"Famous Hell Drivers - Racing Lions - Feminine Courage!"
Since there was no "Harry Potter" in IMAX 3-D in the 1930s, where would you go to see an ultimate spectacle? You'd go to the amusement park to see motorcycles roaring up, down, and around a huge wooden barrel, filling the air with atrocious noise, fumes and a tremendous sense of danger - with spectators standing just yards away from the action!
Roll Up, Roll Up, It's Thrills, It's Spills - It's the Amazing "Wall of Death"!
Derived from normal wood board motordromes the America's Original Extreme Motorcycle Thrill Show became one of the most daring acts at fairgrounds and carnivals in the early 1910s, achieving peak popularity during motorcycle-crazed 1930s....
The first such motordome appeared in 1911 in Luna-Park at Coney island, New York; and in only 4 more years these walls became completely vertical, with not just single drivers, but the whole motorized crews thundering upon them.
We wanted to start this page with "put your girlfriend with a lion on a motorcycle, and sent her up the wall!" - but we're not going to do that (fearing wrath of.., you know). So we'll just continue with simple facts:
With over a hundred walls of death traveling the US by the 1930s, perhaps the coolest version was the 'Liondrome' in which a rider is accompanied by a tamed lion. We featured one such image before, but now we have more info about this sort of crazy entertainment:
With stage names like "Lolita" and "Ethel Purtle" these fearless women actually kept these lions for pets... driving them on vertical walls for fun and profit. Imagine a job description like that... (try to apply for it today, after you read a bit more info):
To have a lion right behind you on your passenger seat would be quite risky (it might get a bit too stressed and bite your head off, you know), so the drivers placed them in side-cars, and were careful not to smell of alcohol while driving - lions absolutely hated it!
Something more modern, and significantly more viral (alas, completely fake) - is the ad campaign for Nissan Qashqai, featuring outrageous "flying" car stunts: see our article about it here! (lower the volume before opening it)
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