One of the most likable and important people in the car world sadly passed away today. Ken Block, the innovator of the Gymkhana driving style, was involved in a snowmobile accident in Utah which unfortunately cut his life way too short at just 55.
Details surrounding his death are limited, but we do have a telling statement from the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. They received a call on January 2, 2023, around 2:00 PM, and arrived on the scene with both search and rescue personnel and law enforcement.
According to them, “The driver, Kenneth Block, 55-year-old male out of Park City, Utah, was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope when the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him. He was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident.”
The State Medical Examiner’s Office is will decide the exact cause of death in the coming days. But whatever the case, we’re dealing with the biggest motorsport loss in years. Hoonigan Industries broke the news on social media a few hours ago:
“It’s 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.”
While nobody will ever substitute his charisma and driving style, we’re anticipating good things from Lia. A proud Ken Block’s last post was about his daughter just hours before his death, the 16-year-old having recently bought a 1985 Audi Quattro as her next project car.
Ken Block’s career started in 2005 as he began to rack up wins in the Rally America National Championship. However, his line in the sand is in 2008 when he starred in Gymkhana Practice, a video that got the attention of millions of “hoonigans.”
Between 2008 and 2018, Block appeared in ten Gymkhana feature videos with vehicles that are maybe just as famous as him, such as the “Hoonicorn” 1965 Ford Mustang and its successor, the all-wheel-drive “Hoonitruck,” a 1977 Ford F-150 with twin Garrett turbos sticking through the hood. After parting ways with Ford in 2021, he teamed up with Audi, and this resulted in the hugely entertaining Electrikhana, featuring the unique Audi S1 Hoonitron in Las Vegas.
But Ken Block isn’t a bunch of dates and brands. He’s the down-to-earth guy with a baseball hat that made you go “wow” with his car control. He’s the guy who took your childhood dream of sliding a toy car around an airplane and turned it into reality, and for that, he will never be forgotten.