If the name Jay Leno rings a bell, it should. He is a well known former TV-show host and car aficionado. If the name Rod Hall sounds familiar but you’re still uncertain who he is, we can enlighten you. Rod Hall is a legendary off-road racer that drove a 1968 Ford Bronco across the finish line of the Baja 1000 a record setting 50 times overall and won it outright in 1969. The two worlds of these legends have recently crossed paths for arguably the very first time this year. Jay Leno had Rod Hall’s Bronco as a visitor on his show “Jay Leno’s Garage” earlier this month.
Leno recently caught himself on fire in the garage while working on one of his older cars in his collection, and it’s likely this video was shot before the incident. But much like Jay, who bounced back quicker than expected, and kept chugging along, the legacy of Rod Hall’s Ford Bronco is doing the very same. The Bronco continues to compete in off-road racing to this day albeit in a vintage class. The two legends in their own respect share a common thread of resilience over their years.
In terms of its capabilities the Bronco isn’t all original as it’s still racing today. Powering the off-road legend is a Ford V8 crate engine producing 350 horsepower, which is a far cry from its original engine output of just 100 horsepower. The off-road SUV gets across all types of terrain with its four-speed manual transmission as well.
Rod Hall died in 2019 at the age of 82. His legacy is survived by Amy Lerner, a student of his that now races the 1968 Ford Bronco in various off-road events with the help of Hall’s granddaughter Shelby Hall. Lerner also created a documentary about Rod Hall’s racing life called “One More Win” which chronicles Hall and his career. Lerner served as a guest for Leno on this particular episode as well.