The term “Hall of Famer” is a moniker associated with greatness in any realm. Whether you’re talking about famed baseball legends or the most recognized crooners of country music, a hall of fame denotes a congregation of the best of the best. When it comes to off-roading, there’s no difference, and it’s no surprise that there is a shrine to the Elvis figures of the four wheel world – headquartered at the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Located inside of the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to showcase the best on four wheels and dirt. The location is, not surprisingly, also a hub to a wealth of four wheeling destinations, ranging from the wide open Nevada desert to the legendary rocks of the Rubicon.
The hall of fame itself was founded by off road legends. Ed Pearlman, the man responsible for the formation of the National Off-Road Racing Association which produced the event that would transform into perhaps the most recognized off road race in the world – the Baja 1000—established the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame as a vehicle for recognizing those who are the foundation of off road racing. Among the initial 16 members were widely recognized names including Steve McQueen and James Garner and Parnelli Jones. However, finding a permanent establishment for the Hall of Fame proved to be a bit of a challenge. That task fell to the hands of Rod Hall, who purchased the remaining naming rights of the National Off-Road Racing Association in 1995 and got with his purchase, a box of memorabilia that dictated Pearlman’s desire to establish a formal Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. With a chunk of well-direct energy and commitment to the preservation of motorsports history, Hall was able to strike a relationship with the National Automobile Museum and bring the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame to full realization.
Today, that relationship still stands with new inductees added to the list of honored individuals each year. Different categories covering competition, recreation and pioneering serve as criteria for nominees, with each individual having a required 15 years actively involved in the off-road motorsports community and having made a significant contribution to the sport.
Regardless of where your love of off-road motorsports lies – on the back of a quad, atop a dirt bike, or behind the wheel of a trophy truck, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame is a must see slice of history for anyone in love with the feeling of wind in your face and dust up your nostrils. Just as Babe Ruth helped shape the face of baseball, the individuals showcased in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame are the foundation of the technology and innovation that makes off-roading what it is today. So stop by and pay homage on your way out to ride.