Combine Demolition Derby – Hillsdale Fair MI – American Festivals… — Volkswagen Derby I

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Volkswagen Derby I


The search for america’s small, and bizarre festivals

Combine Derby – Hillsdale Fair, MI

most popular fair in the That is the blocky hand-painted stretching across the towering, grandstand at Hillsdale’s fairgrounds in Michigan.  A crowd swells this large wooden the people traverse narrow between tractors, cotton stalls and animal displays.  The fair might not be the World’s popular as they so claim, but it draws people in from the and boasts a number of events are entertaining and unique.

We’ve to Hillsdale for two reasons.  The first is the Demolition Derby.  The second is the I found out about the event: my Little brother Sean is a at Hillsdale College where he is in Classics, with a minor in socializing (to the tune of the cartwheel the photography club, The Hilltop bluegrass band, unicycling, head RA, and constant critic of the newspaper).  It’s a beautiful situated on a hill but nestled by a of large trees scattered the campus.  The students are intelligent, working, and typically middle to class conservative.

The fairgrounds, on the other hand, a mix of people that would be seen on the grounds of Hillsdale “Townies” some might Working class.  Farmers.  The is vibrant though.  Big and small, and fat, beautiful, and um, not so beautiful…  I’m about the animals of course!

The at the top of the list for me was the combine demolition held on Sunday night.  better than cars into each other in a rink smaller than a field?  Combines smashing each other in the same These massive pieces of equipment are the ultimate wrecking

I walked around the perimeter of the racetrack before the derby and took portraits of each of the Most of the guys were in late 20′s and early and all of them were farmers.  what I gathered, there is a community between these Bobby runs with and Todd runs with By “running”, I think that they share their equipment and tools for getting to the various competitions.  There’s a for combine derbies!

Each was painted with a solid and had various kinds of slogans or written on the sides.  Things “Me thinks combines are …”, and to …”.   To the untrained eye, look like giant of rusted and smashed metal.   But for who know a thing or two about these things are outfitted to and destroy.  Heavy and useless are cut off.  Additional bars and are welded on for reinforcement.  In the official if the front part of the combine off during the derby, it means the end of the even if it can still move That’s why the drivers reinforce area.   One driver I met had even put into improvements!

Is the money that good in demolition?  Well, no. It’s a of love, I was told.  I think the received $1,500, but one has to remember the for getting a rig ready for the competition.  of the guys had to buy their combine, retrofit it, then travel and tow the to the event.  The gasoline costs must have been a

Volkswagen Derby I

The actual derby was pretty Grinding steel, sparking shooting clouds of diesel These were the sights and of three-hour derby.  As an announcer through a microphone, three to combines would line up the arena.  Then there was a from five, in which the crowd joined in.  The roared and the combines charged opposite ends of the arena.  The hit was always the best!  At 10-15 these giant hunks of would smash directly the front of another combine.  But of the time, the direct hits did damage.  The strategy that to work for many was to corner combine and repeatedly bash the side of it–going for the wheels or If a large tire popped, or a broke, that could be the end of the Another technique was to physically another combine out of the ring, removing the combine from the

There were some hits throughout the night At one point I was standing on the edge of the when one of the largest combines was over a concrete barrier.  people on the edge had to jump out of the way of the metal monster.

As a combine emerged the winner the heat, it returned battered and for a second heat, and then the By the time the winning combines the finals, they were able to operate.  The think the combine won the finals because he was the one that could still at an adequate speed!  It was like dragons impaired in battle by a wing or having a foot off.

I followed the winner night back through the parking lot to his still-intact combine.  He was and hollerin’ the whole way, over fences and shoving his as they teased him about the big For him, winning the Hillsdale combine demolition derby was the greatest thing any man could And for that brief moment, I I might have believed

Posted by Ross. posted on at 8:44pm. Bookmark this .

Volkswagen Derby I
Volkswagen Derby I
Volkswagen Derby I
Volkswagen Derby I
Volkswagen Derby I
Volkswagen Derby I

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