There is a great variety of vehicles available that make great platforms for building your off-road dream truck. Logically, the vehicles with the highest sales numbers usually also become the ones most supported by the aftermarket. And as great as that is for the majority of consumers out there, it means that there a lot of the same types of trucks driving around in the dirt.
As excited as we get seeing any street-legal ride built into an off-road work of art, our attention is most quickly drawn by those who step out of the pack and deliver a unique point of passion that can only be gawked at by those who've never seen such individuality. We really love to see and show you something different at OFF-ROAD magazine, so when we spotted Rich Goshay's Nipomo, California-based Nissan burning up the dunes, we were ready once he slowed down enough for us to catch up for some pics.
Rich handbuilt most of his Nissan Hardbody himself, along with the help of some great friends, because he didn't want to be just another truck owner in a long line of off-road rides that all looked alike. He spent many late nights and weekends working with what would come to be known as his mistress. When no one could find Rich, his friends knew he'd by with his mistress.
With a bright orange paintjob draped on a Hardbody cab and Hannemann fiberglass, we think Rich has accomplished his goal of making a truck that stands out.
Oh, and it's worth mentioning that this is the first off-road vehicle Rich has ever owned or built. It's sorta like a hole-in-one with DOM tubing during your first game of golf.
If it's not the color that attracts you to this truck, it has to be individuality of this little Hardbody. Rich started with two planks of 2x4-inch box tubing about seven years ago and went to work building what he wanted from scratch. He was originally going to use a Datsun cab, but switched to a later model Nissan Hardbody cab for a number of reasons-one being how much bigger the Hardbody cab was.
Rich built the front bumper himself, dropped two Hella 4000s in it, and mounted four Baja Designs lights in an over-cab light bar.
Rich grafted a Ranger I-beam front end onto his Nissan made by Mike Maddux at Central Coast Prerunners, keeping the stock Ranger spindles. Rich tells us he'll soon be upgrading to a Camburg spindle that is more robust.
Fox 2.5 coilovers carry a dual-rate coil setup allow the front end to move about 18.5 inches. Fox 2.0 hydraulic bumpstops soak up the extra hard hits. Poly Performance limiting straps stop the suspension's droop.
Mark Cook designed the steering on CAD and custom built the double crossover setup using four links and two bellcranks.