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Bigfoot Presents Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks

Bigfoot Monster Truck
Bigfoot Monster Truck Links & Information

Owner     Bob Chandler
Drivers   Dan Runte, Rick Long, Ron Bachman, Rodney Tweedy, Nigel Morris, Alan Hartsock, Eric Meagher, Eric Tack, Keith Sturgeon, Jerry Dalton, Jim Heineman, Jim Kmiec, Brian Bertoletti, Amber Walker
Style 2005 Ford Super Duty
Engine   572 c.i. Ford Hemi
Home city Hazelwood, MO
Year created   1975

Bigfoot is regarded as the original monster truck and remains one of the most popular trucks in the United States. Bigfoot 4x4, Inc. is owned and operated by its creator, Bob Chandler.

Bigfoot Monster Truck History

A former construction contractor from the St. Louis, Missouri area, Chandler began building the first Bigfoot in 1975, using the Chandler family's 1974 Ford F-250 four-wheel-drive pickup. Chandler had been using the truck for off-roading on weekends and would find that automotive shops in the Midwest generally did not carry the parts needed to repair his frequently-worked 4x4. To remedy this problem, Chandler and his wife Marilyn, along with friend Jim Kramer, opened a shop called Midwest Four Wheel Drive and Performance Center in Hazelwood, Missouri, which remains as Bigfoot's headquarters to this day. The truck was used as a rolling billboard for the shop, adorned with the various accessories Chandler sold in his new shop, as it slowly became taller.

The truck's first attention-grabbing modification came when Chandler got wind of an idea proposed to the U.S. Army of making steering capable on both axles of their four-wheeled vehicles, so that in the event of breakage in the front axle, it could simply be switched with the rear axle and held straight with a pin so that the vehicle could resume regular use with steering. Chandler decided to test that theory on his truck, but in addition would actually enable steering on the rear axle. The end result was a new innovation in automotive technology — the "4x4x4," or a vehicle with four wheels, four-wheel-drive, and four-wheel-steering.

In 1979, Chandler started making appearances at truck and tractor pulls, as well as car shows, with his newly christened "Bigfoot" to show off the truck's capabilities as well as to promote his shop. The truck's growing popularity led to its appearance in the 1981 Gus Trikonis film "Take This Job and Shove It."

While these accomplishments were certainly admirable, Chandler's next experiment would not only change the life and fortunes of a middle-class pickup owner from the St. Louis area, it would change the motorsports world forever. In 1981, Chandler obtained permission from a local farmer to place two dilapidated cars in his field, so that Chandler could videotape himself crushing the cars with Bigfoot as a joke. When Chandler began playing the video in his shop, a man promoting a motorsports event in Columbia, Missouri asked him to duplicate the stunt in front of a crowd. After initial hesitation because of the destructive image it would convey, Chandler eventually agreed to perform at the event in April of the following year in what is believed to be the first public car crush. Later that year, a second Bigfoot (built to help meet the steadily rising demand to see the vehicle) received more major media attention by crushing cars at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. In 1983, Bigfoot began receiving sponsorship from Ford Motor Company a relationship which continued until December 22, 2007 when an entry on the Bigfoot website announced that the sponsorship had ended.

By 1984, many truck owners around the country had taken to imitating Chandler's template of outfitting their vehicles with tires standing 66 inches tall, with some trucks sporting even larger tires. Promoters of truck and tractor pulls, such as SRO Motorsports (later the United States Hot Rod Association) and Golden State Promotions, noticed the exploding popularity of the giant trucks and began booking several to crush cars at their events, with the eventual result being the advent of side-by-side, drag-racing style car crushing events. A popular example of the early days of monster truck racing is portrayed in the 1986 home video release Return of the Monster Trucks, which involves a truck pull, car crushing, and mud bogging all in the same course. That event, held in the Louisiana Superdome, was won by Bigfoot, as well as most of the events it was entered into in the mid 1980s. By this point, Chandler had already built an entire fleet of "Bigfoot" trucks to accommodate the vast demand for his vehicle, which remained as the most popular and marketable monster truck despite the large number of imitators. In 1987, Chandler added to his innovations by founding the Monster Truck Racing Association, which remains today as the chief voice in monster truck safety.

