Class 3 Champion Don Moss on Episode 176


There’s never a direct path to the finish line. Don Moss started in Demo Derbies, raced Circle Track and then found his way to Class 3 Championships. If you’ve ever wondered how to get into off-road, this is what it’s all about. It’s a great listen, be sure to tune in on your favorite podcast app.


7:50 – It’s a long ways to any parts stores in Bishop

13:28 – I think I was in college before I bought a car that I actually drove home

25:53 – we figured out how to save the cars and how to build the cars and what cars to start with

32:15 – each time you add a person, you add about 30 minutes to your departure time

44:19 – we talked about what it would take to do a 2000 mile race and came up with the ’79 Bronco

52:49 – we’ve got five of the Toyota True Grit awards for finishing all the miles of all the races in the season

56:26 – we’re never going to be able to catch anybody to hit anybody

Special thanks to 4low Magazine and Maxxis Tires for support and sponsorship of this podcast.


[00:01:38.940] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Don Moss. I met Don around 2003 when I took over VORRA and the Valley Off Road racing Association. I know he’s been racing different vehicles for a lot longer than that. Don races Class III with a full-size Bronco. I think it’s still the original 1979 Bronco, but we’ll find that out. He has over 50 wins in that class, in the Class III with that Bronco. Don, thank you so much for coming on board and going to spend some time talking about your life.

[00:02:20.710] – Don Moss

That sounds good. Good to be here.

[00:02:24.010] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. I got to see you a couple of years ago at SEMA. I was already doing the podcast, and your truck was in a Bronco section outside.

[00:02:38.960] – Don Moss

That’s right.

[00:02:40.140] – Big Rich Klein

You were talking to some… It looked like some people from one of the big media outlets or something at the time, and I waited until you were done. But it was good to see you, and I asked you about doing the podcast then, and you said you would. And then I finally got you on the list here and got you to say you could do it. So we’re glad to have you on board. I’m going to ask you the first question that I ask everybody, and that’s where were you born and raised?

[00:03:07.680] – Don Moss

I was born in Lancaster, California, and spent the first eight years… My dad ran a big alfalfa farming operation between Boron and California City. Oh, wow. And it’s been… I think about 1969 or so, they shut that down, and then we moved to Bishop.

[00:03:37.780] – Big Rich Klein

Okay, in Bishop California. That’s there on the east side of the Sierras. If nobody has been through there, it’s a beautiful drive from Reno to Southern California down that 395. Absolutely gorgeous drive. I know you were in Sacramento for a while, I think, because that’s where I met you when we were racing Vora. But we’ll get to that. What was those first eight years like? Do you remember being down in Lancaster?

[00:04:15.210] – Don Moss

Oh, I do. I do. He was farming 1,200 acres of alfalfa there, so we had… Anybody who’s been in the California city area, it’s a wide-open desert, so I wandered all over the place around there, had a go-kart and bicycles, of course. But yeah, that got real familiar with the desert then. We had actually still have an old Jeep, a CJ2A, that my dad, we would go out in that all the time. So we were constantly in the desert exploring and stuff.

[00:05:03.520] – Big Rich Klein

So the CJ2A, those are the old military style Jeeps, which most everybody here listening to this podcast would know that, of course. You bet. But you don’t, by chance, still have that in the family, do you?

[00:05:19.780] – Don Moss

We do. Yeah, we do. It’s not running now, but I rebuilt the engine in it when I was 15, and then my brother got a hold of it and painted it and ran it around for quite a while. But from about the time I was 12 or so, I took that over and did a lot of exploring around the ranch here in Bishop.  READ MORE

Follow Big Rich

SHare this article

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.