Ken Block made you look twice. And then he made you look again. What he could do with a car wasn’t something that could be taken in at a glance.
Be it on a round of the World Rally Championship, dominating another American Rally Association outing or in one of those epoch-defining Gymkhana episodes, KB caught the eye.
The live watch was extraordinary, but Block and his Hoonigan crew always understood there was more to what they were doing than the stage-side appreciation. If the last week has taught us nothing, it’s taught us of a truly global appreciation of Ken.
As Lewis Hamilton told his 31 million Instagram followers: “He was such an amazing person, always lived life to the fullest… So much talent behind the wheel. Years ago we had an amazing time skiing and snowboarding in Canada. We had so much respect for each other. He will be truly missed and my thoughts and prayers go to his beautiful family. Gone too soon. Rest in peace, Ken.”
The world loved KB.
The world loved to look twice. And then again.
In the past week here at DirtFish, we’ve found ourselves looking over and over again at some of the most extraordinary pictures ever.
These were pictures taken by Hoonigan Racing Division and selected for the media by Ken himself. He understood our industry from every single angle.
Across the next three days, we’re going to bring you three amazing galleries of pictures from every aspect of what KB did. But Wednesday’s pictures will be the most special, they’re all about the man himself.
Today we’re starting with the KB the most millions saw: Gymkhana Ken.
And when we say Gymkhana Ken, we really mean Mustang Ken.
That 1965 Ford Mustang RTR Hoonicorn V2 was a beast when it broke cover with 850bhp. But when Ken’s gang bolted a blower either side of the V, things went a bit bananas.
Even the stationary pictures of the Mustang capture the latent fury of this thing beautifully. The heat rising off each Garrett turbocharger is stunning.
The car was, of course, the star of Gymkha 10, KB’s ultimate tire-slaying tour. But in addition to tearing up the streets of Motor City, the car was also found at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed in 2018. The Duke of Richmond’s house frames the smokin’ ’Stang fabulously.
Before Goodwood came the real hillclimb: Pikes Peak and Climbkhana. Nobody – not even Romain Dumas in a record-busting all-electric VW – has done America’s Mountain like KB did it.
Adding some South African Gymkhana Grid action and the uber-cool 1977 Ford F150 Hoonitruck and you’ve done day one.
It would be easy to go to Colorado and Pikes Peak, but no. I’m on the streets for this one. To be more precise, the corner of West Lafayette Boulevard and Grimswold – bang outside the American Coney Island diner in downtown Detroit.
And, as usual, Ken’s directing us.