Conversations with Big Rich

Pirate 4x4 Origin story with Lance Clifford

May 14, 2020 Guest Lance Clifford Season 1 Episode 6
Pirate 4x4 Origin story with Lance Clifford
Conversations with Big Rich
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Conversations with Big Rich
Pirate 4x4 Origin story with Lance Clifford
May 14, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
Guest Lance Clifford

One of the biggest influencers in off-road joins us for this episode.  Lance Clifford, founder of Pirate 4x4 shares the origin story of how it all began.  At one time, Pirate was the source for all things rock sports.  Check out the latest episode of Conversations with Big Rich.

1:54  Sometimes all it takes is a mud puddle to catch the off-road bug

4:17  Pirates of the Rubicon, drinking club with an off-roading problem, is born

6:07  How America Online influenced off-roading with their marketing ploy

13:51  A giant computer nerd changes everything

30:49  Baja challenges everything

47:15  The sale of Pirate, including Camo becoming a Pirate

If you’re in the market for a house in St George, Utah – Lance is your go-to at


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

One of the biggest influencers in off-road joins us for this episode.  Lance Clifford, founder of Pirate 4x4 shares the origin story of how it all began.  At one time, Pirate was the source for all things rock sports.  Check out the latest episode of Conversations with Big Rich.

1:54  Sometimes all it takes is a mud puddle to catch the off-road bug

4:17  Pirates of the Rubicon, drinking club with an off-roading problem, is born

6:07  How America Online influenced off-roading with their marketing ploy

13:51  A giant computer nerd changes everything

30:49  Baja challenges everything

47:15  The sale of Pirate, including Camo becoming a Pirate

If you’re in the market for a house in St George, Utah – Lance is your go-to at


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

Support the Show.

Big Rich Klein:   0:01
Welcome to the Big Rich show. This podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four-wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four-wheel drive enthusiast. So now is the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation. 

Big Rich Klein:   0:29
Whether you're crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail. Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability. Four wheels or two Maxxis tires are the choice of champions because they know that whether for work, or play, for fun, or competition. Maxxis tires deliver. Choose Maxxis. Tread victoriously. 

Big Rich Klein:   0:56
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank 4Low magazine for contributing to the success of this podcast, 4Low Magazine, an enthusiast magazine for the 4x4 off-road community. It's great to have you here, Lance. Uh, let's discuss how things started for you back in the day. Where did you grow up at? 

Lance Clifford:   1:19
Well, I grew up in California, Northern California in Sacramento area to be exact. And, got into four wheeling. You know, in my early teenage years in high school in the Bay Area, actually, I had a 1979 Datsun pickup, two-wheel drive and all my friends had big jacked up Chevys that I lived, I went to school at a rich high school where everyone was driving Mercedes and BMWs and jacked up Chevys. That their mom and dad's bought them. And I had my 1979 Datsun that I bought from my paper route money. And and there was a big mud puddle behind the school and everyone after school would go bomb through this mud puddle in their Chevys. And and I like, screw it, man, I'm gonna do it. And I went for it, got stuck in the middle of the mud puddle and blew up the engine and had to fix it in auto shop pretty much from that day forward I was an  off Roader. And I was like, That was it was like, oh, this is awesome. You know, I blew up my engine and my dad kicked my ass and and I had to change, change out the engine in auto shop with every single spare penny I had. But that was it. So got through high school and moved back up to the Sacramento area and bought a Suzuki Samurai. And, you know, this is a long time ago. This is, you know, in 1990 so not too many people four wheeled Suzuki Samurais. There was only one guy that I knew of that actually, you know, made it a four wheel drive rock crawler. And so I just thought it was cool cause small and lightweight, and it could go in the snow. And I guess I was a little, we were forward thinking a little bit, you know? And I talked to this guy and about what he did and then started saving some money again. You know, just a broke teenager, uh, Budget. And so I met this guy named Kevin Kelly and

Big Rich Klein:   3:23
Kevin Kelly, there's a name

Lance Clifford:   3:24
And so he helped me build this Suzuki Samurai, and then we started hanging out. You know, I put put 31 inch tires on it, and we sprung it over people was like, Oh, my gosh, that is insane. To lift this Samurai, they tip over. You know stock, you know? Come on. You're gonna kill yourself. I just hammered that Samurai everywhere, everywhere, every day I went four wheeling, everyday. My my best friend, who I consider my cousins. We grew up together. We're not actually blood related, but are related. Uh, just because we shared a crib together and our moms were best friends. Jeff  Fretwell So myself and Jeff Fretwell and another guy I worked with Tim Downs and Kevin Kelly That helped me with my Samurai. We all were like, man, we're four wheeling all the time and having fun hanging out. We should start a club. We started going to the Rubicon Trail a lot. You know, that was our backyard. And every time I go up to the Rubicon, I would, in my samurai, I would break something. I mean I just break it every time. You didn't have any gears. I have. If I couldn't afford a 4 to 1 transfer case, any of that stuff. You know, it was Stock, man other than spring over and 31's  and welded rear diff. And so we go up there and I just blow steering parts and you name it and I just loved it,  I didn't care, you know, and and so we finally like. Okay, let's make a club. And at the time I had started going to school for computer network Engineering, we started this club called Pirates of Rubicon, Right? Always Pirate is cool. And so I started this club and it was really just more of ah, drinking club than anything when it first started. You know, just hang out, have some beers, and then go camping/

Big Rich Klein:   5:24
Well, I can tell you that when I met you back in Cedar City, well the first time I met you  was in Arizona at an ARCA event. And then you came up to Cedar City for the ARCA event and stayed with us? Yeah. And then we moved. We moved back to California, and I started hanging out with you and Roggy and and the Pirates. And it was still a drinking club.

