Living Large, Ellis Grove business builds monster trucks

ELLIS GROVE -- Surrounded by the farm fields of Ellis Grove is one of Randolph County’s uniquest - and not locally well-known - businesses.

Concussion Motorsports co-owner Rich Inman is shown in his shop in Ellis Grove on Monday. Inman, along with his wife, Shannon, have built more than 20 monster trucks, including one of the biggest names in the business - Bigfoot.

Concussion Motorsports, co-owned by Rich and Shannon Inman, builds, repairs and makes parts for monster trucks, with more than 20 built thus far.

“There’s only four or five of us in the whole world that do this,” Rich Inman said. “The big show in St. Louis was this past Saturday and I was expecting several trucks to be out in the driveway (Sunday).”

Inman told the Herald Tribune how he got started building the massive machines.

“I ended up going over to Australia and racing a truck over there for a guy,” he said. “He ended up buying it and he wanted some parts, we started building stuff, the word got out and we’re still doing it.”

Among the Inmans’ clients is Bigfoot 4X4 Inc., whose founder, Bob Chandler, created the original monster truck in 1975.

The Inmans have built the chassis for two of the famed Bigfoot models, with a third - Bigfoot 22 - currently under construction at the Ellis Grove shop.

“We were actually the first people to build a truck for them,” Inman said. “They’ve still got such a big fleet of trucks and they don’t have time to build them.

“Honestly, we had a customer’s truck that had a Ford Super Duty body on it, like what (Bigfoot) uses, and I heard rumors that (Bigfoot) was looking at us about building them one. So, I just called them and said ‘Hey, I want to bring a chassis and stuff up to you and see what you think.’

The meeting went well.

“We went into the office and had a meeting and by the time we left, they bought one,” Inman said.

With a price range in the ballpark of $150,000, the vehicles aren’t cheap. The sport is similar to NASCAR in that sponsor support helps truck owners with the cost of competing at races, shows and special events.

“We can work as fast as your pocketbook,” said Inman, who later added that he has a build crew of three to five people, including himself. “If somebody’s got the money to put it down, we can do a turn-key truck ready to drive out of here and go to a show in three months.

“We can do a chassis in two weeks.” - Inman

Source of News: The Randolph Herald County Tribune, By Pete Spitler,
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