Almost everyone has heard of the Bigfoot monster truck. This was the first name in monster custom trucks and is still one of the most well known. When people think of monster 4×4 trucks, Bigfoot is almost always the first name that springs to mind. And that’s as it should be since it was the Bigfoot monster truck that gave birth to the entire category and sport of monster 4×4 trucks.
The History of The Bigfoot Monster Truck
St. Louis’ Bob Chandler is the creator of Bigfoot, the monster lifted truck he started building back in 1975 with a regular Ford F-250 4×4 truck. It was his off-roading truck and he decided to modify it to suit his needs. He also opened a Hazelwood, Missouri shop, the Midwest Four Wheel Drive and Performance Center, and used his newly created Bigfoot monster truck to advertise the shop.
The first customization Bob added that’s now a popular modification in today’s monster 4×4 trucks was to make it a 4x4x4. In the term 4×4, the numbers stand for 4 wheels x 4 powered wheels. Bob’s modification meant that not only did all 4 wheels get power from the vehicle, but the vehicle had all-wheel steering as well, by adding a steering cable to each axle. If the front cable breaks, steering is switched to the back axle and can resume as normal.
The Bigfoot Monster Truck At Truck Shows
By 1979, the Bigfoot monster truck began appearing at monster truck shows and tractor pulls in the St. Louis area. It also appears in the film “Take this Job and Shove It” from 1981. Soon after that, he crushed the first old cars beneath Bigfoot’s tires in a farmer’s field, taped it and began playing the footage in his Hazelwood shop. A motorsports promoter asked him to do it in front of an audience, and the next year he performed the first public monster truck crushing, which began a string of appearance and by 1983, Ford sponsored Bigfoot in a relationship that lasted almost 25 years and changed motorsports significantly.
4×4 Monster Trucks Everywhere
The 1980s saw 4×4 monster trucks springing up everywhere, particularly those with 66″ tires like the first Bigfoot monster truck. Promoters started scheduling monster truck shows along with truck pulls, mud bogging and lots of car and vehicle crushing. Chandler continued building monster trucks, and won most of the shows that he entered his big trucks in. In 1987, Chandler founded the Monster Truck Racing Association, which has an emphasis on safety in the sport and is well-respected in the industry for that reason, among others. The original Bigfoot monster truck is even in the Guinness Book of Records in 2002 as the world’s tallest, widest and heaviest monster truck, standing 15′ 6″ high and weighing 38,000+ pounds. Chandler was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for his contribution to motorsports.
If you’re looking at 4×4 monster trucks and wanting to get in on the action, remember that a true monster truck is more than just a jacked up truck. The tires are massive, there’s usually a remote-button off switch, and lots of modifications for safety and performance. Check with the Monster Truck Racing Association for information about what kinds of features a monster truck should have for your safety.