Another form of competition Chandler faced was the physical size of the competition. Many truck owners had taken to calling their vehicles the "World's Largest Monster Truck," so Chandler outfitted his "Bigfoot 4" vehicle with 10-foot-tall tires he had purchased from a junkyard owner in Seattle, Washington for only $1000. The tires had been previously used by an Arctic snow train in Alaska by the U.S. Army in the 1950s. In 1986, Chandler built a new truck, "Bigfoot 5", specifically for the tires. Upon its public debut in Indianapolis, Indiana, the truck immediately took the title of "World's Tallest, Widest, and Heaviest Monster Truck" and was eventually given official recognition of the title by the Guinness Book of Records in 2002. With a second set of 10-foot-tall tires attached, the truck stands 15 feet, six inches, measures 20 feet, 5 inches across, and weighs over 38,000 pounds.

Bigfoot continues to be in huge demand, even today. Partnerships with Microsoft, Firestone, DuPont, and Summit Racing have kept Bigfoot in the spotlight in recent years. The Microsoft sponsorship in particular has led to several PC and console video games starring Bigfoot. Always seeking to further innovate the sport, Chandler created monster truck racing's first open-invitation point series, ProMT, in 2000, which still in existence today, albeit only in Europe. As for closed-invitation promotions, Bigfoot ceased running events for the USHRA in 1998 (due to a dispute involving Team Bigfoot's usage of video footage and pictures) and has not returned since. Bigfoot appeared frequently for USA Motorsports and Motorsports Entertainment Group until both of those companies were purchased by the USHRA's parent company, Live Nation. Bigfoot still races for the Special Events Promotion Company (which hosted many ProMT races before ProMT ceased sanctioning races in North America after 2004), Chris Arel Motorsports, Checkered Flag Promotions, and AMP Live Events, among others. In 2007 the BIGFOOT team brought back Midwest 4 Wheel Drive at the Home of BIGFOOT in Hazelwood, Missouri.

As a token of appreciation for fathering a brand new form of motorsport that remains widely popular today, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inducted Chandler into their Class of 2006.

In May of 2006, Bigfoot signed former professional wrestler and Live Nation driver Debra 'Madusa' Miceli to drive a monster truck dubbed "The Madusa Bigfoot." In September of 2006 it was announced that "The Madusa Bigfoot" will be run on the "Bigfoot 10" chassis.

Bigfoot Presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks









Interesting Bigfoot Facts

  • There is no Bigfoot 13. After Bigfoot 12 was constructed, it was decided that the next Bigfoot truck to be built would be called Bigfoot 14, due to superstition about the number 13.

  • In 1998, Bigfoot 9 took a tour of Brazil. When it was due to return to the United States, however, a customs incident caused the truck to be confiscated. It is currently used by an independent company within the country, and legal obstacles have made it all but impossible for the truck to return to the United States.

  • Bigfoot got its name when Bob Chandler asked friend Ron Magruder why he was breaking so many parts on his truck. Magruder responded, "It's because of your big foot."

  • Dan Runte, driving Bigfoot 14, set the world monster truck long jump record on September 11th, 1999 in Smyrna, Tennessee, when he jumped the truck a total of 202 feet, clearing a 727 jetliner in the process.

  • In 2003, Nigel Morris partnered with Bob Chandler to build Bigfoot 17, the first Bigfoot to compete exclusively outside of the United States. Bigfoot 17 competes primarily in the United Kingdom.

  • Bigfoot has several alternative names and identities for their trucks when two of their trucks are scheduled at a show. Among these have been "Summit Bigfoot", "Power Wheels Bigfoot", "Tonka", "Xbox", "WildFoot" and "Snake Bite".

