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Grave Digger
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Grave Digger circa 2018

Owner

FELD Motorsports (truck), Dennis Anderson (name)

Drivers

Adam Anderson, Charlie Pauken, Randy Brown, Morgan Kane, Krysten Anderson, Tyler Menninga, Brandon Vinson, Chad Tingler (overseas) and Carl Van Horn (backup)

Body Style

1950 Chevy Panel Van

Engine

540ci Merlin

Transmission

Coan 2-speed

Tires

Firestone / 66" Terra / BKT

Debut

1982

Grave Digger is a monster truck owned by FELD Motorsports and created by Dennis Anderson. Active for more than 35 years, there are 8 competing Grave Digger vehicles with 9 current competing drivers on the Monster Jam circuit. Grave Digger is in every Monster Jam video game to date.

The truck is known to have a longtime rivalry with Maximum Destruction for many years especially when driven by Tom Meents.

The truck is arguably the most famous and widely known monster truck anywhere in the world

It is special for being the only FELD owned truck to be hand painted on every single body.

History

In 1981, Dennis Anderson created his mud racer, Grave Digger. The name came from a smack-talking session he had with his rivals ("I'll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it.").

In 1986, Dennis Anderson started racing monster trucks full time. The truck became super popular, despite lack of sponsorship that trucks like Bigfoot (Which was sponsored by Ford) had. His first major victory was in Saint Paul, Minnesota, against the Bigfoot.

In 1989, he switched from a 1951 Ford Panel truck to a 1950 Chevrolet Panel truck. Two years later, he debuted Grave Digger 3, the first four-link Grave Digger. 

In 1990, a short-lived Grave Digger was built and driven by Jack Koberna on the West Coast.

In 1992, Lyle Hancock and Robert Parker shared driving duties with Anderson. Les Anderson also drove for a couple events exclusively in 1992.

In 1993, Pablo Huffaker created his own version of Grave Digger, Grave Digger 5 he drove this truck across the US together with Anderson.

In 1998, Dennis sold team Grave Digger to PACE Motorsports (now Feld Motorsports). Despite no longer owning the truck, he is still arguably its most popular driver. 

In 1999, Lyle Hancock was replaced by Charlie Pauken from Excaliber fame.

In 2000, Debra Miceli, driver of Madusa, was taught by Dennis Anderson to drive monster trucks and drove one of his Grave Digger trucks. Dennis and Grave Digger were invited to the Monster Jam World Finals 1 and won the freestyle championship with a score of 40.

In 2001, Gary Porter and Scott Pontbriand were given their own Grave Diggers, Grave Digger 12 and Grave Digger 8, respectively.

In 2002, Grave Digger celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Rod Schmidt was also welcomed to the fleet.

In 2003, Jason Childress started driving for the team. Dennis Anderson later suffered an injury, keeping him out of the Monster Jam World Finals 4. Grave Digger was driven by Pablo Huffaker at the said event.

In 2004, Grave Digger won the racing championship at the Monster Jam World Finals 5, taking out Pablo Huffaker driving Blacksmith.

In 2005, Scott Pontbriand officially retired from the sport.

In 2006, Chad Tingler replaced Jason Childress who drove the new Batman truck. Dennis again, suffered an injury until the World Finals and his son, Adam, would drive Grave Digger for part of the season in 2007.

In 2007, Grave Digger celebrated its 25th Anniversary.

In 2010, Gary Porter competed on the Freestyle Mania tour until 2011.

In 2011, former Excaliber driver, Carl Van Horn debuted Grave Digger 23. The same year, Grave Digger raced against the Shockwave jet trucks at several NHRA Nitro Jam events until 2012. Randy Brown was behind the wheel for the majority of these races.

In 2012, Grave Digger celebrated its 30th Anniversary

In 2013, Jon Zimmer joined the team. Rod Schmidt also moved to Monster Mutt Rottweiler.

In 2015, Charlie Pauken competed in the Fox Sports 1 Series and Colton Eichelberger competed in the More Monster Jam tour. After more than ten years of driving Grave Digger, Gary Porter left the team and moved to Carolina Crusher. Charlie finished 4th in his series while Colton finished 2nd. They both got automatic bids to the World Finals hence, three Grave Diggers competed in World Finals 16, with Dennis driving the normal Grave Digger, Colton driving a purple Grave Digger, and Charlie driving a green Grave Digger. At the Path of Destruction Tour, "Steve Brynes" a former Nascar announcer who passed away on April 21, 2015 was written On the Grave Digger tombstone instead of the usual "Dennis Anderson".

