Vancouver Was Once Home To a Demolition Derby and The Photos Look Wild

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vancouver demolition derby

If you love cars and especially the era of cars in the 1960s and early 1970s, you may be interested to learn about the history of Vancouver’s Demolition Derby days.

In those years scrap metal costs were very low. When unlicensed cars parked on city streets were towed away, the city became flooded with abandoned cars. As a result an idea came up to hold a demolition derby.

It was decided to hold Vancouver’s first demolition derby at Callister Park, across Vancouver’s Pacific International Exhibition fairgrounds.

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During the summer of 1966, the first derby was a huge success. There were 3,000 spectators in the stands. The next week there were 5,000 spectators to pack the house, and another 1,500 more enthusiasts tried to get in.

These derbies grew in popularity and at one point there were 135 cars competing. Some of these famous cars included the massive Mercury cars of the late ’50s, and both Chevrolet and Pontiac sedans built in the late 1950’s.

These derbies lasted for five years and closed in 1970 due to safety concerns of the wooden bleachers.

vancouver demolition derby

Photo: Driving.ca

demolition derby

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives

derby vancouver

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives

vancouver demolition derby

Photo: Driving.ca

In 1972, a derby bowl was created to be a part of the annual 17-day PNE fair.

This led to about 280,000 spectators witnessing the “World’s Largest Demolition Derby” held twice daily the PNE in 1987. However, that was the last demolition derby held in Vancouver.

pne 1072

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives

demolition derby

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives

What an era.

 

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