The Wall of Death may be a demonstration of simple physics, but driving a motorcycle (and the occasional heavily-modified car) around the 90 degree angles wooden track is definitely bad-ass and an activity for the brave.
The carnival sideshow attraction was derived out of the sport of Board Track Racing also known as Motordrome. The sport was hugely popular in the US during early decades of the 1900s, before falling out of favor in the 30s due to injuries and the high cost of upkeep for the large wooden tracks. The first carnival motordrome was constructed at the Coney Island amusement park in 1911, and soon portable versions were touring with carnivals. The first motodromes with vertical walls began appearing around 1915 and the attraction was soon dubbed ‘The Wall of Death’.
The ‘Wall of Death’ that appears in the Mazda video is thought to have been constructed in the US in 1927. It was shipped to UK where it toured under several different names before being packed up and abandoned on the back of a truck in 2000. In 2003 ‘Dynomyte’ Dave Seymour bought it back to Cornwall and began a three-year restoration project, rebranding the motordrome as the ‘Demon Drome‘. Dynomyte Dave, his family and their 1920s Indian Scout motorcycles now tour carnivals and conventions around the UK and Europe.
The challenge of getting the Mazda2 to perform on the 16 foot vertical wall of The Demon Drome began with reinforcing the wooden structure with extra steel bands. The suspension of the car was raised to it’s maximum ride height and bushings were added to the shock absorbers, to keep it from bottoming out under the heavy G-forces (more than 2x normal). The mechanics also deactivated the Mazda2’s sophisticated electronic stability system and dual front airbags. A special driver’s seat with harness was installed to keep Dave in place as he completed 8 laps of the 31 foot diameter track.
The video was directed by Zac Assemakis of Dumpling Productions.