Conversations with Big Rich

RJ Brown rounding out the trio of Farmington celebs on Episode 78

September 30, 2021 Guest RJ Brown Season 2 Episode 78
Conversations with Big Rich
RJ Brown rounding out the trio of Farmington celebs on Episode 78
Show Notes Transcript

Rounding out our trio of Farmington celebs is RJ Brown. The older of the Brown brothers, RJ brings a wealth of knowledge of the early days of rockcrawling and the characters involved. Listen in for some fun with RJ.

4:06 – we didn’t have any big city problems then

7:58 – the start of my motorsports type stuff

11:54 – I worked at a junkyard for free on Saturdays to get parts

14:17 – my dad was one of the cooler dads

19:22 – Harold Off gave us a Jeep to build

25:12 – when did you go with nitrous?

29:45 – who were the influencers in the early days? 

35:49 – that stuff was evolving so fast

39:59 – I quit when my kids started doing sports

41:54 – we’re building an OJ Bronco with my son

48:11 – Randy Ellis in Cedar City

54:26 – every weekend we were trying to think of a better way to advance

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

www.maxxis.com

www.4lowmagazine.com 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)

Most of this transcript is performed by AI - it won't be perfect, but if you read between the lines, it'll totally make sense.

[00:00:00.470] - Big Rich Klein

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.

 


[00:00:28.520] – Maxxis

Whether you're are 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.

 


[00:00:55.190] – 4Low Magazine

Why should you read 4Low magazine? Because 4Low Magazine is about your lifestyle, the four wheel drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy. Rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle builds, and do it yourself tech all in a beautifully presented package you won't find 4Low on the newsstand rack.So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.

 


[00:01:19.810] - Big Rich Klein

On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich. We have RJ Brown. RJ Brown has been around the rock crawling scene from the very beginning or pretty damn close to it, and RJ is out of Farmington. We'll find out all the rest of his history here real soon. But RJ, thank you for coming on board and sharing your life with our listeners. Yeah.

 


[00:01:47.840] - RJ Brown

Thanks for having me.

 


[00:01:49.440] - Big Rich Klein

So let's get started and jump right into it. First off, what does R. J. Stand for?

 


[00:01:56.940] - RJ Brown

Ralph John. How about that, Ralph John. People ask me all the time

 


[00:02:02.750] - Big Rich Klein

You know, I've known you a long time, and I've never asked you that. I just figured it was like Ron Jr. Or something like that. You never knew.

 


[00:02:12.930] - RJ Brown

Yeah, I get that all the time. I mean, my dad and I have the same name. So I've been RJ since I was born. I'm one of the lucky kids that your parents name you something, and then they never call you that.

 


[00:02:27.120] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. There you go. Well, I was the second, so I'm glad they didn't call me. Hey, number two. Although they probably did. Just not to my face, it something like that.

 


[00:02:39.970] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:02:40.790] - Big Rich Klein

So anyway, where did where did you grow up? Where were you born and raised?

 


[00:02:46.590] - RJ Brown

Kind of crazy. I was born in New York, but my parents moved to Albuquerque when I was less than a year old. And then I lived in Albuquerque til five and then moved to Farmington. And I've been in Farmington ever since. The only time I left was for College for four years in Los Cruces, but I ended up back in Farmington, and I have never left.

 


[00:03:15.340] - Big Rich Klein

Wow. Okay. So I have to ask a question. First of all, reference it for those who do not know RJ. He has a brother named Joe who's older? I am older by two years by two years. Okay. I never knew that one either. Okay.

 


[00:03:34.570] - RJ Brown

So I'm agent a little bit better than he is, I think.

 


[00:03:40.110] - Big Rich Klein

And better looking, right?

 


[00:03:41.420] - RJ Brown

Yeah, for sure.

 


[00:03:43.720] - Big Rich Klein

I'll let you guys decide on that one. Yeah. So let's talk about those early years. You probably don't remember a whole lot of Albuquerque at five years old or so. Probably nothing of New York.

 


[00:03:58.740] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:03:59.850] - Big Rich Klein

What what do you remember those early years in Farmington? I don't know.

 


[00:04:06.400] - RJ Brown

I mean, it was a really small town back then. Obviously, it's grown and it's probably even changed a lot since you started coming here. But for the longest time, it's just a really small town, so really personable town didn't really have any issues or anything like that for, you know, all of my growing up. I mean, it was just kind of out of the way and hidden and a good place to grow up. We obviously didn't have any big city problems or anything like that. Just a little town, right.

 


[00:04:38.500] - Big Rich Klein

So what was your first mode of transportation? Like a bicycle? Motorcycle?

 


[00:04:46.620] - RJ Brown

Oh, yeah. Bicycles. I was really big at the bicycles. Me and my brother both.

 


[00:04:52.840] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. So, yeah, we did all that.

 


[00:04:57.080] - RJ Brown

We did all the half pipe stuff and jumps and all the things that we probably should have broke a lot of bones. And we really never did. And then from bikes, we went three wheelers and we survived all the three Wheeler stuff that they currently say that it was dangerous.

 


[00:05:17.870] - Big Rich Klein

And then you guys get cages later on, and that becomes even more dangerous.

 


[00:05:24.500] - RJ Brown

Yeah. We've put ourselves out there quite often.

 


[00:05:29.090] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, you have.

 


[00:05:32.000] - RJ Brown

I.

 


[00:05:34.340] - Big Rich Klein

Know that growing up there, you you have a lot of opportunity for the outdoors. I mean, Farmington is just surrounded by what I would call high desert, lots of canyons, Sandy washes, rocks, all that kind of stuff, Rivers. What were the other things that you did that got you into a life of off road?

 


[00:06:01.470] - RJ Brown

Well, when we first started, we were young, 10-11 years old and back in that day, I mean, we had three wheelers and, you know, I live three minutes from the Hills from Chokecherry Canyon, and, you know, no phones, no nothing. I mean, we would get on our three wheelers and drive into the street right out into the Hills, and we would go riding for hours out in the Hills with our three wheelers. And, you know, Parents just let you do that. I guess back then, you know, they didn't worry about it.

 


[00:06:37.120] - RJ Brown

I guess it's like the true meaning of, like, when the street light turns on, you better be home. And that was it. Yeah.

 


[00:06:44.370] - Big Rich Klein

I grew up in those years, too, but in a bigger city, but I get it.

 


[00:06:49.620] - RJ Brown

So.

 


[00:06:51.590] - Big Rich Klein

In school, we'll get back to the three wheelers here a little bit. Were you athletic, Scholastic or where you just did your own thing.

 


[00:07:06.680] - RJ Brown

I was athletic. I mean, I rolled through all the sports I did football, baseball. I guess those were two of my two main sports. Football eventually was the only thing I played and kind of when I got into high school, I kind of had to give up sports. I got into cars and I didn't have no money. My parents didn't have a bunch of money, so I had to work. So I kind of gave up sports to work and and keep my car going.

 


[00:07:43.000] - Big Rich Klein

Support your car habit. I get it. I understand that. So what was your first car?

 


[00:07:49.850] - RJ Brown

Two door hard top, 1957 Chevy.

