I am not sure what’s cooler, the fact that Rod Hall’s legendary Stroppe built FORD Bronco is still running and being driven and raced, or the fact that Mint 400 alumni and automotive Obi Wan Kenobi , Jay Leno drove it around Los Angeles!
This was the first 4-Wheel drive vehicle to have won the famed Baja 1000 in 1969, a record which stood until recently with Luke McMillin’s win in 2021. It took 52 years for the technology to advance to the point where a 4-Wheel drive vehicle could not just survive but win the Baja 1000. The piece features Amy Lerner who produced and directed the powerful documentary on Rod Hall’s last race ‘One More Win’ which is now streaming on Amazon Prime and iTunes.
Rod was a revered hero in off-road culture. He represented “The Everyman” and famously coined the off-road racing principle “To finish first, first you must finish”. Finishing a race at all costs is a fundamental cornerstone of our culture as it is also a life lesson. One of many you learn through the process of off-road racing. Even the late great Corky McMillin echoed the principal in his famous quote “Never, Ever Give Up.” In racing or life, it’s the same. This is why you see teams going to absolute extremes changing transmission, engines, and many parts just to say they finished. It’s exactly why we have finisher pins and finisher medals.
Rod also was a champion of racing stock-based vehicles from Ford Bronco’s, to Ram Trucks, to GMC Hummers. A path that his son Chad Hall still follows racing a Chevy Colorado ZR2 and Chevrolet Silverado ZR2.
Rod’s granddaughter Shelby Hall is also an avid off-roader and racer, she is currently part of the Bronco Off-Rodeo Team.
Although Rod died in 2019 at age 82, his spirit and lessons remain with us. In fact as the founder of the “Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame,” Rod’s legacy will continue in perpetuity.