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

Before paint

After paint

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.

Race Day
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 cab

Genna was 1st in her powder puff race
Lined up

Genna racing

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?