Story of Ken Block's Hoonicorn explored as fans mourn Gymkhana racer

Kim Schewitz January 3, 2023
Story of Ken Block's Hoonicorn explored as fans mourn Gymkhana racer
Photo by Paulo Oliveira / DPI / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ken Block’s Hoonicorn captured the imagination of millions of motorsport enthusiasts over the years as he drove the custom-built vehicle through diverse terrains.

On January 2, 2023, the 55-year-old suddenly died in a snowmobile accident. Despite his premature death, he has left a significant mark on the driving world and his legacy will live on through his Gymkhana series and other cutting-edge ventures.

After news of Ken Block’s tragic passing, we revisit the story of his innovative Mustang-based Hoonicorn V2.

What happened to Ken Block? 

The rally driver and co-founder of motor racing team Hooonigan was a fan of winter sports and even competed in snowboarding, the BBC reports.

As per a police report from Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, Ken was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope in the Mill Hollow area of Utah when the snowmobile upended and landed on top of him.

Emergency services were called at about 2pm but Block was pronounced dead at the scene due to injuries sustained in the accident.

The Hoonigan official Instagram confirmed his passing in a post that read: “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon and, most importantly, a father and husband.”

His Mustang Hoonicorn was built for the Gymkhana series 

Ken Block was possibly best-known for his ten-part YouTube series Gymkhana, in which he showed off his rally-driving skills.

The Hoonicorn V2 was originally created for Gymkhana Seven, a 12-minute video filmed on the streets of Los Angeles.

Take a look below:

As per Garrett Motion, the Hoonicorn was inspired by the movie Gone In 60 Seconds. In the film, a 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 known as “Eleanor” is referred to as a unicorn – a fabled creature that’s impossible to capture.

Block endeavored to build his own take on the mythical animal, assembling the all-wheel-drive 1965 Ford Mustang, known as the Hoonicorn. The name is a combination of motor racing team Hoonigan and unicorn.

Hoonicorn V2 was modified for Climbkhana 

The original Hoonicorn was modified in 2017 for Climbkhana: Pikes Peak.

The 410 cubic inch Roush Yates Ford V8 heart of the Hoonicorn was replaced with a custom twin turbo setup that fed the boost through a custom Switzer Dynamics intake manifold.

The V2 engine of the 1965 Mustang-based vehicle offers 1,400 horsepower and 1,250lb/ft of torque, while the car is equipped with Toyo Proxes R888R tires. It has a maximum speed of 255mph.

GetJerry estimates the worth of the car at about $1.1 million.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Hoonicorn V2’s  final ride 

In 2021, Block’s exclusive decade-long partnership with Ford came to an end and the Hoonicorn V2 took its final drive.

Block said: “Working with Ford over the past decade has been awesome. From racing all over the world to accumulating a half billion views from Gymkhana Three to Gymkhana Ten, along with building a fleet of Fords including the iconic AWD Mustang Hoonicorn and F-150 Hoonitruck – it’s been a great partnership.”

The HHIC (Head Hoonigan In Charge) posted a 15-minute video of himself playing around in the car.

The caption read: “What does the next chapter have in store? Ken Block and Hoonigan Racing Division will be announcing new partnerships very soon. In the meantime, enjoy this video of Ken’s favorite Ford – the 1,400 horsepower AWD Mustang Hoonicorn V2 – get taken on its ‘last ride.'”

Watch it below:

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Kim Schewitz is a London-based staff writer at The Focus and HITC. She is a gold-standard NCTJ-qualified journalist with a passion for pop culture, politics, feminism, and trends. She has previously written for publications including The i paper and Glamour UK and previously worked in local news. Kim graduated from the University of Bristol in 2020 with a first-class degree in French and Spanish. She is passionate about modern languages and has spent time living in Paris and Barcelona.