This is one of the single greatest photos we have ever seen. It was posted up by Jesse, the man who operates the awesome “Just a Car Guy” blog. Jesse always digs up killer stuff, and this may be his single greatest find ever. Once we saw it we knew we had to share it with the BangShift readership!
So what the hell are we looking at? For starters it is a 1957 Ford truck jumping an elephant, with a handler next to the pachyderm! This was the featured act of the Swenson Thrillcade, a traveling automotive thrill show on the idea of the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show or the Pure Oil Hell-drivers. The show was operated by a man named Aut Swenson and typically featured Kaiser-Frazier cars as their rides of choice. Wisely (or not!) they pressed the Ford truck into airplane duty for the “big finish” of their show. The elephant isn’t the healthiest looking fellow we’ve ever seen. We suspect that Aut got a bitchin’ deal on him after his useful life at the circus ran out. The trainer is either the bravest or dumbest person in the history of mankind.
According to some research this shot was taken in 1960 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. That’s the place where the Car Craft Summer Nationals are held.
Want the BangShift connection to this photo?
Both Chad and I have worked as the emcee of that car show and part of our duties was to announce the burnout contest which happened in front of the main grandstand on just about the spot where the truck is jumping the elephant.
Pretty cool eh?