Small pickups have all but gone the way of the dodo given that today’s “small” truck is still larger than many apartments in NYC. There’s quite a few of us who miss the minitruckin’ craze, even today. If you’re obsessed with that Facebook page dedicated to retro minitrucks, this old racing footage will blow your mind.
In the 1980s, the Sports Car Club of America had a pro racing series just for little trucks. These most unlikely road racers could be made to handle relatively well regardless of their ability to haul enough mulch ‘n’ stuff.
Here is the televised American Sports Cavalcade footage from the 1987 SCCA Coors RaceTruck Challenge. Nissan Hardbodies! Jeep Comanches! Dodge D-50s! Ford Rangers! Bonus: they inverted the grid, forcing the fastest trucks to the back.
What makes a Coors RaceTruck? Well, it’s very close to a Showroom Stock series, with minimal mods allowed to the four-cylinder rear-wheel-drive trucks for safety and driveability. They even run on street radial tires!
American Sports Cavalcade included a great explanation of everything done to convert a Mitsubishi Mighty Max for racing duty before the race starts. The Mighty Max even kept its horn, relocating it to atop the transmission tunnel to accommodate a racing steering wheel.
There’s even a great turn-by-turn walk through of how to drive Brainerd before the race, complete with an onboard view, period-correct sports music and fancy flipping video transitions. Rad! Drafting on the fast three-mile course is also a must. When’s the last time you saw minitrucks drafting?
[H/T jimbbski on the LeMons forums]