Demo Derby History

 

chester rotroff

Kaye Keiser and Rotroff discussing upcoming season.

CHESTER T. ROTROFF

“A Lifetime of Producing Successes and HALL OF FAME member of the
Ohio Fair Managers Association”

CHESTER T. ROTROFF's extensive service to the fair industry began in 1931 when he purchased and installed sound equipment in Brown, Clermont, and Adams Counties and the Germantown Fair in Kentucky, prior to graduating from high school. Chester's first contract with Brown County Fair was for 3 days of sound equipment at $45 and he did a one hour radio show live from the fairgrounds on WTFM 1240, still in existence today in the Ohio Valley out of Maysville, Kentucky.

After graduating Chester expanded his sound business and started booking grandstand shows. In 1948, he developed stage shows and through 1959 produced such hits as Hollywood Cavalcade, Broadway Scandels, Old Dominican Jamboree and Plantation Caravan, with all these shows on the fair circuit.

In 1959 Mr. Rotroff developed and produced the Cavalcade of Thrills, the only ALL GIRL AUTO THRILL SHOW ever produced and hooked up with the Ford Motor Co. as a factory show. The thrill show played nine states with Ohio being the major booking state for the show and was featured on CBS in April 1962 on a coast to coast live feed broadcast. Just to mention a few of the drivers who went on to futher success — Yvona Stahl who performed the roll-over event and was the first female stunt driver to perform TWO WHEEL driving, commonly known as SKIIS, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She also performed precision driving with men. Also due to the result of the AUTO THRILL SHOW, Chester was able to negotiate a contract for Kaye Keiser to perform in television commercials for Uniroyal Tire Co. Kaye's specialty was the ramp-to-ramp jump. Chester and Kaye continued with Uniroyal for 5 years.

In 1970 Chester added the Auto Demolition Derbies to his line of productions which is still going strong today. YVONA STAHL took over the day to day operations in 1989 with Chester remaining on the road until he passed in 2008. YVONA attributes her success in the business to the greatest show producer ever — Chester Rotroff.