Lance Clifford:   5:47
Yeah, it probably still is a drinking club, but so we we started this club. No, no aspirations of anything other than just hanging out, having a good time. And then I started getting those famous disks in the mail. You know, the floppy drives in the mail from America Online, You know, check out the Internet. And I was like, I gotta check this out. I put that disk in my in my  486 computer, and it changed my life forever. First time I put it in and got on there, and I think I was on my computer all night till morning, looking at everything that you can see on online and just it changed the direction of everything. Little that I know. It's time. Right? Uh, and I was like, Oh, my gosh, I start looking for four wheel drive stuff. It was very, very little rock crawling off road stuff back then. This is the mid nineties so I'm like, you know, I'm going to school to be a network engineer and I'm like, Okay, screw this. You know, network engineer stuff. I want to make websites. I want to make 4x4 websites. So So I started researching how to make make websites. There wasn't a whole lot about it, you know? So I just started kinda hacking it out on my own, looking at the source code of websites that were online and seeing how they made stuff. And so using windows note pad. I just made my own website and tested. It is when you get me signed up for an Internet account with America Online. You know, you got a little bit of, ah, Web space so that I, um, uploaded some pictures and it was really cool. And then so that I subscribed to a local Internet provider in Shingle Springs, California called Intersite. And and so they gave you like a free real website. So I published a website and we called it The Pirates of the Rubicon webpage. Right? And it was just pictures, at the very, very beginning, it was just pictures of our wheeling. I saved a bunch of money and bought a scanner and scanner wasn't like the scanners that you can buy damn near anywhere. Now it was very expensive and you had a roll, you had to tape down your 35 millimeter photo and then you had to roll a scanner over it slowly and straight front usually took about 10 times to get it right. That's how we scanned the photos. And if you looked at one of those photos now, you'd be like, Oh my God, I could barely tell what it is you got such terrible quality. You couldn't have high resolution anyway, because you're on a 24 bod modem. You know, that took an hour to download that photo online. Right? So had this little website, and then I discovered some forum software, very rudimentary forum software. So I figured out how to put a forum on this website. But when we start telling all of our friends about it and everyone else started using their America Online free introductions discs as well. And next thing you know, uh, people are starting to join the forum. And we post, you know about, you know, the next Rubicon run and it's very local, you know, back then, and the localness of it really only lasted a few months, and then it started growing and people started finding out about it cause we have been post really hardcore photos of us gettin' it in Little Sluice? Right? So people like, Oh, my God, these guys are crazy, you know? And so people would share it and let other people know, and the next thing you know, the forum was pretty busy, you know, it was, you know, grew pretty quick after after about about the first year of the website being up and running. I get a call from our local Internet provider and they say, Hey, dude, you got to move your website. Why? Because your website's getting more traffic than all of our other customers combined, including all of our dial-up customers. And I was like, Oh, my God, are you serious. I didn't know what to do, you know, I don't have any money. And so I made a post on the forum, Does anybody know where I could move the our websites who were getting kicked out? And so there was a gentleman named Dan, and Dan owned his because he had a Internet startup company. And so he and it was called Netsite World. It's not around anymore, But he, uh, he's like, Dude, I will host your website for you for free, And we need to make a domain name for it, I'm like, What the hell is a domain name? He's like, you know, so and so dot com,  oh, yeah, that'd  be really cool, you know? 

Big Rich Klein:   10:48
Makes you legit at that point.  Uh, what's that? Made you legit at that point?

Lance Clifford:   10:52
Yeah. Yeah. So So, uh, we kicked around, you know, a few options and is like duh. Pirate 4x4 dot com is the obvious choice, Right? So that's how pirate four by four dot com was born free Web Web server that a friend had. And so he set it all up and got it. Got that going And that was it, man. And then only took a few months and we upgraded the forum software a little bit. And then we got our first advertiser

Big Rich Klein:   11:21
who was the first advertiser?

Lance Clifford:   11:23
The very first advertiser was, it was John Bondurant, John Bondurant was our very first advertiser. I was over the moon of having our first paying advertiser. I was just like, Holy crap is this Real? Someone's paying me to have four wheeling stuff online. I just thought it was the coolest thing. That was the beginning of it. And it was All Pro Off-road, John Bondurant. So John Bondurant run started it all. I don't even know if he realizes that he was our very first advertiser and, uh, was beginning of making a living four wheeling for myself. And so then, uh, we got a few more advertisers,  our free website guy. He sold his business and then you. Obviously, the new business didn't want someone freeloading on their servers, so we had to find a new home. So then we moved to, you know, we moved around a few times, and then we ended up having to buy our own servers and all that good stuff. Luckily, as we grew there, you know, off road companies started seeing the value of being part of a part of us and started advertising. So it started to become a business, right? And I had a real job, you know, I had a real job, and then it started interfering with my real job because it's starting to take up more time, right? And I believe it was 2000, late 1999-ish, Y2K coming in hot. I was working a lot doing the Y2K projects in the network, network engineering field for the phone company. So as soon as my contract expired in early Y2K, year 2000. That was It. As soon as my contract is over. I said, I'm not going back to work, I'm going to do Pirate full time.

Big Rich Klein:   13:17
Good move. 

Lance Clifford:   13:18
I was like, I'm either going to sink or swim. So let's do this. And that was it. I've been unemployable ever since. Really? You know,

Big Rich Klein:   13:27
Once you get that taste of freedom, it's really hard to go back?

Lance Clifford:   13:30
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's been a long haul. I wouldn't change a thing. So so grew and grew and grew. And then And then it just really caught on fire and grew. And then we started. You know, I went to work for Web development company before I quit. Actually, my back let me back up. I did go So work for a Web development company. And I met a guy named Bill Pline. And Bill was, ah, programmer. Very, very like Smart. One of the smartest guys I've ever met in my life. He thought  Pirate was really cool. He wasn't. He was a computer nerd. I mean, I mean, he's a big computer nerd, he's like, 6'6" but he's a computer nerd, and he just that Pirate 4x4 was the coolest thing. So he helped me on the back end just because he thought it was cool. He was my admin. And he helped, you know, when I threw some some bones here and there, I got him. He had a Ford Explorer and we ended up pimping that thing out. You could make believe that, you know, we got lifted and tires and wheel. He had the baddest Ford Explorer on the planet. So he was. He was the guy at the brains behind. Everything in expanding the website, because it was very expensive to just go to a company and say, host my website, You know, we're talking several thousands of dollars per month and we still have to pay a lot of money. The whole several 1000 Well, I had to pay I think our web hosting bill was up to 2,500-3,000 bucks a month with us providing our own servers. So a lot of money and And that and I had in my free network engineer guy running 'em. So, you know, if I didn't have him I don't know where Pirate would have went because I just wasn't. I wasn't into UNIX and all the network optimization, and I hated it. It was, it made my head spin, it's  is like learning a foreign language to me. Thankfully, Bill is there, and the forum just grew like exponentially over the years in the early to mid two thousands, You know, in 2000 also is when rock sports took off in competitive rock crawling, Pro Rock in the very beginning, right? And so we went to our very first competition to watch. I believe it was Johnson Valley was the 1st one I ever went to watch was like, Holy crap we gotta do this, man, me and Bob Roggy, we all went camped and watch this thing and, like, this is so cool, so cool. I mean, we've been four wheeling and rock crawling like crazies, you know, for a long time. Now, let's try this competition thing, and and so we put a rig together, Bob, and I, we're like, we're gonna go. And I believe the next events was at Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona. Yes. And so And I believe actually where we met you. Correct. In Phoenix?

Big Rich Klein:   16:23
Yep. I'm surprised we probably saw each other but didn't meet at, that Johnson Valley one

Lance Clifford:   16:30
and I think that was the Johnson Valley of it was 1999. I'm not mistaken.

Big Rich Klein:   16:34
That's what I was thinking.

