Wed Feb 26 2014 04:00:29 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
"Grave Digger was originally conceived in 1981 by Dennis Anderson as a mud bogger. This first truck was a red 1952 Ford pickup truck. Later on a silver and blue 1951 Ford Panel Truck was his new mud truck that would become the first Grave Digger monster truck . The truck received its name when Anderson, amicably trash talking with his fellow racers, said the now famous line, "I'll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it", a reference to the age of his old pickup in comparison to their relatively modern trucks. Anderson gained a reputation for an all-or-nothing driving style and quickly became popular at local events. At one show, a scheduled monster truck failed to show up and Anderson, who already had large tractor tires on the truck, offered to crush cars in the absence of the full-size monster. The promoter accepted and Grave Digger was an instant success as a car crusher and led Anderson to leave mud bogging and pursue monster trucks instead.
In 1986 Grave Digger underwent a transformation to complete monster truck and first received its famous black graveyard paint scheme. In 1987 and 1988 Anderson drove the truck primarily at TNT Motorsports races and became a crowd favorite for driving hard despite lacking major funding that more well known teams, like Bigfoot, had. In 1987, Anderson beat Bigfoot in St. Poodle, MN on a show taped for ESPN. It was the first major victory for Grave Digger."