View topic - Demo Derby DeSotos

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The purpose of the National DeSoto Club, Inc. (NDC), is to encourage the preservation, restoration and promotion of all De Soto automobiles, as well as to promote fellowship and the exchange of knowledge among all fellow members. Furthermore, the study, compilation of data, summary of information, and preservation of literature related to De Soto automobiles is encouraged. The NDC’s message board is open to all. The NDC’s Trustees and members are NOT responsible for the accuracy of any of the information posted to this message board. The NDC’s web-master may, at his/her discretion, remove any message that is deemed to be offensive, and deny posting privileges to the person who posted the offensive message.



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 Post subject: Demo Derby DeSotos
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:43 pm
Posts: 975
From this thread at the FL forum: http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forum ... ?tid=34681

comes this photo of a barely discernible '56 sedan at Cleveland's Cloverleaf Speedway.

Reading the thread reminds me of a demo derby I attended at Cloverleaf in the late '60's. I was born in '57 and around age 10 or so I became aware of the races and demo derbies at the Speedway. I'd beg my dad to take me there during the short racing season in Cleveland, and he did indeed take me several times during the summer. I can still smell the burning rubber and hear the later-models backfiring as they decelerated on the short straights on the quarter-mile asphalt oval. My poor dad...the only interest in cars, racing and auto destruction he had was from the daily "races" he participated in driving across town daily to and from work. He was a kind and calm soul, except behind the wheel. He probably would have made a good race driver!

The demo derbies at Cloverleaf were held about once a month. As the photos in the FL thread indicate, you sat right on top of the track at the Speedway. I remember when that car landed in the stands; it was big news in Cleveland. Unlike today's professional demo derby circuit and rules governing safety, demo derbies back them were pretty wide open. You drove a junker to the track, maybe busted out a few windows and away you go! Cleveland winters were tough on cars back then so most of the demo derby cars looked the part, except for this one particular car. After about a dozen participants were announced, out from the pits comes this beautiful peach and white '57 DeSoto senior series four-door hardtop. The DeSoto was not yet molested in any way, had all the glass, its wheel covers, like it just came in off the street. The demo derby cars were parked nose first against the fence, and when the DeSoto parked all sorts of folks from the stands ran toward the car and flagged down the driver. They begged him not to run the car in the derby and apparently someone offered him enough money that he decided to return to the pits without damaging the car. I heard that it was his mother's or grandmother's car and he was likely not supposed to be there with the car. Whatever became of that beautiful '57 I'll never know, but I'll never forget that night.

From this thread come the second two photos: http://driving.ca/buick/auto-news/news/ ... derby-daze

This thread describes the bygone demo derbies in the Vancouver, BC, Canada area. One of the photos shows a '50 two-door just before all mayhem is about to break loose. The second photo, also from the same article, does not show one DeSoto. What is remarkable is that all the cars in the foreground are all '55 - '60 Mercurys. Every one of them! Makes you wonder if there are any Mercurys left on the west coast of Canada.


Attachments:
'56 Demo Derby.JPG
'56 Demo Derby.JPG [ 80.79 KiB | Viewed 495 times ]
'50 Demo Derby.jpg
'50 Demo Derby.jpg [ 199.67 KiB | Viewed 495 times ]
Crazy Bout a Mercury.jpg
Crazy Bout a Mercury.jpg [ 295.02 KiB | Viewed 495 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Demo Derby DeSotos
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:43 pm
Posts: 975
Found another one. Check out the '55 hardtop in the background.


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'55 Demo Derby.jpg
'55 Demo Derby.jpg [ 72.19 KiB | Viewed 435 times ]
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