De­mo­li­tion men

De­mo­li­tion derby a fun part of Pic­tou ex­hi­bi­tion


Some peo­ple might ques­tion the mo­tives of grown men – and women – get­ting be­hind the wheel of their car to in­flict as much dam­age as pos­si­ble, but not these guys.

To some it’s wan­ton — al­beit, in some ways beau­ti­ful — de­struc­tion.

To oth­ers, it doesn’t get more red­neck than this

And to Terry Nel­son, it has all the po­ten­tial of be­ing a record set­ting night.

The Bi­ble Hill res­i­dent will be tak­ing four ve­hi­cles to the Pic­tou North Colch­ester Ex­hi­bi­tion’s de­mo­li­tion derby com­pe­ti­tions Thurs­day in hopes of com­pet­ing in his 100th derby event.

“I started in Truro in 1992 at the ex­hi­bi­tion and I used to fly home from Al­berta just to do the ex­hi­bi­tion derby. I would al­ways take money out of the Pic­tou derby, but I never won my home derby.”

He placed sec­ond in the NSPE derby this year, but he pur­chased the Cadil­lac that beat him from his friend and is tak­ing that to Pic­tou for the rear-wheel-drive com­pe­ti­tions.

He will be driv­ing an Im­pala in the front wheel drive and an SUV in the SUV event, but his all-time favourite is the mini­van com­pe­ti­tion.

Nel­son said the de­sign of the mini­van al­low them to hit with­out fold­ing.

“If I take four cars, I ex­pect two wins,” he said of the Pic­tou com­pe­ti­tion. “I do have peo­ple gun­ning for me over there. Bob Mac­Don­ald is pretty good and he has a good sturdy car so it should be in­ter­est­ing to go up against him. I had a lot of fun over the years with Bob and the boys.”

Nel­son said there is lit­tle that needs to be done to pre­pare ve­hi­cles for der­bies other than mak­ing sure all of the glass is out of the win­dows and the in­te­rior of the ve­hi­cle is re­moved. If the ve­hi­cle’s gas tank is be­hind the rear wheel, it must be taken in­side the car with a shield around it. A metal plate can also be placed in the driver’s side door for safety.

He places the car’s bat­tery in­side the sit­ting area of the ve­hi­cle so that it will be pro­tected from front-end hits. It’s only a safety mea­sure, but it could keep him in the derby a lit­tle longer be­cause hits can make the plugs come loose and stall the car.

As for tips on how to be a suc­cess­ful driver, Nel­son said there is one very cru­cial el­e­ment to be­ing the last mo­bile car .

“You’ve got to have a good rub­ber neck and look around to see where the other guy went,” he said. “It doesn’t have a lot to do with the car.”

Nel­son’s fa­mil­iar op­po­nent, Bob Mac­Don­ald of Lyons Brook, agrees but says his best strat­egy is just to keep hit­ting.

“You have to keep mov­ing,” he said. “I have stayed in a cor­ner be­fore and let peo­ple come hit me. If you are out driv­ing around look­ing for some­one, you can get hit. If you are pick­ing your hits, it is eas­ier.”

But don’t be a sand­bag­ger. That’s the driver that con­tin­ues to drive around the edge in cir­cles wait­ing for the rest of the group to get caught up with hits so he or she can be last car driv­ing.

“You see those guys and some guys have a name for that,” he said. “Some­times those are the tar­gets right off the bat.”

Mac­Don­ald said it is also im­por­tant to use the rear of the ve­hi­cle as much as pos­si­ble whether a per­son is hit­ting or get­ting hit.

“It’s an adren­a­line rush go­ing af­ter some­one else try­ing to dis­able their car and put on a show for the fans,” he said. “You al­ways have to be watch­ing. There are no spot­ters or ra­dios. Try to keep your front end clean and use the rear.”

The Pic­tou North Colch­ester Ex­hi­bi­tion be­gins today and a com­plete list of events can be found at www.pic­touex­


Lyons Brook res­i­dent Bob Mac­Don­ald is bring­ing at least four ve­hi­cles into the Pic­tou-North Colch­ester Ex­hi­bi­tion’s de­mo­li­tion derby Thurs­day night.

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