Profile: Dennis Anderson and his “Grave Digger”
Monster Truck Week concludes today. This week we profiled Monster Trucks, we also looked at some of the wildest Monster Trucks today, a close up look at Monster Jam and some some of the best Monster Truck websites. To close out Monster Truck Week, we profile one of the legends of Monster Truck, Dennis Anderson and “Grave Digger”.
Monster truck enthusiasts are familiar with “Grave Digger”, the fabulous creation of Dennis Anderson. Although racing was always a dominant part of monster truck competitions, freestyle exhibitions became popular in the mid-1990s. Anderson was the first driver to request time to perform after losing early rounds of a race. Promoters quickly recognized the popularity of vehicles like Grave Digger and began hosting freestyle championship events. Here is a closer look at Dennis Anderson and his famed Grave Digger.
Dennis Anderson’s Background
In 1981, Anderson began his career as a mud bogger with the original Grave Digger. Known as the “founder of freestyle,” he has used his aggressive style of driving to become one of the most beloved monster truck drivers of all times. Through numerous truck transformations, he managed to claim the first Monster Truck Jam World Finals Freestyle Championship in 2000. Today, Dennis keeps busy driving and working for numerous charities, including Make-A-Wish.
Grave Digger History
Grave Digger was created in 1982. It was first constructed from a 1957 Chevy Panel Wagon with junkyard parts. The name came from a conversation with other drivers. Anderson promised to produce a vehicle that would dig graves for the competition. Over the last three decades, 24 versions of Grave Digger were designed. Today, the trademark red headlights from old school buses are a thing of the past. Also, the color has changed from deep rust orange to a light green with extensive flame details.
What the Future Holds for Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger
The fleet of Grave Digger trucks keeps growing. The original vehicle has become the largest and most decorated team in the Monster Jam sport. Today’s versions of Grave Digger have greatly improved both outside and inside.
Although Anderson still competes among the best, he also enjoys watching his sons take the wheel. They are carrying on the famous legacy set by their father and are building an important part of the next generation of Monster Jam. In 1998, the Grave Digger team was sold to PACE Motorsports. Even though Anderson no longer owns the vehicle, he will always remain its most popular driver.