Watch a Bunch of Beater Cars Go Flying Off a 300-Foot Cliff in Alaska

What, that’s not how you celebrate the Fourth of July?

byKyle Cheromcha|
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Fireworks and the Fourth of July go together like, well, apple pie and America. But the big ones ain't cheap, and it's hard to put on a good show with a bunch of Roman candles. So a hunting lodge in Alaska came up with a solution that we at The Drive believe should be adopted by people across the country in lieu of sparklers: Launching old, junked-up cars off the nearest 300-foot cliff. The signature drive starts on Monday.

A video posted to YouTube this week showcases this year's festivities, and it looks like everyone in Glacier View, Alaska turned out for the day-long event. Organizer Arnie Hrncir explains that he wanted to do something special for the Fourth of July to bring people to his lodge, and with fireworks out of the question, this was the next best thing he could think of. 

Over the last 20 years, the display has evolved from a small gathering to a festival-like event that draws hundreds of people and raises money for veterans. Volunteers supply the cars, which are stripped down and launched off the 300-foot cliff with their throttles pinned using a home-built guide rail system. The owners are also responsible for trucking the twisted remains home to avoid starting a junkyard in the landing zone.

If that all sounds like a lot of work for three seconds of hilarious destruction, it is—but one look at the crowd's reaction shows it's worth it. The cars soar like majestic eagles; it's Grand Theft Auto or Beam.NG Drive brought to life. Some land remarkably intact, while others tumble and roll into unrecognizable heaps. Either way, the moment when all four wheels leave solid ground is as exciting as any bomb bursting in air.

Here's another video from this year's event, filmed by spectators. Looks like a fun time up there.