Lance Clifford:   16:36
And we went to Phoenix and we did. I wouldn't say we got our asses handed to us. But it was a big eye opener of Holy smokes. These guys are serious. It's a little bit different than driving through the little sluice. You know, tipping over and being able to back up and all that stuff, it's a lot more, uh, precise, you know? So but we're hooked. I mean, hooked bad. We loved it. And we Then we hooked up with you and stayed at your place in Cedar City and competed at the Cedar City event, me and Bob, just we were serious about it, But we're most importantly just having fun. That's what it's all about. And when we went to all the rock crawling competitions in the early years there in 2000 and then I met this gentleman named Mike Schaffer. Now, this little Suzuki Samurai buggy, right? And I just was blown away. How capable it was. And, you know me, right? I had a little soft spot for samurais. That was my first rock crawler. So I just I was really cool that he was like, the only guy in this Suzuki samurai, and he didn't even have front dig at the time. He only had cutting breaks you know, because he had a true samurai running gear and didn't have You can't front Dig at the time with it. And so you just cutting breaks. But his buggy was so light and so nimble that he was he was doing very well. I was like, gosh, No, we started chatting. And I'm like, Dude, if you ever need a spotter, I'd love to hook up with you. I was big boy back. I was, Taco Bell. Taco Bell King. I was like 285. Probably 285 pounds, I was a big boy, I'm only like 190 now, almost 100 pounds heavier. And so, uh, I did I know I can just drag that little Suzuki wherever the hell you want. Let's do this. And oddly enough, Mike was the skinny guy back then. Not saying he's fat now, Mike. Not saying your fat now.. Actually, he's lost a lot of weight, too. So he's like, OK, yeah, I'll give you a call if I ever need you and then I get I don't know what happened with is his spotter time, but something happened, and he called me. He's like, Hey, you still want to try and spot for me like, Yeah. So we went out and we got together. Did our first competition together. And we won, first event of the season. Boom. I think it's 2001, right, and we won and we won pretty good. So it was like, Holy smokes. This is awesome. And this is when ARCA at the time really got some good sponsors. And there was a whole lot of money in winning, and I got it way got this check. It was like $10,000 for winning an event and B F. Goodrich That was, we were on mud terrains, you know, just off the shelf mud terrain and and they gave us a contingency check. Big check. I believe it's 5000 bucks, so we won like $15,000 winning. This is insane. You know, like, dude, I'm your boy. Let's do this. Let's do this season. And he's like, Yeah, let's do it. So we competed the whole season together, and, uh, and we won damn near every event we competed with at and, uh, about halfway through the season is when BF Goodrich came out with a concept tire called the Crawler and was talking to Jeff Cummings and Frank DeAngelo and you know, on their they were they wanted to compete against Goodyear Who is the title sponsor. You know of the series, Goodyear was throwing out tires. Anyone who had a pulse, you know? I mean, they bring semi loads to the events and just hand out the tires, MTR. And so BFG really wanted to beat them at their at the game? And they weren't throwing tons of money. I know I have a few drivers on BFG's. And so there we have this new idea, this crawler tire rock crawling specific tire. We gave it to a couple of guys and I'm not going to say who they are, but their desert racers. And it's like, why did you give these tires to desert racers to test, Not rockcrawlers. That's what we've got a set that he gave back. You want to put him on your buggy and go try them. So we put in one like samurai. We went and tested them and like, Oh my God, these things are like magic. They work so good. So we call him up, right? Make more, make more, make more, please. They even the other is only two sets in existence, the set we had and then a set, uh, Tracy Jordan. was testing as well, and Tracy had the same result. He's like they're awesome, they're awesome. So they are making more of them to test. And so we went out, tested, competed on these tires, and you got there there, insanity there, so sticky and kind of a game changer for the industry. We kept winning, and we ended up winning the national championship that year. Way we heard the next season, this guy who I've already mentioned once John Bondurant decided to meet up with the guy named John Nelson and Larry McRae. And they put a super team together, right and then came out at Super Crawl with this funky, buggy looking thing. With a Volkswagen engine, well, you know, they're being really secretive and on what not about it and way go by my like a pile, that thing's stupid off. Whatever, dude, as we all know, that buggy changed the industry as we know it. Still to this day, moon buggy style buggies have put a big dent in our car, was more like a pro mod style car. You know, today very true. Probably wouldn't even be competitive in pro mod now, but, uh, you know, to go from that to this radical, unlimited looking buggy that didn't resemble anything.

Big Rich Klein:   23:01
We still see the buggy. Tiny one of the Mexican teams comes up in, competes in Texas with us. And then a guy named Chris Smith was running pro mod in that old samurai buggy.

Lance Clifford:   23:13
Yeah, I was stoked to see that thing come back and compete. So

Big Rich Klein:   23:17
it was amazing remembering how it ran back in the day because I can remember sponsoring at the first UROC event, as CalRocks, I sponsored Mike and Bob Roggy, and Bob was driving. Mike was spotting. He had the Warn Hub fuses. Yeah, and my job was to carry hub fuses. Then this the the T wrench to get the hub caps off. You know, because we were they were blowing those things, like on every obstacle, at least one of 'em, right? Yeah, but the car worked really good for what the courses were then. Right now, they were bigger. Open, big climbs, big drops. Chris bought that vehicle and then started competing at WE Rock with it. You know, we were doing more side hill and tight turns and the car would, the car like to roll over a lot? I don't know if there was a change from when Mike owned it. You know how big a change from Mike owned it to where Chris was owning it. But I think there was a big difference in driver ability as well. Yeah, the car had a tendency to just get up on the rock, and then all of sudden boom be up on its lid. Uh, the courses were a lot different. And today there are a lot different than back in the old days.

Lance Clifford:   24:37
And then Larry and John just dominated moving forward. And so then I got opportunity to, Mike kind of hung it up after a couple of years of competing, and and I still still enjoyed it. And so then I met up with Shannon Campbell, who was competing, and I believe his brother was his spotter. And then I teamed up with Shannon in the unlimited class, and he came, They came out with a kind of a Tiny lookalike vehicle with his own flavor, you know, And it was really really a really, really cool rig. Jesse Haines was, you know, at the top of the pack in competing. And so me and Shannon teamed up together and we did very well together in WE Rock And we won two Grand Nationals together, which was awesome, in his buggy.. And that was some of the funnest competitions. Because we just we have the same mentality that me and Bob Roggy  had and I also competed with Jason Scherer as well. So oddly enough I've competed with two King of the Hammers winners in rock crawling I started in rock crawling and, uh and we won me and Jason won a lot of competitions as well. And then Jason sold Tiny right because we competed in Tiny that Larry McRae competed in. And then he sold it. I believe to the guy in Mexico, cuz he wanted to get in to King of the Hammers racing? So he built a, he built a car that he tried to compete in in WE Rock, and it just wasn't competitive in WE Rock. It was It was it was a King of the Hammers car, you know, In fact, I just saw, someone just sent me a picture of it in rock crawling. And it was OK, It just it wasn't gonna win. And I want to win.

Big Rich Klein:   26:31
yeah, it was too big

Lance Clifford:   26:32
Winning is fun for me, you know? Not coming in sixth.. So I got to compete with Jason. We won a bunch of stuff, you know? And then Shannon, we won a lot of stuff and having a great time competing with those two guys with really different than when me and Mike, when me and Mike first started, it was it was fun. But then we got really serious because I got, like, we were sponsored by Summit Truck style, you know? And they expected us to win, you know, if we didn't win, you know, we're, like, worried about, you know Oh, my gosh. We're gonna still be sponsored, you know? And then when me and Jason hooked up, uh, you mean it was just fun And winning was obviously we wanted to win, but the number one thing was fun. And we always had fun. I could tell you some crazy stories of stuff we would do, but you might ban us for life, if you  knew about them. So Well, we won't go there. And so and then when I'm when Jason moved on and I competed with Shannon, same thing. It was just fun and, you know, drink beer all night and then at 8 in the morning, wake up kind of hazy and go compete on and somehow win And Jesse Haines, you know, it was kind of it seemed like it was the Shannon and Jesse battle back then. I remember Reno, and at Grand Nationals and stuff. We would just be pretty close to that close to him. And it would come down to, you know, the main main event, of course. And so it was a lot of fun, a lot of fun. And then and then it seemed like they at that time, the unlimited class kind of was getting phased out, more people going ProMod. And so Shannon built the pro mod and and And we did that a little bit and then no, that was kind of it for me. And then I just started refocusing my, back on my business. I'm doing live coverage of of events and stuff like that didn't really compete anymore after that. So it's no,

Big Rich Klein:   28:40
I remember going to Mexico with you guys when you hooked up with Pistol Pete? Yeah, that was those were some good good trip.

