The Greatest Auto Race on Earth Features Live Pigs

It’s deep August—a season of forgetting, a time when we’re all at the beach, at least mentally. No surprise that major sporting events slip past the national radar. For example: You, dear reader and kind supporter of the Good Outside, almost certainly missed the greatest auto racing event in America—possibly the universe—just last week.

I speak, of course, of the Tillamook (Oregon) County Fair’s legendary Pig ‘n’ Ford races. Dating back to 1925, the Pig ‘n’ Ford involves … well, hell. I can do no better than to quote the Wikipedia entry (which does, indeed, exist):

“Drivers use stripped Model T Fords with stock mechanicals … When the starter pistol fires, the drivers run to the opposite side of the front straight, grab a live 20-pound pig from a bin, then must hand-crank their car and drive it one lap. They then stop, kill the engine, get a different pig, and race another lap. The first driver to complete three laps in this manner without losing their pig is the winner.”

Did you, uh, catch that? These guys (and we will assume, based on crude gender profile, that they are all guys) race cars not so much “vintage” as ancient. And they race them while carrying live 20-pound pigs in their arms. No disrespect to the swell European gentlemen of Formula 1 or Nascar’s famous heroes, but those so-called professionals do not race with live 20-pound pigs in their arms. And I’m not trying to be prejudicial against any sport, but I hereby declare myself permanently uninterested in any form of auto racing in which competitors fail to bear live 20-pound pigs in their arms

Watch, and you shall be converted.





Photo by Bob Reed, via the Tilamook County Fair.

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