Like us, we’re sure you love a good car show. How about a car show with a twist? That’s even better, right? That’s what the good folks at Chris Leith Dodge RAM in Wake Forest had in store for us on a beautiful mid-September Saturday. Customers and the public at large were invited to “cruise-in” to the dealership’s back lot with their favorite late model or classic car and enjoy a day of car camaraderie, good food and a 10,000 pound, 2000 plus horsepower monster named “Raminator!”
Before we get to the monster in the room however, let’s talk about the cool classics and amazing automotive machinery on display during the first part of Chris Leith’s Cruise-In. The majority of the cars in attendance were of Mopar heritage, as you would expect at a Mopar-affiliated car dealer’s car show. There was also a fair selection of Chevys, Volkswagens and a Fiat on display too. (Yes, the Fiat is technically a Mopar, but it’s more like a “brother from another mother” if you will.)
Dodge Chargers, Challengers, a very rare Dodge Magnum HEMI Wagon, a couple of Vipers and even a hot-rodded Avenger were on hand for the show. The Wake Forest Police Department displayed a few of their special vehicles as Chris Leith honored them for their service to the community, and the whole event was emceed by Chris Leith Dodge RAM’s Service Manager, Brad Smith. As it turned-out, Brad is a pretty good deejay on the side. He entertained the attendees from behind the mic to get everyone pumped up for the highlight of the day, the compact car mash-up courtesy of the Raminator.
Kurt Kraehmer is one of several drivers of the 10,000-pound beast known as Raminator and takes part in touring this mighty monster truck around the nation all year. This Saturday morning, the crowd saw Kurt and the Raminator.com team displaying the totally awesome brute force of this 2000 plus horsepower giant of a truck in the Chris Leith back lot before firing it up for the car-mash. Kurt is a member of the Monster Truck Racing Association and works for Hall Brothers Racing, Inc. He’s been a fan of monster trucks since he was a kid, after his Dad brought home a video of one of the early monster truck pioneers, smashing and pulverizing everything in it’s path.
Seeing monster trucks on TV is one thing. Seeing and hearing one up close, in person at Chris Leith Dodge RAM is another, and the crowd this late Saturday morning couldn’t get enough of it! Once Kurt climbed aboard the 10 foot Raminator, checked his gauges and got the okay from his crew chief, he fired up the Raminator’s 2000 plus horsepower HEMI engine, fueled by racing-alcohol for even more power. With the shift of a gear and dumping of a clutch, the Raminator roared to life and belched smoke as Kurt aimed the truck at three helpless compact cars whose fate had been sealed by their designation as “salvage vehicles.”
All it really took to crush all three diminutive four-bangers was one rollover by the Raminator, but what’s the fun in that? So Kurt proceeded to make pass after pass after pass as he launched the Raminator up in the air, using a forlorn Chevy Cavalier as a ramp, and landed the Raminator’s 66-inch tall tractor tires on the roofs of the cars until all three were smashed flat as the proverbial pancake. Now that was fun!