S00

Old tool

In 2016, a new chrome paint scheme debuted with Dennis Anderson driving. Dennis's son Adam joined team Grave Digger and competed in the Fox Sports 1 Championship Series. Lifelong friend of the Anderson boys, Morgan Kane joined the team after a switch from Max D to Grave Digger was made, hence, Colton Eichelberger was moved to the Max-D team. Adam's long time crew chief Cole Venard also joined the team and competed in the More Monster Jam (2016) series along with Kane which they would eventually win. Charlie Pauken, Pablo Huffaker, Randy Brown, Carl Van Horn & Jon Zimmer all continued to run their own Grave Diggers. At World Finals 17, Morgan Kane and Cole Venard debuted new paint schemes on their trucks. Kane would receive an orange scheme while Venard drives the purple scheme. Kane later won racing while Adam Anderson won freestyle, both in their Grave Digger trucks. Chad Tingler was transferred to Alien Invasion early in the year. A new Hot Wheels Grave Digger mold was also released, the first time in 16 years that the original mold, created in 2000 as one of the original 4 toys, was altered. This new design which went unnoticed at first until fans found the differences, being a more round body, new front clip, and overall, a more realistic design. The problem was that the design never showed the "New tool" deco on the packaging, and it shared the exact same packaging as the old style. Another version of Grave Digger was released, but this time, the roof artwork is different.

S-l10

New tool

In 2017, Grave Digger celebrated its 35th Anniversary. Tyler Menninga joined the team and ran the More Monster Jam tour along with Cole Venard. Morgan Kane and Adam Anderson competed in the Fox Sports 1 Series. Dennis Anderson and Charlie Pauken ran the two Stadium Tours while Randy Brown and Pablo Huffaker competed in two of the other Arena Tours. The truck also received its first official female driver, Krysten Anderson, Dennis' daughter, who competed on the Central More Monster Jam Tour. In the first stop of Dennis' Stadium Tour in Tampa, Florida, he would suffer a career ending injury after a failed backflip attempt. Carl Van Horn and Jon Zimmer filled in for the rest of his tour. On September 18, 2017, Dennis announced his full retirement from Monster Jam, stating he would still be behind the scenes at events and in the pits.

In 2018, the team ran eight trucks. Former Son-uva Digger crew chief Brandon Vinson joined the team to take the place of Cole Venard. Adam Anderson takes over as the main driver due to Dennis Anderson's retirement. Jon Zimmer left the team to drive Dragon full time, as he was supposed to in 2017 before Dennis's injury, while Carl Van Horn served as a fill-in for the team. Adam Anderson, Charlie Pauken, Randy Brown, and Morgan Kane each ran a stadium tour. Three drivers once again competed at the Triple Threat Series, Krysten Anderson on the west series, Tyler Menninga on the central tour, and Vinson on the east series. Pablo Huffaker runs an arena tour. Pauken and Kane won their Stadium Championship Series while Menninga wins his Triple Threat tour, earning them invites to the Monster Jam World Finals 19. Adam Anderson wins the World Finals 19 Racing Championship against Menninga. Pablo retired after his final event in Florence, SC on the weekend of May 5-6, 2018.

In 2019, Chad Tingler will return to the team and will drive on the Monster Jam International Tour. Randy Brown will compete on the Monster Jam Arena Championship Series, Krysten Anderson on the Monster Jam East, Brandon Vinson on the Monster Jam Central, and Tyler Menninga on the West. Morgan Kane will compete on the Monster Jam Stadium Championship Series 1, Adam Anderson on Series 2 and Charlie Pauken on Series 3.

Trivia

  • Grave Digger is one of 4 trucks owned by FELD that was sold to them, rather than created by them (The other 3 being Bulldozer, Carolina Crusher, and Son-Uva Digger).
  • The tombstones on the side of Grave Digger represent different trucks that Grave Digger has beaten out in racing finals throughout the years.
  • Pablo Huffaker, Jack Koberna and Dennis Anderson were the only Grave Digger drivers to create their own versions of the truck as all other Digger's are created by FELD.
  • Pablo's Grave Digger's can be simply identified by its often red shocks, purple rims and a shorter wheelbase than other Grave Digger's.
  • Grave Digger 27 is currently the oldest Grave Digger truck being used for competition.
  • Whilst FELD owns most of the Digger trucks, Racesource owned Pablo's trucks and Randy Brown Motorsports owns Randy Brown's trucks, both in association with FELD.

Versions

There have been 38 versions of Grave Digger to date. There is no Grave Digger XIII due to superstition about the number 13. The number of the truck is often displayed on the front of the hood.   