Lance Clifford:   28:51
That was cool because that was an opportunity that fell into my lap. Ron Stobaugh. I believe he was. I don't remember if he was with Superior Axle and Gear back then or he had already started his Alloy USA company Superior. I believe he was an advertiser on Pirate it And he's like, Dude, you need to get in a desert racing and check it out?

Big Rich Klein:   29:14
And even more money?

Lance Clifford:   29:16
Yeah, Ron is it? You know, the veteran Desert Racer. And so I was like, you gotta come try this and check it out. My friend Pistol Pete races a trophy truck. Do you want to ride with him? I'm like, uh, of course I want to ride in a trophy truck. So he hooked up that very first deal in a trophy truck. I was I mean, it was just so much fun. And so I asked Pete, I'm like, dude, I wanna be your navigator for the season? And, uh, I'll work hard, I'll do it for free. Come. Come on. My own dime and I'll help and and uh, and he's like, All right, you did a great You were great at this race you're in. I was like, Oh, yeah. So I raced with Pete uh, actually, for a couple of years and again, it was kind of the same thing. Have fun. First we'll end up where we end up. And obviously, Pete was a God bless him, I miss him, uh, he he was very serious about his racing, but, you know, he was there to have have a good time, and, uh, and we had some good results. I mean, we came in with with you there, uh, we came in fourth overall at the Baja 1000 that went all the way to Cabo. And that was that was, we were pretty stoked on that. That finish.

Big Rich Klein:   30:35
Almost almost had third until what? But like, the last seven miles, your Robbie got around us.

Lance Clifford:   30:42
Yeah, the rear end was toast, man. So, yeah, I raced with Pete for a couple of years and we had a great time and then on. And then I got the chance to, uh, race with Roger Norman, who owns SCORE now we race together in the Baja 1000, we iron manned it. Our goal was to win on and we had pole position. We pre ran for a month straight. We pre ran, I believe 7500 miles pre running. It was insane. I mean, we did sleep deprivation training. I mean, we did. This is a big budget team. Back then we we were We did. Everything you could think of, it was pretty cool. We were convinced we were gonna win. I mean, we this was our race to lose, basically pole position. And we had trained and pre ran like, you know, nobody else. And so we had a great race, and then we got ah, about one race, Mile 150 We got a flat tire, but we changed it quick we only lost one position and then it got dark. He got some new lights. I won't mention the company, but they're a new a new light prototype, right? And I don't know about running prototype stuff in a in the biggest race of the year, but the prototype lights didn't like vibration and bouncing around internally were failing at the mounts. And so they were just flopping around racing, you know, second, overall trying to gain gain ground, Get back to first position. You know, you're you're riding at that full tilt, and so we need every ounce of light we can get. And so light started falling off like falling off the car, and it was crazy. And so we go up it into our pit and they try and put some on, it was taking too long. So we just go by the end of the race, we have, like, two lights that work left on their spotlights. And it was fog now, and so we ended up finishing third overall, amazingly, with with almost no lights. And that was the craziest race I've ever had in my life, for sure. Um, I raised a lot of races, you know, and in Baja, and and rockcrawling and whatnot. But that race I'll never forget just because of the craziness. And we caught Robby Gordon at one time in the middle of the night in the fog, and we had So we have lights on the front bumper lights on the light bar up above when we're in our pit Robby passed us. And so then we go. He's like, I'm going to catch him. And so we're in fourth overall at that point. Uh, excuse me. Were were in third. Robby was in second. He goes, and he was just getting it. I'm like, dude, we're driving a little over our heads, you know, at this pace, with limited lighting, right? I'm thinking to myself, maybe we should let him go. Just He catches him, and he doesn't slow down. And we punt, Robby so hard and it blows the rest of the lights off. Blows like the whole front bumper off the front of the track so that we lost, like, all of our good lights. That was the end of our good lights that we have And, uh wow, dude, that's That's where I turned the coined the term Robby vision. People get Robby vision when Robby is in front of them, and they just want to punt him. I'm sorry. You have Robby vision. We kind of laugh, but we were kind of bummed at the same time is is that definitely slowed us. There's no way we're gonna be able to pass him at that point.  and Robby, Of course, even though we punted him so hard he didn't pull over. He kept going  So we just had to basically chase his dust for the rest of the race. But yeah. So after after, uh, through all the trophy truck racing, we also ran her own Jeep Speed campaign. Mike Shaffer. I teamed up and we raced in his jeep speed, and then I bought my own Jeep speed The Terminator. Yeah, The Terminator had a lot of fun with those. Gosh, they are really a lot of fun. And it doesn't matter, desert Racing it really is like in any racing. I guess, uh, doesn't really matter what kind of car you're driving. You're driving that car to its maximum ability. So if you're in a trophy truck and going 140 or your in a Jeep Speed and you're going 40 it feels like you're going 200 because you're driving that vehicle at its very limit and in any second  you're gonna crash, right, So that's what I love about racing. Is is is just a You could be driving whatever it is you're driving at its ability limit. So, uh, you know, whether it's a stock, Suzuki samurai or, you know, tiny or Jesse Haines vehicle are all your driving them all at the limit And so it's fun to start at the at the bottom and work your way up. You just go faster and so you can die faster at the higher speeds. Then, if you crash going 35 verses 140 you know. I mean,

Big Rich Klein:   36:02
so what? Uh, what do you remember the most? What's one instant that happened during rock crawling that really stands out in your mind as being You know, that Oh, wow, moment.

Lance Clifford:   36:18
The oh wow moment that the others. There's a couple of Oh wow moments for me and the two, the two oh wow moments for me where I briefly mentioned them already was oh wow moment. Number one was when when BfG came out that rock crawling specific tire. That's when I knew that that rock crawling wasn't necessarily just a side show. That there was a huge manufacturer making a rock crawling specific tire or rock crawling because they wanna win because it's important to them to win. All the other companies at the time just had, you know, they're off the shelf, tire that you put on your  F150 they're saying go competed him. But this was This was a rock crawling, specific, tire and stuff that was really cool. It was cool to be a part of the development of that and, you know, help giving this giant company, you know, multi-million dollar company feedback on, you know, as punk. You know, back then and they valued our opinion, I just thought that was amazing. I love I love being a part of that. And then the other. The other thing that was a major oh wow was when, uh, the first time I ever saw Tiny on an obstacle. And it just made it look so effortless that the well will team that they put together secretly, you know, and then just came out and smashed us. I mean, they didn't just beat us by a few points days there, smashed everybody. And that was like, Well, everybody else needs to go back to the drawing board now, because that car has changed the industry forever.

