By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
Tucumcari resident and business owner Charley Crossley is trying to bring a Jeep off-road event to Tucumcari — when he is not breaking world records.
Crossley, is a 43-year-old retired monster truck driver who moved to Tucumcari in 2000 with his wife Deena.
Years of monster truck driving have taken a toll on his body but that has not affected his enjoyment of extreme off-roading.
“I don’t miss driving as much people think I would,” said Crossley. “It will always be in my blood but I’m happy just driving around in my Jeeps.”
He opened a Jeep shop called Racing Crazy Enterprises, or RCE, behind his home on Harmon Avenue in 2004. He builds, sells parts and modifies Jeeps in his shop for people across the United States. A recent project was a $60,000 modification of a Jeep for a Roswell resident. The Jeep was customized with special axles and an souped up engine that also added to the Jeep’s value. During a visit to his shop, you can follow his career by checking out the memorabilia of posters and car parts that highlight his monster driving days.
Nowadays, though he’s into customization of Jeeps. “I do what the owner specifies or can envision,” said Crossley. “Sometimes people just look at what I have done to my or my wife’s Jeep and they want something similar done to theirs.”
Crossley, however, is still somewhat of a showman. Recently, he strung 20 Jeeps together with towbars during the annual Tucumcari Parade of Lights in an attempt to set a new Guinness World record.
And he’s a part of an unofficial Jeep club whose membership consists of about 35 local residents and business owners who own Jeeps, such as Charles Dunn and Jimmy Watson.
“He is a great fabricator of vehicles and a great mechanic,” said Dunn. “He has the resources and extensive knowledge of what he is doing that makes him that much better.
“I own four Jeeps and have been a Jeep and 4×4 enthusiast for many years. I wouldn’t trust anybody but Charley to repair or modify my jeeps.”
Crossley first started his off-road career while he was a sophomore in high school in New Mexico. From there he ventured into a 27-year campaign of wild and crazy driving which earned him the nick name of Crazy Charley.
Because of Crossley’s name and signature crazy driving career, the area club has been unofficially dubbed the Quayz Jeeps Club.
“Some people don’t know my last name,” laughed Crossley “They used to think my first name was really Crazy and that my last name was Charley.”
Crossley has powerful trucks known as the Bigfoot, Grave Digger, and Bear Foot. He has also driven and owns the transforming rocket car, “Vorian.” There’s also transforming monster dinosaur “Dinosaurs Rocks” that spit fire.
At one time, he also worked Universal Studios in California from 1985 to 1990 as a stunt driver. At that time, he also built vehicles for movies, including Tango and Cash and Road House.
“I would drive the monster trucks and also perform with Vorian. I have done shows in all 50 states and have traveled the globe to do shows in countries like Japan, Australia, and Mexico,” said Crossley.
“When we would use Vorian we usually would be doing a theme show for the audience such as self-esteem, say no to drugs, and teen violence.”