The Ford Bronco was driving legendary off-road racer Rod Hall is still kicking. It is currently driven by racer Amy Lerner in various off-road races, who recently took it to Jay Leno’s garage.
Lerner was trained as a field driver by Hall, who He died in 2019 at the age of 82, and produced a documentary called “One More Win” that chronicled Hall’s life and career. Hall has competed in 50 consecutive Baja 1000s, starting in 1967, the first year of the legendary off-road event, then known as the NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally. He started his 50th and final Baja 1000 just days before his 80th birthday.
According to Lerner, Hall won the 1969 Baja 1000 with this Bronco, which remains the only production 4×4 to ever take the overall victory in the race. He continued racing Broncos for several years before switching to a Dodge and eventually a Hummer.
Most race vehicles have a short shelf life, but at the request of Hall’s grandson, Shelby Hall, this Bronco was put back into service for vintage off-road racing in 2014. His first outing was a vintage rally covering the Baja 1000 route; Lerner and Shelby Hall have since scored podium finishes at the Mint 400.
Since it is still a working racer, the Bronco is not completely original. As part of the 2014 reboot, it received a modern Ford V-8 crate engine and now makes about 350 horsepower. That’s a big improvement over the original engine, which only made about 100 horsepower and propelled the Bronco to 100 mph on the Mint 400’s flatter sections, Lerner noted. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission.
An off-road racer definitely sticks out in Los Angeles traffic, but as Leno pointed out, it’s not as flimsy as some of the supercars he’s shown. If you want to see this Bronco do what it was designed to do, check out the documentary One More Win, streaming on Amazon Prime and iTunes.