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1974 Jeep CJ5 - Walker's Jeep

Left Front Angle
Phil Howell | Writer
Posted December 1, 2009

As off-road racing legend Walker Evans enters his second decade of rockcrawling, trail riding, and exploring, he wanted the ultimate vehicle - one that could crawl, haul, and do everything he asked of it, as well as be comfortable in inclement backcountry weather. Walker owned a 1974 CJ-5 he wanted to use as the starting point for his ultimate Jeep.

Walker turned to Shannon Campbell of Campbell Ent. Shannon's stunning work impressed even Walker, who's no stranger to cutting-edge quality. The '74 CJ and a narrowed Aqualu aluminum tub were shipped to Campbell's Gilbert, Arizona, shop. Once the parts arrived, Shannon and the crew went to work.

Campbell Ent. builds a superb competition rockcrawling and rock-racing chassis. Walker wanted seating for two and enough room to carry some gear for backcountry excursions, so Shannon built this chassis to meet those requests while retaining the quality and strength of their competition chassis. A Ron Davis-cooled Turn Key 5.3L GM V-8 and Hughes Turbo 350 three-speed automatic was installed, as was the Atlas two-speed transfer case with 4.3:1 low range. Custom stainless headers were fabricated for simple maintenance and high performance. The suspension is a custom three-link (four-link if you count the track bars) long-arm with Walker Evans Racing prototype 2.5-inch air shocks front and rear. As photographed, Walker's Jeep has about 4 inches of lift and is running 42-inch Goodyear MTR with Kevlar tires.

Currie Rock Jock 60 high-pinion front and rear ends have 5.13 gears, Eaton Detroit Lockers, and strong Wilwood disc brakes front and rear. The front Rock Jock features Currie's aluminum knuckles. They're lighter weight, of course, but also allow Walker to run wheels with 6.25 inches backspace so the vehicle isn't too wide.

As mentioned, Aqualu supplied the narrowed TJ aluminum tub. Shannon then did extensive modifications to make it what you see here, including modifying rocker panels until they almost don't exist and building the cool cargo bed behind the cab. The interior work on the body is flawless - check out the photos. A Campbell carbon fiber front clip completes the bodywork. The interior includes MasterCraft seats and harnesses, Auto Meter Cobalt gauges and a Lowrance Global Map GPS. A custom top allows the cab to be completely enclosed so the heater can keep occupants comfortable in cold weather.

We've seen thousands of vehicles over the last couple of decades, but seldom have wanted to own any of them as badly as we want this one. Walker Evans and Campbell Ent. have built what may be the ultimate hard-core trail machine. It works as well as it looks. Check out the photos. We're not kidding.

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