Off-Road racing is approaching its 50th anniversary, finally making it old enough to enjoy and celebrate some of its history. The effect that NORRA has had on the idea of restoring and racing vintage off-road vehicles is a welcomed revival of fantastic stories of man mastering machines to take on the seemingly impossible task of racing and winning a off-road race consisting of hundreds miles of brutality.
For Todd Richards growing up in east county of San Diego, childhood heroes weren’t limo riding baseball and football stars. They were off-road racers with fantastically capable vehicles that seemed to defy gravity racing through the roughest desert terrain possible.
Designed by Bryan Kudela and built by Jerry McDonald for the famed Team MacPherson, this truck is known affectionately as “Little Mac” due to it being the little brother of the “Big Mac” Trophy Truck. Built in 1990, it was designated chassis number 907 with the intention of racing the competitive class which at the time was a proving ground for manufacture backed mid-sized trucks.
Little Mac’s first race was the SCORE 250 in Imperial Valley. The truck was purchased in June 2015 by Todd Richards specifically to race the NORRA Mexican 1000 and restored in just 13 weeks after sitting for nearly 10 years untouched. When Best in The Desert announced they were launching a vintage class starting with The Mint 400, Todd chose to race The Great American Off-Road Race as well.
After 26 years “Little Mac” is still winning with recent wins at 2016 Mint 400 and BITD Laughlin Desert Classic in the vintage class, as well as SNORE’s Rage at the River in 7S. “Little Mac” is another constant reminder of the era of factory race teams in off-road racing. I still find it weird that Chevy and other manufacturers don’t see the same value in these vehicle that we do but off-road racing has alway thrived on the self sufficient do-it-yourself attitude.
TODD RICHARDS’ LITTLE MAC 1990 CHEVY S10
Current Owner: Todd Richards, El Cajon, CA
Builder: Jerry McDonald Team MacPherson
Chassis: 1990 Chevy S10 truck ID #907
Weight: Dry weight 4,300 lbs
Wheel Base: 124.5″
Track Width: Front 73″, Rear 70″
Front Suspension: Team MacPherson design double A- Arm, dual rate sway
away torsion bars, 9″ travel
Rear Suspension: Team MacPherson design leaf spring with 2 anti wrap bars,
Shocks: Rear Fox 3.5 5 tube bypass 1 per wheel, Front Original 26 year old
Bilstein 60mm 3 per wheel
Engine: 4.3 V6 sleeved to 4.0 for SCORE rules, NASCAR bottom end, dry
sump, Vortec steel heads built by Shaver Specialties
Transmission: Turbo 400 built by Competition Drivetrain
Rear Axle: Ford 9″ Axle by Jeff Lewis, Summers Brothers hubs and axles, 9″
rear gear 5.83 ratio by Competition Drivetrain
Fuel Cell: 35 gal. Fuel Safe
Steering: Team MacPherson Chevy Saginaw box with ram assist. Hand made
steering centerlink and idler/pitman arms
Wheels: Original American Racing Wheels with Trailready beadlock rings
Paneling: Team MacPherson
Lighting: KC Hilites HID
Navigation and Communications: Lowrance GPS – 2 and PCI radio and intercom
Wiring and Plumbing: TRM Motorsports
Safety: Masterctaft 3G seats, Simpson belts and DJ safety on board flame
Cooling: PWR and Setrab coolers
Headers and Muffler: Team MacPherson
Extras: This truck was built in 1990 as a square body S10, rebodied in 1993 as a ZR2 and raced by Team Macpherson by Jerry McDonald and Jeff Lewis until 1995. It was raced by Eric Hardin until the early 2000’s and purchased in June 2015 by Todd Richards. The truck was restored in 13 weeks
after sitting for nearly 10 years untouched. Recent wins at 2016 Mint 400 and BITD Laughlin Desert Classic in Vintage Class and SNORE’s Rage at the River in 7S.
Todd would like to thank his Wife Tonya and daughter Taryn, assembly and prep wizard Chase Wolters, John Maraia at Competition Drivetrain, Fox Shocks, PCI and Scott Steinberger, ORW, BFGoodrich and our Plaster City Desert crew.
For sponsorship inquiries for this legendary truck contact TRM Motorsports
or Todd Richards on Facebook.
Photography by Vincent Knakal of Mad Media
Mint 400 Photo by Boyd Jaynes