Meet Grave Digger, superstar of Monster Jam
Very nice story here by our colleague Pete Couture on the driver behind the legendary monster truck Grave Digger, who will be roaring into Raymond James Stadium on Saturday and Feb. 4 when Monster Jam comes to town.
This year, Grave Digger is celebrating 30 years of motorized mayhem.
The man behind the monster is four-time world champion driver Dennis Anderson, who created the sport's iconic truck.
It all started with being laughed at. A 1951 Ford pickup became Grave Digger when Anderson cut down a trash-talker named Gary. His sin: laughing at the truck, which Anderson used for mud-bogging.
"I made the name up mouth-fighting with one of my buddies," said the self-taught mechanic from Kill Devil Hills, N.C. "I told him with a few choice words: I'll take that junk and I'll dig you a grave. And I took a can of spray paint and painted 'Grave Digger' on the doors."
Today, 10 Grave Diggers are in action in as many states every week. Each truck costs $235,000 to create.
If you go, Monster Jam begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Go early to tailgate and see the trucks and meet the drivers from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. $15-$35; 1-800-745-3000.
We were out at a local Dairy Queen Thursday to see Grave Digger in person and to hear more about its new paint job -- which actually is a replication of the original paint job. And if you just read the eye-popping figure above about how much it costs to create each truck, you'll appreciate the detail about how much the original paint job cost for the truck.
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