 


[00:07:54.090] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, wow. Nice.

 


[00:07:58.310] - RJ Brown

My dad pulled it out of a barn when I was 14, and we worked on it for a year. And then back then, you got your driver's license, 15, and you were off. You didn't have all this provisional this and that that the kids have to deal with now 15, you were you were driving. So we had it fixed up pretty good. It ran pretty good. And that was kind of my start motor sports type stuff. I don't know if I was the bad kid or whatever, but that's all I did is drag race, everything.

 


[00:08:36.200] - RJ Brown

And most of my friends had fast cars. I mean, Chevelles and TransAms and just every muscle car you could think of. Road runners, Mustangs. So we had a pretty big group of friends that had old stuff and fast stuff. And we broke a lot. And my dad was pretty understanding. I had to pay for everything. But he was pretty understanding to have all my friends usually in the driveway or in the garage repairing engines, tranny, rearends. And that was kind of my start of motor sports and liking fast stuff, I guess living on the edge a little bit.

 


[00:09:25.740] - Big Rich Klein

So living on the edge. You talked about the three wheelers. The government made Honda quit selling those things because they were too dangerous, supposedly.

 


[00:09:38.210] - RJ Brown

Yeah. Supposedly. Yeah. I never Got it. I still don't understand that.

 


[00:09:42.680] - Big Rich Klein

But and look at all the things that they allowed, you know, allow kids to do now.

 


[00:09:48.850] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:09:50.170] - Big Rich Klein

Electronic wheels and everything else. Motored wheels, whatever those things are called, one wheels looks a lot more dangerous than three Wheeler. Maybe not as as though. So did you ever race them or where is it? Just strictly out, you know, messing around out and choke cherry and other locations around the city.

 


[00:10:12.400] - RJ Brown

Well, so south of Farmington is the big nappy, the reservation and stuff. And up there they have the flattest, straightest road. You can ever think of that in all those farm fields. So every Friday, Saturday night we would go up there and drag race and there could be 30, 40 different cars up there and, you know, around Farmington, you have build as tech. You got these little small towns and it's the norm, you know, who's got the fastest car. So you go up there we would go do a lot of racing.

 


[00:10:49.240] - RJ Brown

And then when we were done with the racing, then it was like, then you get your Buddy's fourwheel drives and then you sit out in the Hills.

 


[00:10:57.080] - Big Rich Klein

So it was always busy weekend and busy enough to keep you out of trouble, right?

 


[00:11:05.370] - RJ Brown

Yeah. I stayed pretty much. Well, I don't know if I've been. I guess I got myself a lot of speeding tickets, a lot of racing tickets. I wasn't always. I guess the kid not everybody was allowed to play with me.

 


[00:11:23.000] - Big Rich Klein

I don't think you were the everybody at my car influence. Yeah.

 


[00:11:29.660] - RJ Brown

Everybody. All the parents paid my car because it was way too fast for a kid. I didn't think so. But whatever. My dad was always in the fast cars and stuff like that, so.

 


[00:11:42.630] - Big Rich Klein

Well, I guess you talk about that 57 Chevy. Then what had you done to it to make it faster than factory?

 


[00:11:54.260] - RJ Brown

Well, you know, first off, when I first got it, I had a 327 and those always run pretty good. We just did a bunch of Bolt on to it. It had a two speed pirate glide and, you know, like 330 years and the one leg out and and all that. And, you know, right away I blew the training out of it. So then I changed it to a monthly for speed and intake, and we put Tam and carburetor on it. Then I put 14 years. I actually worked at a junk yard for free on Saturdays just so I can get parts.

 


[00:12:29.280] - RJ Brown

All the old cars.

 


[00:12:31.170] 

Nice.

 


[00:12:32.580] - RJ Brown

So I worked there for 4 hours a day and then give me an hour to go get whatever I wanted off all these old cars. And back then, no one really cares about any of those. I mean, people love 57 Chevies, but still wasn't really a big deal back then. That was late Eighties. So 14 years pay and monthly force feed. It doesn't take a lot to make something run pretty good, right? Obviously not like what you can buy nowadays. I mean, you can buy 700 horse fire just off the dealer, you know.

 


[00:13:07.930] - RJ Brown

So it was different.

 


[00:13:09.980] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. The fastest cars. Well, in the Eighties, they weren't. Nothing being produced was really very fast cause just gotten out of that that whole oil OPEC crap and stuff with the oil and Bargo and all that kind of thing.

 


[00:13:29.670] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:13:30.450] - Big Rich Klein

So the manufacturers were building dumb cars.

 


[00:13:35.020] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:13:36.430] - Big Rich Klein

So everybody is building old metal for sure.

 


[00:13:39.030] - RJ Brown

Old metal. And we thought it was fast back in and then you realize, you know, that probably was fast at the time. But it wasn't really that fast. Then while I was doing, I had that my dad got a 66. Have we built that up? And he started with a small block and then he couldn't beat any of the high school kids so that he pulled that out and he got a 427 big block put him in. We built my brother 70 Chevelle SS. So we always had a bunch of pretty fast cars in our family.

 


[00:14:11.570] - RJ Brown

I guess I like that.

 


[00:14:13.270] - Big Rich Klein

Your dad couldn't beat the high school guy. So then he went with a big block.

 


[00:14:17.040] - RJ Brown

Yeah. My dad, he was definitely one of the cooler dads that he he allowed more than he probably should have. But he would go up on top of the Hill with this, and he would run his car if it wasn't fast enough. I mean, he obviously had way more money than all of us. He'd go back and buy all kinds of stuff and work on trying to beat us again. And stuff like that.

 


[00:14:43.360] - Big Rich Klein

That's awesome. I love it. So then you said you went to College. What would you study in College?

 


[00:14:54.110] - RJ Brown

Criminal justice.

 


[00:14:55.690] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, really?

 


[00:14:57.480] - RJ Brown

Yup.

 


[00:14:58.240] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:14:59.910] - RJ Brown

I was I was destined to be a border patrol agent. So when I went to College, I still have that same car. And I got into the drag resent down there. And there's a lot of more virtual agents down there that had fast cards because those guys make good money, and it kind of steered me. I was already going for criminal justice. I just wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. And then my goal kind of went to being affordable tour agent. And so I ended up with a criminal justice degree.

 


[00:15:34.620] - Big Rich Klein

And did you ever work as a border patrol agent?

 


[00:15:38.170] - RJ Brown

Nope. Right before I graduated. So family friends owned Meinke Muffler, and they decide they want to sell it. I graduated in, like, three months later, they finance the finance. Me and I bought my own business and just steal into cars and building cars and of every day. What a Miller does mechanic work or whatever. But it gave us 5000 square foot shop to build all of our toys and stuff.

 


[00:16:17.690] - Big Rich Klein

So in the decent income, there's nothing wrong with the trades.

 


[00:16:22.460] - RJ Brown

Yeah. And I don't regret any of it. It was. Well, I don't know. I mean, all my buddies are retired at 20 and 25 years, and I'm still totaling car, but I had a good time all the way through this. A lot of the stuff that they in there. I kind of line myself up to do a lot of motor sports stuff, being able to have my own shop like that, right.

