Go Off The Beaten Path With These 11 Extraordinary Films
Going off-road is some of the most fun you’ll have in a vehicle. I’ve personally played co-driver in the Parker 425, mastered Moab passes, and conquered frozen terrain. And the more I go off-road, the more I realize: I know nothing about going off-road.
Ok, I do know a little bit: listen carefully to the experts—many of which are seen in these films.
Why is the Chevrolet Corvair such an overlooked classic? It’s not from a lack of trying—as a publicity stunt, General Motors sent a few down to the Darien Gap, a small land mass between North and South America that’s classified—and always has been—as “impassable”. How did the Corvair do?
“One of my favorite things about this vehicle is the total pure utility of it,” says Josh Commons, “…the only creature comforts—apart from a heater—is that the seats are padded.” One of our favorite films is of Commons and his Toyota FJ—his “rugged companion”.
If you’re going to build vehicles that are capable of traveling anywhere, it’s good business to allow newbies to sample off-roading in a controlled environment, and failing that, at least information on how customers can go off-road safely. Here’s Toyota’s, called Getting Through.
Land Rover Under Control is another instructional film, only from Land Rover and made a little later—with computer graphics!
Our film on this Land Rover Series III is one of our favorites because if follows a simple formula: great vehicle, great owner, great location.
Against The Grain shows a Porsche 356 getting through some gnarly terrain, happily bouncing along as it conquers roads barely fit for a Ford Raptor. Bravo!
Shot by a BBC crew at the Rally 1000 Lakes Finland in 1973, this short film is a good primer on what international rallies looked like in the ’70s. Well worth the watch.
In Britain, the U.S., and other countries, the Hare Scramble is an intense—and intensely-loved—form of two-wheeled competition. Here, relatively ‘tame’ footage from the UK sits beside a huge event held in the U.S. Mojave Desert.
This Defender, a ‘she’, is named La Poderosa, meaning, “the powerful”, a name was given to the truck by a group of men who used to watch over a parking lot where the Land Rover was parked at night. The great thing about La Poderosa? When she’s not parked, she’s out driving in the middle of nowhere.
You’ve heard of the Baja 1000…right? This short film, 27 Hours To La Paz, details the first race to La Paz from Mexico, and
Thumbnail image by Jeremy Heslup