Variety is the stuff of legends, hear from the master, Ned Bacon, about traveling the world, writing, drawing, competing, and where that landed him. At home now on the ranch in Nevada, Ned has some tales to tell, including managing an 80 car collectors museum. Listen in to Episode 113 on all your favorite podcast channels.
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Conversations with Big Rich on your favorite Podcast Player
3:15 – I’ve been a gearhead and a car nut as long as I can remember
11:13 – I think I would have been way safer on a motorcycle
23:29 – then I grew up and put it back to stock
39:13 – I discovered this ad in a magazine about crossing Africa in a 4WD
51:18 – he actually went out and looked at my Jeep, Pewe was the first one
1:04:55 – I got started in the magazine industry drawing Cheap Tricks
1:31:36 – we were meeting our match, and our vehicles were definitely meeting their match
1:44:23 – everything changed in 2010
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
[00:01:20.170] – Big Rich Klein
On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Ned Bacon. Anybody who’s been around the four wheel drive industry or as an enthusiast should know about Ned, at least prior to 2010. He’s kind of quiet on the off road front nowadays, but we’re going to get into all of that. Ned was one of the original competitors into rock crawling and made a mark early and wheeled with some of the greatest off road Legends there are. So, Ned, thank you for coming on board and spending some time, and let’s have a conversation.
[00:02:00.430] – Ned Bacon
Thank you, Rich. It’s great to be here. It’s an honor to be asked to do this.
[00:02:05.470] – Big Rich Klein
So let’s talk about your beginnings. And where did that all start?
[00:02:12.910] – Ned Bacon
Well, I was born in Reno, Nevada, but my family I grew up on a cattle Ranch in the Carson Valley, which is about 50 miles south of Reno. Little towns of Minden and Gardnerville, which aren’t so little anymore, but they’ve sort of grown together. But I still live in that area. I’ve been all over the world and traveled quite a bit, but I always seem to come back to this area, and I’ve always called it my home.
[00:02:43.970] – Big Rich Klein
You know, there’s something about that I’ll never go back to where I was born and raised, and that’s the San Francisco Bay Area on the Peninsula. It’s just way too crowded for me.
[00:02:55.290] – Ned Bacon
Don’t blame you for that.
[00:02:56.780] – Big Rich Klein
I had no choice in where I was born, you might say, but it was a great life when I was young. It was a great area living near parks and stuff. But you grew up pretty rural. So let’s talk about those early years.
[00:03:12.090] – Ned Bacon
[00:03:13.050] – Big Rich Klein
What did you guys do?
[00:03:15.130] – Ned Bacon
Well, growing up on a Ranch, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I mean, I had 400 acres of country to just tear up, learned how to do so at an early age. Also was right up against the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. So there was a lot of trails and roads and hiking and stuff to fool around on up in there, too, that I discovered at an early age. And Lake Tahoe is right over the Ridge there, so all of that is very close to the east. I had the Nevada desert that spreads out forever. You can pretty much still drive all the way from home to the Utah border without touching pavement other than crossing a few of them. And I’ve done that several times. It was just a wonderful playground and of course, being on a Ranch, lots of mechanized things to learn about at an early age, and I definitely indulged in it. I’ve been a gearhead and a car nut as long as I can remember. And my dad was also a car guy collector. More than anything else. He amassed a pretty large anti car collection during his lifetime, and he was not mechanical.
[00:04:38.350] – Ned Bacon
I don’t think he knew which way to spin a wrench, but he knew a lot of the histories and things about various automobiles. And I spent a lot of time scouring the country with him at a very early age, early 60s, looking in barns and people’s backyards and dragging prewar cars home on trailers and watching him build his collection. But I definitely had more of an interest in how things worked and how to take them apart. Right.
[00:05:14.750] – Big Rich Klein
Let me ask a couple of questions about the car collection. So he was just amassing cars and was he flipping them or just, like, keeping them as a Museum, keeping a lot of them.
[00:05:26.910] – Ned Bacon
When he passed away in 2010, he had 116. Wow. And I’ve still got about 80 of them that I’m maintaining today. And they’re all in a formal Museum type setting nowadays, but it’s by private appointment only. I do a lot of car clubs and people coming through and personal people that gather a group of friends and ask for a tour, and I’ll give a personal tour. I’ve done four or five of them this month already. So, yeah, that was something I grew up around. He mainly focused on really early stuff, 1910 to 1930.
[00:06:08.810] – Ned Bacon
Which is still what the core of the collection is. He was a car guy. He was very knowledgeable of the early stuff. He was a judge at the Pebble Beach Concourse for about 30 years, was very involved in all of that. So it was kind of a side by side show with me. He never understood my offroading interest or my sports car racing interests, which we’ll get into. But he was always doing his car shows and his car club stuff and that kind of thing. And we intermixed sometimes, but not all the time. READ MORE