 


[00:16:51.780] - Big Rich Klein

When did you and your brother did Brown's fabrication as well? Or was that just your brother? Okay.

 


[00:17:00.520] - RJ Brown

So it was a Meinke Muffler, and that was a franchise. And when I bought it, I had, like, seven years of this contract left. And then when it expired, we started, Brown fabrication. We just change the name, basically same location. And by then, we get a lot a lot of drag racing. And we just did for in as a hobby because it was obviously in our backyard. And then, you know, I just kind of expand it to the the four wheel and kind of had a hit a boom.

 


[00:17:46.420] - RJ Brown

What, I guess late 90s.

 


[00:17:49.300] - Big Rich Klein

Early 2000s as a competitive sport. Late nineties. Absolutely.

 


[00:17:54.600] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:17:55.650] - Big Rich Klein

And then I started off in which series did you start off in or how did you get started in deciding to go off road?

 


[00:18:06.930] - RJ Brown

Well, we didn't drive. We started with the pro. Well, I don't even think it was called Probe Pro Rock. At the time. It was what did they call it was Bob Hazel. I had a couple of them, like in Las Cruces.

 


[00:18:23.680] - Big Rich Klein

That was like the BFG Championships and then the Warn Championships in Johnson Valley.

 


[00:18:29.640] - RJ Brown

Yeah. So you had like a couple of those and then Ranch Pratt had Arca, which I think was Arca at the time. I think it changed a couple of times. So we was in Farmington and Be. My brother judged the first event and that was it. We had a vehicle built for the next competition for the next competition.

 


[00:19:05.400] - Big Rich Klein

Alright.

 


[00:19:06.330] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:19:06.940] - Big Rich Klein

So yeah. Because he started Ranch started with Farmington and then went to Arizona, then Cedar Phoenix. Yeah. That what was upper and lower woodpecker.

 


[00:19:22.160] - RJ Brown

Yeah. So Harold Off he gave us a Jeep to build and that's what we started with.

 


[00:19:32.020] - Big Rich Klein

Nice, nice.

 


[00:19:34.890] - RJ Brown

Harold had already been that guy been wheeling and doing his thing for quite some time, going to the mountains and he was kind of at the time kind of a little bit of ahead of everybody, I think. And he gave us a Jeep and we built it and we built him a few and just kind of progress from there.

 


[00:19:57.610] - Big Rich Klein

Awesome. Since since Harold is not around to be able to to interview him, let's talk a little bit about Harold, if you don't mind. Sure what kind of guy he was an now some of the things that, you know, that he did.

 


[00:20:19.140] - RJ Brown

Well, Harold, he was very giving guy. He loved to help people. Obviously, he owned a salvage yard, had a lot of stuff in in his back door. He was like if you needed something, if you needed transportation, needed something, he had it out hold in the back and he would help you give it to you, help you build it. He was just a good guy. He helped me and my brother out a lot. He had a pretty good crew. I mean, they kind of have their own little group of I don't know, five, six, seven guys that they would go wheeling and they go up into these canyons and back then we 35.

 


[00:21:11.080] - RJ Brown

That was a big tire at the time. You know, that was unheard of because people were still running 32 and 33, right. He was always ahead of most people for the longest time. You know, he was already he was changing putting 44 and then he was putting in the Sixties out of trucks in the jeeps already. I mean, he was already figuring out how to narrow him up. And he just he had some good mechanics at his shop as well. And he figured out breaks. He made his own break system.

 


[00:21:50.370] - RJ Brown

He was way ahead of most people at the time.

 


[00:21:54.200] - Big Rich Klein

Right. Awesome. So then from that first Jeep, was it like a CJ or CJ seven, CJ seven. Okay. And you guys linked it all up, or did you keep it?

 


[00:22:09.400] - RJ Brown

So what's funny is we had leaf Springs in the front, and then we had leaf Springs in the rear. But we made, like, a drop down arm, so to get more articulation.

 


[00:22:25.500] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:22:28.500] - RJ Brown

And then we went down to Phoenix, and we had it too long and they would just drop out and just blow the drive lines out of it type deal. So we mess with that, changing those back and forth, back and forth. And it never really kind of worked very well. And if you remember Jim Peterson.

 


[00:22:56.620] 

Yes.

 


[00:22:57.240] - RJ Brown

So Jim Peterson was another guy that was kind of ahead of his time. And he started figuring out, like, the four links and stuff like that in the rear. So we kind of copied some of his stuff. We changed arms. He had arms that went under the axle, and he had all this in his mind. He could draw it up and everything on just different traction and stuff like that. And we just and my brother kind of stole part of his idea and kind of made our own.

 


[00:23:33.060] - RJ Brown

And then we started doing the TJ coils, because that's what he was doing. So then we had lease screens in the front and then a four links with PJ coals in the rear. And and then that wasn't the best. But it did pretty good. And a lot of guys, we ran that way for quite some time.

 


[00:23:57.900] - Big Rich Klein

And how many you came up to Cedar City, then that first Cedar City event?

 


[00:24:05.360] - RJ Brown

Yes.

 


[00:24:06.120] - Big Rich Klein

With Ranch. Okay.

 


[00:24:08.030] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:24:09.020] - Big Rich Klein

And then how many years did you run the Arca or or what became Pro Rock? Did you run Bob Hazel events after that?

 


[00:24:20.240] - RJ Brown

Yeah. So we ran all of branches, Arca stuff. We ran all of Bob's Pro Rock stuff, and we never missed any of those. So we went to California, and we did all the, you know, the Arca stuff was like a lot of stuff around here.

 


[00:24:40.780] - Big Rich Klein

Right.

 


[00:24:43.780] - RJ Brown

Like Cedar City. We went there. We went there for years, back and forth, and then Johnson Valley. Well, I guess if you Cougar boots is what they call it then, right. The area that we were actually competing and stuff like that.

 


[00:25:01.580] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. Closer to the CERN.

 


[00:25:03.100] - RJ Brown

Yeah. Where else did we.

 


[00:25:12.220] - Big Rich Klein

When did you decide to go with the nitrous or forced induction? Cause didn't you guys do forced induction and nitrous?

 


[00:25:24.920] - RJ Brown

So we started with, like, our engine wise. We started withdraw body truck engines, and then we went to the vortex. And by then, we were gone to Cedar City. So many different times. There was one big vertical climb that we always had a hard time, never really have enough horsepower time wise. We still didn't have. We were running Super Swamper back then. No one really had any good tires.

 


[00:25:56.720] - Big Rich Klein

Right.

 


[00:25:57.830] - RJ Brown

So we tried nitrous. And after we got Dolan nitrous, they banned nitrous because it didn't work out very well. So I hit the nitrous and it blew the whole top of the engine off because apparently it was leaking into it. We just had, like, a little fogger. Nozzle. And it blew the intake off the engine.

 


[00:26:26.650] - Big Rich Klein

I remember that.

 


[00:26:28.360] - RJ Brown

And I think there was grown men running over wives and little kids to get away from me because the fire were so big when it blew.

 


[00:26:40.000] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, God. So who did most of the driving? Was it you or Joe in the beginning.