Version

Information
Grave Digger 1 Built in 1982. It was on display at the Monster Jam World Finals 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada for his twenty-fifth anniversary. It is now on display outside Digger's Dungeon in Poplar Branch, North Carolina. It is in poor condition
Grave Digger 2 Built in 1989. Leaf-sprung Grave Digger. It is now on display outside Digger's Dungeon.
Grave Digger 3 Built in 1991. The first four-link suspension Grave Digger. It was sold and became Inferno. The chassis is known as Slag Hag as of today.
Grave Digger 4 Leaf-sprung Grave Digger. Had the shortest lifespan of all the Grave Digger trucks.
Grave Digger 5 Also had a short lifespan and was sold to another team. The body is in the Digger's Dungeon shop and kids may climb on it.
Grave Digger 5 (Huffaker)

Formerly Just Show N Off built and driven by Pablo Huffaker from 1992-1995. Now retired.

Grave Digger 6 Rebuilt as the Son Uva Digger mudbogger for Ryan Anderson. Now retired.
Grave Digger 7 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Driven by Dennis Anderson from 1992-1996. Revamped in 2000 as Grave Digger 13 by Anderson where he would win Monster Jam World Finals 1 Freestyle. It now sits outside Digger's Dungeon.
Grave Digger 8 Four-link suspension Grave Digger driven by Robert Parker in the 90s and Scott Pontbriand from 2000-2004. Retired chassis. Was part of a museum exhibition in Chicago, Illinois. It appeared in Monster Trucks: The Science of Extreme Machines. Now on display at Digger's Dungeon.
Grave Digger 9 Ride truck. Sold, and is now the Extinguisher ride truck.
Grave Digger 10 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Used to be driven by Pablo Huffaker, but is now scrapped.
Grave Digger 11 Ride truck. Sold to Randy Moore, who turned it into War Wizard ride, who sold it to Randy Brown, who soon turned it into Pure Adrenaline ride, and later Grave Digger Ride. The truck has since been reaquired by FELD.
Grave Digger 12 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Used to be driven by Dennis Anderson from 1996-2000 and Gary Porter from 2001-2010. It also ran as Grave Digger the Legend in 2011 before it was retired.
Grave Digger 13 Grave Digger 13 was never built due to superstition regarding the number 13, just as Bigfoot 13 was (although Grave Digger 7 was nicknamed Grave Digger 13 after it was rebuilt in 2000).
Grave Digger 14 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Dennis Anderson from 2001 to 2003 and was driven by Randy Brown from 2004 to 2006. Was driven by Chad Tingler until 2010, when it was retired due to extensive damage.
Grave Digger 15 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Charlie Pauken from 2001 to 2008. Now retired.
Grave Digger 16 Four-link suspension Grave Digger built and driven by Pablo Huffaker from 2002-2013.
Grave Digger 17

Pro Modified Drag Racer driven by Alan Pittman. Now retired.

Grave Digger 18 Retired Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Formerly Driven by Dennis Anderson in 2003, Randy Brown from 2004-2007 and Rod Schmidt from 2008 to 2012.
Grave Digger 19 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Dennis Anderson from 2004 to 2005 and by Randy Brown from 2007 to 2014.
Grave Digger 20 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Dennis Anderson from 2005 to 2013, the longest and arguably most successful for Dennis. Dennis won nine straight stadium racing events with this truck. Retired after 2013.
Grave Digger 21 Four-link suspension Grave Digger Experience truck. People can climb into the cab of the Grave Digger and watch a video presentation.
Grave Digger 22 Originally Batman from 2006 to 2008. Was driven By Charlie Pauken from 2009 to 2013.
Grave Digger 23 Built in 2010 and was driven by Carl Van Horn from 2011 to 2016. Revamped in 2017 and driven by Tyler Menninga. Now retired.
Grave Digger 24 Retired four-link suspension Grave Digger. Driven by Chad Tingler from 2011-2015.
Grave Digger 25 Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Driven by Gary Porter from 2011 to 2014 and by Morgan Kane in 2015 to 2016. This truck won the Monster Jam World Finals 17 Racing competition. Now retired.
Grave Digger 26

Was built in 2012 and driven by Jon Zimmer from 2013 to 2016. Now retired

Grave Digger 27 Was a CRD chassis built in 2013 driven by Charlie Pauken from 2014 to 2018. Now Retired.
Grave Digger 28 Was a Racesource chassis created and driven by Pablo Huffaker from 2014 to 2018. Retired in May 2018 together with Huffaker.
Grave Digger 29 Was a Cohen chassis built in 2014 and debuted just before 2015. Driven by Randy Brown until 2017. Also used in Austarlia 2018 driven by Charlie Pauken.
Grave Digger 30 Was a Cohen chassis that debuted in 2014. Driven by Dennis Anderson from 2014- 2017. Revamped for 2018 and now driven by Brandon Vinson.
Grave Digger 31 Cohen-designed chassis race truck. Driven by Cole Venard from 2016 to March 2017. Taken over by Randy Brown since 2018. 
Grave Digger 32 Cohen-designed chassis race truck. Was orignally the 2014 Grave Digger the Legend chassis. Driven by Adam Anderson from 2016 to 2017. The truck won Adam's second freestyle championship. Now driven by Tyler Menninga since 2018. 
Grave Digger 33

Cohen chassis, driven by Morgan Kane since 2017.

