The Ford Bronco driven by legendary off-road racer Rod Hall is still on the move. It is now being raced in various off-road events by racer Amy Lerner, who recently brought it to Jay Leno’s garage.
Learned to drive off-road by Hall, who died in 2019 at the age of 82, Lerner produced a documentary called One More Win chronicling Hall’s life and career. Hall competed in 50 consecutive Baja 1000s beginning in 1967, the first year of the legendary off-road race then known as the NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally. Just a few days before his 80th birthday he competed in his 50th and final Baja 1000.
Rod Hall’s Ford Bronco Baja 1000 Racer in Jay Leno’s garage
Hall won the 1969 Baja 1000 in this Bronco, which Lerner says is the only production 4×4 vehicle to ever have an overall win in the race. He raced Broncos for several years before moving on to Dodge and eventually Hummer.
Most racing vehicles have a short shelf life, but this Bronco was returned to service for classic off-road racing in 2014 at the request of Hall’s granddaughter, Shelby Hall. His first assignment was a classic car rally on the Baja 1000 track; Lerner and Shelby Hall have since earned a podium at the Mint 400 as well.
As it is still a working race car, the Bronco is not entirely original. As part of its restart in 2014, it was given a modern Ford V-8 crate engine and now has around 350 hp. That’s a big improvement over the original engine, which only made about 100 horsepower and propelled the Bronco to 100 mph on the flatter sections of the Mint 400, Lerner noted. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 4-speed manual gearbox.
An off-road racer is definitely not in its element in Los Angeles-area traffic, but as Leno pointed out, it’s not as fragile as some of the supercars featured on his show. If you want to see this Bronco do what it’s built to do, watch the One More Win documentary streaming on Amazon Prime and iTunes.