 


[00:26:48.840] - RJ Brown

We kind of just rotate back and forth. It was your turn. My turn, your turn, my turn type deal. Eventually, I did most of the driving pretty much. And then my brother was just a better spotter. I don't know if I was a better driver, but he was definitely better spotter. And I just kind of started flowing and going back and forth when we were just having fun was fine. But when we actually started doing a little bit better and wanted to do better and we had to just kind of find our spot and then make that, you know, our ticket now and just get better at what we were doing.

 


[00:27:33.430] - Big Rich Klein

So then along came the Weavers with RA.

 


[00:27:41.590] - RJ Brown

Yes.

 


[00:27:43.100] - Big Rich Klein

And then that was that was pretty much you guys focus after that point, wasn't it?

 


[00:27:48.520] - RJ Brown

Yes. Start doing the rock racing and stuff like that. I was obviously as kind of more our driving style. It was a point shoot for us. You know, you have Shannon, you had all those guys that are really good. Johnny G, you know, those guys this term? Well, Chris Term, I shouldn't say that. He didn't have any fines. He pulled his way through a lot of that stuff as well. And all those Eastern guys that would come here that's just kind of their driving style. But yours was point shooting when they started at the time and try to go fast.

 


[00:28:34.970] - RJ Brown

That became our focus.

 


[00:28:37.160] - Big Rich Klein

Right. And you guys by then, we're out of the seven, weren't you? And you were? Yeah.

 


[00:28:46.610] - RJ Brown

Then we were straight to Bucky too buggy by then.

 


[00:28:49.980] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:28:50.930] - RJ Brown

That was back in the day. I'm space in a name is the aluminum Tubs Nalu or Dave Knight.

 


[00:29:01.950] - Big Rich Klein

Jp.

 


[00:29:04.180] - RJ Brown

So Dave Knight gave us a couple of aluminum bodies, the narrowed, 48 inch narrow bodies. And so we started building off of those. And it worked really, really good. Those things were so strong. But then it got to where it was too much. So then by the time we got done hacking them up and cut more and more out of them, we end up finally is eliminating a body completely. And it was basically a cheap Chassity with the a narrow, deeper. We always manage.

 


[00:29:40.700] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:29:41.370] - RJ Brown

I tried to stay that way.

 


[00:29:45.460] - Big Rich Klein

So who is who is a big influence in that early days of rock crawling? You mentioned Shannon and some of the East Coast guys that had a similar style. Was there anybody, any one driver that really kind of stood out as an influence?

 


[00:30:11.590] - RJ Brown

There is a lot, Shannon, obviously. You know, every time you see him, he was coming out trying to push the envelope. Back then we had Steve Moore. He had I'm spacing the Avalanche. Yeah. So he had The Assassin.

 


[00:30:38.420] - Big Rich Klein

Was that single rear steer on two and a half ton Rockwell, wasn't it?

 


[00:30:45.460] - RJ Brown

Yeah. Something like that. And he actually he loaned that to me and Chris Durham one time, and we actually went and did a competition in California. That's how much that guy trusted us.

 


[00:30:58.780] - Big Rich Klein

Wow.

 


[00:31:00.460] - RJ Brown

And we took third, never drove the thing. Chris was actually my spotter. We just went out there just to go out there. And Chris was on one of his back. Then he would come here for mean, two, three months at a time and not go back. And so we went out to California and did that assassin. And it was so far ahead of its time. But, you know, you think back now and it's like guy was kind of red neck a little bit, you know, it was so stiff, it didn't climb very well.

 


[00:31:37.320] - RJ Brown

But rear steer was kind of cheating at the time. Tracy Jordan, I mean, a lot of these guys that I never looked at them some great rock crawlers. They became friends, like, we're all still friends, right? And we don't have to see each other. But with social media, you're able to keep up with everybody. Everybody has families. A lot of good rock crawler guys are, you know, more involved in their families and stuff. They didn't get their kids. I mean, Shannon, you know, he has his kids into the racing and stuff like that.

 


[00:32:19.080] - RJ Brown

So they're still in it. But a lot of guys got out when it was time to play dad, I guess. But we also stick together, still see each other once in a while, still talk to each other. So it's solid group of the original guys.

 


[00:32:39.430] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. I I still see that even though I you know, when I was doing Co Rocks first, and in the beginning years, the we rock. I didn't see all the drivers. Like, I don't think I don't know if you guys actually ran in any of our rock crawls.

 


[00:32:58.580] - RJ Brown

We rock stuff. Cow rocks. We didn't. It was budget wise. It was too far to drive, did a lot of the California stuff, so we didn't do really any of that. We rock. We did.

 


[00:33:18.280] - Big Rich Klein

But when we got guys like Johnny G and we're putting on the event a few years ago and they're in choke cherry on Grand Nationals, and he comes up and starts talking to me, and I didn't even recognize him. He's got his boys with him, and I go, oh, so you've rock crawled, and he goes, yeah, my name is Johnny Gillian. And I was like, oh, damn. Johnny GE didn't recognize you. Sorry. Yeah.

 


[00:33:51.400] - RJ Brown

Guys getting old.

 


[00:33:52.870] - Big Rich Klein

Yes. Exactly.

 


[00:33:55.060] - RJ Brown

And Johnny G was one of the guys that he was an awesome driver. Avalanche built in some awesome vehicles. But, I mean, he was just a good guy and really, really talented. And he had the game face, like, he was furious about it. Nothing really startled. And he would try anytime. He was a bonus, he was going to do it. Yeah. He was definitely a big influence to a lot, a lot of people that got into it, right. He was the big poster child and stuff, you know, that was all a big deal.

 


[00:34:36.100] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. That carnivore.

 


[00:34:38.290] - RJ Brown

Yes.

 


[00:34:39.040] - Big Rich Klein

So in those days, we rock crawling. We're racing. You and your brother are doing Browns fabrication and your you keeping it all together. What cars did you build for others?

 


[00:35:06.780] - RJ Brown

So Matt Garrett Sisson, which they did very well in the rock crawling and stuff. And they started off with a Wrangler that Garrett had just, like, kind of like us. It had nothing there out wheeling it and competing, and they had a really bad crash, basically totaled it. And so me and my brother, we're already kind of doing the tube chassis type thing. And we built in a rig. And I think, like, ten days.

 


[00:35:47.860] 

Wow.

 


[00:35:49.320] - RJ Brown

And we gave them a complete chassis. We took everything we could off of their Jeep, put it in that. And they ran the whole time with a Brown chassis of some sort. And, like us, I mean, that stuff was evolving so fast. And people were coming up with such great ideas that we were changing our Jeeps out, completely changing them out. Every couple of months. We have a brand new one again, because you just kind of had to at the time.

 


[00:36:23.780] - Big Rich Klein

The sport was absolutely evolving. Everybody was coming up with new ideas and how to get things, you know, different ideas. I mean, the one that was really out of the box, of course, was Tiny.

 


[00:36:38.120] - RJ Brown

Yeah. That was definitely out of the box for sure.

 


[00:36:44.740] - Big Rich Klein

But it was well copied.

