I didn’t know that he was driving down some of the roughest paths that masquerade as “roads” in Baja California. I didn’t know that he had been doing that for years, or that he would continue to do that for years more. I didn’t know that he originally drove for Ford, and wouldn’t have been able to see him switch to Hummer in 1993. All I knew about Rod Hall was that he was affiliated with Dodge, he made the 1980s Ram truck look positively badass, and that he was all but untouchable in SCORE and HDRA racing at that point in time, racking up thirty-seven consecutive victories. I didn’t know that he rallied in Kenya and drove tens of thousands of miles across Australia. I just knew him as the guy who made colorful Dodge pickups fly.
If you have even the slightest interest in desert racing at all, Rod Hall’s career demands a look-over. He ran the first fifty Baja 1000 races, with 25 class wins. And that’s just scratching the surface of what the man has accomplished over his decades of racing. He preferred to finish instead of going for the speed and glory. He loved the sport, loved everyone in it, and worked both on the surface and behind the scenes to help races progress.
At some point in our lives, we all live for the adventure…trying something new, pushing ourselves to do more, experiencing the unknown. For Rod, he got to do that for nearly six decades while having a hell of a lot of fun doing it. He learned a lot by following some tracks down in Mexico as a young man, and he kept it up until time took it’s toll. There’s a new machine waiting by the shore in the desert, and it’s about to make a little noise as it goes on another adventure. Rest easy, Rod, and thank you for the memories.