Local Motors Logo 2

Jay Rogers, a former US Marine, earned a Bachelors degree from Princeton School of Public & International Affairs and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He went on to found Local Motors around 2006. Jay wanted to build vehicles that the owner could be in touch with.   His vision was to set up a network of micro factories where vehicles could be built in collaboration with the customer and serviced in the same location.

Local Motors’ first micro factory was set up in Chandler, Arizona, in 2007, and this became the birthplace of its first creation: the Rally Fighter, which was the first of four planned products to be produced by Local Motors.  The other products the initial line-up were The Racer; a 1970s Formula 1 inspired hard-tail bobber, The Cruiser; which was a 1920s board track inspired motorized bicycle which was to be made in electric or gasoline powered and the Verrado Drift Trike,  which was a gravity powered or gasoline powered drift tricycle.  Their ambition was to produce the first 3D printed car.

Rally Fighter production launched in 2010 and ended with model year 2014.  Later, Local Motors pivoted to building autonomous electric vehicles. Unfortunately, that venture didn’t pan out, and the company shuttered its factory in January 2022.


Local Motors was an innovative auto manufacturer that was able to bring an amazing off-road car to market using avant-garde design and production techniques. 

The journey to production began December 9th, 2007, when the Local Motors team formalized a product roadmap. 

The car’s design was crowd-sourced.  Local Motors initiated competitions offering cash prizes for the winning designs. The initial design for the car’s appearance was envisioned by community member Sangho Kim of Pasadena, California, and inspired by the P51 Mustang WWII fighter plane.  From there the design was refined in open collaboration with the Local Motors community.

The Rally Fighter features a custom tube-chassis fitted with a mixture of one-off parts and off the shelf components from Ford, GM, Honda and others.  This approach meant that Local Motors was responsible for only part of the manufacturing process and that owners would be able to service their Rally Fighters by popping down to Napa to buy common wear items like brakes, hubs, lights, and door handles.

Local Motors started taking their first Rally Fighter orders on July 15, 2009 with the first build production experiences beginning in the fall of 2010.

You can watch an early video of the Rally Fighter in development from 2008 here: The Rally Fighter Takes Flight.

Production of the Rally Fighters ended in model year 2014.



Because the rally fighter looks so extraordinary it has been cast on the big screen as a hero car on more than one occasion.

The Transformers franchise featured the two cars in Age of Extinction, where there is an epic chase through a cornfield and into a factory.  Local Motors did a short piece on the cars on set here: Behind the Scenes with Local Motors. Some lucky person was able to buy one of the Rally Fighters from the film in an auction in 2016.  You can see the auction listing here: 2013 Barrett Jackson action.

The Fast and the Furious franchise chose the Rally Fighter as Letty’s hero car in F8: Fate of the Furious, where it was used in a chase scene across the snowy tundra.  The Rally Fighter from the movie was on display at Universal Studios in Florida for a short while in 2018 so that fans could take a picture.

Rally Fighter in The Fast And Furious Movie


You may also have seen the Rally Fighter on TV.  Top Gear USA staged a race between the Rally Fighter and an airboat in the Louisiana swamps; check it out here: Top Gear – Rally Fighter.

Everyone’s favorite gearhead, Jay Leno, took the opportunity to drive one, and you can see his comments here: Jay Leno’s Garage.


In 2014 the Rally Fighter earned its first video game appearance as bonus car #5 in the debut of Forza Horizon 2 and it’s still one of the best offroad cars in Forza Horizon 5.

Rally Fighter in Forza 5