Your average active 83-year-old man might be found on a golf course, or perhaps joy-riding his bicycle to stay fit, but Bob Motz is far from average. Motz is a legendary jet vehicle racer that has set signs on fire, been on fire, and isn’t interested in slowing down on or off the track.
If you think about it, Motz should be considered a national treasure based on his racing resume and the joy he brings to drag racing fans across the United States. Motz and his son Scott built the Kenworth that he pilots from the ground up that’s wrapped around the General Electric J79 jet engine the truck uses for propulsion. Motz still owns the world record for a jet truck with a 6.45-second rip at over 232 MPH — that’s moving for something that’s as aerodynamic as a refrigerator and really heavy.
What keeps Motz motivated and making passes? The answer to that is simple: he loves the thrill of going fast and putting on a great show for his fans. Motz and his fire-breathing truck leave an impression on anybody that’s ever seen it run. The Kenworth has burnt down the sign behind the waterbox at Summit Motorsports Park a few times, grudge raced other jet-powered vehicles, and it paved the way for future jet truck builds.
If you’ve never seen Motz run his truck in person, you really need to before he hangs up his helmet for good. In the meantime, check out this cool video from Living Nitro that shows the truck in action, and hear the iconic Motz himself talk about his racing career.