BIGFOOT’s Jim Kramer Leads 2012 Hall of Fame Class

(Hazelwood, MO – Team BIGFOOT PR) – Legendary BIGFOOT driver Jim Kramer, one of the most successful and pioneering drivers in the history of monster trucks, led the 2012 class of inductees into the International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame this past weekend in Auburn, Indiana.

Kramer, who now joins longtime-friend and BIGFOOT creator Bob Chandler in the Hall of Fame, was the only member of the 2012 class to receive the virtual unanimous thumbs-up for induction from the voting committee, not to mention the overwhelming support for his induction from the industry and its fans on the whole.

Jim Kramer received the most votes of any nominee in the 2012 IMTM Hall of Fame Class.

With 2012 being Kramer’s 30th anniversary with the BIGFOOT team, nearly half of which was spent in the spotlight as one of the team’s most successful drivers, it is fitting that a man who has contributed so much to both his team and industry should find himself inducted into the Hall of Fame in only its second year of operation.

Kramer began his career with BIGFOOT during the mid 1970’s, when he helped Chandler create the parent company that would eventually give birth to the BIGFOOT fleet of trucks, Midwest Four Wheel Drive & Performance Center in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO. After selling his stake in the company and taking a hiatus from the 4-wheel drive industry for a few years, Kramer returned at the beginning of the 1980’s to help Chandler campaign his growing fleet of BIGFOOT trucks, which were beginning to gain traction in the public eye.

The popularity of BIGFOOT soared in the 1980’s, largely in part due to Kramer’s aggressive driving style and charismatic on-camera personality that left the competition both frustrated, and admiring. In 1985, Kramer won the first-ever side-by-side monster truck racing event at the New Orleans Superdome, thus setting in motion the wheels that would carry the monster truck industry from a side-show halftime act at tractor pulls into a full-fledged legitimate motorsport.

Not only was Kramer at the tip of the spear as the team’s lead driver for most of the 80’s, but he also was the team’s point man for bringing up new talent through the ranks, a job that he still maintains to this day. Kramer also was and still is a huge proponent of monster truck safety, and his notable contributions include assisting in the development and testing of BIGFOOT #8 in 1989, which set a new standard for both driver and fan safety at the time of its debut.

“I’m extremely honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, alongside some of this sport’s truly great personalities,” said Kramer in a post-ceremony interview. “It truly humbles me to receive this recognition not just from the fans, who thank goodness have always stood by me, but from my peers and associates as well. I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to everyone.”

Jim Kramer delivers his acceptance speech at the 2nd Annual IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

After accepting his award in the midst of a standing ovation, Kramer, who is well-known for his smooth delivery and collected demeanor when speaking in public, was notably moved during his acceptance speech. In fact, his voice could even be heard cracking a couple of times as he described the sacrifices that 30 years of racing has demanded from him, including time away from his family while campaigning BIGFOOT full-time in the 80’s.

“Jim is a great friend, a great competitor, and all of us at BIGFOOT are very proud of him, and very happy to see him enter the Hall of Fame after contributing so much to this sport,” said BIGFOOT creator Bob Chandler. “I’m extremely happy for him, he truly deserves this; he’s definitely earned it.”

With the 2012 Hall of Fame weekend having drawn to a close, Kramer will now shift his focus forward towards the 2013 season, which now stands less than two months away.

“We’ve got a lot of work to get done before we head out on the road and start racing again in January,” said Kramer. “We’ll be fielding at least one new race truck during the first quarter of 2013, possibly even two. And that’s not to mention BIGFOOT #20, the world’s first electric monster truck, we’ll likely be doing some stuff with that as well, seeing as how popular the truck was at the SEMA show during its public unveiling.”

“Who knows,” added Kramer, a wry smile crossing his face. “I might just suit up one more time and see what that electric truck’s got.”

For more information on Team BIGFOOT, check them out online at www.Bigfoot4x4.com!

