Les Poulson

Les Poulson


Year Started: 1960

Les Poulson was born on August 15, 1931 in California's San Fernando Valley.  He resided in Modesto, California for most of his life.

Les' interest in off-roading began in the early 1960s when he built the first 'dune buggy' in Stanislaus County, California. Les spent most of his time in the deserts and mountains of California and Nevada.  In 1962 he entered his first off-road race and from that day forward he was involved in off-road racing, competing well into the late 1980s.

Some of the many events Les competed in include the Pernod 1000, races with VORRA, NORRA, SCORE, AMSA, and the Mint 400. Les won over 40 awards during his racing career.

In 1968, Les helped form the Modesto Ridge Runners off-road club in California's central valley. As a founding member, Les was one of the pioneers from the Modesto Ridge Runners that organized an off-road event in Hawthorne, Nevada called the "High Desert Rally".  The High Desert Rally was first held in 1968 and has been an annual club event for more than 50 years, with participants enjoying the trails around Hawthorne, Nevada.

Les worked to keep public lands open through his membership in the California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA).  He was also a member of the "Glory Riders" where he was able to ride in many parades representing his love for God and horses. This allowed him the honor of riding horseback in the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington D.C.

Les passed away on August 4, 2020.

Submitted by Doug Houser, February 28, 2022


Last updated: March 14, 2022

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