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When asked about the most famous monster truck in history, Grave Digger’s name is at the top of the list. For generations, it was Grave Digger vs. Bigfoot, in the monster truck world. The Grave Digger monster truck brought more of a Hot Wheels appeal to the arena with its iconic color scheme and artwork to accompany the massive power to take on the toughest Monster Jam challenges. Let’s dig in and learn a little more about this incredible truck.

Where did the Grave Digger monster truck come from?

Grave Digger Airborn at Monster Jam
Grave Digger Airborn | Wikimedia Commons

Every truck that shows up at Monster Jam has a story. Most have humble beginnings and morph into something more. Dennis Anderson built the original truck, which began competing with other monster trucks in 1981.

The first version was a lifted 1952 Ford pickup truck body with mud bog tires and a small block Chevrolet engine. It earned the name from trash talk Anderson would toss at other drivers. He was known for shouting, “I’ll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it.”

A grave was dug for Bigfoot in 1985

The first major win for Grave Digger came in 1985 at a Monster Jam event in Minnesota. This was the first event where the newcomer took down the iconic Bigfoot, snatching the crown. This win, and many that would follow, cemented Grave Digger’s legacy in the hearts and minds of fans.

Is this monster truck still around?

Dennis Anderson and Grave Digger #31 retired in 2018, but other versions still exist. Although #31 currently serves as a backup truck, #39 is run by another crew and continues to race the truck. After many years of victory and success, Anderson sold his beloved truck to FELD Motorsports. The Grave Digger monster truck continues to be used as a flagship vehicle in the Monster Jam Series, according to Hotcars.

Why is Grave Digger so famous?

Grave Digger 40th Anniversary Version
Grave Digger 40th Anniversary Version | Wikimedia Commons

Grave Digger scored many early victories over other famous monster trucks like Bigfoot, which made it famous as a part of Monster Jam. This proven winner has been on the podium with and without Anderson behind the wheel.

Anderson put this incredible truck to the test with some mind-blowing stunts and performances. Unfortunately, the truck often suffered extensive damage during some of the early showcase events due to Anderson’s carefree driving style. This driving style earned him the nickname, “One Run Anderson.”  When successful, Grave Digger did what other trucks couldn’t.

“I’ll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it.” – Dennis Anderson

Who currently drives Grave Digger?

The current version of Grave Digger is #39. This CRD chassis is driven by Tyler Menninga and was introduced in the 2019 Arena Championship Series by Randy Brown. This is still one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable monster trucks making it a staple at Monster Jam events.

How much does a monster truck like Grave Digger cost?

Grave Digger at Monster Jam 2014
Grave Digger at Monster Jam 2014 | Wikimedia Commons

Monster trucks like Bigfoot and Grave Digger cost nearly $250,000. These trucks are 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide, weigh 10-12 thousand pounds, and have 1500 horsepower. That massive horsepower enables this truck to hit 30 mph on dirt in 1.52 seconds. To put that in perspective, a Nissan GT-R can do the same in 1.78 seconds.

Although no longer part of the competition, the Grave Digger monster truck holds a special place in the hearts and minds of monster truck fans all over the world.

Next, check out some of the early monster trucks, or watch some of the Grave Digger monster truck stunts in this video below:


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