By David Crowley
If you’re at the UTV Takeover in the Oregon Dunes vendor area this week, it’s difficult to miss this single-seat show-stopping vehicle. Rugged Radios’ own Steve Bechard is behind the wheel, but to him and many others, this car is much more than its flashy-retro colors, tight turns, and loud exhaust.
Ron Bechard, Steve’s older brother who worked at Funco Motorsports, passed away in 2012 –– but his avid love of off-roading lives on with his friends, family, and desert community. Ron and Steve always had a special connection as brothers, but they had a strong connection to offroad vehicles too. Thus, everyone agreed there was no better way to honor his legacy than with a build, since racing had always been Ron’s passion since starting at only four-years-old. Choosing a Polaris RS1, since it was most reminiscent of the single seat platform Ron once raced, they began the build. Nonetheless, they set out to do their best to “keep it looking old school,” just as Ron had with his single seat car.
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@ruggedradios SS1 Funco Build in the dunes at @utv_takeover ・・・ Rugged Radios transformed a @polarisrzr RS1 into a @funco_motorsports SS1 race car. #ruggedradios #nv_fab #workraceplay #polaris #polarisrzr #funco_motorsports @gmzraceproducts @lonestarracing1 @rcvperformance @nv_fab @stevebechard919 @buggywhipinc @prpseats @factory_utv @kchilites @fox
The RS1 turned out to be the best place to start as well, since, as a single seat vehicle, it’s designed with solely the driver in mind –– providing a heightened sense of control and larger range of visibility perfect for racing. Greg Cottrell was the driving force behind making this dream into reality –– even ceremoniously handing the keys to Steve at the reveal. Now finished, the car is equipped with all sorts of upgrades –– from FOX shocks and a PRP Alpha seat, to GMZ 30-inch tires and KC lights. Additionally, they added Lonestar Racing long travel suspension with 3 1⁄2’’ per side to widen the overall stance and stretch the wheelbase to more closely mimic Ron’s original car.
Yet, the most meaningful additions are in the details. On the back left side, you can see a Diet Pepsi sticker –– as for anyone who knew Ron well knew his dedicated love for Diet Pepsi, too. Keeping the retro style uniform throughout, the other sponsor stickers are from older logo’s as well, jibing perfectly with the light blue and checkered siding that finishes off the look.
Ron lived for his family and his passions, so in the end, the car was quite the fitting homage to his life, as for him, racing was always a family affair.
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Hey Racer Steve, we will be right off your passenger side with the @gopro running. What does Steve do? Takes a hard right to make sure we are awake! Steve is driving a nimble RS1 and we are in a XP4 in the tighter radius…. SMH #PolarisRZR #UTVTakeover @stevebechard919 @ruggedradios
- Polaris RZR RS1
- FOX shocks
- Lonestar Racing Long Travel kit
- PRP alpha seat
- RCV axles
- Walker Evans Racing forged wheels (dirt)
- BFG 30” tires (dirt)
- Factory UTV UHMW Skid Plate
- AIM dash cluster
- KC Hilites Pro 6 lights
- Buggy Whips LED whip flags
- GMZ paddles (sand)
- Fuel bead lock (sand)
- Rugged Radios RM60
- Rugged Radios Single-seat Bluetooth SS-WM1
- Rugged Radios Mac 3.2 fresh air blower
- Boondocker Exhaust
- McQueen Fiberglass
- NV Fab