 


[00:36:47.820] - RJ Brown

Yeah, it was, you know, we had Tiny, and then we had the Crane force had that scrapper. Tracy had some version of it there. And then obviously, Shannon, I mean, once he started getting that guy, if he could just touch something, his brain is way, way out there on building stuff for sure. He came up with, I think that tiny was pretty much. I mean, he did a lot of custom stuff. And once we see that tiny, it was over. That was enough, I think, to put him over the edge where he was.

 


[00:37:37.610] - RJ Brown

He was out there and pushing the limits for sure.

 


[00:37:40.930] - Big Rich Klein

A cutting edge.

 


[00:37:42.530] - RJ Brown

And he has a family that uses all about race stuff. Nick his dad. I mean, he has cousins, uncles. It still does. They're always involved in that stuff. And, you know, he wouldn't have never been able. We are all poor. Then. We didn't have. We had tire sponsors. They were just giving us tires, and we had no money, everything we could work and make. That week, we spent it. And, you know, the next weekend to go travel.

 


[00:38:09.760] - Big Rich Klein

True. Very true. So looking back on all those early events, say before X-R-A. What location or what event stands out as the one that in your mind will be the your moment where you realized that you were doing something that was just completely cool.

 


[00:38:45.130] - RJ Brown

Probably. Well, Cedar City is my favorite town to go to. Farm on always had a great event because the people there was a ton of people, but I I it was my home, but everybody was so used to it for me to go out of town. I love Cedar City. That sounds really, really bad. We rock callers, but the one event that probably lose stand out was the first Super Carl.

 


[00:39:13.550] - Big Rich Klein

Okay.

 


[00:39:15.060] - RJ Brown

It was here in Farmington, and I think there was 100 of us or 90 of us or something. And you had the best of the best involved in that. It wasn't a good event. It was just there was thousands of people. And that's when you had Walker events. That is, you just had so many of the I guess, big drivers involved in that one event. It was it was a big deal.

 


[00:39:47.170] - Big Rich Klein

Yes, it was a big deal, that's for damn sure.

 


[00:39:51.200] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:39:52.300] - Big Rich Klein

So what are you what are you up to nowadays?

 


[00:39:59.890] - RJ Brown

Nowadays? I quit quit racing when my kids started doing sports. Like I talked before, I gave up sports for to work, to do my cars and stuff like that. And so, in my mind, I didn't miss out. But I missed out. So all of my kids are really into sports. So I just put all my attention into their sports. All my kids are good enough. They're on travel team. So I spent a ton of money on that. I couldn't even have a budget. So you can try to raise if I wanted to.

 


[00:40:46.120] - RJ Brown

My son's football. I got daughters, volleyball, they travel. I got traveling soccer. Any parent that knows anything about traveling sports beyond school, you know, it adds up. It's a lot of fun, but it's definitely takes a lot of time. We're going a lot. So that's what I do. I just do my kids.

 


[00:41:10.460] - Big Rich Klein

Are you still involved with Brown fabrication?

 


[00:41:15.200] - RJ Brown

No. I ended up selling out to my brother, and he changed the name to tap work. So he has. I don't even know if it's even a Fab shop anymore, but he does so much razor stuff, so I closed it down. And then I kind of just didn't do much for a couple of years. And now I hope a buddy around a car lot that we sell all kinds of cars. We sell the normal cars, but then we sell. We got Ferraris and horses and old cars and 55 Chevies and old Corvettes.

 


[00:41:54.410] - RJ Brown

And so we do a lot of that stuff, too. Me and my son are building. What I call is OJ, Bronco.

 


[00:42:02.140] 

Nice.

 


[00:42:04.510] - RJ Brown

90. The Broncos. It's more pre runner. My son's 16. We've been working on this about a year, and with COVID, it was hard to build. We couldn't get no parts. So we got we got race seats, four race seats in it, and we got triple bypass fuck socks on it. Solo motor sports themes on it. We got threat Motor Sports extended arms on it. 513 years, 37 that I got from Lauren. Hey, they got Niros pre runner quarter panels, fenders. We put a six Chevy in it.

 


[00:42:52.580] - RJ Brown

So it's a pretty trick little pre runner truck for his first high school car, I guess.

 


[00:43:03.260] - Big Rich Klein

Is it runnable now? Is he driving it, or is it still in process?

 


[00:43:09.320] - RJ Brown

Still in process? Almost ready. And we waited eight. We waited six months for two of our Fox shots. We waited like eight months for the other two shocks parts. It's coming together pretty fast now. It's not quite the problem, but for the longest time, we were just sitting at one time. It took nine months to get the years for it.

 


[00:43:37.780] 

Wow.

 


[00:43:39.690] - RJ Brown

You couldn't even talk to anybody for so long, you know, because of covert and stuff like that. So that was she was supposed to be driving that at 15 at Men of the Truck. So you got something to keep the school and stuff, but we're pretty close to it firing off. If anybody's ever done an LS swap, I mean, you can buy the harness and it's got stickers all over. It tells you where to plug this in and plug that in. So it's not really that bad.

 


[00:44:09.410] - RJ Brown

Most of our custom stuff was our front beams and shock towers and stuff like that still needs a roll cage. And we'll probably get Randy at James to help us end up some pipe because I haven't done it in so long. One of my buddies that does it steal all the time. Help us out on that. And he'll be ready.

 


[00:44:37.190] - Big Rich Klein

Well, that sounds like a great vehicle for high school, for sure.

 


[00:44:43.040] - RJ Brown

Yeah, honestly, he's a good guy. He loves to go sit and go champion. Let's go on the middle of nowhere. And I mean, we just basically overbuilt in the ultimate go out in the middle of nowhere truck. And once he gets out of school, my goal is once he's done with sports and stuff like that is to try to get a side by side and do some of the smaller desert races and stuff like that and get back into it.

 


[00:45:17.230] - Big Rich Klein

Cool.

 


[00:45:18.440] - RJ Brown

I got to let him get through his fun and his teen years that he'll remember forever. And then we'll start kind of our own membranes again, you know, and try to get some racing done. So.

 


[00:45:35.180] - Big Rich Klein

Do you remember the was it Arizona out there at the By Campbells close to Campbell shop. That manmade. Course. I don't know if it was a season event out at Firebird Firebird.

 


[00:45:54.840] - RJ Brown

Yeah. Farber races.

 


[00:45:57.790] - Big Rich Klein

And then we all ended up at Campbell's. I don't know. It was Friday night or Saturday. I think it was Saturday night.

 


[00:46:05.000] - RJ Brown

Yes.

 


[00:46:06.860] - Big Rich Klein

That was quite the party.

 


[00:46:09.130] - RJ Brown

That was quite the party. So Campbell, Shannon and those guys, when they throw a party, they throw a party. So they called them Prada Ron. I believe his name.

 


[00:46:25.650] - Big Rich Klein

Yes.

 


[00:46:26.420] - RJ Brown

And that's been one of his sponsors forever. He is like the ultimate barbecue. And that guy, when he starts cooking, he can. He can Cook for hundreds of people. And they would throw a party. And it would be basically cater. Let's say all the beer, barbecue, moonshine, you name it. It was always there at his party.

