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The man who coined the term Off-Road.

Pete Condos is the man who coined the term Off-Road. He was one of the major organizers behind National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA), International Desert Racing Association, the Off-Road Drivers and Owners Association and the Off-Road Equipment Association (OREA).

Steve McQueen’s ‘Queen Manx’ dune buggy, from ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ was built to spec by Pete Condos.

Born on May 8th, 1925, Condos grew up in the suburbs to the north of Chicago. He spent many hours of his young years at a local speed shop learning the skills needed to customize cars, making them into hot rods. At the garage, he helped to hop up Model A’s and B’s. During this time, he took additional classes and earned his certification as a welder, which would further allow him to modify cars. His time spent at the garage came to a quick end with the beginning of World War II.

In 1942, he joined the United States Navy. He served in the Pacific on the U.S.S. Nevada as a seaman. After the war, Condos returned to the Chicago area. He completed his high school education and resumed his interest in hot rods. On the GI Bill, he started attending classes for a degree in Commercial Arts; however, his interests kept drawing him back to the vehicles. He began building and racing roadsters and coupes. His first Roadster being a 1934 Ford that he completed in 1948. He became a charter member of Andy Granitellis Hurricane Hot Rod Racing Association. In 1948 Pete moved to Southern California… read more >

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