Stop by the
BG Goodrich booth at the 2005 SEMA Show and you’ll see one of the
most ground-breaking pickups ever built. And if you’re lucky, you’ll
meet the driver.
Vessels is one of the pioneers of racing pickups in the Baja 100 and other
off-road events. His black F-100 won Class 8 in the 1977 Baja 500. Recently
discovered locked away in a barn in the Northwest, the truck has been
restored and will be on display in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame
located in Reno, Nevada.
trucks in the history of off-road motorsports are as revolutionary and
storied as the Vessels’ F-100,” says Rod Hall, president of
the Hall and an off-road legend in his own right. “Scoop’s
truck defined what off-road vehicles were in the late ‘70s.”
500 win was a milestone for BFG because the race marked the introduction
of radial tires to off-road racing. The premier of the Radial T/A marked
the switched from tires that had an agriculture background and used in
off-road racing to tires specificially designed for trucks and high-speed
use in the desert.
was a modified shortbed and featured a propane-powered 404ci Ford V8.
The idea behind the propane was that in its pressurized state, power didn’t
change with altitude. At Baja, the altitude changes from 5,500 feet to
below sea level.
on to build an even more radical Chevy truck with Cal Wells, who later
ran Indy Car and NASCAR teams. His son Kash, shown in the photo, is currently
building a high-tech Class 1 car for off-road competition.