Mickey Thompson Challenger IV Restored – race-deZert.com

Mickey Thompson Challenger IV Restored

“Built in 1977, Challenger IV was the brain child of none other than Speed King, Mickey Thompson. Always the innovator, while everyone else in the off road racing world built VW powered race cars with 10″ of wheel travel, Challenger IV was built with a monster V8 and suspension travel that nearly doubled its competition. MT was never satisfied with the norm, that’s why he always used the best parts available on his racer. On the rear of Challenger IV you’ll find 41” shocks, unheard of in those days, or even until the mid 1980’s. The innovation from this vehicle can be seen in the form of shock, tire and suspension technology in today’s off road racing vehicles. Challenger IV was raced from 1978 to mid 1980, and then replaced with the more advanced Challenger V.

Rory Ward Challenger IV UnrestoredAfter Mickey and Trudy’s untimely death in 1988, Challenger IV made its way up to Eugene, Oregon and has remained there for the past 17 years, sitting in a loft, waiting patiently for restoration.”


Interesting note, it was on RDC that I found the picture attached that lead me to finding this racer…… -Rory Ward

Owner:Rory Ward
Challenger IV
Built by: Smokey Allerman, John House, Bruce Parrish and Danny Thompson.
383 Chevy, C&R radiator, REF Unlimited headers, Howe PS, Kroyer pulleys, Holley fuel system.
Transmission:Gearworks 2 speed power glide
Front- 2.5 King smooth body
Rear-  3.0 King Coil Over
Seats & Safety:
Custom Mastercraft “Suspended” suspension seat/belts, Titanium trans scatter shield.
Rear Axle:
Magnesium Dana 60 prepped by Sandy Cone, Halibrand knock-off hubs.
Brakes:Wilwood calipers and rotors
Saginaw prepped by Howe Performance
Front- Centerline 15×7.5
Rear-  Centerline 15×9
Front-  MT Baja Belted 33×14.50×15
Rear-  MT Baja Kings
Original-  Cibie Oscars
NORRA-  Baja Designs XL Pro Squadron LED’s
Powdercoat-  Allcoat
Aluminum Body-  Nye Frank
Wing-  Zoom Factor (Larry Stork & Scott Neth).
Special Notes:
Wiring: TRH Wiring
Plumbing: Earls Performance
Ignition:  ACCEL
Fuel cell:  Pyrotect (44 gallons)
Torsion bars:  Sway-a-way
Filters:  K&N Filters
Special thanks:  Collins Motorsports, Pete Corwin, Bear race cars, Curt Leduc, SBP Motorsports, MT Tires and Lyndy Thompson.



  1. great restoration Rory !!! Ive had the great pleasure of seen this piece of off-road history several times!!

  2. Ive had the pleasure of seeing this car in action at the mint 400 when my family and i were there doing support for glen emery was an awesome car along with the before its time for wheel independent suspintion on glens jeep someone needs to restore that jeep too as way ahead of its time

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