Home » Ken Block, Rally Driver And Gymkhana Star, Dead At 55

Ken Block, Rally Driver And Gymkhana Star, Dead At 55

Ken Block Topshot

Multiple sources report that rally driver and automotive superstar Ken Block died in a snowmobile accident on Jan. 2. The Gymkhana pioneer and Hoonigan co-founder was 55.

“It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today,” said Hoonigan on its official Instagram account. “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.”


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The cause of the accident was confirmed by the Wasatch County Sheriff Department in a Facebook post:

On January 2, 2023 at approximately 2:00 p.m., the Wasatch County 911 Center received a call reporting a snowmobile accident in the Mill Hollow area.
Search and Rescue, along with law enforcement from Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, Utah State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service responded.
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.
Mr. Block was riding with a group but was alone when the accident occurred.

This matches with posts on Block’s own Instagram account, which included stories referencing a ride in CanAm snowmobiles on January 2nd. His last post, however, was about an ongoing project with his 16-year old Lia.

From winning Rally America’s Rookie of the Year award in his inaugural 2005 rally season to breaking new ground in internet car culture with his Gymkhana series of videos, Block was one of the most influential drivers of the 21st century. Not only did he bring a new American audience to rallying, he introduced an entire generation to the joys of oversteer and built the Hoonigan brand into the omnipresent force it is today.

Go to almost any car meet in American and you’ll probably find a car repping a Hoonigan sticker. The impact of Block’s work and ‘send it’ mentality is felt in every facet of the car community.

You wouldn’t necessarily expect the co-founder of a shoe company to be one of the leading faces of car culture, but Block’s company DC Shoes always maintained a focus on action and extreme sports, which plays nicely with the insanity of rallying. After all, a double-backflip on a BMX bike and going Mach Jesus through the woods both induce an adrenaline rush. After selling DC Shoes to Quiksilver in 2004, Block took on rallying with a Vermont SportsCar-prepped Subaru WRX STI in the 2005 Rally America season. With five top-five finishes and a podium in the Group A class in his first year, Block showed talent straight out of the gate.

From Rally America to the World Rally Championship to Global Rallycross, Block kept going fast on dirt, in the process bringing legions of fans to the sport. However, he probably isn’t best known for his rallying, but instead for igniting internet car culture with his Gymkhana series. While Gymkhana Practice in 2008 was a little bit lo-fi, things kicked off in a big way with 2009’s Gymkhana 2. In an era when online car videos often comprised of static shots, Block went big by going absolutely balls-out in a shipping yard, sliding his WRX STI wherever he could fit it. The video’s since racked up more than 53 million views and really set the stage for an incredible series of videos.

In addition to the unstoppable force of Gymkhana, Block appeared in the “Dirt” series of video games, on Top Gear, and in 2015’s “Need For Speed.” Plus, Block’s Hoonigan brand has become a sensation of its own, helping launch multiple talents. If it weren’t for Ken Block, car culture wouldn’t be where it is today. Social media networks have been flooded with tributes all evening from friends, colleagues, and admirers.


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A post shared by Zac Mertens (@mister_zachary)

Block is survived by his wife, Lucy, and his three children.

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50 Responses

  1. OMG… I thought for certain that Ken Block was immortally protected by the heavenly gods themselves. What I’ve seen him do was almost superhuman in so many cases.

    I guess this just proves what they say, boys and girls. Get some wild shit in while you can. You never know when it’s going to be your time to turn in the key and leave the establishment.

    Sincere condolances to family. This is a man who will be remembered.

  2. Super sad news, I remember being blown away by the early Gymkhana videos, owning multiple pairs of DCs and countless shirts/hoodies. Definitely a big influence on me, just like many others.


  3. Just by chance we’ve watched a few Gymkhana videos with the kids yesterday, then the news dropped. Very sad and a huge loss to the entire car community. RIP Ken, you will be remembered.

  4. Wow sad news. Well at least he will be in whatever afterlife likely driving some kind of AWD vehicle no one else there can get… Kinda like he did here on earth.

    Enjoy your drifting 6×6 six wheel drive 30,000hp Mustang GT in heaven dude.

  5. “Ill forever be grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from Ken. Until we meet again – Go Fast. Take big risks. Dont be a pussy.’

    “Block is survived by his wife, Lucy, and his three children.”

    Nope, no harsh lessons to be learned from here.

    1. I usually have no problem hating on idiots who influence our youth to kill themselves.Free climbers and dirt bike stunters for example.
      But this wasnt Ken.Most of his stunts were in roll caged cars so full credit where it’s due.

      For now i’ll assume he wasnt doing something insane on the snowmobile

  6. He was an absolute class act. Got to meet him in the pits at a Rally America event back in the day. He took the time to answer my questions about his car and how he got into rally racing. He even let my into their sectioned off area to get a better look to show me up close and introduce some of his crew.

  7. I never followed him on social media and only saw a couple of his videos. Nonetheless, I knew who he was and there was no way to miss his impact on automotive culture. This line really sums it up:

    “Go to almost any car meet in American and you’ll probably find a car repping a Hoonigan sticker. The impact of Block’s work and ‘send it’ mentality is felt in every facet of the car community.”

    It’s a terribly sad start to the year, and made more so in the fact that his wife and 16 year old daughter have lost him.

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