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Monster Truck Mayhem!
Badtz Maru 2

Last Saturday I went to possibly the most brain-damaged thing I've ever been too. Actually, I shouldn't say that, it was actually surprisingly entertaining.

I'd planned to go to the Monster Truck's Australia Tour of Destruction! with my cynical hat on - to admire all the rednecks and maybe mock them quietly to myself. But I ended up having a surprisingly good time, and the place was largely devoid of rednecks. In fact it was mostly average petrol heads, and lots of families with kids. Needless to say, I'd failed to talk anyone into coming with me :-)

I drove down to Calder Park raceway, which is at least on my side of town. About five kilometres from the place, there was a massive traffic jam. I wondered what might have been causing it - till I realised it was actually a queue waiting to get into the place! I eventually ended up parking soooooooooo far away from the main entrance, that I marked my car's location as a bookmark on google maps on my iPhone so I could find my way back there!

I can sum up the whole evening fairly simply: Random destruction. There were a number of vehicles doing the destruction - six monster trucks, a jet powered ute, a jet powered van, and a really big crane. About the only thing that wasn't actively destructive were two motor cross motorcyclist, who did some jumping and free style tricks.

There really was a bit of a ritual involved, a set of things one expected to see.

Monster Trucks - Jet Ute

(Some more pictures can be found here. Including a shot of the "badlands" around Calder Park.)

There was supposedly a competition going on between the various monster trucks. The first part was a "race", which was a very small circuit over some crushed cars - the best truck took all of nine seconds. The second part was "freestyle", trying to jump the trucks as high in the air as possible. Here's the truck "Scooby Doo", the eventual winner, doing the first race:

By the end, only three of the six trucks were still working. One of them got very bent doing a jump, there where important-looking mechanical bits dangling around the back of the thing. The back wheels (these things have four wheel steering so they can turn quickly) were pointing at an angle, but the guy managed to drive it at a sort of crab-like angle back to the holding area.

Other destruction that went on: A demolition derby. This included two makes of car I'm familiar with. There were two Subaru's and two Mitsubishi Magna's. I had a Magna once, it was a piece of shit. So I was pretty pleased when one of the Subaru's won - by being the last car moving! It was the yellow one in this picture:
Monster Trucks - Demolition Derby 2

The evening also included dropping a couple of cars from a crane, and ended with the jet ute and a jet van backing up to a couple of cars, turning on their jets and afterburners, and incinerating them! Which was then followed by some fireworks.

All in all, wanton random destruction. But I had a surprisingly good time, although I'm not sure I need to see another event like it. Maybe if I'm in the States sometime :-)