By now, most of you have probably already read Wes’ post, “Changing of the guards”. I am very excited to start this new journey by taking over the day-to-day operations of Off Road Action, a site that Wes has dedicated his time and energy for the last five years, a site that many, including myself, have grown to know and love. Since a lot of you might not be familiar with me, I decided to write this brief post to introduce myself and fill you in on the direction I plan to go with Off Road Action.
I was born and raised in Northern California, about an hour east of San Francisco. I’ve always been a big Toyota fan, growing up watching Ivan “Ironman” Stewart race in the Mickey Thompson stadium races. About six months before I got my drivers license I came across a 1983 long bed Toyota 4×4 that I couldn’t pass up. It wasn’t long until I bought a set of 3″ lift leaf springs and 33″ tires for it. Needless to say, that was the beginning of my off road addiction.
My next vehicle was a 1990 extra cab Toyota with Total Chaos Fabrication suspension. Shortly after that, I bought a 1982 2wd Toyota, intending to build it up and use it as a prerunner. However, plans quickly changed after being invited to a La Rana desert race in Barstow, CA in the mid 90’s. Instead of an everyday prerunner, I decided it was time for a truck I could race through the desert and I built it into a race truck, got my fire suit and helmet, and began racing.
It was sometime around 2000-2001, I decided to stop racing and instead take on the desert racing industry from a different view, at which time I picked up a camera and began filming the races. I made the hard decision to sell the race truck, but of course, I had to replace it with something that would get me around the desert. I bought a 1995 Toyota T100 that I built up as the prerunner I still own today. The T100 currently has a TRD supercharged 3.4 V6; however, I have a 500hp LS2 engine waiting to be installed (once time allows). You can check out pictures and info about my T100 build on RDC.
Among my race trucks and prerunners, I have also owned a 1985 Toyota 4runner with a solid front axle and a fuel injected 4-cylinder engine. Built up with 35″ Goodyears and an Inchworm dual transfer case setup, this was a vehicle I enjoyed on trips to Hollister hills, the Rubicon, and more, a vehicle that helped me get to locations in order to film and produced the off road / rock crawling DVD titled Gription. When I moved to Southern California about 7 years ago, I had to sell the 4runner, a decision which I now regret, but at the time I was short on space for all of my vehicles… Someday I hope to build and “Iron Pig” or something similar that has enough room to haul around the family.
In 2001, I teamed up with Klaus Rasch to produced Dezert People The Movie, and currently, I am working on the 10th video in the Dezert People video series. Klaus has moved on to focus solely on race-dezert.com (RDC), which he established in 1999. I have also been co-owner of RDC since 2007, focusing a lot on the video and content of the site.
Although I am a big Toyota fan, as I am sure you can tell, I also like many other vintage off road vehicles—Willy’s, Bronco’s, military vehicles, just to name a few. No need to worry, this site will not get overrun by Toyotas or desert racing! In fact, I am currently working on a new layout for the site that will incorporate all of the current content, and I will be posting new content, but will be retaining the same objectives with which the site was originally established. Wes will also still post as he has time.
Something new to look forward to after I finish the new layout is a classifieds section, similar to what we have on race-dezert.com, where everyone will be able to post free ads or choose upgrade options. I also plan to create a forum, a place where you can post your own stories, thoughts, pictures, and videos as they relate to vintage off road vehicles. The forum, in particular, Wes and I are both looking forward to as we take this next step with Off Road Action. You might even see some stickers and T-shirts become available in the near future.
With that said, I hope everyone who has come to know and love Off Road Action looks forward to the new changes that are about to take place.