I've owned and raced lots of cars with NHRA-mandated rollcages. But until recently, I had never been inside a monster truck, let alone the legendary Gravedigger. Unlike drag cars, you have to climb up about 8 feet before you can even begin to negotiate through the myriad bars and brackets between you and the seat.
About an hour before seeing Gravedigger in person, I met the crew. We talked about 540 big blocks, bores and strokes, overdriven blowers and rear steering. These guys were soooo cool....and extremely informed about their truck.
Once I settled into the driver's seat, I was full of questions. How does the rear steer zero out? (A toggle switch automatically returns the steering straight ahead). How do the drivers handle the intense ride? (It's very common to have an intense headache or back pain after EVERY run, even with all of the safety equipment). How much horsepower do these beasts make? (Up to about 1,500 on alcohol).
As with most cool toys, the real fun happens when they are doing what they do. Gravedigger sounds glorious, even at an idle. The blower whines, the headers growl and the entire suspension articulates under the massive torque. A quick blip of the throttle evokes huge grins and involuntary jerks from onlookers.
The next time these guys come to town, we will let you know in advance so you can see them. Also, if you have kids, PLEASE take them. This is truly a life changing event for young minds and the young at heart. See you at the show!
Now to get them to allow me to drive the damned thing...