Bigfoot, introduced in 1979, is regarded as the original monster truck. Other trucks with the name "Bigfoot" have been introduced in the years since, and it remains a well-known monster truck moniker in the United States. Bigfoot 4×4, Inc. is owned and operated by its creator, Bob Chandler.
A former construction worker from the St. Louis, Missouri area, Chandler began building the first Bigfoot in 1975, using the Chandler family's 1974 Ford F-250 four-wheel-drive pickup. Chandler had been using the truck for off-roading on weekends and found that automotive shops in the Midwest generally did not carry the parts needed to repair his frequently-wrecked 4×4. To remedy this problem, Chandler and his wife Marilyn, along with friend Jim Kramer, opened a shop called Midwest Four Wheel Drive and Performance Center in Ferguson, Missouri (later moving to Hazelwood, Missouri) which remained as Bigfoot's headquarters until 2015 when the headquarters was relocated to Pacific, Missouri. The truck was used as a rolling billboard for the shop, adorned with the various accessories Chandler sold in his new shop.
The truck's first attention-grabbing modification came when Chandler heard of an idea proposed to the US Army of making steering capable on both axles of their four-wheeled vehicles, so that in the event of breakage in the front axle, it could simply be switched with the rear axle and held straight with a pin so that the vehicle could resume regular use with steering. Chandler decided to test that theory on his truck, but in addition would actually enable steering on the rear axle. The end result was an innovation in automotive technology – the "4×4×4," or a vehicle with four wheels, four-wheel-drive, and four-wheel-steering.
In 1979, Chandler started making appearances at truck and tractor pulls, as well as car shows, with his newly christened "Bigfoot" to show off the truck's capabilities as well as to promote his shop. The truck's growing popularity led to its appearance in the 1981 Gus Trikonis film Take This Job and Shove It (which also features the early monster truck USA-1 credited under a different name).
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