|Perseverance pays off for derby family|
|Local Content - Local News|
|Written by Greg Price|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 14:18|
It was truly a family affair in the heavy-weight division of the Vauxhall demolition derby this year.
It was a band of Brandics brothers who after 16 years of hard work, finally had a submission that ended up winning the derby.
“We’ve put one in every year since the demolition derby started......it’s a tradition,” said Cam Brandics of the hard work he and his fellow brothers Darren, Dan and Kevin have done working on a battle-tested vehicle each and every year.
Cam estimates each year around 300 hours of labour of love are put into each vehicle with it truly being a family affair with wives cooking and painting cars, mixed in with trying to chase down a car part.
While the Brandics brothers do all the heavy lifting, nephews also chip in with their own elbow grease, as the derby serves as bonding time for the family.
“We all like to tinker with vehicles. It’s good bonding where we get together for about two weeks right from when we get off work at four (p.m.) and go until midnight or two in the morning. Sometimes we’ve put two cars in the derby. I’d say over the years we’ve put in 20 cars.”
Darren Brandics takes a week of holidays just to devote more time to the family entry into the demolition derby in which he attributed the win to the more attention to detail in the welding to make their entry sturdier.
The winning vehicle for 2012 in the Brandics’ division was their 1969 Chev Caprice, which survived the carnage of a 14-entry field.
It is those older vehicles the Brandics family seeks out as they have proven to have more fortitude than newer ones.
“We try and find the older ones from the 60’s and 70’s. They built them better back in the day with more iron and steel. There’s too much plastic in the newer cars,” said Darren Brandics.
“There was a couple of years we tried station wagons from the 80s and there was too much fiberglass. It could only take one or two good hits.”
Given the numerous different names that have emerged victorious, with brother Darren that mans the wheel for the Brandics family, it can be an absolute crapshoot for the betting man.
“It’s a little bit of driving and a little bit of hoping your car holds up. Sometimes you get a lot of luck where everything holds together and your entry stands up to the abuse,” said Cam. “Sometimes it’s just an electrical wire that falls off that knocks you out, or you can have a really good strong car, but you get pushed into the ditch.”
Gas lines have also been hit over the years with vehicles catching fire. In the mayhem that ensues at the Vauxhall demolition derby, it is simply survival of the fittest as anyone who claims to have the book on how to drive to win a a demolition derby is only fooling themselves.
“I’ve heard of so many strategies over the years from people on how to win the derby. I know I’ve tried for so many years, and it’s about keeping your car together,” said Darren.
“It’s fine to have a strategy, but once you are getting smoked from four or five different things in all directions, your strategy gets thrown out the window.”
The Brandics family have been doing entries that have spanned generations into the demolition derby ever since it was combines that were entered.
“My parents have been part of it with the Saddle Club and the Ag Society. We want to support Vauxhall and help it out, we grew up here,” said Cam.
Creeping up into its second decade of existence, the passion for the event has not waned.
Despite having no Canada Day parade this year, people were still around in droves to enjoy the demolition derby on Sunday.
“It’s always a big draw, probably one of the biggest draws Vauxhall has. You usually get around 1,000 plus watching,” said Cam.