 


[00:46:55.320] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. That was quite the party is from what I remember that night, from what I remember of it.

 


[00:47:01.360] - RJ Brown

That from whatever some of that we had to be told about the next day. That's it.

 


[00:47:08.580] - Big Rich Klein

That's when I realized that you and your brother were scrappers, too.

 


[00:47:13.200] - RJ Brown

Yes. That's been an issue for me for quite some time. But I ended up with the fight that place.

 


[00:47:25.860] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, wow. So let's dive into some memories, say, like that of those early years, things that made either Farmington or Cedar City just stand out. I know that there are some things that happened in Cedar City that led to a couple of guys getting Brandon. I think it was told never to come back.

 


[00:47:54.080] - RJ Brown

Yes.

 


[00:47:55.340] - Big Rich Klein

And then that was some crazy nights. There anything like that that you remember?

 


[00:48:02.860] - RJ Brown

No.

 


[00:48:03.520] - Big Rich Klein

You don't have to name any names and keep the innocence or the non innocent still innocent.

 


[00:48:11.070] - RJ Brown

I'll put a name out there. Randy Ellis. That guy can have some fun. And I have two stories for Randy that I'll never, ever forget. One is in Cedar City. And we were all partying at hotels. And the police came to tell us that we needed to all go inside our rooms. And he decided to tie one of the, like, your basic picnic table, the white plastic picnic tables, right. That everybody has. So he got one of those. And he tied it to the bumper of the cop car.

 


[00:48:56.220] - RJ Brown

So when the cop took off, he started dragging three people that were sitting on this table that was upside down. And they didn't know they're driving out of the parking lot, filling a picnic table with people on it, with people on it. And then they realize what they could hear. It screeching across the ground and they stop. And I think the cops they didn't get mad. They were such all that anybody would even think of tying a rope to the top car and being told like that they didn't even know what to do.

 


[00:49:34.600] - RJ Brown

Cedar City, small town, small town cops. And I'm sure they have lots of stories themselves. But that was one that they just didn't even know what to even do about it. And so stuff like that another time we were in Los Creases, and Randy had this big white dog, like a Husky type dog. Well, that night, everybody went to Hooters and they decided they were going to by the hottest thing that you could possibly buy. And no one could. Even. So they brought him back to our hotel, and everybody's like, I can do it.

 


[00:50:18.830] - RJ Brown

I can do it. And they all tried it. They couldn't do it. So they just took the whole Styrofoam thing and they threw it in the bushes, didn't think nothing of it. All of us are drinking. And then we realize that Randy's dog and ate them all.

 


[00:50:35.080] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, Jesus, all of them.

 


[00:50:37.870] - RJ Brown

And apparently, dogs don't sense spice or whatever. So nobody tells Randy anything. So the next morning, I see him, and I'm like, How's your dog? And he's like, how did you know my dog was sick? And I tell him about him eating all the wings. And this dog, I guess, was blow on both sides. It is his hotel room. And he didn't understand what was wrong with his dog because it's like, the perfect dog. And it is sick, sick from eating hot wings. Oh, wow. Yeah. So there's a lot of stories.

 


[00:51:13.020] - Big Rich Klein

But the dog survived.

 


[00:51:14.460] - RJ Brown

This dog survived. It was all good.

 


[00:51:16.650] - Big Rich Klein

We have to clarify that.

 


[00:51:18.330] - RJ Brown

Yes. He had a rough night. That's great.

 


[00:51:23.530] - Big Rich Klein

Did you ever get to Jellico, Tennessee?

 


[00:51:25.860] - RJ Brown

I did not.

 


[00:51:27.600] - Big Rich Klein

No, I didn't do any of the RA out there or anything. Okay.

 


[00:51:30.940] - RJ Brown

No, I never got that far. Most of mine was just waste a lot of California stuff. We stayed out through here. There was so much going on. We just really didn't have time to travel and make a lot of those because there is there for a while. I mean, it was two or three of all right. And it was all we could do. Just luckily worked on our own stuff. But it was all we could do to just keep up. So.

 


[00:52:06.500] - Big Rich Klein

What do you miss most about those days of the early racing or rock crawling.

 


[00:52:13.300] - RJ Brown

I guess, hanging out with all the guys, you know, back in the day. I mean, I guess we were serious. I mean, we spent a lot of money at it. We wanted to do good. But, you know, we all got together and every even there was no competitor this or that we were all friends. So, you know, we built all these big friendships and stuff like that, even though we were there to beat each other. But we gave each other transmissions and transfer cases and parts. And I guess what's the word?

 


[00:52:54.790] - RJ Brown

Come, Robert, it was just good, right? It wasn't so serious. I guess I have a serious on the trails and stuff, but around the obstacles. But I don't know, it wasn't quite as serious as it is now.

 


[00:53:14.060] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, I think you're right. I think guys, guys back in those early days wanted to beat each other on the rocks, not beat someone because they broke.

 


[00:53:26.480] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:53:27.630] - Big Rich Klein

You do everything they could to help your other competitor to get running again.

 


[00:53:34.690] - RJ Brown

Yeah. And I still see that the guys are still doing that. But I think it was a larger group of people that were really helping each other and giving away parts and stuff like that. I guess we were a lot. A lot of our vehicles are a lot of like to you got stuff like that on Jesse Haines buggy. We don't have any spirit. I got no spirits to help them. I would. But if I could. But you know what I mean?

 


[00:54:07.310] - Big Rich Klein

Right.

 


[00:54:08.180] - RJ Brown

One off buggy type stuff and you just can't even do it.

 


[00:54:13.780] - Big Rich Klein

I guess you can't even help guys out the way we used to because everybody was typically running the same basic motor packages or trainees and axles.

 


[00:54:26.360] - RJ Brown

I get it when someone finally got an Atlas transfer case, it was like, oh my gosh, that's crazy. I mean, we were still doing Tool Five and Twin sticking them and making our own stuff. Everybody was when this new stuff started coming out, you know, Curry Curry was huge. Curry was also one of the people that put a lot of or on all this stuff for a lot of people. He was a lot of health for a lot of people, too.

 


[00:54:59.100] - Big Rich Klein

Yes. A lot of innovation. Remember the fire Ant when it had the then I think he was the first one really using a suck down or at least the winch set up like he did, where, you know, there was pulleys and everything else going so we could control front and rear and yeah, it was pretty insane.

 


[00:55:21.760] - RJ Brown

Yeah. And then the water and the tires and we had steel shot the tires. I mean, every weekend we are trying to think of something some better way to to advance something because we just didn't have the technology. So we're poor man. It, you know. Yeah.

 


[00:55:41.030] - Big Rich Klein

Those early days, there was so much innovation.

 


[00:55:44.500] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:55:45.850] - Big Rich Klein

I think rock crawling really helped the aftermarket explode back in the early in mid 2000.

 


[00:55:58.380] - RJ Brown

Yeah. It's even like, you know, like I said, we started off with Super Swamper and everybody was buying their own tires. And then we got tied in with BF Good Ridge and started running the tolls. And then the when they wanted to. I guess that would be the start of the two. You know, they were sending us first. They started with, like, taxes, and they sent us these treads on a fact. And this is like Frank and Jeff Commons and Gary inner line. These guys really push the envelope.

