ADELAIDE may have the Clipsal 500 V8 car race and Melbourne the For mula One Grand Prix but on March 23, the small South East town of Keith will run what is believed to be Australia's first Header Demolition Derby.
The event will be part of the town's Diesel and Dirt Derby which is now in its second year, and will see dust fly as motorbikes, utes - and headers - rev it up.
It is a fundraiser for the local show which is an important part of the community.
The idea for the demolition derby sprang from TV personalities Hamish and Andy's 'gap year' show where Andy drove a combine harvester, without working brakes, to represent Australia in the annual combine harvester demolition derby during their United States roadtrip.
The Keith event will feature headers that are 40 to 50 years old, many which have not seen a grain crop for years and been rusting away in paddocks, sheds, even in machinery dealers' yards.
First up for the machines will be a challenging obstacle race. Those still standing will ram together at speed and battle it out in a last-machine-standing competition.
Keith & Tintinara District Show president Glen Simpson, who is a local farmer and contractor, had the big task of finding all the aging headers and was more than happy to see they were all operational.
"It has been six months in the making. Everyone said that we wouldn't round up that many headers but we have shown them - we have eight different headers which have come from Jabuk to Sherwood to Pinnaroo," he said.
Headers from all the major manufacturers are represented - John Deere, CASE, Massey Ferguson, and New Holland. The committee has even found an old Laverda header manufactured in Italy.
Staff of local dealers have been working on the green, red, yellow and blue-coloured machines to try and give them the edge.
"We have had to pay $500 or $600 for a few of them at clearing sales but others have given them away or we have found them in dealers' yards," Glen said.
All machines have been modified for safety. Some had all the augers taken off or windows replaced with mesh.
The show committee hopes the event will grow. Next year, it will encourage farmers to enter their own old headers.
This year, farmers with plenty of horsepower under their tractors are urged to enter the Farmers Challenge Tractor Pull.
The event includes a ute display and circle work competition with about $1000 in prize money up for grabs, and action from the Keith & District Motorcycle Club Motocross.
A lawn mower pull challenge has created fierce rivalry at the show and fundraiser in the past couple of years and promises plenty of action throughout the afternoon.
"It started off with mowers with little four-cylinder engines but now we have V8 350 Chev engines and even some nitrous oxide - it is getting quite serious," Glen said.
The Diesel and Dirt Derby is not just for the rural rev heads - there will be a fashion parade for the ladies from Trends of Naracoorte at 3:30pm, with drinks and nibbles supplied by Woolworths.
For those keen to get active, the committee is looking for teams to nominate for beach volleyball, and a tug-o-war with groups of six people.
A jumping castle, lolly hunt, train rides, and free face painting will keep the kids busy.
*Full report in Stock Journal, March 14 issue, 2013.