The Herbst Truggy “Land Shark” AKA “El Tiburón” is reckoned one of the winningest, ugliest and least-killable cars in desert racing. That image may have been slightly tarnished when it turned into a Baja bonfire. But two months later, here it is looking badass all over again.
You would think a 10,000 horsepower funny car drag racer would be fast. But only when you put it up against an 850 horsepower trophy truck offroader do you realize how unearthly fast it actually is my god in heaven.
There are bad judgement calls, and then there’s hiding in a hole so a race car will drive over your head.
Contrary to what might sound logical, four-wheel drive is not ubiquitous in off-road racing. In fact most of the super hot race winners at an event like the Baja 1000 are rear-drive. But that might be starting to change, as builders are figuring out how to match 4WD systems with today’s epic long-travel suspension.
Some 30 years ago, this Nissan Frontier “Hardbody” was supposedly the first pickup truck built for off-road racing... with the engine behind the driver. Behold: the sort-of first “trophy truck”! Now it’s back in Baja, which you can watch live all week!
Americans Nicole Pitell-Vaughan and Chrissie Beavis finished second in the 2016 Rally Aicha des Gazelles; a 650 mile all-female off-road race in Morocco. The goal is simply “get to Point B,” which gets exciting when your only navigation tools are a compass and a paper map from the 1950's.
The 2016 Mint 400 off-road racing spectacle just wrapped up outside Las Vegas. We had a front-row seat in our $240,000 Mercedes-Benz 4x4, now you can too with these kickass action clips (and a few bonus photos!)
Professional ass-kicker and UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra may be able to beat the piss out of another human being, but when it comes to off-road driving it looks like he can’t keep his own fluids in his body.
The 2016 Mint 400 off-road race goes down outside Las Vegas on Saturday, March 12th. As is glorious tradition, all of the competing vehicles stampeded down the strip this week and as ever, it was one hell of a sight to behold.
Most of off-road spectating is hours of sun and dust. But a helicopter is the harbinger of action; once you hear those rotors it’s only a matter of seconds before you’ll be compelled to crap your pants.
The Mint 400, “the Great American Off-Road Race,” takes over Las Vegas in the second week of March. The 2016 edition is getting some real goodies, too; more vintage vehicles and an epic truck show where you can see (and rate!) all the insane vehicles people spend small fortunes on.
Sometimes you’ve got three cars in your way, and one dusty lane to get around them. That’s when you want a lot of skill, luck and bravery. And horsepower. Can never have too much horsepower.
Southern California’s annual “King Of The Hammers” off-road race is one of the gnarliest and most exciting motorsports events you can experience all year. It’s speed. It’s adventure. It’s camaraderie. And scenes like this are exactly what I’m talking about.
The Nissan pickup truck known as the “hardbody” would be plucky by today’s standards but it’s still respected as one of the all-time great utility vehicles to grace American roads. Performances like this ridiculous race finish helped stoke that reputation.
One of the worst things about being a desert racing fan; events are tough to spectate. Even if you slog to the backcountry it’s impossible to keep track of action across a 1,000 mile course. These races still don’t get much TV airtime, but now it looks like there’s an even better place to watch off-road awesomeness.
[Brace yourselves: Dakar is coming. Everything from Antonio Meo’s KTM here to enormous trucks will race across the South American desert starting on January 2. Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool]