When 2011 ended, the team at Bigfoot 4x4 unveiled the all-new #18 chassis for lead driver Dan Runte, a truck that has since won a championship and set a new world record.
Now, the team that started the industry is ready to debut yet another brand new piece, one that had a head start.
On the weekend of October 26, the new Bigfoot #19 will make it's official competition debut in Aruba. The new piece is a joint project as part-time NASCAR driver and off-road racing specialist Robby Gordon teamed up with Bigfoot to help built his monster truck, which started it's life as a CRD design that was sponsored by Monster Energy. But, when sponsorship switched to Speed Energy, and Monster Jam debuted it's own Monster Energy truck, a partnership was created to help complete the new truck.
The chassis itself is one that the Bigfoot team was not familiar with, as the piece is a laser-cut, CRD Manufacturing piece was all new to the team that begun the monster truck industry. Along with a new chassis design, the truck was powered by a 540 cu. in. Merlin, which is based on a Chevrolet engine. The team has only built one other Chevrolet engine, which is often run in the #10 chassis when the MLB body is bolted on.
But, rather than go back to square one, the team stuck with what was given to them, and set to keep the truck similar to the line of off-road trucks that Gordon runs. Once the initial build was complete, the team stripped down the parts and sent out the chassis for painting. When it returned, the CRD chassis had a new color, a stone gray, the first Bigfoot truck to have such a color.
The engine was installed, the shocks, new ZF axles, and then a second off-road style body was painted, this time with the Speed Energy orange colors, and a new Chevrolet-style nose was added.
After a successful testing session last weekend at Midwest Recyclers in St. Louis, Missouri, the truck has been given the green light to go full throttle.
The man given the task of handling the new piece is going to be there as a fill-in role. Getting the nod to drive the Speed Energy Bigfoot #19 is Larry Swim. Now, normally his ride is in the team's #16 truck. However, on the same weekend where Runte set his record, Swim took a hard wreck during the Saturday afternoon program. The truck rolled hard onto the pavement, hitting loud enough that the slam of the chassis could be heard over the engine.
Damage to the truck was not extensive, and could be repaired. However, the team has already ordered a new chassis from Concussion Motorsports, the same that was responsible for building #18, is in the process of building a new chassis for Bigfoot, which will eventually become Bigfoot #21.
So, after just six years of competition, Bigfoot #16 has been retired. That truck debuted in 2007, winning the first and thus far only Major League of Monster Trucks championship, and also won last year's Special Events Monster Truck Thunder Drags championship, both titles won by Runte.
Swim added another championship this year, winning the Checkered Flag Productions indoor title this year.
The truck is unlike any that has been rolled out of the Bigfoot shop, including Runte's piece that has been praised and wowed many fans already this year. With Swim bringing the "Bad Boy" attitude to a new truck, #19 will certainly get broke in right, but there is a good chance it will be bringing home a lot of trophies.
Swim will pilot #19 through the end of 2012, and into the first quarter of 2013. Visit Bigfoot4x4.com for a complete schedule of when Swim will be piloting the new orange truck.