We got to work on some fullsize diesel trucks and even found a couple great examples of some premier diesel trucks to feature (Pages 28 and 40) for the July issue.
Kevin Blumer learned how to fix Toyota motor mounts (Page 50), just in time to take his ’Yota on a disastrous trip to the Rage at the River race (Page 52).
I finished up our short stint in racing the King of the Hammers (Page 36) and found an automatic transmission build that might possibly hold up to the horrific rigors of being in an OFF-ROAD magazine project truck (Page 56).
What got you into off-roading? Were you a car guy who just got into badass trucks? Was it the exploration aspect of it? Or was it the mechanical side of things and the way you could modify your own truck that converted you to the off-road lifestyle? Maybe your dad was into it, and the love of off-roading was passed down to you. Or maybe you just inherited a truck when you were in high school and found out that you loved beating the snot out of it.
For myself, I think it was a combination of a few things. I grew up in a family that always had at least one or two cool cars in the garage, so the love of the internal-combustion engine was bred into me. My parents started me off young with some radio-controlled trucks that I’d build after school. And I’ve been into anything with wheels since I could walk, always riding bikes in the dirt and skateboarding wherever I went. All this, combined with watching The Dukes of Hazzard and The Fall Guy every second I could while growing up, really got me into go-fast off-roading.
When I finally got a driver’s license, all I wanted to do was hit big jumps and do powerslides on dirt roads. It was only natural that the first vehicle I bought was a junked-out, lifted 4x4 that I proceeded to put a hurting on. And the novelty of vehicular sadism is apparently something I still hold dear to my heart. In fact, five out of our six trucks are down right now, and I’m being very respectful of this last one so I can still get to work…I did manage to rip the track bar off the axle recently (check out the blogs at www.off-roadweb.com), but luckily for me it was fixed in time for another weekend adventure.
I find that these adventures—even on the short day trips—are really starting to be one of the biggest reasons I still love off-roading just as much as I ever did. The exploration aspect keeps me excited, and I love going out to find whatever we may find. This recent weekend trip led us up a muddy trail into about a foot of some very wet, very late-spring snow (stop laughing, you Northerners—snow is a big deal to us Southern California boys). And to think I almost stayed at home and did chores….
Not only did we find some snow, we even found two weary cross-country hikers who had been in the hills for the last three days! I think it was just as much of a treat for us to find them as it was for them to find a ride out of the snow; it added to our adventure. I can’t wait for the workweek to end, so I can get back off the asphalt and in the dirt for my next adventure.
So what got you into off-roading? And why do you continue to love it? Seriously, I want know. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know why you decided to become an off-roader. Sure, I’ll give some swag away to my favorite top five letters, but really I just want to know why you do what you do. Don’t be afraid to get creative; I can censor anything I need to before publishing your letter, so let one fly! OR