Yeah, man. I tell ya what, man. That dang ol' Cavanal hill, man. Woowee. Tell you 'bout Poteau, Oklahoma. Love that wheelin', man. You just go there and rev-brake, rev-brake. Axle-break, transfer-case climb there, man. An' lotsa nekkid, wicked wheelin'. Yup, love those bus-like rigs like catnip. Yup, it's all wild wheelin', uh-huh.
Unlike the idiosyncratic, gibberish-spouting Boomhauer on Fox TV's "King of the Hill," you have to do more than talk the talk -- you've got to rev the revs if you want to be king of this hill. Measuring 1,999 feet, Poteau's crown jewel Cavanal Hill is the world's tallest hill, measuring a mere 1 foot short of a mountain. But one thing Cavanal is not short on is good ol' axle-breakin', bead-bustin', must-have-big-meat trails. This past year's Big Meat Run hosted by Oklahoma's now infamous Wagoner Machine Shop rallied hard-core 'wheelers from all over Louisiana Purchase lands -- Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. The entry criteria was simple: mounted 44-inch tires and all the mechanisms that make those meats move.
The madness of meats and metal moved up, down, sideways, front ways, back ways, and anyway you can think of to pass Poteau's hyper trail tests. The foresty, old, seismographic trails lend themselves to the most brazen of off-road enthusiasts. The obstacles by and large consist of off-camber, enormously bouldered channels with heavily dug-out lines but include a wide variety of challenges that pepper the trail, depending on vehicle capability and driver ability.
OFF-ROAD magazine was there when Casey Groth's just-short-of-a-BlueBird-bus CJ miraculously walked on water -- a series of four-foot rockfalls; when Jared Holt's ginormous LoveBug had at it on Axle Breaker; and when Jerry Cantrell graciously laid his CJ-3A on its side on Transfer Case and just drove out of it. Poteau is the place where the hill can make kings out of mere men.
For the royal treatment, the city of Poteau welcomes and encourages conscientious 'wheeling. If you would like to prove your own Crawl King of the Hill status and want more information about these legendary ledges or other WMS Big-Meat wheelin', call Wagoner Machine at (918) 341-1722, or go to www.wagonermachine.com and click on "upcoming events."
Engine: '89 GM TBI 350 * Transmission: TH700 R-4 * Transfer case: NP 203 to 203 to 205 yielding a combined 7.84:1 Low-range ratio * Front axle: WMS 14-bolt, 4.10 gears, Detroit Locker * Rear axle: 14-bolt 4.10 gears, Detroit Locker * Meats: 44-inch Swampers * Wheels: Sumner-made bead locks * More: Do you need more?
Engine: AMC 360 * Transmission: Ford T-18 * Transfer case: Atlas 4.3 * Front axle: WMS Dana 60, 5.38 gears, Detroit Locker * Rear axle: WMS Dana 60, 5.38 gears, Detroit Locker * Suspension: Custom three-link coil suspension, dual Rancho RS 9000s in each corner, 2-inch body lift * Meats: 44-inch Boggers * Wheels: 15x12-inch MRTs with 36-bolt bead locks * More: Everything is owner-built out of home garage; heavily reinforced frame, stretched 10 inches for a 110-inch wheelbase; 16-point rollcage; front bumper with industrial series Warn 9000 winch; rear bumper; 22-gallon fuel cell, engine-driven compressor with dual 2.5-gallon tanks; spare axles, U-joints, tie-rods, driveshafts, and full tools always on board.
Engine: Franklin Racing Chevy 350* Transmission: TH350* Transfer case: NP 203 and NP 205* Front axle: Rockwell 2-1/2-ton, 6.72 gearing, Detroit locker* Rear axle: Rockwell 2-1/2-ton, 6.72 gearing, Detroit locker * Suspension: WMS 3-link coil suspension on YJ frame* Meats: 44-inch Super Swamper TSLs* Wheels: 15x12-inchers * More: Front and rear hydraulic assist steering, six-point rollcage, onboard air, Ramsey winch.
Engine: Chevy 383* Transmission: 999 Auto* Transfer case: Klune V and Atlas II * Front axle: Texas Auto Gear Ford 9-inch, 4.88, Detroit * Rear axle: Texas Auto Gear Dana 60, 4.88, spool * Suspension: Customized Skyjacker Rock Ready 8-inch suspension lift * Meats: 46-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws * Wheels: 15x14-inch Trail Ready wheels/bead locks * More: wheelbase stretched to 115 inches
Engine: '00 Chevy Vortec V-6 with 4.3 displacement * Transmission: '00 4L60 E * Transfer case: Atlas 4.3 * Front axle: Dana 60, 5.13s, Detroit locker * Rear axle: Corporate 14-Bolt, 5.13s, Detroit locker * Suspension: four-linked coilover suspension * Meats: 44-inch Interco Super Swampers (front) and 44-inch Interco Boggers (rear) * Wheels: 15-inch MT/R bead locks * More: rear of frame is stretched and tube chassis built
Engine: '93 Ford Mustang V-8 5.0* Transmission: Ford C4* Transfer case: Atlas * Front axle: Ford 60 35-spline outer, 5.13 gearing, locker* Rear axle: Chevy 14-bolt, 5.13 gearing, and locker* Suspension: Rocktek Engineering custom four-link* Meats: 39-inch Interco IROKs* Wheels: 20-inch bead-locks * More: Rocktek rollbar and cage, balanced engine, Mile Marker winch
Engine: '94 Chevy 350 * Transmission: '79 SM 465* Transfer case: NP 203 and NP 205 * Front axle: '79 Chevy Dana 60, 4.11 gearing, Lincoln-locked * Rear axle: '79 Chevy 14-bolt, 4.11 gearing, Lincoln locked * Suspension: Custom 4-inch * Meats: 44-inch TSL Super Swampers * Wheels: 15x10 with bead locks * More: 35-splined inner and outer front shafts and high-steer.
Engine: '94 350 throttle body * Transmission: Turbo 350 * Transfer case: NP203 to Dana 300 (with WMS adapter) * Front axle: Rockwell 2-1/2-ton, 6.71 gears, Detroit Locker * Rear axle: Rockwell 2-1/2-ton, 6.71 gears, Detroit Locker * Suspension: (front) spring-over 4-inch, (rear) WMS custom three-link * Meats: 44x15x18.50 TSLs * Wheels: 15x12-inch bead lock wheels with WMS custom centers * More: Hydraulic steering, custom WMS pinion brakes.
Engine: '93 Camaro LT1* Transmission: TH350* Transfer case: Atlas II 4.3 * Front axle: Dana 60, 5.13 gears, ARB* Rear axle: Dana 60, 5.13 gears, ARB* Suspension: Custom coil three-link and a 3-inch body lift* Meats: 44-inch Boggers* Wheels: Weld Scorpions with Champion bead locks
Engine: '91 fuel-injected Ford V-8 460 * Transmission: '76 C-6* Transfer case: NP 203 and NP 205 * Front axle: Rockwell 2-1/2-ton, 6.72 gearing, locker * Rear axle: Rockwell 2-1/2-ton, 6.72 gearing, locker * Suspension: Custom four-link* Meats: 53-inch Michelins * Wheels: 20-inchers * More: Everything!