The Derby Car, aka. The Farminator
My brother and I have been talking about doing a demo/derby car for years.
Finally, my brother found a car and we got busy.
Michael found a 1987 Grand Pri, it needed a new water pump but otherwise in good shape for a demo derby.
Michael got the interior stripped and I pulled all of the un-needed accessories. Its suprised us how much time it takes to strip a car and get it ready for the derby.
The power plant
The Grand Pri has a stock Chevrolet 305 under the hood
The Grand Pri has a T-Top, per the rules we have to cover the
t-tops with sheet metal
The rear end is pretty close to ready to roll
We haven't decided if we are going to pull the dash out or not
We got most everything ready except the roll cage, paint, and a couple other minor things. Michael got the hood bolted down, the trunk chained close, fire extingquisher installed, battery and fuel tank re-located inside the car, and so much more ...
7/17/2011 - Progress
Michael and I spent more time getting the demo car ready
Got most of the hood done
I also got the sponsors names on the car
American Rock Products
And the Windshield Doctor
I soond discovered 7 cans of paint is not enough to paint a car, I think we still need another 6cans or so to finish up the car
Michael cutting up more steel
Myself cutting up more steel
Michael welding up the last parts of the roll cage
Finally the T-Tops are covered
It was 9:00 PM when I took this picture. The car is almost ready,
all of the steel work is done, we just have paint and tires left. Overall, we
estimate about 100 hours worth of work to get it to this point
8/8/2011 - Paint is done
While Michael was working harvest, I got the last of the painting done on the car. The only items we have left to do is get some good tires mounted up, along with a couple of spares.
We also go registered for the Derby, car number 85 for Michael and Jenna to drive.
When I drive we will paint car number 35.
8/28/2011 - Ready for the derby
Harvest is over, and the derby is less then a week away. My brother, his girlfriend, and myself went out to the farm to get the last items fixed up, tires and some spare tires rigged up, and the car on the trailer ready for the derby on Thursday
We started with a test drive to the other shop to change some tires
Along the way, Michael tested the cars ability to do donuts. Yes it can do donuts, no problem
Genna is driving the powder puff and also took it out for a test drive
We got the tires changed out to some used snow tires and rims Michael picked up. We also got some of Michaels stickers on the car
And we got the screen on the drivers side window, Genna checked it out to make sure its secure
After months of work, Team Farminator is ready for the Walla Walla County Fair demo derby
From left to right: Michael, Genna, and myself with Michaels pickup and the derby car loaded on our fathers trailer.
After months of preperation, here we are on race day.
We had fans in the stands
And we found our parents in the stands
1st we had the time trials
This is how you fuel a demo car with the gas tank inside the
Genna was 1st in her powder puff race
Then it was my turn
And finally Michael in his heat
Genna in the powder puff
Myself in my heat
Michael in his heat
All of us after the races
Michael, Genna, and myself
After the races
After the races, we reviewed the shape of the car in the daylight and found a couple suprises.
The demo car still runs, but its not as pretty as it was. Scratched up a bit, but that was expected. What suprised me is how hard I got hit on the door
This picture was is of the inside of the driver side door. You will notice the two channel iron pieces we welded to the door, the bottom on is bent, from when I got hit. It also bent a 1/4 thick metal plate the channel iron is welded to.
Lesson learned - Weld up the drivers door with the thickest metal you can, and get a good welder to weld it in. All of the welding on the door and roll cage is done by my brother, here is proof he knows what he is doing.
Advice if you want to do you own Demo Derby car
Fixing up the Demo car
2012 Demo Derby
2013 Demo Derby
2014 Demo Derby car upgrades
Why do derby cars break down?