Bob Chandler: The Godfather of Monster Trucks

11 Aug

When you think of monster truck racing, what comes to your mind? Trucks with big tires effortlessly crushing a row of cars? Engines with sounds that can break your eardrums? The sights? The glorious smells?

For me it is the history of the sport. And a history that involves one man: Bob Chandler.

Bob Chandler was a construction worker in St. Louis, Missouri who began buliding the first monster truck from his family-owned Ford F-250 in 1975. By 1979, the truck called Bigfoot-nicknamed by a friend who said he broke too many parts due to having a big foot-made it’s debut. And it was a debut that would chart the course for what monster truck racing is all about 36 years later.

Since that time, numerous trucks with various names have competed against Bigfoot. Names like: Grave Digger, Carolina Crusher, Auto Value King Kunch, Snake Bite, USA-1, Super Pete, and many others have fufilled the vison of this man from the Midwest.

In fact, according to some stories, the Snake Bite truck was built exclusively to try a dethrone Bigfoot from it’s title as being on top of the sport. The driver of Snake Bite went by the name of “Colt Cobra” from “Cobra Creek, Colorado”. Cool story, indeed.

What is also interesting is that some fans refer to a monster truck as a “bigfoot”. What does that tell you? When you think of monster truck racing you think of Bigfoot.

Coming into this weekend’s Maverik Clash of the Titans XV on the America First Credit Union Super Oval, Chandler’s creation continues to wow fans all over the world. In fact, Bigfoot 17 is a truck that competes all over the United Kingdom.

And it all started with a vision from a man named Bob Chandler.

Russ Sala Jr.