Rebecca Brayton: It’s been described as figure skating with pickup trucks. I don’t know. Hi! I’m Rebecca Brayton and welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re speaking with Mike Vaters, the driver of Black Stallion. What can you tell us about the history of monster trucks and how it has evolved?
Mike Vaters: A monster truck started believe it or not, on the streets, lifted high pickup trucks and it just evolved who could be the bigger. You could get bigger tires. Clear back in the early ‘70s, it’s when the trucks in the streets with bigger tires and like myself with Black Stallion, we drew them on the streets of Hagerstown, Maryland. And we actually got our trucks so high that the cops told me, “Here, you’re going to take off all the road or lower it.” Now, all the battery lowered so I took it off to street and put larger tires and before we knew it we pretty much have a monster truck.
Rebecca Brayton: Now what can someone who’s never been to a monster truck show expect to see?
Mike Vaters: Well, a lot of high flying action, a lot of destruction, everything you see on the floor is going to end up being destroyed before the night is out and living probably a couple of trucks will be rolled over and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Rebecca Brayton: Tell me about the freestyle event.
Mike Vaters: Freestyle is where each truck comes out. They have between 60 and 90 seconds to do the best move they can on all the obstacles. You’ll see the coming out of the rear side of the cars and land in four wheels and land with really the farthest. If you roll and come upon your wheels and keep on, whoever guy has the better job, they got to the votes for that to win the freestyle.
Rebecca Brayton: Have you ever rolled your truck?
Mike Vaters: Oh yes, several times. I’ve rolled here.
Rebecca Brayton: What’s the toughest move you’ve ever pulled off?
Mike Vaters: Actually, jumping over another monster truck in reverse.
Rebecca Brayton: Now, tell us about your truck.
Mike Vaters: It’s a 2007, it’s all custom-built, put on the drawing board for about 4 years and it took us about eight months to actually build it.
The engine is at 573 feet against Ford, big bulk for blowing off, direct injected. Of course, with 2000 horsepower, the transmission is a regular C6 which goes into a transfer case, which drops down, which has bring more of the shafts come out and go back to the front and the rear. And the brakes were actually on the pinion which runs right through the reduction. They actually all the blue frames that you see basically come to my shop and the truck in the big polar steel. I have my shop custom-built in California under my specs, all the pulling bars that you see there is chrome we built all that. Pretty much we build everything.