Over the Summer of 2008 I had shoulder surgery, which laid me up for many weeks. In that time I decided we should drag out a old RC car that Henry had sitting on a shelf in the garage for a few years and see if we could make it work. We did, and it was pretty darn fun. At least, more fun than sitting around on the couch waiting for my shoulder to heal. We ended up buying a few more cars and racing them around the back yard, making a complete wreck of the landscaping.
In mid-October there was a hobby expo in the Chicago area, and Traxxas, the makers of the RC cars we were running, was exhibiting there. So I went along with the kids. Turns out that Traxxas sponsors a Pro-2 (I think) off road racing truck and they had brought one to the show. It was an incredible piece of machinery. Let’s just say the security lady had to drag me away at the end of the show.
I decided I’d had enough of the RC cars and needed to look into the real thing. As it happens, an old friend of Harvey’s, Tony, was a long-time off-road enthusiast. So we all ran off to Vegas in early December to watch the Fabtech Desert Classic and learn a little more about it all. Well, the first time a trophy truck flew by us at 80+ MPH like 15 feet away, that was it. First hook in.
A couple weeks later we were all in Phoenix to meet up with Rick Gieser, builder of the best Trophy Trucks around, to learn some more and get a ride in one of these things. It was kind of wet from rain the previous day, but Rick, awesome guy that he is, took me out anyway in a truck he was prepping in his shop. It was unbelievable – I just couldn’t understand how the truck was able to do the things it did. It really seemed to defy all my understanding of vehicles and physics. Second hook.
The next day we met up with Todd Wyllie at his shop. He had his Gieser truck for sale and we were going to go for a ride. Todd is a great driver and he took us for a very cool run that included my first jump. I sort of braced for impact, but the suspension on those trucks is so amazing, I couldn’t even sense the transition from air to ground. Really amazing. After the run Todd turned to me and asked, “Do you want to take it for a drive?” I kind of looked around like “who me?” and was a bit nervous about driving someone else’s truck having never driven one before, but of course I said yes. It took a bit of getting used to the way these things are set up – shifting with no clutch, left foot braking, etc, but I eventually got the nerve up to get the thing into the 60s, which was certainly way faster than I’ve ever driven anything off the pavement. And that was it – the third and final hook. I had to do this. I bought the truck.
- Thursday February 26, 2009
- By Marc Ewing
Keep your browsers pointed here for news and great photos and video of Riot, the #68 Trophy Truck, as we work through our very first racing season. We intend to do all the Best in the Desert races, and a few others as well.
- Tuesday February 10, 2009
- By Marc Ewing