The Coaster Derby

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Coaster Derby held during Engineering Week. PR; Series 1; Sub-series 5. Item 6800.

Date(s) of occurrence: 1975 - 1990s?

Previous/other names: Unknown

Origins: First held in 1975, the Coaster Derby was organized by the Student Society of Mechanical Engineers as an opportunity for "students to test their theories and knowledge of the applied science and witchcraft."

History: The course ran down the east side of campus, from the Aitken Center to the Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium, as students billowed down "the Hill" at fifty to sixty kilometres per hour — sometimes going as fast as ninety kilometres per hour. To officially qualify for the competition, a car must be gravity-powered, have three or four wheels, brakes, streering, a seat belt and a roll bar, and the driver must wear an approved helmet. Anyone not meeting these standards could still attempt a practice run. Throughout its history the event gave rise to a number of accidents. Before traffic was blocked off during the event a competitor was run over by a car pulling out of a parking lot, but luckily the student was not gravely injured. The event was moved from Fridays to Saturdays in the early 1990s because the organizers expected the traffic to be less significant.



  • Montague, Susan. A Pictorial History of the University of New Brunswick. Fredericton, NB: University of New Brunswick, 1992, p. 250.

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