Elevation starves automobile engines out of much needed oxygen. The lack of O2 at a mountain’s peak saps away power and when you need to spin all four tires at 14,000 feet of elevation, while sideways, power is absolutely necessary for drifting up Pikes Peak. With his crew of anti-social Hoonigans, Ken and the team however, calculated that the 845 horsepower in his all-wheel drive 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn wouldn’t be enough.
That’s why they strapped two turbochargers to the top of the engine and now runs on methanol, which roughly churns out an eye-watering 1,400 horsepower. Add the sketchy nature of a run up Pikes Peak and you either have a recipe for the film to go viral or disaster, which nearly happened.
Climbkhana is different from your average Gymkhana video as it adds a danger element that’s been unseen in previous videos. Of course, Block has pushed envelopes and devised dangerous situations to be included in those videos, but none have truly been as life-threatening as the climb up Pikes Peak.
This is where one wrong twist of the throttle or steering input could send him and his very flammable Hoonicorn off a ravine, down a 3,000 foot cliff, or into a heavily wooded section where the trees would make mincemeat out of his tube-frame Hoonicorn. And according to Block, and director Brian Scotto, the very bad nearly happened on the shoot.
Both Scotto and Block talked about the incident at the premiere of Climbkhana at the Petersen Automotive Museum the day before the public launch.
According to the pair, Block had drifted a corner very near the top of the mountain where no guardrails were present and where a Mitsubishi Evolution racecar had gone off a few years prior.
However, on film, it looked too shallow and didn’t give the shot enough drama. Scotto asked Block if he wouldn’t mind doing it again, but drift a little deeper. He obliged and Scotto set some rocks out as a visual aid as to where the ground ended and sky began.
Block came into the turn hot and proceeded to clip the rocks with the rear of the car. According to Scotto, for a split second, he thought he had just sealed his friend’s fate. Luckily for both men, Block dug out of the gravel and back into a normal drift, and the shot looks epic. Check out the full video below and try not to pucker too much.