Big Rich Klein:   38:02
Well  John called me up one time while they were developed. Well, they had Tiny developed, and he says, Rich, you have to allow us to put water in the tires. And I said, John, no, I don't and he goes, well, it's water's free. And I said, No, water is not free because everybody, you know, your chromaly axles that everybody's running now are gonna break And everybody is gonna have to find, you know, the next new unobtanium metal, you know, which ended up being 300M. And I said, So there's teams that won't be able to compete because you know, you've got water in the tires He goes, well, Craig Stumph has already agreed to do to, you know, let water run, you know, be run in the tires. And I said, You know, there's there's a there's problems with that. First of all, you're going to you're gonna outdrive the courses as they are now, so we have to make them even more difficult and more, you know, which is gonna end up being more dangerous. And I was always thinking about the teams, what we were doing to their rigs and what we could possibly do to them in the in the case of ah, horrific roll over. It was like when Trent went off of at Donner went off the top of that, or Jason driving the Trent car, Whichever one it was And you know, there was like it was like 10 rollovers, you know, or something down to the bottom of the mountain. And it was like, Holy shit, you know, we're lucky we don't kill somebody, so let's, you know, But he got to You got to be really crazy. And he goes, well, Rich, You know, the thing is, I'm gonna put something in that in those tires, whether it's $15,000 worth of tungsten welded to the inside of the rim, right, I'm gonna have weight. So then you're gonna make it so I can just whip on everybody anyway. But water's free right now. Damn you, Jon. You know, and that's my Nelson moment, right? With dealing with him on that side. And then there was another time where we were. It was just before the Baja Rocks event that Dirty Dan Brown did down in in in Baja Cabo area. It was put up or shut up for one of those might have been a series event. But Tracy was Tracy and Tiny were always battling it out at that point. And while Larry and Jon are over running the courses. John Nelson is following Tracy and harassing Tracy to the max. I Remember Tracy rolled. Got all frustrated, rolled, smoked his motor afterwards, was blaming John for that. Things got really sideways, and it was just insane, because they were leaving our event and then heading straight down to Baja. So now Tracy had to find another motor. You know, it just that's when I told. We made rule changes then about harassing judges, harassing other drivers. And I remember calling Nelson and saying, You know, if you want, if you're gonna win, you're gonna win on the rocks not because you're totally getting into the other guy's head as a team manager or whatever. You are the car builder and forcing, you know, the guy into making mistakes as you get him so sideways.

Lance Clifford:   41:37
I think it's awesome.

Big Rich Klein:   41:39
Well, I told him if he did it again. I was tossing him.

Lance Clifford:   41:42
There was so much of that back then, you know, everybody wanted to win so bad. I mean most. I'm not gonna say everybody because there was some that didn't want any part of hanging out with all of us. But after the events, you know, everyone would hang out and drink beer and high five each other. But it was game time. It was gnarly. I mean, people protesting you and you know, I mean, there's a few few, uh, people that were well known to be the protesters for anything I will be watching run over there, get, you know, like Come on, man, you know everyone. You know that it's a few freebies here and there

Big Rich Klein:   42:23
I've been I've been able to it's taken me a long time, you know, been doing this. This is our 20th year, 20th season 20th year because of put up or shut up. Next year will be our 20th season, but it's getting that competitiveness and the that on the judges or on the other teams still happens, not as much and not as frequently as it did. I've been able to control that a lot, but it's because we kept going through judges because the teams would just be on top of the judge's. The judge, like, you know, to hell with this. I ain't coming back on, and that so we have a way to make changes there just to control that. But still, you know, it's the guys that are competing nowadays are doing it more for bragging rights, whereas we haven't been able to build up. The class is big enough. I mean, remember Washington where we had 80- 84 cars or 83 cars or something like that in three classes? We just had our biggest event in Arizona in years at 52 cars.

Lance Clifford:   43:31
Yeah, I saw that, that's cool.

Big Rich Klein:   43:33
It was It was really nice. And, uh, hopefully we'll get that kind of turn out after all this stuff blows through. The next event should be at Sand Hollow, your neighborhood so way end up with 52 cars there. We're gonna be overwhelmed because it's not a big area. If anybody if anybody gets to hear this before that event happens, if you want to see mayhem and craziness, that will be the event. Because it will be from the parking lot to the rocks will be crazier than hell, that's for sure.

Lance Clifford:   44:06
Yeah, yeah, it's a great venue, the small, but it's cool as a spectator because you can walk, walk around very easily to see all the action. So we went there last year. I took my kids and and, uh, and they enjoyed it and Connor got to drive Cody Waggoner's buggy around, he is pretty pumped on that. he still talks about it. And so when Cody retires, you know, I got your driver, dude, so he's waiting. He's training right now, So, uh, yeah, uh, Sand Hollow, obviously, it's a short drive for me. It's, like, five minutes away. But it's a great venue for a spectator, because you could just walk from course to course within, you know, five. You know, one minute of each other and boom, You could watch the action, and it's pretty much nonstop. So

Big Rich Klein:   44:56
And a nice and grassy infield area.

Lance Clifford:   44:59
Yeah, yeah.

Big Rich Klein:   45:00
Helps with the dust blowing through their cause. There's a reason that place is called Hurricane. Yeah. So, uh, talk about after pirate. You, uh you started another company in a different A different direction in life. Talk about that. Some. 

Lance Clifford:   45:21
So over the years of Pirate, you know, in the mid early that most people, even early, 2000's, all the way, you know, forward. Every now and then I get a get a call or an email from a company saying I want to buy Pirate 4x4 and I'd say, Show me the money sucker. And and they would you give me their number? Like, what am I supposed to do with that? Go toTaco Bell, You know, so you know, there's always there's always those deals, you know, coming up through the years and one company had approached us. When I say us I didn't mention Camo  earlier. Camo came on board once. I got overwhelmed of running things by myself. Camo was this pretty savvy business guy back in the day, he was the glitter king. He was on the pirate forums, you know, use the

Big Rich Klein:   46:14
glitter bombs.