  • Snake Bite (using Bigfoot 4's chassis) was originally driven by Gene Patterson, under the pseudonym of Colt Cobra. He wore a mask to hide his identity and came from the fictional town of Cobra Creek, Colorado. Eric Meagher became Colt Cobra in 1993 (now with Bigfoot 8's chassis) when Gene drove Bigfoot #10 to second place behind Andy Brass in Bigfoot #11. Dan Runte drove it as Ricky Rattler for a short time, but Ricky also came from Cobra Creek, Colorado. Since 1997, a regular Bigfoot driver under his own name has been driving Snake Bite.

  • There was an animated cartoon featuring the Bigfoot Monster Truck, Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines in the 1980s. The truck has been frequently licensed for use in toys.

  • Bigfoot is referenced in two different episodes of Futurama.

Bigfoot Vehicles

The following is a list of all the vehicles built or owned by Bigfoot 4x4, Inc., and their current status.

  • Bigfoot 1, built in 1975. Mostly used as a display vehicle.

  • Bigfoot 2, built in 1982. Modified in 1992 for the purpose of giving fans monster truck rides in the bed of the vehicle, and renamed Safarifoot. Sold in 2000 and remains employed as a ride truck for an independent owner.

  • Bigfoot 3, built in 1983. Received same ride-truck modifications as Bigfoot 2. Donated to E.M.T. Financial Fund in 2000. Currently owned by Steve Ford, who has renamed the truck Legendand uses it as an exhibition vehicle.

  • Bigfoot 4, built in 1984. Used as a display truck before being sold in 2007.

  • Bigfoot 5, built in 1986. Mostly used as a display vehicle at Bigfoot's headquarters in Hazelwood.

  • Bigfoot 6, built in 1986. Sold to a British promoter after a tour of Thailand in 1994.

  • Bigfoot 7, built in 1988. Modified in 1995 to accommodate 10-foot-tall tires. On permanent display at Fun Spot USA in Kissimmee, Florida.

  • Bigfoot 8, built in 1989. Used as a display truck and as a race truck if another cannot attend a scheduled date. Driven by Jerry Dalton and Scott Winger.

  • Bigfoot 9, built in 1990. See above section.

  • Bigfoot 10, built in 1992. Active race truck, driven by Rodney Tweedy.

  • Bigfoot 11, built in 1993. Active race truck, driven by Debra "Madusa" Miceli.

  • Bigfoot 12, built in 1993. Built specifically as a display truck, driven by Ron Bachmann.

  • Bigfoot 14, built in 1993. Active race truck, driven by Keith Sturgeon.

  • Bigfoot 15, built in 1994. Active race truck, driven by Rick Long.

  • Bigfoot 16, built in 2007. Active race truck, driven by Dan Runte.

  • Bigfoot 17, built in 2003. Active race truck, competing exclusively in Europe. Driven by Nigel Morris.

  • Ms. Bigfoot, built in 1985. Name later changed to "Bigfoot Ranger." Sold in 1993.

  • Bigfoot Shuttle, built in 1985. Sold in 2002.

  • Bigfoot Fastrax, purchased in 1987. Mostly used as a display vehicle at Bigfoot's headquarters in Hazelwood.

  • Unnumbered Bigfoot, built in 1999. Built specifically for permanent display at Race Rock restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada. After the restaurant went out of business, it was sold to the Historic Auto Attractions museum in Roscoe, Illinois, where it currently resides.

  • Bigfoot 18 - Under construction in the United Kingdom.

  • Bigfoot 19 - Under construction at the BIGFOOT shop in Hazelwood, Missouri. Will be a display truck when completed.

External Links

Bigfoot 4x4 Inc.  The Official Site of Bigfoot the Monster Truck is the official web site for BIGFOOT® #17 - the UK BIGFOOT®

Guinness World Records: Longest Ramp Jump - Monster Truck

Legend- Dedicated to Bob Chandler


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