Rod Woodworth — United States

Rod Woodworth performed stunts from 1978 - 1982 and made hundreds of motorcycle jumps. His thirty-two car jump (see below) effectively put an end to his jumping career. Rod suffered an injury to his lower spine where it was crushed and months after the accident, he was told he didn't need to wear the body brace any longer. He realized to jump again at any real distance, could result in paralysis due to any severe impact, even on a perfectly successful jump.

Besides jumping, Rod also performed other motorcycle stunts including the tunnel of fire. Rod rode his bike through a tunnel of fire 260' (a full 100' farther than the record at the time.) Rod didn't use a fire suit, he used a double set of leathers wrapped with a fire retardant tape. As you can see it was an extremely windy day and the fire wasn't burning up the side of the tunnel as it normally would but was blown completely through the tunnel making it even hotter and dropping the visibility inside the tunnel to virtually nothing. The tunnel had hundreds of bales of hay attached to it soaked with 110 gallons of gas and fuel oil.

32 Car Jump — June 27, 1982

Rod Woodworth attempted to jump 32 cars on a June 27, 1982. Rod was attempting to set a new U.S. jump record but things went terribly wrong. He left the jump ramp at 93 mph, but was going too slow. Rod pulled the bike straight up in an effort to catapult myself over the edge of the landing ramp on impact and not to slam directly into it as would have happened if he came in level which probably would have resulted in almost certain death. The series of photos below tell the rest of the story. Rod suffered four crushed vertebrae in his spine, three broken ribs, a broken shoulder and right elbow. He was in the hospital for 12 days.


32 car jump photos: Jeff Werner