Lance Clifford:   46:15
Yeah, it was a big part of it. And And he had He had some great ideas. And so he came on board with Pirate to, help us take it to the next level and and kind of run all the marketing and advertising side so I can focus on content and the technical on content and stuff. And it worked pretty well for us over the years. And so we would get these proposals. From whom way get proposals from? We actually got proposals from some of the magazine companies. Wanted to buy us, uh, which nobody really knows that and then on a company called Vertical Scope who made several attempts to buy us over the years, you know? And each year, each time they had approached us, the number would get higher, right? So it started pretty low and then get higher than I get a little higher. And then I get a little higher than finally. One day they got our attention that were like, Holy crap, that's that's not a bad payday right there. Dude, what do you think toiled over it? And it's like we love we love doing what we're doing. But there's this little thing called Facebook, and and I really feel like it's it's not gonna go away, you know, forums were popular still, but I felt like I felt like this Facebook thing was going to eventually be the downfall of forums. Thankfully, I was right. Uh uh. Not thankfully, I Thankfully, for me, I was right because we accepted that offer and it seemed like it was not much longer after that, where Facebook just took over the Internet and forums are almost, you know, they're dying breed. You know, it's a shame because Facebook sucks for for sharing content of and being a community gathering place for like minded people like rock crawlers and off Roaders I think they ruin. I think Facebook and Instagram ruined the Internet as far as being able to yeah, you any any any dickhead can create a Facebook group, Rock Crawlers of America. You know it's not the same. It's not good searchable content. You know, you it's not the same at all. If it's terrible forums still are the best. But forums are a dying breed or have died. Maybe they'll make a resurgence. I hope they do, uh, because they're better than I truly believe that. But it seems like a week after we sold Pirate 4x4, Facebook. Just look took off and you start seeing a lot off a lot of traffic going down on these forums. Pirate held strong for a long time. And And And I can say this now because my non competes up and Vertical scope can suck it. So, uh, they ruined. They ruin the website. They sure did. They just didn't care for it. They kept us on board for a few years, and that's why it maintained for a while, and they paid us to be consultants. But then they would make changes, stupid changes, you know, to try and generate a little more ad revenue. But all they really did was detract from the viewing experience. You know, they put stupid pop ups and and all this stuff, and it just kind of ruin the experienced, authentic experience, even though they're making great ad revenue. When I handed them the keys, and so they put all the shit on, and then people would leave and lower the readership, so they're probably making less money with all the added crap. They're just left it alone. And, um, you know, who knows. Like I said, you know what social media taking over the world here detracted from the forums and the readership went down. If you go to Pirate right now, there's still plenty of people there. Surprisingly, you'd be surprised. I just looked at the stats last week and there's quite a few people still going there. Um, and I actually one of my very good friends said I should buy it back and bring it back, you know, But, uh, that sounds like a lot of work so after I sold Pirate, uh, Camo retired and he is now a real, pirate. He captains yachts for rich people. We So he transports him from Cabo to Seattle. That's what he's doing now. I think it's super awesome. It's always been his dream. To be out on the water, he's a real true pirate. And, uh so he's having fun with that. And I wasn't sure what I was going to do with myself after Pirate.. So I, uh, decided to get into the real estate game in California and started buying houses and flipping them. And with a couple of my contractor friends, Jimmy, Jack who races Ultra4 and Gomez brothers. Uh, but Buddy Todd Treat, he's a good friend of mine, he's a contractor. And so those two contractor guys would would work with me and I flip houses by them on the auction on the courthouse steps, sight unseen. And then they would go in. They do all the work and we flip him, make him the nicest house on the block, and it was very successful, only had a few gotchas where we got lost money, and so that was fun. And then and then I got the tax bill for Pirate 4x4 from the state of California. After you know, a while and I had to pay in the state of California So much money. It was the final straw that broke the camel's back, Uh, of living in California. I was just so mad I knew it was coming. But but seeing it in front of you in your front of your face, right, and seeing the number that you have to write it, fill out a check and sign some to the state of California Just made me mad. I was like, You know what, Renee, we gotta go. This this is this is crazy, you know? And I was getting tired of the traffic. There was getting tired of the neighborhood we lived in while it was a great neighborhood. It was just a little faking California's, you know, he had to schedule playdates for your kids and tell your kid to go ride his bike down the street and go knock on someone's door and play. And I was like, schedule play dates and this is dumb. So I wanted to I want to find somewhere where it was like when I grew up, you know, on. So I told my wife I said, Look, let's let's move. She's on board She's an accountant so she didn't address It looks you can pick where we go, but let's happens. Make sure that there's good Jeeping and off roading and, you know, affordable real estate, low taxes and a really good place to raise our kids. It was the most important thing. So she's she does all her racers and she's like gosh. You're not gonna believe this, but St George, Utah is at the top of the list, and and my dad had moved here after we had done all the rock crawling stuff is we had come here for WE Rock events and ARCA events over the years, and my dad really liked it because he used to come to a lot of our events with us. And so he retired in Saint George. But then, after we had kids, my dad became obsessed with my kids, and so he moved back to California, be close to our kids. So when my wife, like let's move to St George was like, Holy shit, my dad is gonna be pissed right, cuz he had moved to St George, than moved back to California and then we told them we're gonna move to St George, So he was pretty pissed. But he's like, if you're going, I'm going to. So he put his house up for sale to, and he ended up moving here about a month after we did, which which was awesome. So when we moved here, I decided that I don't want to flip houses anymore because this is a The market here is much smaller. B is just a little sketchy by insight. Houses sight unseen, higher high stress level job when when there's a lot of a lot of your own money on the line. So I just decided to get my real estate license, and, uh and sell houses, be a house hawker. My mom did it, you know, when I was growing up, she was a real estate agent, so familiar with business and and some when I was flipping houses in California. My mom was my real estate agent, so she she was that she was retired, and so I basically did everything I'd log in or MLS and do everything, so I very familiar with the process in the business and having a computer background. I already figured out, You know, I build my own website, attract clients that way since I didn't know anybody here. So that's what I did. And I'm saying been pretty successful at it. Selling houses here, you know, I've and I've tried to cater to out of state people you know, California off Roaders and stuff like that as and when you bring a California who was born and raised in California into Utah, the house is so the area sells itself, you know, with all the off roading here, sand hollow and all around the area. The mountain biking, which I've gotten into. That's like my main passion right now is going mountain biking. Uh, and you could walk into Ace Hardware in Hurricane and buy a can of spray paint and AR15 with a 30 round clip and walk out with it, you know? I mean, how can you go wrong with that, right? Yeah. Californian's lose their mind When? When you show him that, You know, I did. I know I did. I was like, That's awesome, you know? And then you're driving around, you see a side by side driving to the grocery store to get groceries and used like so this is what it's like in free country. I I've been missing out on this for 40 years, you know? So So it's a whole different place than in places like California, uh, living here. And it's been great for the kids. The kids love it, they're thriving. They love their school, their learning Chinese in school. Uh, it's just crazy to read, write and speak Chinese. My fifth grader, my second grader and, uh uh, you know, with all the Jeeping and mountain biking and stuff and Lake Powell close by Las Vegas if we want to go get our party on is right down the road. And we've got skiing up at Brian Head, which is less than our than an hour away, just a great central location. And so, over the years, people of friends of close friends of mine have seen you know what we're doing, and I have sold so many off Roaders houses. All my friends have moved here. But my best friend, Larry McRae, they moved here from Southern California. Your your son Little Rich moved back here. You know, from Alaska , the Hagel's and just so many, so many people I could go on. I give you a list of countless people that have moved here off Roaders and they all love it. There's only one person at a everyone I've ever sold the house to that I'm aware of. Who decided it wasn't for them? Uh, here, Roxy. Yeah. Roxy. I couldn't believe I was offended, but I blame it on that. She didn't listen to me on where to move to. It's I told her to move the St George/Hurricane area. She she wanted to move in a New Harmony. And then they decided they didn't like New Harmony because it was the middle of nowhere. It's like, No, shit, I told you, is the middle of nowhere. So God bless her love her. Uh, I wish she was still here, but she's doing well in Texas. So one out of 250 isn't bad, right?

