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Bob Chandler

Bob Chandler

Every major motorsport has an icon – the one person who personified the sport and becomes the focal point for appealing to the mass market.  In stock car racing, it’s Richard Petty; in Indy car racing, it’s Mario Andretti; and in drag racing, it’s “Big Daddy” Don Garlits.  The monster truck sport has its own icon: BIGFOOT creator, Bob Chandler, who paved the way for his sport’s wide appeal, AND his achievements are even deeper - Bob is the only motorsport icon to “invent” his own sport!

Bob Chandler’s BIGFOOT started as the family pick-up, 4-wheeling throughout the Midwest, and the platform Bob used to try out new parts for his 4-wheel drive shop. In 1979, BIGFOOT performed at its first paid event, a Chicago Truck & Car show, with exhibition truck pulls soon following.  Chandler then tried something that REALLY caught the public’s imagination – he drove BIGFOOT over a couple of junk cars!  A promoter saw a taped copy of the aptly named “car crush,” and a few months later Bob duplicated the stunt in a stadium show.  The rest is history.

Over time, as others copied many of his ideas, car crushes evolved into racing, and Chandler and the BIGFOOT Team quickly proved they were up to this task, winning the vast majority of the events in which they competed.  With the help of computer-aided design (AutoCAD), which Bob taught himself, BIGFOOT immediately leaped to the forefront in the development of a new generation of racing monster trucks.  These trucks came to feature a patented cantilever-based suspension system and a radical new tubular chassis design which still represents the current state of the art in race truck design.  This new generation of trucks made everything about the sport safer for the drivers and the fans.

Over the years, Bob and his BIGFOOT crew have won tens of thousands of races, taken over 50 championships, and continued to be the leaders in the safety of the sport.  In 1987, Bob co-founded the Monster Truck Racing Association (MTRA), an organization created for the sole purpose of promoting safety in the industry.  Until his recent retirement, Bob led the organization for decades and continues to be a driving force behind many of its most important safety rules.  One of the most important safety innovations was the “Monster Truck Kill Switch,” now called an RII (“Remote Ignition Interrupter”), which was invented by Bob and George Carpenter, a promoter’s Tech Director. The RII is now standard in the industry, allowing a monster truck’s ignition to be shut off by remote radio signal, providing additional safety to everyone.

Bob is a member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, and was unanimously inducted into the first class of honorees in the International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame.  Then, in 2019, he was inducted into the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Hall of Fame, probably the biggest honor in motorsports.

Bob’s wife, Marilyn, is co-owner, and the first woman to drive a monster truck - BIGFOOT, of course!  The Chandler children, Ann Trent, President & CEO of BIGFOOT, Penny Missroon, Ann’s Executive Assistant & Office Manager, and Bob C., Licensing. IT, & Sales Manager, are all following in their parents’ footsteps, along with Bob Trent, Ann’s husband, VP & COO, and grandson, Evan Trent, making BIGFOOT a true family business and bringing the sport into the next generation!