- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A Plaza man who became known as the “Flying Farmer” for his car stunts during the 1990s and early 2000s made a successful jump out of retirement.

John Smith on Sunday got into his 1982 Chevrolet Caprice and soared over a burning mobile home, to the cheers of the crowd that had gathered, the Minot Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/2eei5Zn ).

“I haven’t done this for 13 years and the last time I did this I got pretty banged up,” Smith said. “I’m not very young anymore, things got tense but I guess I still got things figured out.”

Smith said he wondered what speed would be just right to make the jump before he saw an opening in the smoke and took full advantage. He accelerated up to 70 mph before launching into the sky.

“Well, luck would have it that the wind switched just a little and the smoke cleared just enough from the ramp slide. At that moment, I had a clear shot at the ramp and I took off,” he said.

Although Smith had some uncertainties during his attempt, he was happy that everything worked out.

“I wasn’t sure how the car would react,” Smith said. “I’m glad everything worked out just perfect.”

Spectators greeted Smith with thunderous applause as he landed safely.

“The crowd was very happy and enthusiastic,” he said. “People were honking their horns and everyone seemed to really enjoy the jump.”

The Makoti resident was a premier stunt performer in North Dakota during the 1990s and early 2000s. He also set a couple of Guinness world records for driving in reverse.

Smith said he was inspired by Evel Knievel while growing up.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com


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