 


[00:56:43.110] - RJ Brown

They must have a huge budget. So we started doing the tires, and they sent us a couple of sets of tires. One was called a GI Joe, and one was called a Hulk, had these crazy trade on there, and they had us cut our own tires, right.

 


[00:57:02.670] - Big Rich Klein

They start length blanks.

 


[00:57:06.110] - RJ Brown

Yeah. It almost look like a military old Willis Jeep tire. And we started cutting our own. And then kind of all came to an agreement on which one was a little bit better. So then they started trying to make them and BFG, they came to Farmington, and we had, like, Tracy, the citizens, Jason Pauly, all these guys that were involved in trying to make this tire. It was me and my brother, and they brought a semi load of tires. And we had since there is a couple of, like, Tracy's, Jeep and Poles, those are all the same.

 


[00:57:52.780] - RJ Brown

And then ours was the same as citizens. And so they had these big anchors, like fishing, weight anchor deals. And we would do pool tests. I try to figure out and you figure out that the tire was too soft so that your Nobbies would just turn over and run on the side so they wouldn't get traction, you know, because we didn't understand. We just thought stickier was better and it wasn't. It was like a fine line. And they had A-B-C-D. They still didn't let us know a lot of stuff.

 


[00:58:24.250] - RJ Brown

And they really put a a lot of effort into those tires.

 


[00:58:29.120] - Big Rich Klein

And they did a hell of a good job, too.

 


[00:58:32.120] - RJ Brown

Yeah, they did. And they got the best of the best drivers on them. And, you know, they dominated. And I've been in for so long, you know, you know, it was BFG, and they had the best drivers. And then you had the good year in all that stuff. I think good year is actually a little bit before the BFG, but they kind of it's all about budget, you know, right now we have no that's just throwing tons of money. And they got the best drivers. I think, honestly, I have a great tire.

 


[00:59:15.680] - RJ Brown

But when you start putting the best drivers on any of a good tire, I mean, you're going to see a little bit of dominance.

 


[00:59:22.460] - Big Rich Klein

I think both of those tire companies did a really good job of of providing tires to teams and then picking the teams to keep supporting.

 


[00:59:37.340] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:59:38.130] - Big Rich Klein

So that they kept winning. And then everybody thought, Well, I have to have that tire they did to beat them. And maybe it didn't really need to be that way. But nobody could understand that because, you know, well, all the winners are on those tires.

 


[00:59:57.240] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[00:59:58.080] - Big Rich Klein

Because they also pick the best competitors, whether it was whether it was the rock crawling, the racing, the rock racing or even in with with the ultra four racing style now.

 


[01:00:11.300] - RJ Brown

Yeah. And you watch. And then and then we had to came in to tires came in and we ended up going to Toyo. And, you know, we were just running just street tires just got truck tires because they didn't have anything ready. And then, too, they literally on a plane, sent me five tires. They slew five tires to farm to New Mexico for me to have their sticky compound tires. And they did that to Mark Burger. Who else there's? About a handful of us all got tires.

 


[01:00:53.600] - RJ Brown

We went to Salt Lake, and we dominated, and the tire was good. And then toil had a budget. They found the best drivers. They got the the best drivers. And they started podium, right. And, you know, that's just kind of, you know, you start dumping that. And B, they picked a few of the guys and they're still a lot of and they kind of kept those guys. But they built this aftermarket all the truck tires and all the stuff they did exactly what they intended to do, too, did the same thing.

 


[01:01:40.520] - RJ Brown

They dumped so much money into the tires and getting that tire built up, and everybody wanted to the toy Arca and, you know, Emtan. Then they kind of stepped back a little bit, and then you get their sister company jumps in there and it it's got the top drivers. Are they good tire. They're great tire. And they're a great company. And they got Chris on there. That is good to his people. And he's really easy to talk to. And they're doing exactly what they intended to do.

 


[01:02:19.480] - RJ Brown

They dumped a bunch of money, and it is selling the tires of selling them out of tires.

 


[01:02:23.820] 

Correct.

 


[01:02:24.860] - RJ Brown

And it's been fun to watch that. But the marketing and the money and you can watch them do it. And I think when they either what they spent and the money that they're getting in, they kind of backed off a little bit to these other tire guys. Maxxis always had really good tires, and they had to put drivers on them. But they never, I don't think, ever put that budget together to be able to get those top top guys. They did get some top guys, but not the big, large group, right.

 


[01:02:59.860] - RJ Brown

I think they could have done the same thing, but they just didn't have that paler status money to get more than just a couple of good guys. True.

 


[01:03:11.260] - Big Rich Klein

True. You're looking. Your son is 16 now, so two more years of school, two more years.

 


[01:03:18.870] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[01:03:19.170] - Big Rich Klein

Two more years, and then you get to and then he'll be not necessarily out of the house or on his own. But you'll be able to concentrate more on you and racing. Is that what you're saying or your daughters or older, right.

 


[01:03:36.780] - RJ Brown

I got older and younger daughters. My sports won't be totally over. But I'll have a lot less than a minute by then. So it's definitely my love, but it's got to be about timing. You know, I let my son do this in. You know, he's done with foot after high school. I mean, he's already pre beat up and he loves it. But, you know, he knows that football's over it after high school and it's he kind of knows my name plan as well. And we want to kind of do some of that stuff and and I have a younger daughter, they would probably want to do the same thing.

 


[01:04:22.200] - RJ Brown

So I just got to kind of sit back and let them do their thing and then I want to get back in it for sure.

 


[01:04:28.320] 

Excellent.

 


[01:04:29.990] - RJ Brown

And it'll be an off road type stuff for sure. I don't think I'll ever get back into the rock crawling part of it, but other than playing stuff like that, but after doing King the Hammers and the Rock person and then helping Mike Palmer go to Mexico and his trophy truck and helping all those guys down there, like, once that gets in your blood and it's hard to you have that need for speed. Yeah. You can't get that out. And I'll never have a budget to some of those teams and stuff like that that I've helped out, you know, through the years, I still kind of kept up with the pre running part of it and learned a lot of the pre running, learned a lot of pre running because the JT and different guys, the guys are pretty set up and know all that stuff really well.

 


[01:05:22.810] - RJ Brown

So I learned kind of by a pretty good group.

 


[01:05:26.820] - Big Rich Klein

Yes.

 


[01:05:27.490] - RJ Brown

And that's what I want to get into. And we would do a side by side. But I think a side by side is more expensive than even a class seven, you know, truck. But it's probably the best thing to try to learn on.

 


[01:05:41.780] - Big Rich Klein

I think so, because you can get there's a better chance of getting factory support or getting support out of it. The UTVs, they're like the tire companies back in the rock crawling days where they're willing to throw some money at it because they know it's going to help them sell units.

 


[01:06:01.300] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[01:06:02.170] - Big Rich Klein

That went on Sunday, sell on Monday type attitude up, and they're evolving.

