The 2014 Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Legends Rally - Honor Roll
Legends Gather For an Annual Wheeling Trip
For some, attending a “fantasy camp” with their favorite baseball or football players is the height of fun. For us, it’s a chance to meet and get the wheels dirty with our own heroes from the off-roading world. That’s what happened when the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Legends Rally took place on October 18, 2014, at the Buttes and Saddles Ranch in Anza, California.
The rally took the assembled on an approximately 50-mile trek from the B&S Ranch over challenging dirt roads up to the peak of nearby Thomas Mountain, where lunch was served with the beautiful view of the valley below. None other than 47-time Baja 1000 participant and multi-time winner Rod Hall led the rally. Lots of people can say that they followed Hall on a course, but this time it was actually fun to do so.
Once the driving part of the rally was over, the party really got started as RC off-road cars and boats were raced followed by a fine meal of barbecued tri-tip; complete with bench racing and tall tales.
Later, as the band Xactabox limbered up, host Jim Filanc gathered the Hall of Famers in attendance and presented them to the admiring crowd. A toast was made to those HOF members who had departed, and the band began. All of this happened under the stars, just as it is when driving off-road at night.
For those not familiar with the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, it was Ed Pearlman who began things when he inducted the first 16 members into the HOF in 1978 and another group in 1980. These first inductees included the likes of Bill Stroppe, Parnelli Jones, Malcolm Smith, James Garner, Steve McQueen, Dick Cepek, and Bruce Myers.
Not much occurred until 1995, when Pearlman sold the series to racing legend and ORMHOF member (2005) Rod Hall. Since then, however, the ORMHOF has inducted 52 additional members, including off-road luminaries such as Ivan Stewart, Mickey Thompson, Sal Fish, J.N. Roberts, Rob MacCackren, Bob “Weatherman” Steinberger, and Casey Folks.
Each year ORMHOF receives nominations from throughout the industry, and through careful and deliberative process, selects up to five inductees each year in five different categories.
The list of inductees has too many names to mention, but those inducted are the best this sport has to offer. And not just in the racing sense; to be nominated one has to be someone who we in this sport can look up to as an influence as well. These are people who have made lasting and significant contributions to the off-road motorsports community as a whole.
As football has its Canton, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame is housed at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, and features vehicles and memorabilia from those who are enshrined. However, this being the digital age, it was with an eye toward building a virtual museum that this Rally was run. Yes, it was a fundraiser (with emphasis on the fun) to be able to create a unique and special Internet destination that will be a focal point of industry announcements, race event calendars, and information about legislative issues facing our industry.
ORMHOF has come a long way in the past 10 years through the careful leadership of Chairman Rod Hall. Rod, along with his Board of Directors has resolved to expand and improve ORMHOF to help raise exposure for the sport, and he has assembled a team to make it a reality.
Two of these are Mad Media and the Off-Road Management Group. Mad Media is a San Diego–based marketing and creative agency offering professional print, web, and film production. Off-Road Management Group specializes in automotive and motorsports event management and marketing. With over 30 years of motorsports and track-building experience, OMG can create the optimal environment to showcase any type of vehicle or automotive product.
Lastly is Jim Filanc and his Racing For Life organization. RFL is a not-for-profit organization specializing in fundraising activities for special causes. Founded in 2006 by Filanc, Racing For Life has raised more than $60,000 for causes such as Rider Down, the Livestrong Foundation, the Scleroderma Foundation, and the Malcolm Smith Motorsports Foundation.
Filanc says there will definitely be a Legends Rally 2015 at his Buttes and Saddles Ranch in early October 2015. The goal will be to see attendance jump from the approximately 50 attendees at this year’s event to over 100. He says that there will be new routes and is even considering a night ride on Friday down into the Anza Borrego State Park.
If you’re a fan of off-roading and want to see and help preserve the best of its history, this is an event that you don’t want to miss.