Top 10 Desert Racers of All Time

Our Top 10 Desert Racers of All Time celebrates the ‘Fastus’ through da’ Cactus!

Malcolm Smith
Malcolm Smith

7. Malcolm Smith
Should the great Malcolm Smith be higher on this list? Perhaps. But there’s no doubt that the grinning one is mostly synonymous with desert racing on the strength of his starring role in Bruce Brown’s iconic motorcycle film, On Any Sunday. True, Smith’s career had skyrocketed in the motorcycle industry long before then, as he partnered with JN Roberts to win the motorcycle class in the inaugural Baja 1000 in 1967. Smith added a second Baja 1000 win to his resume in 1971, and he also has a Baja 500 win from the same year (he won more Baja titles in four-wheeled vehicles as well) He was also a major catalyst in the proliferation of the Husqvarna brand in America. Even so, Smith is more of a jack-of-all-trades in off-road racing than a true desert specialist. Yet it is hard to deny an AMA Hall of Famer who remains an ambassador to the sport of off-road racing to this day.