If you are an amateur car racer, a professional one, or an avid fan of drag racing, I’m sure you know how exciting, heart-thumping, and adrenaline rising being in the race would feel like. Watching a live race or just on television is enough for you to feel the excitement, heat, and the energy that these racing matches exude. In the world of monster trucks though, they actually have their own racing sport as well. And that is where the famous Grave Digger is well known for. Grave Digger is such an astounding name that is easy to remember and difficult to forget. For one, it has a very funny name. It’s like digging graves with a machine like this. Gravedigger, whoever named this thing is a genius and hilarious, right? Secondly, if you are familiar with the monster truck machines and vehicles, you’ll realize that the name actually sounds witty. It’s powerfully capable of digging the ground literally! Let us soon find out more about this uniquely named monster truck. Read along the content Grave Digger has and its rich history as well.
The origin of Grave Digger
Way back in 1982, Car Racer and a native in North Carolina, Dennis Anderson founded the Grave Digger truck. He used to have a red truck which was a 1957 Ford pickup truck. He used to build it from the scrap yard and modify its tires and rev up the engine parts since it was still capably strong. He would join mud bog racing competitions in their local area and his competitors would call his truck an old piece of junk. With that being said, Dennis replied with a very witty statement that says, “I’ll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it.” It was his witty comeback to all his racing competitors who have had newer trucks than him. Dennis became popular not only because of his old powerful truck but because of his all or nothing driving style as well. His opportunity to be one of the monster trucks happened at one event when one monster truck did not show up at the event. Dennis decided to replace the candidate and he became successful in crushing cars. It was then the start of Grave Digger participating in monster truck events.
Purpose of Monster Trucks
For those who can’t grasp the context of a monster truck. These are specialized trucks that have four-wheel steering that is matched with heavy-duty suspension with oversized tires as well. They are created for competition and fun entertainment of truck enthusiasts and racing fans. The most common way to develop a monster truck is through overhauling a stock pickup truck and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Most often, car mechanics would evolve and develop the different vehicle parts and convert them into a vehicle with tube-frame chassis and fiberglass bodies. These trucks are actually not made of metal as it is more effective for racing competitions. The typical size of a monster truck is 12 feet tall with 66 inch sized wheel tires.
These interesting modified trucks came into the picture in the late 1970s. However it was in the 1980s when they became popular and actively seen in motocross, mud bogging competitions, and racing events. They were also famous for car-crushing performances. Most people who love cars and car-crushing demonstrations would always witness such events. Until the current era of the racing industry, monster trucks maintained their own culture and popularity. It remains the center of attention for most motocross or other truck competitions.
About the Other Grave Diggers
In 1989, Dennis Anderson created his second Grave Digger. This time he used a new 1950 Chevy panel body. This was the time that monster trucks were on-trend and Anderson’s Grave Diggers were receiving its recognition. TNT took notice of his rising popularity and helped him join the United States Hot Rod Association (USHRA) tour. He continued developing more Grave Diggers, as he started hiring other drivers for his monster trucks. He started his search for other qualified drivers that could run his beloved grave diggers.
It was in 1993 when Dennis Anderson joined a TV series called Monster Wars. He finished fifth in this show. However, in that same year he also won the 2nd USHRA wreck of the year title. Simultaneously, he also won a competition in Lebanon Valley Speedway. This man was non-stoppable with his grave digger trucks.
Grave Digger’s sale to Feld Entertainment
A big turn of events happened when Dennis Anderson sold his grave digger team to Feld Entertainment in 1998. Despite the sale, under his own terms, he continued to actively and visibly participate in competitions. Along with his Monster Jam team, he continued to stay in charge and train all the team members. On January 14, 2017, he still competed at Raymond James Stadium in Florida. It was known to be his final event because, by September of that same year, he finally announced his full retirement from Monster Jam. Although he is retiring, he assured everyone that he would still proactively assist drivers in the background.
Grave Digger model types
Up to date, Feld Entertainment owns a number of 41 Grave Digger Monster trucks in total. Some trucks debuted and retired in some years.
About Monster Jam
Monster Jam is a motorsport event tour that is filmed live and is exclusively operated by Feld Entertainment. It started in 1992 and had a partnership with the United States Hot Rod Association (USHRA). Although most competitions are held in North American areas, some events were also held overseas. There are some intermission numbers in these events which added more fame and popularity to it. But of course, the main highlight is always the racing and the freestyle stunts and competitions of different monster trucks.
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