These are the most bizarre, unique, and exciting event in all of motorsports. Also know as woods buggies and hunting buggies,these completely one-of-a-kind custom made wild back-yard creations, usually by their owners, are all designed to meet the same basic goal, travel through shallow swampy waters.
These buggies were born out of necessity, as there was no effective way to penetrate the vast, remote recesses of the vast Everglades. The versatile swamp buggy could romp in the boggy swamp on balloon tires with elevated suspensions. In the beginnng they were used primarily for hunting expeditions, complete with gun racks.
Naples, Florida can lay claim as the birthplace of one of the most unusual sports in motor racing history- the swamp buggy race. The 57th annual Swamp Buggy Parade was held in 2007 still organized by local civic and community leaders.. Swamp buggies were first used in the early development of the Everglades in the 1930's and 1940's.
Racing (usually in pairs) the buggies is still a beloved part of Florida culture and takes place on a swampy, shallow water, twisting track. a cross between a drag race and a souped up road race. Johnny Joes won the first "Official" Swamp Buggy Race of almost 50 competitors in 1949.
Buggies are now being constructed for racing only, and the newer designs are far too fast and too loud to be used for hunting wild game. Unlike most car races, where you watch cars go 'round and 'round for hours, with the occasional crash to break up the monotony, the Swamp Buggy races are all fun all the time. Swamp buggy races are one big happy, muddy, exciting event over a figure eight track
The buggies range in size all the way up to giant monsters with NASCAR racing engines, and some with modified high-performance 1,000-horsepower engines. The skinny little wheels like disks offer little resistance to the water. During the first few seconds of the race, these wheels dig into the mud bottom, soon shooting up a fantail of muddy water.
Commercial versions built to maneuver into the most swamp areas are available for industry and server the oil fields wtih pipeline, dredging and surveying. They are also used for levee and dike building, wetland restoration, fiber optic cable work, grubbing, and seismic drilling and exploration.
Some resort areas offer swamp buggy rides that are open to the public. But the real fun is the swamp buggy races! These strange looking motorized vehicle contraptions provide a jostling ride when driven by gearhead gladiators. Swamp buggies are awkward, methodical, determined vehicles that have motored their way into history.