Ken Block, rally and gymkhana driver and co-founder of Hoonigan, has passed away
We are saddened by the news that Ken Block passed away today. He was 55. Confirmation of his death comes from Hoonigan’s Instagram account on January 2, which announced that Block was involved in a snowmobile accident. The post reads:
“It is with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today.
Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband.
He will be incredibly missed.
Please respect the family’s privacy at this time while they grieve.”
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Block was a co-founder of DC Shoes and raced in Rally America starting in 2005, most notably behind the wheel of Subaru’s WRX STI. He co-founded Hoonigan with Brian Scotto and continued his rally racing career in the World Rally Championship and also competed in FIA World Rallycross.
The car world at large took notice of Block after his Gymkhana videos became viral smash hits starting in 2008. His gymkhana-style driving, seemingly always on the edge, was a contrast to his calm demeanor and poise behind the wheel.
In 2010, Block began partnering with Ford Performance—a relationship that would last 11 years and involve a wide range of outrageous Mustang, Focus, Fiesta, and F-150 builds. Most recently Block worked with Audi, including the all-electric “S1 Hoonitron.”
In addition to his automotive exploits, Block competed in skateboarding, motocross, and snowboarding events.
An entire generation has been inspired by Block’s incredible driving and positive attitude. Our thoughts are with Block’s family and friends at this time.
For a portion of the audience this is like losing McQueen (to contextulise this for the Hagerty crowd that skews older/more traditional in tastes).
Thank for that context. It certainly does put it into perspective for us old guys.
There’s certainly a segment of us “older guys” (I’m 77) who were well aware of Ken Block and view his loss as significant as McQueen’s, perhaps more so. In all of my years, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone who could drive as well as Ken. His Hoonigan Gymkhana videos were incredible feats that the rest of us can only admire, but not duplicate. This was a true loss to the car community and those who appreciate the highest levels of automotive control.
Well said Bob G.
No disrespect was meant to any one or age in my original comment.
It really is a great loss to the motorsports community. I for one found his videos not so much aspirational, since there is no way I could ever drive like that- but just something to marvel at- pure artistry in driving and choreography that made it so entertaining that it was hard to break away. His videos were something that both my son and myself (as well as my late father) could sit down and watch together and get the same rush- his skill crossed generational boundaries and was clear to anyone watching his driving. The irony that his loss (much like Michael Shumacher’s) came out of an unrelated activity just points to the fact that even the best among us are not immune from the unexpected tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ken’s family and friends- who I am sure are mourning his loss.
This is an excellent comparison. Different genres, but the same at their cores.
Referring to the Block/McQueen comparison.
R.I.P. KB 🙏
What a Guy he drove like he was from Mars…..R.I.P.
RIP Ken Block. This is one old guy who definitely benefitted from your being on earth. Our deepest condolences and best wishes to your family and friends.
Super nice guy, met him at a rally race. Took the time to sign my kid’s poster. Always looked forward to the next video.
Ken will be sorely missed by this 77 year old car guy.
Godpseed Mr. Hoonigan….you will be missed…
I enjoyed Ken’s videos very much, as they always had a touch of humor in them, like the wookie on a Segue sequence. He was a guy with a zest for living Life. A sad loss to the car enthusiast community; I salute his memory, and I wish the best for his family as they grieve his passing.
He is sliding through the Pearly Gates, sideways, rear-end kicking up the clouds, and after spinning another 450 degrees he will shoot back out those gates to go see if the road paved with good intentions is a better for drifting. RIP Ken
His videos were amazing. Most recently his Vegas-Audi rallye video. What a loss.
The first time I heard of him was when Top Gear did the segment with James May in the passenger seat. The shot of Ken doing a desert jump with a motorcycle in front of him and a huge cargo plane passing in the background was an unforgettable moment for me. Pure automotive theatre. I was an instant fan.
What a tragic irony. After performing death defying stunts for years in a variety of extreme sports seemingly effortlessly, Ken Block passes in a recreational snowmobile accident. Yes, it can happen to ANYONE. Be careful everybody.
How does the automotive world replace a guy like Ken!
Deepest sympathies to the Block family, truely sad news. Ken’s visions and talents will be missed as well as his personality. A very sad day for our hobby and industry. Rest In Peace Ken
Not knowing one day I drove up Pike’s Peak on one of the days he was filming there. Lots of black donut tire tracks in a few spots. I knew then a video was forthcoming. So sad for his family who just lost a husband/father which is the most important thing here.