On Episode 152, a Man with Many Talents, Marty Fiolka, Wearing Many Hats


Interested in the secret sauce?  You’re going to have to listen to it all to hear the incredible history of Marty Fiolka, Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee in 2014. Marty has had experiences we all dream about.  Listen in to catch them all, this is what we call a life well-lived!


4:18 – the first real seed of, Oh my God, Motorsports is so cool!

13:11 – I learned that craft with some media things and then parlayed that into a job

23:25 – there was no easy portal to the sport

29:11 – we had to promote it as an offroad cultural hub

35:21 – in the end, how much did we move the needle in offroad racing?

41:25 – it’s a fascinating history and it’s a fascinating people

46:45 – a lot of the history helped to roll out the Dirt Sport magazine too

55:05 – a couple of stories I am most proud of; Robbie Pierce getting started; the Baja 1000 Commemorative one, and ….

1:02:28 – …as a career defining moment, I think Crandon is at the very top

We want to thank our sponsor the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame – Legends live at ORMHOF


Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


[00:01:15.660] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Marty Fiolka. Marty is an accomplished writer, magazine editor, marketing professional, movie producer, offroad racer, and a 2014 inductee into the Offroad Motorsports Hall of fame. Marty, thank you very much for agreeing to spend some time with us and talk about your history.

[00:01:39.780] – Marty Fiolka

It’s a pleasure, Rich. I’m looking forward to this chat. I really appreciate the opportunity to come on and talk about all things off road racing and what we’re involved with.

[00:01:49.610] – Big Rich Klein

Exactly. Let’s start at the very beginning and let’s tell the listeners where you were born and raised.

[00:01:58.700] – Marty Fiolka

I was born actually in Toronto, Canada. My parents were both… My dad was a German immigrant. My mom was an Austrian immigrant. They met there and I was born there. When I was a year old, my father, mom, took me cross country to Los Angeles in a Porsche 356 with a little trailer on it. I was basically raised in Northern California, just south of San Francisco for my whole life through high school.

[00:02:26.890] – Big Rich Klein

Okay, just south of San Francisco. Now you’re talking my neighborhood. I grew up in San Bruno, California. Where were you?

[00:02:35.440] – Marty Fiolka

Pacifica. I grew up literally right over the hill.

[00:02:38.000] – Big Rich Klein

From you. I lived there for a number of years as well over in the Lindemar.

[00:02:45.310] – Marty Fiolka

Area. yep. No, I’ll surf there quite a bit when I was a teenager. So that was my stomping grounds, too.

[00:02:51.340] – Big Rich Klein

All right. That’s awesome. So then going from Canada to California and the Coast, like you said, you got into surfing. That area that we’re talking about, Pacifica, it’s part of the metropolitan San Francisco Bay area, but it’s small, especially from our age. And when you got there, it was pretty small. What was it like growing up there?

[00:03:21.240] – Marty Fiolka

It was before the time of obviously all the e-commerce, the Silicon Valley, that wasn’t there. I felt very fortunate to grow up in a place where we were right on the Coast and you could go south and go to Santa Cruz. There was some offroading going on up there. There was surfing, obviously, going on. And then San Francisco is just a pristine city to grow up. I can’t imagine a better childhood. I really loved it. And like I said, it was still beautiful. And there were beautiful places to live, but it was not like it is today. But you can still go down the Pacifica. I go through Halfmoon Bay, past Mavericks, and there’s still a lot of that wonderful farmland to the ocean all the way to Santa Cruz. But it was about surfing and Volkswagen. That’s what it was about. Exactly. That’s the culture I grew up in.

[00:04:17.170] – Big Rich Klein

What year Volkswagen did you have?

[00:04:18.740] – Marty Fiolka

My dad actually worked for Robert Bosch, for Bosch Parkway. We were immediately ingrained in European cars. My first race I went to was a 1971 can am race at Laguna Seca, which was the first real seed of, Oh, my God. Motorsports is so cool. And I got to meet the drivers and he knew a lot of Porsche guys. So I started building my first Baha bug when I was, I think, 15. So I took some time to have my driver’s permit and got into that part of it and started working for a guy who was racing in VORRA and got exposed a little bit to the offroad races, had raced up at Sacramento. And my favorite was Virginia City when we raced up there and eventually got to drive a little bit. But then reverted back to building California street cars, too. I had one of those. I was all about hands on building stuff. And like I said, the Volkswagen platform was awesome for somebody like me.  READ MORE

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