Jurassic Attack, a monster truck designed to look like a dinosaur, will be the featured vehicle at Kruise Night, an annual car show organized by the Klassic Kruizers Kar Klub in conjunction with the Northern Lights Casino. The casino serves as host for the event, which offers live entertainment and is open to families and children of all ages.
“Our parking lot I think fits something like 1,500 cars or 2,000 cars,” Northern Lights marketing co-ordinator Paul Lomheim said. “We rope off half of our parking lot so that we still have enough parking for patrons to come here. And it’s open to the general public — as in, you don’t have to be 19 years old. There’s also food served, like concessions, and we’ve got porta-potties.”
The band British Invasion will be performing a mix of Beatles and Rolling Stones songs outside from 5 p.m. to 8:30. Later on in the lounge, the group Trick Rider will entertain guests from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with a set of classic ’50s and ’60s hits.
Players Club members and anyone who displays a vehicle are eligible for entry in two separate barbecue giveaways.
Lomheim expects between 300 and 400 vintage or specialty cars to appear at the show from across the province and beyond. Motorcycles are also welcome, having appeared in ample numbers throughout previous years.
But it is Jurassic Attack that promises to steal the show. The hosts attempted to contact owner Don Frankish last year, but at the time he was busy shooting a national television ad for Boston Pizza featuring the vehicle.
“Jurassic Attack is going to be giving some people rides,” Lomheim said. “We have to wait ’til he gets here to talk to him about it, but somehow we’ve got to come up (with) how some people might get rides … He will be driving around the parking lot once in a while.”
Frankish and his team at Jurassic Attack — also the name of the company — formerly raced in truck and tractor pull competitions around the world. About 25 years ago, the acquisition of a new vehicle changed everything.
We did artwork for a T-Rex, but it just didn’t fit the truck. It just looked awkward. So then we tried a triceratops and it just fit so much more naturally on the chassis of the truck that we went with that instead. - Don Frankish
“When we were in Japan, my brother ended up buying a monster truck from one of the American teams,” Frankish said. “Then shortly after I decided to sell my pulling vehicle as well and get into the monsters, and did it part-time for about 10 years and then did it full-time for about another 12 years after that.”
His company formerly possessed two trucks before selling their non-dinosaur-themed vehicle. Although the truck Jurassic Attack used to race, today its primary purpose is giving rides to children at air shows, festivals and fairs.
The original choice of a dinosaur motif boiled down to marketing and the need to create a memorable image.
“We came up with the dinosaur idea back when Bigfoot first came out with a 3-D body truck called Snakebite,” he said. “Another team come out with one called Prowler that looked like a cat, and I just thought dinosaurs were the way to go.
“We did artwork for a T-Rex, but it just didn’t fit the truck. It just looked awkward. So then we tried a triceratops and it just fit so much more naturally on the chassis of the truck that we went with that instead.”
Each tire on Jurassic Attack weighs 700 pounds, and the truck itself is approximately 12 feet wide and 10 and a half feet high. An enclosed trailer is used to transport the truck, where the wheels must be removed and re-attached every time the team moves it.
Jurassic Attack arrives in Prince Albert early on Friday. Registration for the Kruise Night car show runs from 3 to 6 p.m. The display itself officially begins at 6 p.m. and runs until 9, but visitors who arrive an hour early will be able to see most of the cars.