mufflers, but it wasn't even close.

Nan went into the arena with Chuck for the "judging". She's holding our trophy proud.
Sorry, not sorry, our paint job was amaze balls. And really solidified this car as a giant group effort.

As for the actual derby part....well, not so much. Each car does a time trial - that was a riot because Chuck did his two laps of glory with Edna on top, but then, sadly, they didn't do a "slowest car race" which we were hoping for. The last derby Chuck did, back in 2003, he won that race (so yes, if you are counting, we now have TWO derby trophies). We had hopes for The Truckster in the slow race, but c'est la vie.

And then in the real smash your car derby well... damn. Pretty much right out of the gate Chuck was sent flying out of the center of the arena into 3 foot deep mud and you just can't get out of that. In years past, 45-60 cars were in the derby and it lasted well over half an hour. This year, there were only 15 cars so it was only about 5 minutes long. That Cash For Clunkers thing may have helped the environment but it is ruining demo derbies.

The Hit.

The Hit that ended the derby. Fair enough, this car had a race car engine, so...

If you ask Chuck, he will tell you what an amazing week it was, that the fun of the derby is building the car and spending time with family and friends. He will say it doesn't matter when he went out, he had a great time, and loved every minute of it.

If you ask Monica Gellar Allison, I'm still not over it. There's no video of me in the stands but even if there was, it's not blog appropriate and couldn't appear here. I have problems. I'm working on them. No I'm not. That's a lie.

But he is right. It was such a great week with family and friends - even Fe and PK drove across the state to be a part of the last two days. Cousin Janelle flew in for the occasion. It was fabulous. These are the important things in life.

Do it again next year? Um... we will go and watch. Give us a few years and then Chuck wants to give it another go, but he will be in the market for something small, front wheel drive and "sporty". Won't derby that one - he wants in on the fast races now. Look alive people.

A few more pics for fun.

Chuck's friend Ryan playing with an arc welder.

Pre-bending the frame with a tow truck helps with hits later on. I said this was a science. A stupid science, but a science.

Mark guiding the car onto the trailer to head to the Fair. Shocker, the car was no longer street legal at that point.

When I said this was a family effort, I meant it. Way to go, Fe.

When I realized Nan had hopped in the car for the Best in Show competition, it was a joy equivalent to child birth. Or better.

He had the time of his life. Loved every minute of it.

Sam and Grandma watching Chuck's time trial.

Rehydrating with nuun, duh.

The family that derbies together...

My favorite idiot. I took this screen shot from the Go Pro so you could see the inside of the car. On the floor are two batteries, the wires are part of the ignition system Chuck set up and the pipe next to his leg is the shifter he built from scratch. Like I said, total idiot...
Anyone want to come with next time?

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