Big Rich Klein:   58:17
Right now you've done well there. And you pretty much made it. Made it the go to place for any off Roader. I mean, Stobaugh is there one of the Curries is talking about going that direction. So

Lance Clifford:   58:31
this yes, there  is, uh, one of them is in contract on the house. Here.

Big Rich Klein:   58:35
Oh, nice. OK,

Lance Clifford:   58:38
so yeah, at all the, You know, lots of industry people have moved here. You mentioned Stobaugh,  Interactive Garage Hagels are here, uh, Chapman's Lifetime LED. You know, there's a bunch of guys on an industry have moved here. They recognize a the low taxes. That's very business friendly. Here. You can get cheap commercial property here. You know, there's the it's got a good distribution area, you know, you got  I15. You know, there's several big large distribution companies here. People I've seen when I close the house for sale here and there, you know, people like, but there's no work. Yeah, there is work, you just gotta look for it there's plenty of work here, you know, for any industry. So and we our Airport here is expanded exponentially. Since I've lived here for seven years,

Big Rich Klein:   59:29
it used to be up on the bluff. Yeah, really

Lance Clifford:   59:33
It was sketchy that back, man. Who is that? What way is the wind would blow it just right plane would Just come in and land sideways on that bluff, and you're like, Oh, my God. But now I've got a real airport, you know? And it's size. Uh, it's not an international airport yet, but flies to Phoenix and LAX and Denver and Salt Lake. And, uh, you know, So from from all these connecting points, you can get anywhere in the world, you want to go. And if you plan ahead, it's pretty cheap, you know? But if you're doing a last minute flight, then we just fly out of Las Vegas. This only two hours to Vegas. So my truck is even warmed up by the time I get to Vegas. You know stuff.

Big Rich Klein:   1:0:16
So you have a Raptor

Lance Clifford:   1:0:18
I do have a Raptor, so

Big Rich Klein:   1:0:20
So do I now,  know, huh? I bought a Raptor as well. Oh, you did? Yeah. Mine's a  12. Okay, but it's Ah, the 6.2

Lance Clifford:   1:0:30
Yeah. So I had I bought one of the first Raptors, the very 1st 4 with a four door that year, the four door came out. I bought that. I had a lot of bad experiences with it, just towing It would get like, two miles per gallon and and I had a bunch of mechanical problems like it had to driveline vibration that they were never able to fix. I just had a bad experience with it. It was a nice truck, except for the bad experiences. So I got rid of it. And had various Dodge's over the years. And then I saw a couple people get, friends of mine get Raptors and God, since since I had my Raptor and Jason Scherer bought one, and he's going on and on about how awesome Was! And so I'm like, OK, I think I'm gonna get a Raptor. My wife thought I had lost my mind, like those things were biggest piece a shit. And so I called Jason. Dude, do you really love your Raptor and Jason's? Pretty particular about his cars. He's like, It is the best. It's the best. So I went and drove one. I'm like, Oh my God, this thing is bad ass. They haul ass and they're smooth and comfortable. And for mountain biking way go mountain biking. Almost every day we will go down a dirt road. Uh, you know, 10 10 20 mile long dirt road to get to where we're going to bike, right? And it's not. It's not Baja 1000 rough, but it's a rutted out road with wash boards and stuff, and I had a van before that and it sucked driving the van down these roads, like riding in a paint can shaker. So So the Raptors like the perfect vehicle for for mountain biking and getting from point A to point B on a dirt road quickly, comfortably without shaking out your fillings, you know? So I'm super stoked on the Raptor and my brother-in-law Casey Scherer bought one. And so Jason has one, Casey has one, that I have one, a bunch of other friends have them now. So we're gonna do a bunch of  Baja, adventures is the plan. Cool. Once things get a little back to normal here.

Big Rich Klein:   1:2:42
Yeah, Cody's been doing it. Cody Waggoner and Tom Wayes. And

Lance Clifford:   1:2:47
you know

Big Rich Klein:   1:2:47
a bunch of guys are all into the Raptoring, and I never knew what Raptoring was. I'd hear people talk about it, and I'm like, really, you know, and bought one, and the guy I bought it from on was a race a raced K O. H. And 4600 class Josh Jackson, and he's got a shop in Colorado Springs, and it was really nicely set up pretty much all stock but maintained and and everything fixed on it. And, boy, what a game changer we do. Shelley and I staff the Rebelle Rally. And so we go from Tahoe to Glamis, almost all off road, about 14 to 1600 miles, towing our adventure trailer and you talk going from the Cherokee, which is motorized wheel barrow. You know, like driving that thing is like riding in a wood stove or drive you. We're gonna take the wood stove on, go wheeling, because the heat would just radiate through that thing now having the cooling seats and oh man, game changer, towing that  adventure trailer you didn't even know it was back there, it was great

Lance Clifford:   1:3:59
So my wife. My wife shuttled us on a shuttled me and the kids on a mountain bike ride. The other day. She dropped us off at the top and pick this up at the bottom, and she had to go across a a about a 10 mile long dirt road by herself. And she even comments that God, that thing drives so good on the dirt roads. It's amazing

Big Rich Klein:   1:4:20
way when that when Josh put his truck up for sale. I wanted it. I talked to Josh behind, you know, in messages and stuff like that, saying you know how much what do you know? What's the truck like, All that kind of stuff. So we started working on Shelley, and we're having another Cherokee built with an LS, But it's been they been sitting on it for, like, 15 months. You know how off road shops are. So we weren't gonna have it in time to get ready for the Rebelle, and we didn't want it. Take our We put about two grand into my 92 it was still just, you know, was it going to make the whole trip? I think I'll go anywhere. But it was the fact, you know, Was it going to be comfortable? Was it gonna, you know, do everything we wanted it to do and tow the trailer with that 4-0, we started working on Shelley about the Raptor and we went out to a circle track race outside of Colorado Springs. And there was a lot of dirt road and the road was all big potholes in it and stuff. And Shelley was riding in back and there was guys following us that were in their dually big, dually four door and they complained about the road. When we get there and they're saying, man, that that road is so rough those potholes suck and Shelley goes what rough road? And I knew we had her hooked at that point. So yeah, we ended up with it.

Lance Clifford:   1:5:47
I don't know if you rock crawled yours, but they rock crawl like a son of a bitch. Right? But my Johnson Valley, Yeah, it's got the locker in the rear and then it's got that the the torsion front diff Dude, it it crawls like a son of a gun. I took it up some stuff that I have no business taking it out, uh, me and Connor were farting around and, you know, get out. Make sure you know, I spot myself and making sure it's not gonna rip the steps off and stuff, but it crawls really good,

Big Rich Klein:   1:6:17
. Yeah, it's good stuff, too.