Monster Photos: IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion – Auburn, IN 2012

Event: 2nd Annual International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion
Venue: International Monster Truck Museum @ The American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: November 3rd, 2012
Photographer: Danny Maass

Hall of Fame Class of 2012: Jim Kramer (BIGFOOT 4×4), Mike Welch (Super Pete/Monster Mash/etc), George Carpenter (Promoter/Safety Director/Official/etc), Pablo Huffaker (King Krunch/Just Show’n Off/Grave Digger/etc), Dennis Anderson (Grave Digger) [Read more…]

TMB TV: Highlights – 1st Annual IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion

Event: International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion
Venue: International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame @ American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: November 18th-19th, 2011
Videographer: Colby Marshall, Chris Parrish, Kaedon Berry

1st Hall of Fame Class: Bob Chandler (BIGFOOT), Jeff Dane (KING KONG), Dan Degrasso (BEAST), Everett Jasmer (USA-1), Fred Shafer (BEARFOOT), Jack Willman (TAURUS) [Read more…]

The Allen Report: IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2011

(Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

It’s important to preserve the history and rise to fame of the monster truck industry so that the next generation of fans can see for themselves how the sport started. Auburn, Indiana’s own Jeff Cook of Shotgun Harry intends to accomplish this by doing two things: operating a museum preserving historic monster trucks and, starting with the inaugural induction ceremony held on November 19th, 2011, hold an annual Hall of Fame ceremony. This year’s ceremony was a big success with over 250 people attending and nine historic monsters and two active monsters on display for all to see.

The first class of Hall of Fame inductees included: Bob Chandler of Bigfoot, Dan Degrasso of Beast and Everett Jasmer of USA-1 (who each had their original monster truck creations on display at the museum that night), Fred Shafer of Bearfoot, Jack Wilman Sr. of Taurus and Jeff Dane of King Kong and Awesome Kong. Fred was unable to attend the event, so Scott Hess of Hercules and a Team Bearfoot driver, filled in to accept the award on Fred’s behalf.

TMB Contributors Jim & Christopher Allen stand in front of the legendary USA-1 at the 1st Annual IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Other trucks on display as well as those mentioned above were John Nowacki’s Mud Monster, Allen Tura’s Goliath, Allen Pezo’s Predator 1, Eric Howe’s High Horse and Tod Weston’s Black Knight and Kid KJ’s Monster Bear. As each individual was inducted into the Hall of Fame, a video tribute was shown highlighting their career. Each then got an opportunity to share their feelings and a story or two. Some members of the first class explained where the names of their trucks came from and others why they stepped out of the spotlight and/or sold their trucks. In the end, every new member of the Hall of Fame got a standing ovation from the crowd.

At long last, the careers of the men above, billed as “The Originals” in monster truck history have had their careers come full circle. As far as the future is concerned, Mr. Chandler is focused on the debut of Bigfoot #18. Mr. Jasmer is looking to carry on with his deal with Chandler Lloyd and possibly sell the entire USA-1 operation. Mr. Degrasso just may end up deciding to bring the Beast back into the public eye as a modernized truck with a tube frame and nitrogen shocks.

To find out more about the museum or plan a visit, check out www.MonsterMuseum.org. On that note, until the first quarter of 2012, thank you for reading, thanks to Jeff Cook and the entire IMTM staff for their wonderful hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

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TMB TV: Behind the Scenes – IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Auburn, IN 2011

Event: International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion
Venue: International Monster Truck Museum & Hall of Fame @ American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: November 19th, 2011
Videographer: Ross Z. Bonar

Lineup: Beast (Dan Degrasso), USA-1 (Everett Jasmer) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: IMTM Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion – Auburn, IN 2011

Event: International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reunion
Venue: International Monster Truck Museum @ The American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: November 19th, 2011
Photographer: Danny Maass

Hall of Fame Class of 2011: Bob Chandler (BIGFOOT 4×4), Jeff Dane (King Kong), Dan Degrasso (Beast), Everett Jasmer (USA-1), Fred Shafer (Bearfoot – Scott Hess accepted on his behalf), Jack Willman (Taurus) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: GasGuzzy.com Fall 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge – Auburn, IN 2011

