The bad, the beautiful, and the downright bizarre.
Four-wheelers tend to be iconoclasts. They don't look to follow the crowd - far from it, they'd rather get as far away from the crowd as their rigs can take them. But even among the most rugged of individuals, there are those few nonconformists who just can't be content with your garden-variety trail machine. Here are a baker's dozen of them.
Since emigrating to the U.S., Aussie native Corey Byrne Roberts has longed for his "baby" 2004 Toyota Prado Grande. Better known Stateside as the Lexus GX 470, Corey's Toy sports the 3.0L turbodiesel V-6 and Torsen center diff, and Corey has supplemented an already capable package with ARB and TJM parts, including a snorkel and bull bar. A Warn winch is along for the ride, as are dual batteries and a host of racks and recovery gear. The Elmont, New York, resident admits he hasn't had the heart to purchase a new four-by, as he's still pining for his baby back home, seen here 'wheeling the clay of his beloved Queensland.
Big Blue, Minus the ECU?
We'd expect trouble codes galore for a 1996 Chevy Van running 44s, but we trust that Rick Isbell managed to handle those worries during the course of his clean-looking 4x4 van conversion. The big Cepek Fun Countrys and 15x14 Weld Stone Crushers are cleared by an 18-inch (!) lift sporting Edelbrock and Fabtech components, and the 350 small-block, tucked between the rails of a 1976 Blazer chassis, has been dressed up with stainless headers. A pair of Sidewinder drop steps can be lowered 12 inches for ingress and egress, surely a convenience for those icy mornings around Brighton, Michigan.
No Pygmy Ponies at Perkins'
"Just another day at the Perkins Ranch" is Dan Maloney's description of the photo you see here. In this case, Dan's the stuck half of the equation, his solid-axle-converted 1984 Bronco on 35-inch Swampers and 6 inches of lift being retrieved from the muck near his Pinckney, Michigan home. "Perkins" would be Don, the owner of the 460-powered 1986 Bronco running 70-inch tractor tires on axles grafted from a skip-loader to ensure that Dan's day of wheeling doesn't end prematurely.
The Cat's Pajamas
Brubaker might not believe it, but not all Scouts are cooped up in a barn or serving as homes for feral cats. This nice-looking 1971 80B belongs to Russ and Valerie Anderson, who've rebuilt the original 304 V-8 and T-39 three-speed. The stock Dana 30 frontend was deemed too wimpy for trail use around Calimesa, California, so a 44 with disc brakes and a Trac-Lok was swapped in. The factory 44 rear wasn't overlooked either, and now is locked by Detroit. The result of all their efforts, the Andersons say, is "fun in a can." And that ain't Friskies we're talking about.
I Was a Teenage Spud Monster
Seventeen-year-old Caleb Killian calls his Samurai "Zukzilla," and for good reason, as his enclosed letter included a laundry list of bombproof parts, not the least of which would be the 205 transfer case and pinion-braked, sprung-over 2 1/2-ton Rockwells. A chopped Toyota Land Cruiser frame serves as the platform for this Dubois, Idaho - based rig, which is motorvated by a Chevy 350/TH350 combo spinning 39.5-inch Boggers. But Caleb, this truck is way too bitchin' to consign to Readers' Rigs. How about entering it for Top Truck Challenge one day?