Big Rich Klein:   1:8:39
Really were were on the Rebelle in Johnson Valley just off of ah, Soggy Dry Lake. And there's some flagpoles up there, like a memorial. One of the girls that was driving some media people around had her rover, Land Rover Discovery or one of the newer ones. She put a call out that she needed to get a, you know, get winched out. Well, we get up to where she's at, and I'm looking at this rock trailing I drive around in the Cherokee. I would be just dove right in there from the top, really narrow goat trail or whatever. But in that Raptor, you know, it's so much wider drove around this this knoll that she was stuck on, and I'm like, the only good ways to go a right up about behind her and then drive around her where there is no trail and you all rocky and everything. And I'm looking at the rocks and I'm looking at my steps and I'm thinking, OK, well, here we go. I was the only one in the area because everybody else was down all down by means dry lake by that point. So I drive past her turned around winched her backup, got her up on top, and now it's like, Okay, how are we getting down? Well, she didn't want to drive down the same trail she did, so we went off the sand Hill on the other side, in the sand on the other side, at a rock ledge that went from left to right, almost all the way crossed. You had to come in, drive along the rock ledge and then turn and go off into all on sand, get around the rock ledge and then dropped down a nice sandhill while we're doing that and they the sand starts to slide away on me. I pivot on the Rockledge with my step, and it just made this horrendous noise. And I thought, Well, I just left my rock step up their Shelley's in the truck and she just looks at me like, really, We've only had this this thing two weeks and we get down to the bottom of the hill. I opened up the door and I looked at him like that step is still there, you know? I get underneath and look at it, and all it done is peel a little bit of the rhino lining the line X off of the step. But that horrendous sound and it was just fine. And I was like first, I couldn't believe I got up there second, While I couldn't believe I got down without any damage on. And, uh, yeah, I love the truck, and I'm gonna do more Raptoring.. Yeah, it's good stuff, too.

Big Rich Klein:   1:8:40
So So what do you think is in the future for you? Do you have Ah, I know you're in the mountain biking and your son still riding BMX?

Lance Clifford:   1:8:48
Yeah. Kids are still both riding bikes, They're both racing BMX. They're they're more, uh well, my son specifically more at a transition right now. I don't know. I don't know what he's gonna do. Uh, he's been riding a lot of mountain bikes, but he still races BMX, but I think he might be gravitating more towards the mountain bikes I guess We'll wait and see what happens. You know, either way I'll support him as long it is out doing something active. You know, my daughter still loves BMX she rides mountain bikes, and she does it really well that she says she wants to keep racing BMX,  me. I don't know. I go day by day, dude, I know I don't have a plan. I don't have a game plan. Uh, the race I've been fortunate with the, uh continue Racing and Baja with B F. Goodrich on their their their team in the Baja Challenge. Cars got to be driver of record in 2019 and we won. So that was really cool. That was super fun. Crazy race. I can't spend another hours talking about that race that range. It was one of the unprecedented, uh, rainstorms right before the race and delay the race for two days because the mud and it was still just a mud bath. I mean, insanity. We blew up or clutch in a race car and changed it on the side of the trail. And just madness in typical Baja stories. Right? But obviously, I'm going to do that as long as long as I can keep weaseling my way onto the BfG  team. I'll keep doing it until you get tired of me. But no deepen. I've got Optima batteries is coming here tomorrow. to My house. They're gonna film a Oh, welcome to my crib Quarantine style event. A video ST segment of all their brand ambassadors. Nice. Oh, just trying to, you know, stay involved in the industry a little bit as much as I can not drift off into oblivion, right? And just stay involved a little bit. I don't know that I wanna work in the industry any more. Having fun and going rock crawling and Jeepin every now and then and having fun is really what I want to do in the industry. You never know. You never know. I will never say never because anything could happen. That and, uh, if the right opportunity presented itself, I could get involved in the business again, But I don't see it happening any time soon. Uh, I really When I when we sold Pirate, Both Camo and I both were very burned out on the industry as a whole. And, um, you know, when you when it when it when a hobby becomes, ah, passion And the passion becomes work is fun for a very long time. But then it started. You know, something's really got to intense stuff. It's like, you know what? Screw this, it started out as fun. And it's not quite as much fun as it used to be, you know? And so it was a really good time. The timing for selling Pirate 4x4 for us was perfect. Like we sold at the top of the market. And I do miss looking back. And I looked good. Look at all the pictures and stories and stuff that we did. I do miss it for sure. So I would never say never getting back into the industry in some capacity, but pretty happy with where we're at right now where I enjoy running my real estate business. I have have, ah, some people working for me, you know, to help show properties and stuff like when I'm not around. Typically, I only show proper. I only go out and show properties to referrals. You know, people that specifically asked for me off-roaders and stuff like that. I help, you know, personally. But if if Joe Schmo comes, uh, looking to buy a house here, you know they're gonna go out of my buyer's agents not me I'm too busy trying to play and have fun with my kids. Awesome. That's why we moved here, you know? So I don't know what the future holds ticket. Like I said, I take it day by day. Gonna do some Jeepin here pretty soon. Got my jeep over at Dennis's Shop at Red Desert. Getting getting some upgrades. Jason Scherer. He just started a company recently. I don't know if you're you familiar with it, but Rage Fourth is making bumpers, right? Making for for JL's and J. K's now. So he just sent me one of his new JK Bumpers. So Dennis is, putting that bumper on right now, he just sent me. In fact, he just sent me a picture of it. It's pretty cool. I'm excited for that. Help! Help a brother out. Help get the word out on his bumpers. They're really nice. I asked Larry McCrae, you know who was Mr Poison Spyder is I am because my Jeep has Poison Spyder stuff, I say, Hey, dude, you're not involved with Poison Spyder anymore, Can I put a Rage Fourth bumper? You gonna get butthurt, right? Will you be butthurt? Yeah, man, I moved on like you moved on with Pirate. You're good.

Big Rich Klein:   1:13:54
Yeah. I'm glad to see everybody. All the old friends doing doing well. Yeah, almost. Like there's only a few of us still in the sport or around it from the old day. You know, Jesse Cody, You know, even Ken Blume has moved on. You know, uh, we're getting a lot of new blood, which is great. Then. You know, we were doing the magazine now  4Low July. It will be three years, and that's that's my retirement game is get that magazine built in travel for the magazine. Along with doing the, you know, podcasts and just trying to bring back the history. I'd like to do, I'd like to write a book on on the history of rock crawling and rock sports where, you know, they have a lot of stuff on Baja racing. But there's nothing out there about us hoping  to do that. Not a real good writer, but luckily I have Shelley. She's an excellent editor, so she could take scribbles and make a story out of it, so yeah, some of the stories I can't talk about, but that's all right. there's a lot of those, some of those pirate trips.

Lance Clifford:   1:15:09
Oh, yeah. You got some good stuff? Yeah. What happens in the Rubicon? Stays on the Rubicon? Yes. Uh, yeah, I was gonna say I don't know, So Yeah, that's pretty much it for me.

Big Rich Klein:   1:15:22
Well, I appreciate you coming on and spending some time with us and discussing your life and and everything that you've had going and are going to do again. Thank you.

Lance Clifford:   1:15:35
Yeah, problems. It was fun. And, uh, if any other offroaders want to move to Utah, uh, me, uh, ST George dot Properties.

Big Rich Klein:   1:15:43
There you go. All right. Take care, Lance. Thank you.

Lance Clifford:   1:15:46
Thanks, buddy. Talk to you later. There.

Big Rich Klein:   1:15:49
Have a good day. Thank you. Well, that brings this episode to an end book. You enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations of Big Rich. Thank you very much.