BFGoodrich has had a remarkable program for years supporting racers, especially in Baja. Listen in as Rich talks with Richard Winchester about all things BFG. Richard was at the start of the program and gives some great insight to how they built up Baja and why.
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3:14 – Sliding into the cornfield
5:38 – then Uncle Sam sent me an invite for a visit to Korea
8:13– don’t wake the sleeping giant
9:30 – this performance stuff is a fad
14:50 – got the first lifetime membership out of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
21:28 – the start of the BFG Baja pits program
31:32– the people I count on to run the pits include my wife and daughter
32:54 – when things don’t go right in Mexico
35:09 – the developer of the rock crawling tire, Gary Interline
52:27 – we can’t have an influencer if they don’t know our products
1:01:31 – we were kind of just winging it
1:04:24 – Danny saved the party
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
00:00:01.080] 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’s the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation. 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.
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[00:01:20.160] – Big Rich Klein
On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Richard Winchester. Many, especially if you’re in the BFG program as a competitor or have been around BFG tires or ran them. You probably know Richard, he was with BFG for many years, has been retired and handed over the reins to others. But we’re going to talk to Richard about his life in off road. So, Richard, thank you very much for coming on board with us and talking about your history.
[00:01:53.000] – Richard Winchester
OK, well, I don’t know exactly where to start, but I’ll just start back a long time ago, back when I was, I guess, a teenager wanting to drive and well prior to having a driver’s license, put it that way.
[00:02:07.400] – Big Rich Klein
Well, first of all, where did you where did you grow up?
[00:02:11.390] – Richard Winchester
OK, I grew up in Monroe, North Carolina. All right. That’s right outside of Charlotte.
[00:02:17.090] – Big Rich Klein
So the home of NASCAR. Got it. Hey. Yes. Yeah. I guess you could say that. Yeah. And when did you you got involved with auto automotive as an early age did back when you were going to school, did they have they had tech classes and stuff? So were you involved in automotive tech classes, like in high school or anything like that?
[00:02:45.320] – Richard Winchester
Actually, in high school, our high school did not have an automotive tech class, OK, so I was learning mine on the side, basically hanging around a local.
[00:02:58.220] Not really. I don’t guess you could call them hotrod or performance shops because they weren’t really. In other words, it was a really a working garage. They had somebody in it that was a hot rod and did hot rod stuff in the evening, just stuff like that.
[00:03:14.810] Very familiar with that. Yep. So that’s where I learned and I guess it started out really that earlier age with model cars and that kind of got me hooked. Won a trophy one time with a model car that kind of hooked me even more. But as time went on, I just before I had my license, I bought my first car and it was a 56 Chevrolet six cylinder automatic. I didn’t have my license, so I would beg. My mother I promised all sorts of stuff to get her to take me to my grandmother’s house, where there was about a mile dirt road behind her house. And I would spend many, many hours, riding that Dirt Road between a cornfield and a tree line back and forth, I don’t know, I guess you might say that’s where I got started and dirt. But when I went to Fast Round the corner, one day, I slid out into the cornfield, realized that was fun.
[00:04:20.140] Then then I my dad had a real serious discussion with me about how much of the cornfield field I destroyed.
[00:04:30.460] But I don’t know, I guess you could say that might be when I started learning about dirt. But later on, in fact, after I had my license, I had another fifty-six Chevrolet. This time it was a 301 with a Muncie 4 speed. And my first racing effort was in that car on a dirt drag strip, believe it or not. Wow. OK, where the usually the car with the most aggressive I mean, mud and snow tires was usually the winner, had a pretty good time with that, but trying to go to school, trying to work part time and all that.
[00:05:07.630] So it was what it was I guess, you know, around the southeast it was definitely some dirt stuff going on. Most of it was dirt tracks to the drag strip or roundy-round. And I kind of I guess, you know, in into that stuff. But I guess I was in the street racing to which a lot of us did a little bit of street racing and won’t get into that much other than I had a pretty bad ass SS 396, 65 Chevy Impala.
[00:05:38.500] And it was pretty bad ass and there is a lot of us got that letter from Uncle Sam saying he wanted me to visit him. So I spent three years in the army. In my third year there was in Korea and in Korea on top of a mountain site with a bunch of guys and you kind of get bored. So we usually had to go to the bottom of the mountain site at least once to twice a day. So why not start timing ourselves, so I had the fastest time up the hill.
[00:06:16.580] In a 5/4 military trucks. So so even an army that can keep me out of the dirt, I guess.
[00:06:22.670] But did you get any cornfields in that? No, no cornfields there. But we did roll one over. I didn’t know the guy rolled one over. We got it up right here to no one at the bottom, no one at base camp ever found out what happened. So that was good. And they anyone to get an army, of course, and my good story is I was going to school working and my dad came home from work one day and sat down at the kitchen table and told me, he said, OK, I’m tired of you majoring in party and it’s time to do something, so he give me a card.
[00:07:06.780] And it was a new Goodrich store was going to open up about 20 miles from us. And he said, go see this guy and he’ll put you to work until Uncle Sam drafts your ass. And that’s pretty much what happened. I went to work for Goodrich for one year, got drafted, did my three years, came back, went right back to work for the same guy. And for the next six or seven years, I kind of worked a retail Goodrich stores around Southeast along the line there know they came out with a radial , actually radial tire came out while I was in Korea and were in the army anyway, but. READ MORE