January 20, 2016

The Rippin' Rooster Will Fly Again In 2016
-- Redistribution of the Azunia Racing PR announcing the return of Jim Riley and the 1956 Chevy to the 2016 NORRA Mexican 1000 --
-- Hot Rod Magazine and Roadkill Magazine Articles on the 2015 NORRA Mexican 1000 --

(Upland, Calif. - January 7): For those of you familiar with the vintage 1957 Chevrolet sedan bodied desert racing car known as the Rippin Rooster, rest assured that it will be back better than ever when the 2016 NORRA Mexican 1000 takes place April 23-27. If you are not familiar with the car, owned by racer Jim Riley, you should check out the story of the 2015 NORRA race in the January 2016 issue of Hot Rod Magazine, or a lengthy 11 page story in Roadkill Magazine issue #2, on the newsstands now. You will also find stories at several online magazines, and posts to Face Book: Jim Riley, Twitter: @azuniajim or Instagram: @jimriley68 and @jimrileyracing.

When we last saw the Rooster, it was looking a little worse for wear. Sections of the rear body work were torn off during the Mexican 1000 and the crew had to source a junkyard motor in the wilds of Baja, Mexico just to make it to the finish line. Just six miles from the finish, the donor engine died too. After towing it to the finish area, the crew and a few enthusiastic fans pushed the car across the line. It didn’t count as an official finish but it was a moral victory for a team that refused to quit.

Looking at what remained of the car, many feared the Rooster’s wings had been clipped for good but one of the millions of fans who were following the team’s race was Lucas Hand of Mutt & Jeff’s Hot Rod Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada. Before the team had returned to the United States, Lucas had reached out to Jim Riley, letting him know he had a rear clip and any trim pieces he would need to put the car back together again. “I was going to make a couch out of it,” said Lucas, “Now it will be back in service eating up miles of Baja terrain on the way to La Paz instead of sitting in a living room.”

This won’t be the first time the rear clip has been replaced on this celebrated race car. It had 1955 body panels on the car when it was originally built by Larry Schwacofer in the 1980’s. The car competed against some unique vehicles in what was class 6 at the time, the Production Sedan class. There were Chevy Nova’s, an El Camino, even a SAAB driven by Swede, Arnie Gunnerson. The Rippin’ Rooster took home over 40 Class 6 wins, including five at the Baja 1000, and nine points championships. The good news is that the Rippin Rooster will be back, better than ever.

The car is being re-built with the rear clip from Lucas and a long list of the best off road parts available. General Tire, Method Race Wheels,Rigid Industries, Lucas Oil, GQ-6, MSD, Red Kap, Kreed Eyewear, Magnaflow, and Rugged Radios; the same parts that Jim Riley runs on his Azunia Tequila Spec TT race truck that competes in the Best In The Desert series. Jim Riley created the Spec TT class and is going for his second class championship in 2016. The engine issue on the Rippin Rooster has been solved as well. Under the hood will be a Chevrolet Motorsports LS3 V8. The Rooster will be Rippin’ and rumblin’ in 2016.

You can check out the Hot Rod Magazine article online here: Wrecking and Racing a 1957 Chevy at the 2015 NORRA Mexican 1000 Will Change Your Life. The article in Roadkill Magazine is on newsstands now. You can also find information all over the web and social media. The car’s overhaul and NORRA Mexican 1000 race in 2016 will get additional print and web exposure in addition to regular press releases. Jim Riley’s Azunia Tequila Spec Trophy Truck racing season will also be covered in press releases and on social media in 2016. Go to and sign up for the newsletter for the latest information and links to other content.

About Jim Riley / Azunia Racing

It takes 8 to 10 years for the Weber Blue Agave plants used in Jim Riley’s Azunia tequila to reach the perfect state for harvesting. Premium tequila can’t be rushed, but that’s not the case when it comes to Azunia Tequila Racing. Jim Riley competes off-road in the Best in the Desert series in a specially constructed, tube framed, General Tire shod, and V8 powered race truck. He also drives a vintage 1957 Chevrolet sedan, The Rippin’ Rooster, in the NORRA, Mexican 1000 race each year. Azunia Tequila has been distinguished as one of the best and so has Jim. He has won some of the toughest races in off-road including Vegas to Reno and the Baja 1000. He also has a championship title in the 6100 / Spec Trophy Truck class that he worked to establish. The class has become one of the most competitive and popular classes in all of off-road racing. Jim’s racing exploits are regularly chronicled in publications and in his mass-media and social networking campaigns.





With the Eras firmly in place, NORRA has further clarified its rules for each of its respective classes. The rulebook is posted online at If you have any questions, please contact us.



Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, rally cars, a limited group of modern desert racecars and classes for prerunner trucks and buggies.

Pearlman’s late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970s.

The General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 is supported by General Tire, American Racing Wheel, South Point Hotel Casino, Walker Evans Racing, Azunia Tequila, KC HiLites, Bilstein Shock Absorbers and Mastercraft/Impact Safety.