The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, celebrates Ralph Murdock’s 82nd birthday today. As the oldest competitor this year, and most likely the oldest in the history of the event, this Colorado native brings a lifelong passion for automobiles, auto racing and Colorado history. Murdock stated, “To be able to run this race up this mountain is a one-of-a-kind race and a one-of-a-kind challenge.”
In 1946 Ralph Murdock described his first experience on Pikes Peak as a six-year-old, riding with his dad to the summit. He also recalls driving his 1948 Chevy Club Coupe on the famous mountain as a teenager.
Murdock first entered the Race to the Clouds in 1965 in the Sports Car division driving a Corvette, finishing 7th with a time of 18:03.2. He returned in 1966 and improved both his finish position and his finish time, 6th place in 14:42.5. In 1967 and 1969, Murdock moved to the Open Wheel division, also in a Chevrolet, but was foiled in both attempts to finish. Undeterred, he returned in the Open Wheel group in 1970 and finished 7th in 14:11.8. Murdock put together a Stock Car entry in 1973, a Plymouth 426, but again, failed to finish.
A thirty-seven-year hiatus allowed Murdock to focus on raising his family of five children, but in 2010 Murdock was back in action, returning to the mountain in the Rocky Mountain Vintage Modified class. His 2011 entry in the same class in a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro proved Murdock was still competitive as he not only won the class but established a new class record – 12:51.004.
A lifelong auto mechanic, Murdock has never quenched his desire to learn all he can about repairing vehicles and understanding how they work. Murdock has spent the past 30 years living and working in Cascade, Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak – a two-minute drive from the Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain Gateway.
Skilled in navigating the all-dirt course in his early years of competition coupled with experience on the paved surface since 2016, Murdock says his goal has always been the same, “To go up there, have fun and do the best I can.” Murdock is preparing to bring the 1991 Chevrolet IROC Camaro raced by his son, Kevin, in 2021, to America’s Mountain for the 100th Running and is thrilled with the new team sponsor, Axe and the Oak Distillery, and the new livery which Ralph can only describe as “ominous-looking”. Fans can see the racecar and meet Ralph Murdock at Fan Fest on June 24 in downtown Colorado Springs.