Car Bashing Fundraiser?

I remember back when I was a wee little freshman this fundraiser I saw at an away football game. (It was one of the two we won that season.)

The cross-country team of that school (North Augusta High, if it’s worth anything to 'ya) had an old beater of a car and a sledgehammer. Two hits for a buck.

From what I saw on the press box (I was the videographer for the team), the event was a smash (pun very much intended).

Anyone tried it as a fundraiser for FIRST? I was thinking of proposing it for our team for football season. Let’s see if GM built their cars for vigorous interaction!*

[sub]*This wasn’t meant as a ding on GM. I don’t know what car we’d be able to get. I just had to stick a car company in there somewhere.[/sub]

You can have people bid on the first few hits. Who wouldn’t want to be the first person to smash some windows?

We have not done this but Team 237 can pass on some words of wisdom.

It seems like there could be some danger involved. If someone got hurt from this, it could be the end of that robotics team forever.


clear tape all the windows and headlights,rear lights…form the inside and/or outside to reduce flying fragments of glass and plastic.
use a saturn…dent-resistant plastic side panels :smiley:
sledgehammer 2 hits - $1
baseball bat 2 hits - $1.50
punch with fist 2 hits - $0.25 (dangerous)
throw a pie at (whoever) 1 pie - $ 10.00 (just a pie crust with lots of whip cream…)

shouldn’t sledgehammer and baseball bat be switched? Which does more damage?

yeah but a baseball bat is easier to swing

IIRC, they took out the glass beforehand. And we can always put a “Bash at your own risk” sign up.

<sarcasm>You know, I just got an idea for promotion…just need a black suit, one white glove, and a baseball bat. Oh, and the hat.</sarcasm>

A member of our team suggested this fundraiser recently too, perhaps because he finally saw Office Space. I think it’s a good idea and worth trying. I doubt the local junkyard would have a problem sparing a 30 year old piece of junk.

And we can always put a “Bash at your own risk” sign up.

Thats not going to stop someone from suing.

Ok, someone from 237 here. :wink: We did one a few years ago. It didn’t turn out the best fundraiser but after doing one we know know what to change or improve on.
We had a local salvage yard donate a four door '85 Buick Century for this. We asked for a mostly complete car to do this with since it wouldn’t be fun with just a stripped out shell and the Buick is what they happened to give us. They also dropped it off to our ‘Smash-for-Cash’ location and picked it up the next day for free. All glass, mirrors, and lights were removed for safety reasons along with the gas tank and battery. All this prep work was all done at the salvage yard before drop off. One problem we did run into is that they didn’t drain ALL the fluids. We should have checked, and if we do this again we will. This became apparent after someone took a good wack at the radiator and antifreeze started pouring out! :ahh: We were lucky the hit was up high (about the top third of the radiator) so it stopped pouring out shortly and most of it still stayed in the engine and radiator. We pulled the hood release and opened the hood and also realized the washer jug was still full. We checked the dipsticks and the engine and automatic trans still had fluid too. The lesson learned…go over the whole car before the fundraiser begins to make sure the car IS fully prepped and don’t totally rely on what the flatbed driver tells you when the car is dropped off. There appears there was a little miscommunication at the yard on what had to be done to the car before they gave it to us. We later found out the car was a fresh arrival at the yard and was driven the day before we got it.
The other problem we had was location. We did this in a baseball field at a football rally and bonfire so we wound up competing against the football team for attention. If we do another one we hope to get a corner of a parking lot roped/caution taped off. We used sledge hammers and provided safety goggles and gloves. We also had a large pipe to hit the car with.
I think we charged $5 for a half minute in the taped off area with the Buick. Some people went swinging at the car like mad while others walked around it to specific weak points to inflict the most damage. We allowed them to open the doors (we made sure they were unlocked before we started) and swing at the interior also. If anyone is curious don’t go for the “A” pillars or door hinges no matter the car make or model. Those are the strongest areas and won’t give much if any.
So in short, next time we know what to change, although it WAS a lot of fun getting to destroy a car that really didn’t belong in a salvage yard yet. From what we were told the car was a spare vehicle that the person didn’t need anymore and decided to junk it due to it’s age and didn’t want to try bother selling. It had 71k on the odometer and mint interior, except the interior wasn’t mint after we got done with it! :smiley:
One thing I also want to add is we bought brooms and shovels to clean up the debris when you’re all done. There’s a lot of plastic trim and such on the cars that makes quite a mess. We shoveled everything up and dumped it in the car when we were done. We also had rope which we wound up needing to tie the doors shut since some people destroyed the latches. If you’re doing this also chuck the wheels and set the parking brake if it works. Ours was in a basically level field but did take precautions so it didn’t move especially since we allowed them inside the car and the auto shift lever was totally broken off by the time we were done.

Yes. No one got hurt but next time we will have waivers to sign. It was something that believe it or not was overlooked when we originally did it.

Actually most salvage yards the vehicles are 80’s and newer. :wink:


In order to not get sued, how about a waiver in which a person would agree that any injuries sustained while beating the crap out of the car are their own fault and that the team is not responsible for any possible injuries. To be sure about it, find a local lawyer or attorney and ask them what would be best, cause I’m not a lawyer. :stuck_out_tongue:

That does sound like a good fundraiser idea if you can get past the responsiblity thing. Heck, I’d like to do that just for fun! :smiley:


Make them and thier parents sign a waiver.

An interesting point. If you are a minor (under 18), whatever you sign doesn’t mean a thing (at least in Virginia and quite a few other states…maybe not all). So you’d have to get parental permission for this. I know people are crazy and like to sue … but I think a lot of the worry displayed here is overblown. If you take the necessary precautions and don’t display gross negligence, you shouldn’t have a problem. Still, you’d want to have some safety warning … and if you have access to a lawyer, I’d suggest getting some advice from someone knowledgable in law, and not speculating. (Like me ;))

Thats guiness… it could be a liability but just put PARTICIPATE AT OWN RISK. I think the onlyway some one could get hurt anyways is if he hits someone with the bat or something, because if the cars windows are tempered they just form into beads or smooth edges.

Interesting idea. Actually, the elementary school a couple blocks away from me does this every year for their carnival. Makes you think about the liablility thing.

The problem is that that only works for consenting adults over 18. If you are under 18 then the establishment is required to provide a reasonable measure of safety.

I would consider swinging a large hammer around with the intention of having a metal to metal high force impact to be dangerous. I’m sure the team will go above and beyond to protect the safety of the participant. However, even bungie jumping companies go to great lengths to ensure your safety… but you don’t see anyone jumping without signing first.

Just to press a point … even if you are over 18, “the establishment is required to provide a reasonable measure of safety.” (Granted what’s reasonable for a 10 year old is vastly different than for a 40 year old.) Afterall, I can’t come up with a business (or really bizarre fundraiser) where I give you a half-loaded gun and you get one shot at your head to test your luck. Even if I get you to sign your soul away, I’d still be responsible for what would have to be called gross negligence. Contracts can only cover so much …

Hmm…ok I’m seriously thinking about doing this to attract money and new members…thanks for the idea :slight_smile: