Meet The Kansas Demo-Derby Enthusiast Who Installed 52-Inch Military Tires On His Pickup

While driving through rural Kansas in my $500 Postal Jeep a few years ago, I spotted a house in Scranton (population: under 600!) surrounded by demolition derby cars. I stopped by and met the owner, Austin, who give me a tour of his compound. It was awesome.

This is episode three of Project POStal, a video series chronicling my road-trip in a $500 Postal Jeep that, at the time of purchase, was in an unbelievably sad state of disrepair. The odds of the vehicle ever driving on public roads again seemed slim, which, I think, is why my drive across the country brought so many eyes to Jalopnik.

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This third episode features an electrician named Austin, who walks us around his Bone Stock Compact demolition derby cars, a Buick Regal and Chevy Cavalier. He then shows me a Ford truck jacked up on a custom lift mod and sitting on enormous 52-inch military tires. The fact that this monster truck is legal to drive on American roads is a testament to this country’s incredible freedom when it comes to car culture.

Seriously, look at how tall this truck is:

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Screenshot: Michael Tracy
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After showing off his enormous truck, Austin showed us to his pride and joy:

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Screenshot: Michael Tracy

It may look like a piece of crap, but this (Pontiac Bonneville?) is still a perfectly functional demolition derby vehicle, specifically one for the “limited weld” class, which allows participants to weld plate to the vehicle’s frame and build a unique cage.

“Frame’s still pretty straight,” Austin told me of this battered machine. “Still got a couple of shows in it.”

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The rest of the episode shows me heading west toward my biggest nemesis: The Colorado Rockies. As you’ll see next Thursday, I would wind up stranded at the base for days trying to fix a major vehicle failure.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Owner of far too many Jeeps (Including a Jeep Comanche). Follow my instagram (@davidntracy). Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me.

DISCUSSION

therese-mcpherson
Therese McPherson

My uncle owned a tow company and used to get some of our family involved in the Demolition Derby’s at the annual Marshfield Fair in Massachusetts. Totally a sport for the most bad ass of car enthusiasts.

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