Video: 4 year, 1 million dollar Longest Car Jump Attempted: 1 mile in a Hot Rod Lincoln

By | July 29, 2009

Video: 4 year, 1 million dollar Longest Car Jump Attempted: 1 mile in a Hot Rod Lincoln

Spoiler: He lives… and fully recovers… but he doesn’t make the jump.  Here is a summary of the story behind this video from

The Devil at Your Heels is a 1981 documentary that chronicles the attempt of stuntman and daredevil Ken Carter to jump a rocket-powered car over the Saint-Laurent River–a distance of one mile, which would handily smash all existing records for jumping cars.

The documentary opens with some quick framing of the task, including footage of the ramp and the car to be used for the jump, and then chronicles how Ken Carter got his start as a daredevil, including footage of some early jumps. It then follows the ups and downs he experiences in his five-year journey to jump the river. He has a series of financial and technical obstacles. Technical problems include difficulties with the car (the fuel tank keeps blowing up) and the ramp he’s planning to jump off (it’s bumpy and not necessarily structurally sound). The financial problems are simpler; he keeps running out of money, and his backers are unhappy.

In the fifth year, everything is set, but two attempts are called off–one because of a short strike by the ground crew, and one because of weather (and perhaps because Carter loses his nerve). The backers, desperate to finish, believe that Carter has lost his nerve and call him to a meeting in another city, and then bring in another driver, Kenny Powers, to attempt the jump.

Unfortunately, the bumps in the ramp have not been fixed, and as the car accelerates, it starts to shake itself to pieces and falls apart in midair. The parachutes deploy and the car lands in shallow water–Powers survives with eight broken vertebrae (he later recovers fully). The effort to make the jump is abandoned.

The film closes with Carter vowing to continue trying. However, a few years after the movie was made, the ramp was demolished, and then Carter was killed in 1983 in Peterborough, Ontario attempting another stunt. – wiki

I met someone once who does crazy stunts like juggling chainsaws and sticking nails up his nose. It is interesting that a person would risk death to entertain others. Biologically, I don’t understand how this would be adaptive. Are people like Carter missing part of their brains?

3 thoughts on “Video: 4 year, 1 million dollar Longest Car Jump Attempted: 1 mile in a Hot Rod Lincoln

  1. Patrick

    Aww, c’mon, Xeno. What’s so difficult to understand about the desire to be loved?

    “Did I make it? Is everybody pleased?”

    1. Xeno

      Okay, wait, I do get it. Love = More babies. Back in the cave man days, the guy who would please the tribe by nearly getting gored by a mammoth as he tried to jump over it, that guy would probably have his choice of cave ladies because the other cave dudes would stay clear of him. “Groorrf! That jumping hominid is nuts.”

      When is the last time I pulled an act of startling machismo… something crazy and slightly dangerous in front of a small crowd of people? Running with scissors doesn’t count. White water river rafting. ASAP.

Leave a Reply