Bigfoot Celebrates 35th Birthday At SEMA

Bigfoot Celebrates 35th Birthday At SEMA
By Mike Magda

The Ford pickup that spawned a multi-billion-dollar enthusiast segment of "lifted trucks" is 35 years old.

Bob Chandler's original Bigfoot No. 1 returned to SEMA this year and was joined by a modern, tube-frame Bigfoot No. 12 dressed in a commemorative No. 1 body.

In the early '70s, Bob Chandler modified his personal F-250 4x4 work truck with re-arched leaf springs, added 2∏-ton military axles and lugged on 48-inch terra tires. But in 1975, he earned the nickname Bigfoot because his hell-bent-for-leather driving style kept breaking parts as he blasted through mud pits and river crossings. A family member suggested he keep his "big foot" off the throttle.

As they tried to repair the truck after weekend off-road trips with the family, Chandler and friend Jim Kramer discovered there was no shop that specialized in fixing up 4x4 vehicles. So they started Midwest 4x4 in St. Louis and used Bigfoot to promote the business.

In 1977, Chandler drove Bigfoot to its first SEMA show. He even dropped the truck off at valet parking at the Hilton. The next year, Bigfoot was upgraded with 5-ton axles and 66-inch terra tires used on fertilizer spreaders. The term "monster truck" caught on, and in 1979 Bigfoot made its first movie appearance in "Take this Job and Shove It." In 1981, Kramer discovered the truck could crush cars by driving over them, a stunt that eventually led to monster-truck racing before sold-out crowds in stadiums.

Since then, 15 more Bigfoot trucks have been built. They've been featured in seven movies and made more than 25,000 appearances at shows and races in more than 20 countries.

Hundreds of companies now serve the lifted-truck market, selling mild- to-wild suspension systems, tall tires and all the accessories that emphasize a big and tough pickup attitude. That can all trace their success to Bob Chandler's original monster truck, Bigfoot.

Bigfoot Celebrates 35th Birthday At SEMA

Comments

WOW! Seeing that No 1 Bigfoot brings back so many fond memories of when I was a kid. I still remember watching Bigfoot vs USA 1 or FORD vs chevy on that show Believe it or Not! Of course Bigfoot won...and since my Dad owned a '76 Ford F150 4x4...which was the same body style as Bigfoot, I was hooked!

The new tube frame with the retro look is FANTASTIC!!! GOD the 1973 thru 1979 F-Series is still my favorite body style ever by FORD! GREAT write-up...

ive been a Bigfoot and monster truck fan over 30 years. thank you MR Bob Chandler for paving the road for all who try n fill them boots. If i had the sponsers, and about 600.thousand i'd have one.and i do have the skills to give Anderson and T.Ments a run for their money. i do have alot of respect for those men,but it past time to bring the king back and give him and the fans teir due!! old school,classic blue BIGFOOT. the meanest,but most beautifull truck the world ever witnesed.sincerly Richard Knowles awaiting (Bigfoots new operator) P.S IM A MAN of my word BOB. JUST GIVE ME THE HAMMER AND ILL BRING IT DOWN ON UNFORTINET FEW WHO DARE CHALLENGE THE KING....

Great I love the monsters truck as a side show, see these huge machines, destroying everything in its path is crossed is great to hear the deafening noise of the engines and see these monsters flying through the air is the maximum excellent blog.



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