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How ENGSOC pulls off a car smash on campus

October 3, 2018

By Max Sun

Photos by Derek Yeung

For many people on campus, Thursday, September 6 marked the first day of classes. For the Engineering Students Society executives, this date marked their Car Smash, an event which would fill a back lot with students mutilating used cars with sledgehammers.

For the second year in a row, the Car Smash was a huge hit (pun intended). But what does it take to pull off an event like this? I interviewed Natalie Shears, Vice President of Student Life for the Engineering Society to learn more about the Car Smash. My interview with Natalie was interrupted with lots of people stopping to say hi to her; being VP of Student Life would do that to someone.

Max interviewing Engineering Society Executive Natalie

Where did the idea of hosting a car smash come from?

3 years ago, someone had the bright idea to write all their worries on cars and proceed to whack it vengefully. It’s quite the stress-relieving event.

How long does it take to plan a car smash?

Planning for the Car Smash started in May. It started with finding a venue, which can be difficult when it comes to permission and safety. The ACE Windtunnel was very open to being the location; they had a back lot that would be perfect for it. EngSoc worked with ACE staff to get all the safety stuff sorted out. (Special thanks to Jacquelyn for arranging for the Car Smash to happen in the back lot).

Engineering Executive Team

Nat: "Everyone helped out, I would not be able to do it by myself. ACE interns Daniella, all of EngSoc VPs, Panama, Kevin, Nelloy, and all the volunteers"

"Nat did all the work," Anthony Vieira, VP Marketing & Design.

To get this event approved by Risk Management, there were a couple of things that had to be done first:

  • Make sure nothing blows up, and all the oil and fluids of any variety are drained. Thank Durham Auto for that.
  • All the glass parts were removed - those things do get pretty sharp. Monroe Auto can take credit for that and deserves a special thanks for taking over after the other shop cancelled the day of the Smash.
  • A fence from United Rentals was also utilized to keep the bystander safe.
  • A liability waiver from the participants is a must, along with hard hats, close-toed shoes, goggles, and the signature coveralls.

Now that the boring part’s over, let’s talk about the cars!

Who donated the cars?

The smashed cars are from the junkyard at Robinson Scrap & Recycle, and towed away by Riki Rush

In addition to the Car Smash happening in the back lot, inside ACE was a car show. For the show cars, EngSoc put up an ad on Facebook and chose a few out of the 30 people who wanted to bring theirs over. A Ferrari pulled in and an EngSoc VP was seen chasing after it. It joined the show cars as a last minute addition.

Light Blue Mustang

Now onto the Smash!

The wreckers were numbered up to the hundreds and had at the cars in order.

There was one notable destroyer by the name of Eric Whalls, who was pummeling at a junk car nonstop "Damn, I need to work out more," he said with a sore rotator.

Near the end, the poor cars look like this:

smashed car

After the whole event, EngSoc execs stayed behind to sweep the back lot. Kudos to them.

So that’s it for the report of the Car Smash. Stay tuned for future events from EngSoc!