NASCAR & Auto Racing

Robosaurus going on the block

CONCORD – If you’ve ever wanted a 58,000-pound, 40-foot tall car-eating machine with a soft heart, get your checkbook ready.

Robosaurus is going on the market.

The great beast – officially it’s an electro-hydro-mechanical car-nivorous machine – made its last official appearance Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as part of one of the track’s typically subtle pre-race shows.

Various things were wrecked, jumped or blown up in the show, but this was a moment for Robosaurus, the fire-belching machine that recently celebrated its 17th birthday.

Mark Hayes, one of the three men who fathered the engineering marvel that likes to crush cars with its claws, ran Robosaurus through one last show Saturday before putting it up for auction Jan. 19, 2008, in Scottsdale, Az.

“I don’t think Robosaurus aged out. I think the owners aged out,” Hayes said.

Robosaurus, Hayes said, has performed approximately 1,000 shows, but there was, appropriately enough, a touching element to Saturday evening.

The mean machine picked up Serina Hayes, daughter of one of the creators, and held her in one of its claws, then carried her away in what could only be called an electro-hydro-mechanical Fay Wray moment.

There are all sorts of big numbers associated with Robosaurus – it has a crushing force of 24,000 pounds in its claw, for example – but the number that really matters is the one it draws at the Barrett-Jackson auction in January.

Some people have suggested it will sell for approximately $5 million, more than the winning bid for North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.

If you’re in the market, take a look at