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Snow Run, Bayfield-style

Posted in Events on January 1, 2002
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Drew Barber has one mean shaggin’ wagon. His ’87 ’Burban was running 42-inch rubber with only a 4-inch Rancho lift, a welded Dana 60 front and Detroited 14-bolt rear with 4.10s, an internal cage, a propane heater for camping, and even a pneumatic blender. The best part, however, was the swapped-in, turned-up 5.9 Cummins with a (gag, gag) Getrag five-speed and Dodge NP205 transfer case. Drew Barber has one mean shaggin’ wagon. His ’87 ’Burban was running 42-inch rubber with only a 4-inch Rancho lift, a welded Dana 60 front and Detroited 14-bolt rear with 4.10s, an internal cage, a propane heater for camping, and even a pneumatic blender. The best part, however, was the swapped-in, turned-up 5.9 Cummins with a (gag, gag) Getrag five-speed and Dodge NP205 transfer case.
Steve Rumore’s brother, Josh, was on hand sheerly for 5,500rpm-fueled entertainment. With snow chains flapping and clapping, Josh repeatedly gunned the ’76’s 350 Chevy for all it was worth. Steve Rumore’s brother, Josh, was on hand sheerly for 5,500rpm-fueled entertainment. With snow chains flapping and clapping, Josh repeatedly gunned the ’76’s 350 Chevy for all it was worth.
Not wanting to let down Toyota owners everywhere, Stevie Joe Richardson snapped a Birfield in his ’80 Toyota just so he could show off how quickly he can change one out—even with frozen fingers. Not wanting to let down Toyota owners everywhere, Stevie Joe Richardson snapped a Birfield in his ’80 Toyota just so he could show off how quickly he can change one out—even with frozen fingers.
After a few miles bashing through tight mountain trails we came to this wide-open field. Mayhem and chaos ensued. Want proof? That’s a Chevy V-8’d Toyota Land Cruiser on 37s somewhere under all that snow. After a few miles bashing through tight mountain trails we came to this wide-open field. Mayhem and chaos ensued. Want proof? That’s a Chevy V-8’d Toyota Land Cruiser on 37s somewhere under all that snow.
About the only non-Mopar vehicle that can get away with wearing sublime green paint is an early Bronco. John Sibley slathered his ’69 in it after turning turtle on Pritchett Canyon in Moab. Stats include a ’77 302, an NP435 cogbox, a Model 20 case, a Dana 44 front with 4.56s and an ARB, and a 9-inch rear with a spool. About the only non-Mopar vehicle that can get away with wearing sublime green paint is an early Bronco. John Sibley slathered his ’69 in it after turning turtle on Pritchett Canyon in Moab. Stats include a ’77 302, an NP435 cogbox, a Model 20 case, a Dana 44 front with 4.56s and an ARB, and a 9-inch rear with a spool.
BJ LaGrange took a wrong turn and roasted the tranny for what seemed like five minutes as he reversed back to the main trail at 5,000 rpm. We guess all that snow packed under the chassis helped keep things cool. It was beyond cool seeing open-air competition buggies used like this. BJ LaGrange took a wrong turn and roasted the tranny for what seemed like five minutes as he reversed back to the main trail at 5,000 rpm. We guess all that snow packed under the chassis helped keep things cool. It was beyond cool seeing open-air competition buggies used like this.
For most of the hillclimbs you just pointed in the general direction you wanted to go and stabbed the gas. Jeff and Lyn Wharton made the trip in their ’73 CJ-5. They run Dana 44s with 4.56s (ARB front, Detroit rear) and a Dana 300 case. A Ford NP435 takes the abuse from the torquey 304 AMC mill. Pro-Jection, four-wheel discs, and 33x12.50 Goodyear MT/Rs round out the package. For most of the hillclimbs you just pointed in the general direction you wanted to go and stabbed the gas. Jeff and Lyn Wharton made the trip in their ’73 CJ-5. They run Dana 44s with 4.56s (ARB front, Detroit rear) and a Dana 300 case. A Ford NP435 takes the abuse from the torquey 304 AMC mill. Pro-Jection, four-wheel discs, and 33x12.50 Goodyear MT/Rs round out the package.
Steve Rumore took his ’70s Blazer out of mothballs for the run. He aired up the 42s, topped the 90-weight in the NP205, Dana 60, and 14-bolt, fired the 454, and then spent the rest of the day leading the pack. Here he is doing his impersonation of a polar bear in a snowstorm. Steve Rumore took his ’70s Blazer out of mothballs for the run. He aired up the 42s, topped the 90-weight in the NP205, Dana 60, and 14-bolt, fired the 454, and then spent the rest of the day leading the pack. Here he is doing his impersonation of a polar bear in a snowstorm.
When suddenly from out of nowhere, the dreaded midget wrestler attacked. The cowboy could only watch in horror. When suddenly from out of nowhere, the dreaded midget wrestler attacked. The cowboy could only watch in horror.
Watching Mike Weaver in his Avalanche Sniper was sort of like watching Florida swampbuggy racing. Everyone took a few steps back when this sucker came around. Watching Mike Weaver in his Avalanche Sniper was sort of like watching Florida swampbuggy racing. Everyone took a few steps back when this sucker came around.
What would be just another scenic drive in the summertime is a sweaty-palmed toboggan ride in the winter. Darin MacDonald did an admirable job of keeping his 33-inch tires out of the ruts left by the larger 42s. The super-sano ’70 Bronco runs a hot 302, an Art Carr C4, a semifloating DTS Dana 60 with 4.10s, disc brakes, and a Detroit. The disc-braked Dana 44 front is from a ’76 Bronco. What would be just another scenic drive in the summertime is a sweaty-palmed toboggan ride in the winter. Darin MacDonald did an admirable job of keeping his 33-inch tires out of the ruts left by the larger 42s. The super-sano ’70 Bronco runs a hot 302, an Art Carr C4, a semifloating DTS Dana 60 with 4.10s, disc brakes, and a Detroit. The disc-braked Dana 44 front is from a ’76 Bronco.

We usually give cheap a whole new meaning. When we change oil it’s from one car to another. We can’t understand why steel belts and nylon threads don’t count as tire tread. And, if we’re going to pony up the dough to fly somewhere to cover something for the magazine, we’re going to try to pack as many things into that trip as is humanly possible. So when we found ourselves traveling to Bayfield, Colorado, to snap some photos of Avalanche Engineering’s (then) new High Mark axle (“Unobtainium,” June ’01), we called to ask Avalanche’s Steve Rumore if he would put together a snow run for us. Before we could go down the hall to brew another pot of coffee with yesterday’s grounds, Steve had called us back to say everything was lined up.

As it turned out, not only did he line up a killer snow trail, he also invited a great bunch of people with an awesome assortment of rigs. Steve also somehow arranged for the snow to be deep and just the right consistency, for the weather to be just cold enough to keep the snow from melting but warm enough to keep us from freezing, and for some unforeseen breakage. Check it out.

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