The founder of NORRA, ORMHOF, and “off-road” Ed Pearlman is remembered in Episode 189


Ed Pearlman was ahead of his time, creating the first Mexican 1000 which later translated into NORRA; he founded the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, as well. Today we remember him with a conversation with his son, Mike Pearlman. Ed is why we say; legends live at  Be sure to tune in on your favorite podcast app.


3:10 – we never saw a Land Cruiser before, it was a real Tarzan vehicle back then.

8:18 – if we can only get 60 entries, at $100 an entry, that’d be enough to pay for the event

11:37 – you misunderstood, this is the Off Road Rally Association, it’s not a race, it’s a rally

22:11 – why don’t we just put on a vintage race?

34:43 – it all started because Dad wanted to take his kid hunting

Special thanks to for support and sponsorship of this podcast.


[00:01:15.250] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, I’ll be talking with Mike Pearlman about his dad, Ed.

[00:01:21.480] – Big Rich Klein

Mike and Ed had lived the life of Offroad. Ed was the first to organize the Mexican 1000, co-founded NORRA, founded the Offroad Motorports Hall of Fame, was a 1978 inductee into ORMHOF, the Offroad Motorsports Hall of Fame. And we’re going to talk all about the history of Ed and into Mike, and we’ll probably do Mike in a separate show. But Mike, it’s really good to have you on the air here and talking with me.

[00:01:55.090] – Mike Pearlman

Thank you, Rich. Thank you. Yeah, I have a lot of information. I go way back, starting back when I was like 14 years old, got into the offroading. Here we are today. I’m 75 and still doing it.

[00:02:13.900] – Big Rich Klein

You’ve been at it quite a while then. Absolutely. You got started a lot earlier than me. I was in my 20s, and I’m only 65, but a few years behind you and not the storied history that you have, that’s for sure. Let’s talk about your dad. Okay. He’s the founder of a lot of things. We’ll get into all of those things. But first, where was he born and raised?

[00:02:42.520] – Mike Pearlman


[00:02:43.900] – Big Rich Klein

Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. All right. I have to ask, how was his… I know that you weren’t there with him yet, but I know that I heard that he fought in World War II. I believe he was a Marine.

[00:03:04.520] – Mike Pearlman


[00:03:05.700] – Big Rich Klein

And can you give me some background on his early life?

[00:03:10.720] – Mike Pearlman

Well, he went into the Marines, and he was some a mechanic that worked on Jeeps. He worked on the old military Jeeps, I imagine, and had a little niche for the off-road stuff. Then after, he went down to Baja one time, and after he got out of the service and had a good time, and that was it until later in life, I was born and I became 14 years old and dad wanted to take his little kid hunting. He said, Well, if we want to go hunting, we need to have an off-road car. Let’s look for a Jeep. We lived in Tarzana, California. One day we were driving down Ventura Boulevard and there was a FY40 Toyota Land Cruiser parked on the side of the road. This was like 1964-ish, okay? Okay. And we said, Louis, what’s that? We never saw a Land Cruiser before. That was like nobody had them back then. And it was in front of the Edgar Rice Burrows estate who made the movie Tarzan. And so I imagine that was a real Tarzan vehicle back then. And it was for sale. We looked at it and dad said, Okay, we’ll buy it.  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.