Grave Digger 34

CRD chassis, driven by Krysten Anderson since 2017.

Grave Digger 35 Cohen chassis unveiled at SEMA 2017, driven by Adam Anderson since 2018, winning Adam his third racing championship. 
Grave Digger 36

CRD chassis, driven by Tyler Menninga since October 2018.

Grave Digger 37

CRD chassis, currently under construction since 2018.

Grave Digger 38

Currently under construction.

Exempt Trucks

Version

Information
Grave Digger's Boneyard Shuttle An unofficial truck from the Grave Digger Fleet: a bus themed ride truck.
K'nex Grave Digger Built in 2012; a display truck built entirely out of K'nex pieces.

Championships

  • 1999 - Dennis Anderson (Points)
  • 2000 - Dennis Anderson (Freestyle)
  • 2002 - Dennis Anderson (Points)
  • 2003 - Gary Porter (Points)
  • 2004 - Randy Brown (Points)
  • 2004 - Dennis Anderson (Racing)
  • 2006 - Dennis Anderson (Racing)
  • 2010 - Dennis Anderson (Racing)
  • 2016 - Morgan Kane (Racing and AMSOIL West), Adam Anderson (Freestyle and FS1 Series), Cole Venard (AMSOIL East) 
  • 2017 - Cole Venard (Triple Threat- West), Tyler Menninga (Triple Threat- East), Randy Brown (Arena Tour #4), Pablo Huffaker (Arena Tour #5), Charlie Pauken (Stadium Tour #4)
  • 2018 - Charlie Pauken (Stadium Championship Series 2), Morgan Kane (Stadium Championship Series 3), Tyler Menninga (Triple Threat- Central), Adam Anderson (Racing)

World Finals Bodies

  • 2002 - 20th Anniversary Grave Digger
  • 2006 - "Green Ghost" Grave Digger (won racing with this version)
  • 2007 - Chrome 25th Anniversary Grave Digger
  • 2010 - Red "Retro" Grave Digger (only used in the encore, driven by Ryan Anderson)
  • 2010 - Blue and Silver "Retro v2" Grave Digger (only used in the encore, driven by Adam Anderson, but it was turned into a full-time truck named Grave Digger the Legend in the following year also driven by Adam.)
  • 2012 - Chrome Green 30th Anniversary Grave Digger
  • 2012 - Chrome Purple 30th Anniversary Grave Digger
  • 2015 - Purple Grave Digger (driven by Colton Eichelberger)
  • 2015 - Green Grave Digger (driven by Charlie Pauken)
  • 2016 - Chrome Grave Digger (driven by Dennis Anderson)
  • 2016 - Purple Grave Digger (driven by Cole Venard)
  • 2016 - Orange Grave Digger (driven by Morgan Kane, won racing with this version)

World Finals Appearances

  • 1999 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2000 - Dennis Anderson (won freestyle)
  • 2001 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2002 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2003 - Pablo Huffaker
  • 2004 - Dennis Anderson (won racing)
  • 2005 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2006 - Dennis Anderson (won racing)
  • 2007 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2008 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2009 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2010 - Dennis Anderson (won racing)
  • 2011 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2012 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2013 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2014 - Dennis Anderson
  • 2015 - Dennis Anderson, Colton Eichelberger (purple), Charlie Pauken (green)
  • 2016 - Adam Anderson (won freestyle), Dennis Anderson (chrome), Morgan Kane (orange) (won racing), Cole Venard (purple)
  • 2017 - Adam Anderson, Morgan Kane, Randy Brown, Tyler Menninga (DDS: Krysten Anderson)
  • 2018 - Adam Anderson (won racing), Tyler Menninga, Morgan Kane, Charlie Pauken (DDS: Krysten Anderson, Brandon Vinson)

Digger's Dungeon

Digger's Dungeon in North Carolina serves as the official home of Grave Digger. It houses various Feld vehicles from time to time. It features a gift shop and museum of various Grave Digger parts, trophies, and merchandise.

Gallery

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