When it comes to communications in the off-road world, one name stands apart from the rest: PCI Race Radios. For over four decades, PCI has been an industry leader in racing communications, navigation, and safety equipment. From humble beginnings, PCI has grown into a massive operation, but preserves the hands-on approach that has always made their products and service second to none.
In 1972, Bob Steinberger first put communications in the vehicles of Bill Stroppe, Joe MacPherson, and Walker Evans. Two years later, in the 1974 Mint 400, Steinberger made the first successful radio relay from a pit, sending up three weather balloons with 500 feet of coax attached to accomplish the job. The legend goes that MacPherson forgot Steinberger’s name, dubbing him “The Weatherman,” and the rest was history.
The PCI shop is decorated with countless relics of off-road history, dating back to those first years and running through the current day. From trophies and medals celebrating major SCORE and Best in the Desert race victories to the iconic Mint 400 decanters that have become so sought after over the years, the desk of company president Scott Steinberger—Bob’s son—may as well be a museum.
The Next Generation
When Bob Steinberger passed away in 2017, he couldn’t have picked a better successor than his son Scott. Scott Steinberger’s off-road experience dates back to 1983, and he’s not just the man behind the products that have built PCI’s reputation, he’s an accomplished and successful racer himself. In fact, earlier this year, Steinberger built a custom UTV with his sights set on transferring his Sonora Rally and NORRA Rally experience to the Dakar Rally in the coming years.
“I really love the Rally Raid format,” Steinberger said of his own racing preferences. “It’s challenging and there is no set path to follow. My boys are now getting to the age where I want to teach them off-road racing, so UTVs are the perfect platform.”
Knowing what it takes to provide clear communications from all angles means that PCI only offers products from off-road’s best suppliers. Their warehouse includes products for use from recreation to top-tier race events, featuring everything from helmets to headsets and satcomm to safety equipment.
PCI prides itself upon three things: quality, service, and support. That means assembling a staff that caters to all sorts of niches, from enthusiasts looking to head out to the dunes for the first time to experienced off-road racers looking to take a class victory in the Baja 1000. Boasting devoted sales, service, and warehouse departments, the PCI team upholds the high standard set by Bob Steinberger and his 2013 induction into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
That devotion to their customers is apparent in PCI’s immaculate storefront, featuring only the best of their product offerings from some of the sport’s leading manufacturers. From individual products to complete race packages, it’s all here—including a shrine to the original Weatherman and how it all began.
PCI Race Radios is located at 6185 Phyllis Drive, Cypress, CA, 90630.
Visit the PCI Race Radios website here, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for the latest product spotlights, tips and tricks, and where to find them on-site at off-road racing’s biggest events.
Words by: Chris Leone // UTVUnderground.com
Photos via: Ernesto Araiza // UTVUnderground.com