Bob Chandler Bio | Latest News
In drag racing, Don Garlits revolutionized an entire sport with his legendary family of Swamp Rat dragsters. In circle track racing, Richard Petty earned the nickname "The King" with his #43 stock cars.
Then there's Bob Chandler and BIGFOOT-the man and machine that dominate Monster Truck racing.
Bob Chandler invented the concept of monster trucks in the mid-1970s. After opening Midwest 4-Wheel Drive Center in his family garage in St. Louis, Missouri, Bob built the original BIGFOOT to show off four-wheel drive products at off-road events in Southern Missouri. He added bigger axles to his Ford F-250 and introduced innovations such as rear steering to the off-roading crowd. Because of the truck's large size-and Bob's lead foot-the truck was soon christened BIGFOOT and began attracting attention.
In 1979, BIGFOOT performed its first paid event at a Denver, Colorado car show. As its popularity grew, BIGFOOT began making appearances at exhibition truck pulls and performing "car crushes," in which Chandler drove the F-250 over junk cars. After the first stadium "car crush," BIGFOOT and the entire monster truck scene took off. Because of the incredible popularity of BIGFOOT, Chandler was forced to clone the truck to handle the demand. In addition, numerous imitators began creating their own BIGFOOT-style trucks, and the monster truck name was born.
In the 1980s, monster trucks began racing, which quickly replaced "car crushes" as monster truck activity of choice. Once again, Chandler dominated with innovations such as tube chassis and patented cantilever-based suspensions. In 1992, Chandler became the first in the monster truck industry to use a team approach to racing, and the BIGFOOT team raced to a one-two finish. Since then, the BIGFOOT racing team has won 18 Monster Truck racing championships, visited 17 countries, and appeared in numerous movies.
Today, nearly every monster truck incorporates the innovations of Bob Chandler, Monster Truck racing's original icon.