Event: GasGuzzy.com Fall 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue: American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: October 15th, 2011
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Lineup: High Horse (Eric Howe), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Mud Monster I (John Nowacki), Nitecrawler (Andy Hoffman), Predator 1 (Allen Pezo), Predator (Lenny Kuilder), Shotgun Harry (Jeff Cook), The Hawk (Jeff Cook) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge – Auburn, IN 2011

Event: GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue: American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: June 11th, 2011
Photographer: Paul M. Harry

Lineup: Adam’s Off Road Performance, Excaliber (Tim Bush), High Horse (Eric Howe), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Iron Reaper (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler (Andy Hoffman), Predator 1 (Lenny Kuilder), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Andy Hoffman/Jeff Cook), Tall Cool 1 (Rick Romanini), The Hawk (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Ricky Romanini) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge – Auburn, IN 2011

Event: GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue: American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: June 11th, 2011
Photographer: Michael Harry

Lineup: Adam’s Off Road Performance, Excaliber (Tim Bush), High Horse (Eric Howe), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Iron Reaper (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler (Andy Hoffman), Predator 1 (Lenny Kuilder), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Andy Hoffman/Jeff Cook), Tall Cool 1 (Rick Romanini), The Hawk (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Ricky Romanini) [Read more…]

Monster Photos: GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge – Auburn, IN 2011

Event: GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue: American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: June 11th, 2011
Photographer: Rajeana Bonar

Lineup: Adam’s Off Road Performance, Excaliber (Tim Bush), High Horse (Eric Howe), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Iron Reaper (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler (Andy Hoffman), Predator 1 (Lenny Kuilder), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Andy Hoffman/Jeff Cook), Tall Cool 1 (Rick Romanini), The Hawk (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Ricky Romanini) [Read more…]

TMB TV: MT Unlimited Episode 2.5 – Auburn, IN 2011

Event: GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue: American Heritage Village
Location: Auburn, Indiana
Date: June 11th, 2011
Videographer: Colby Marshall

Lineup: Adam’s Off Road Performance, Excaliber (Tim Bush), High Horse (Eric Howe), High Maintenance (Jocelyn Perrin), Iron Reaper (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler (Andy Hoffman), Predator 1 (Lenny Kuilder), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Andy Hoffman/Jeff Cook), Tall Cool 1 (Rick Romanini), The Hawk (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Ricky Romanini) [Read more…]

TMB TV: ActionTracks Episode 1.8 – Year In Review

Event: 2010 Year In Review
Host: Chris Parrish
Videographer: Chris Parrish

Lineup: All of the best action you’ve seen on ActionTracks in 2010 featuring some of the best trucks in the world! [Read more…]

TMB TV: ActionTracks Episode 1.7 – Auburn, IN

Event:  GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue:  American Heritage Village
Location:  Auburn, Indiana
Date:  October 16th, 2010
Host:  Chris Parrish
Videographer:  Chris Parrish

Lineup: Iron Reaper Tank (Rick Romanini), Live Wire (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler Tank (Andy Hoffman), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Rick Romanini) [Read more…]

TMB TV: MT Unlimited Episode 1.4 – Auburn, IN

Event:  GasGuzzy.com 4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue:  American Heritage Village
Location:  Auburn, Indiana
Date:  October 16, 2010
Host:  Colby Marshall
Videographer:  Colby Marshall

Lineup:  Iron Reaper Tank (Rick Romanini), Live Wire (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler Tank (Andy Hoffman), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Rick Romanini) [Read more…]

4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge – Auburn, IN – 10/16/10

Event:  4×4 Off Road Truck Show Challenge
Venue:  American Heritage Village
Location:  Auburn, Indiana
Date:  October 16th, 2010
Photographer:  Laura Parrish

Lineup: Iron Reaper Tank (Rick Romanini), Live Wire (Rick Romanini), Nitecrawler Tank (Andy Hoffman), Predator (Allen Pezo), Shotgun Harry (Jeff Cook), Uncle Slam (Rick Romanini) [Read more…]