Here’s a car.

March 12, 2021 Car Bibles Feature Photo Details

  • Car: ???
  • Location: Johnson Valley Valley, CA
  • Photog: Me
  • Camera: iPhone SE, and not the new one

I wish I knew more about the specifics on this husk of an old (late ’60s?) Dodge Charger strapped to what looks like a completely custom undercarriage. This picture was taken in 2017, somewhere on the Johnson Valley dry lakebed during that year’s running of the King Of The Hammers.

Seeing wildly customized Mad Maxy machines like this is common out there, but this frame was so striking that I just had to share it again for you all here.

The King Of The Hammers is a week-long off-road festival culminating in an Ultra4 race by the same name. Ultra4 vehicles are like rock crawler/NASCAR hybrids. Sort of. They have huge tires and huge engines, at any rate. What makes the racing particularly interesting is that it’s a mix of high-speed desert running and low-speed crawling, taxing drivers and vehicles quite heavily.

The event itself is amazing because an entire temporary village (known as “Hammertown”) with vendors and parties and hot dogs sprouts up in the middle of the desert. Whenever you get bored of watching racing, cruising around the camping and parking areas always yields great finds like the beast depicted above.

This “car” in the photo is not a regulation race vehicle, it was just somebody’s toy. Though Ultra4 cars do look somewhat similar from a casual observer’s perspective.

I really just love the comical extremeness of the vehicle in this shot. I mean, it’s just… delightfully ridiculous looking. Can you imagine what it must have sounded like?