For several years Local Motors have been making a highly respected name for themselves with their innovative self-build Rally Fighter where clients fly out for a week in Phoenix and under supervision bolt together their own off-road performance vehicle. Renowned from the outset for pushing the envelope the team have now opened a new premises in the party capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada.
I came to visit a day after the opening party so the workshop was full of discarded party paraphernalia with effervescent owner Bobby running around trying to organise cleaning up, taking stuff back from the SEMA show and a photo shoot all at once. But I didn’t mind though as the atmosphere was very relaxed, even homely. There was absolutely no pretension. The organised chaos belied what this company is really about though. Ideas. Lots of ideas. And lots of plans to make those ideas reality. Adam Keiser was on hand to tell me exactly what those ideas are. “The Rally Fighter is designed for the desert so the area around Las Vegas is perfect for that, but also here we can offer the complete family package, while the guy is working on the car is girlfriend or wife can be enjoying what the city has to offer. We’ll keep the Phoenix factory as the fabrication point and concentrate on assembly here and we also want to do something a little similar to the Land Rover Experience where we actually take people out into the desert and teach them what their Rally Fighter can do. Although people love to drive them down the Strip these are seriously capable off-road vehicles, there’s not much you need to do to be able to race in something like the Baja 1000.”
As well as the company the cars themselves are also evolving. “We’re getting more and more requests for luxury and personalised interiors and we’re working on designs for the third-generation car now, starting with upgrading the front end. We’ll have angled control arms to absorb jumps better, which will be more in line with what you’d see in a purpose-built off-road truck. And we’re working on ways to move the radiator back. Also plans for a completely new project are starting to gravitate together. We have a concept for a two seater buggy which we’re thinking about either having full electric or hybrid. But right now it’s just ideas, we’ve not sat down to decide anything hundred percent yet. We’ll do it the same way we did the Rally Fighter though. We’ll have a CAD design competition and the winner will see their design built!”