 


[01:06:10.980] - RJ Brown

I remember all the Jeep stuff and all that stuff. And now you watch the side by stuff side by side guys and the stuff that's evolving with them. So they're just kind of getting started. Now you got side by side with 35 and Gary, they got so much stuff. Yeah. Portals, and they're just like on the Brink, it's just like the Jeep stuff and all that. When you start going to the extreme, they are producing stuff that's holding up. I mean, you got Arca that's making these first.

 


[01:06:52.510] - RJ Brown

Well, still, you know, you still got Lauren and all these guys running these CDs, but now they're making them for the side by side. They don't have enough power to break those things, right?

 


[01:07:02.840] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. The old days of the gorilla axles for the UTVs is kind of over.

 


[01:07:07.880] - RJ Brown

Yeah. That's just your weekend warrior guy. It buys those. You start getting this other stuff and they're expensive, but you'll never buy another one type deal. I mean, it's crazy. The technology these companies are making and the materials that they're making. I always had Jack making my axles and my join. That guy was so far ahead of the game as well. With this 300 M and all that stuff you're like.

 


[01:07:35.440] - Big Rich Klein

What is that, you know, Unobtanium.

 


[01:07:39.840] - RJ Brown

Yeah.

 


[01:07:41.150] - Big Rich Klein

So true. So true when you can take something small and make it so strong that it won't break, like, 300 Am axles. I'm looking at that on this Cherokee that we're building right now with a six in it. It's like, Do I really need Sixties or can I stick to my 44 and just put 300 M 35 spine axles in there? I'm thinking that way. So it's lightweight.

 


[01:08:09.000] - RJ Brown

Yeah. You don't the materials, like I said, and then you got the cryo and heat. Do you even make those better? I mean, they got it's crazy how they're making that stuff so much smaller and so much stronger.

 


[01:08:27.080] - Big Rich Klein

So is there anything that we haven't touched bases on that you'd like to to talk about or that you can think that our listeners might enjoy listening to? I.

 


[01:08:39.690] - RJ Brown

Mean, I guess we kind of went through the whole build of this. I mean, obviously we missed a lot of stuff, but we we hit a lot of good memories and a lot of people. I mean, I could mention names for ever on why this sport is where it's at. I mean, there's just a ton of guys, and there's only a small little group of these guys that are even still in it, and they're trying to, you know, Shannon is still in it, but he send that over to his kids.

 


[01:09:16.640] - RJ Brown

They're really good racers. And Shelley on. I mean, it's cool to see all these kids coming up. I didn't know all of them, but the ones that I've seen, I still remember him being carried around with their parents. Yeah.

 


[01:09:34.390] - Big Rich Klein

Daily Campbell.

 


[01:09:35.930] - RJ Brown

Yeah. They're having kids of their own, and I'm like, wow, I've been around a long time and all this and it's really fun to watch.

 


[01:09:48.330] - Big Rich Klein

Yes, it is.

 


[01:09:49.560] - RJ Brown

And I love the Camel family and stuff like that probably the closest to them, but I still I still watch these other kids that are coming up, you know, that their dads race or whatever. And it's really cool to watch. I love that. I didn't, but I did love to watch that girl that just repeated here. They went off the edge.

 


[01:10:14.590] - Big Rich Klein

Caitlin born. Yes.

 


[01:10:16.510] - RJ Brown

She's awesome. I don't even know her.

 


[01:10:20.570] - Big Rich Klein

But they just started competing a couple of years ago. Her dad did, and then she decided she wanted to drive. So he spots her. After that big tumble, she took off of that rock there in Farmington. Everybody was really panicked. And first her microphone came unplugged so her dad couldn't hear her and was panic that she was knocked out. And as soon as he gets there, she sticks her head out of the out of the Jeep and goes, Somebody better gotten that on film.

 


[01:10:53.090] - RJ Brown

Yeah. I was standing right there and I'm like, She's badass. I love to see that. I mean, it's kind of this hammy down stuff like, you know, these up and coming kids that they have no idea what they're just getting themselves into. They're just starting.

 


[01:11:13.690] - Big Rich Klein

And that is so cool to watch and to know that the sport is going to continue.

 


[01:11:20.540] - RJ Brown

Yes. Yes for sure.

 


[01:11:22.410] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah.

 


[01:11:24.200] - RJ Brown

It's never going away at times. It may be bigger than one year. Then next, maybe not. But it's still a life and it's not going to be stopping and that's I like that right.

 


[01:11:37.570] - Big Rich Klein

Exactly. And we had land and Brown out there who is eight years old and just the cutest kid. He gets up there on the podium and he reads his list of sponsors and thanks, everyone. And it's just eight years old and he does it better than the adults.

 


[01:12:03.360] - RJ Brown

Yes. Yes. And all that is so fun. I'm glad you're still doing all this. And this stuff is still going on and this rock problems still going on. You know, I know, like the Ultra Four and all that stuff, but that's so out of so many people's realm being able to do that stuff and and having that rock calling and it's still active. And, you know, I started from the first view and is still going after all these years. It's it's good to see.

 


[01:12:38.050] - Big Rich Klein

I agree. I agree. Well, RJ, I want to say thank you so much for coming on and spending a bit over an hour and talking about your life in motor sports and offroad and rock crawling and racing. And I want to just say thank you for always being that friend. Every time we come in to Farmington. I know I can come find you and we can sit in and talk or you come out to the events if I don't have time to make it into town. And it's always nice to see you and your brother.

 


[01:13:16.910] - Big Rich Klein

So I want to say thanks.

 


[01:13:18.560] - RJ Brown

Well, thanks for having me. And it is. And I hit on that. I mean, we have a group of people in this community in this offroad community that are like friends for life. I don't even have to talk to you for a year, two years, whatever. But when I see you, we could just pick back up. And there's so many people like that. And I'm sure it's the same for you. You've been everywhere, you can't see everybody all the time. But when you go to a talent.

 


[01:13:46.150] - RJ Brown

And you see that one guy you're like, hey, how you doing? And it's just like you never miss the date.

 


[01:13:52.510] - Big Rich Klein

It's true.

 


[01:13:53.790] - RJ Brown

And that's how this community is the offroad community.

 


[01:13:57.300] - Big Rich Klein

And I am so thankful for that and the enable to make it a lifestyle. Yeah, I hope and more people get involved with it.

 


[01:14:11.460] - RJ Brown

Yeah. You know, I'm sure that's what pushes you. I mean, you've been doing this a long time and it's a lot of work, and I'm sure there's many times you're like, I'm just done. But when you have that, you have that right every Monday morning like, yeah. And you see these people and you're like, okay, one more. One more because I love these people. So it keeps you motivated.

 


[01:14:37.460] - Big Rich Klein

Agreed. Alright. Rj, thank you so much. And good luck in the future. I hope you get your son's PreRunner done shortly and he gets a chance to enjoy that and has fun in high school. And then I hope you guys have fun raising.

 


[01:14:54.780] - RJ Brown

Yeah, you too. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

 


[01:14:58.390] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. Thank you.

 


[01:14:59.660] - RJ Brown

Thank you. Bye. See you. Bye.

 


[01:15:02.660] - Speaker 1

If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating. Share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. Hope you enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big rich.

 


[01:15:20.200] - Big Rich Klein

Thank you very much.