All images via Dan Downey

Dan Downey’s truck and trailer burned down on the way to the New England Forest Rally this weekend. Did that stop him from entering the race? Hell no!


Downey and his Downey Dirty Racing team managed to rescue their BMW E30 rally car, a box of tools, and sadly virtually nothing else.

But the team was able to drive their race car the rest of the way up to the event in Maine. All rally cars must be street legal, which certainly must have seemed very convenient at the time.


NEFR is one of America’s toughest rallies, and it’s Downey’s first full stage event. Hopefully he got all of his bad luck out of his system, because he deserves a strong finish after this whole mess.

Downey got in touch over Facebook to explain what happened:

95 degrees and truck that was not willing. Plastic gas tank melted or something and caught fire with full 25 gallon tank. Extinguishers almost had it out but we ran out. Saved the car and one tool box but everything from clothes, GoPros, spare, parts and memories are gone. Car had everything but my helmet and now extinguishers in it ready to race.

Team O’Neil has graciously loaned me a Stilo and my loving gf hitched a ride to Walmart to get the essentials like clothes while we did recce in my WRX.

That’s most of it for now. We have two spare tires and a ready to go car. We are going to send it on our and my car’s first rally.


There’s a term in the rally community—press on regardless. If this isn’t the spirit of the rally I don’t know what is.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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