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February 1998 Readers' Rigs

Posted in Features on February 1, 1998 Comment (0)
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February 1998 Readers' Rigs

Built To Last
This 1981 Toyota Trekker by Winnebago is a prime example of a really good, mostly stock 4x4. Mark and Haiying Grunenwald of Madison, Wisconsin, bought it for a song and have spent very little money (but lots of time) to get their "Toyotski" exactly as they want it. The engine is original and in great shape; no lifts or shocks were deemed necessary. To go camping, the Grunenwalds just fold down the rear seat. They did install a rear roll bar, and Mark completely stripped, sandblasted and painted the body Chevy red. They have even retained the stock AM/FM stereo.

Out In The Cold
From North Pole, Alaska (no kidding), comes Cynthia Anderson's 1996 F-150. The engine, tranny and suspension are still stock, but underneath all that snow are driving lights, a bug deflector, a lighted moon visor, running boards, mud flaps and a number of other goodies. Two practical additions are the auxiliary fuel tank and nice warm sheepskin seat covers. The Ford also sports a removable tinted sunroof, which we figure wasn't being used much around the time this photo was taken.

Into The Great Wide Open
When John Lonas heads into the great outdoors, his black 1990 Toyota must contrast well with the snow that is surely abundant for part of the year around Anchorage, Alaska. John unabashedly admits that he has done none of the work to his pickup himself. It does have a K&N air filter, a 3-inch body lift and Rancho shocks, as well as GTS blackouts and "tailblazers,'' rocker panels and auxiliary lights. The windowless shell conceals a carpeted bed (unlike our President in his younger days, John didn't opt for artificial turf).

Runnin' Down A Dream
In 1986, Luc Dirckes bought his 1979 CJ-7, which was in pretty bad shape. After six years, he decided on a radical change. First, the body was stripped, sandblasted, metallized where appropriate, primed and painted. Then came the spring-over-axle conversion . . and then came the Detroit Locker, Rancho shocks, bumpstops and a steering stabilizer. The 258cid engine was swapped for a beefed 304 AMC V-8. Naturally, a Warn winch was installed, as well as airhorns and lots of lights, and so on. And all this in Luxembourg, where it is illegal to drive off-road.

Mike's World
Internally, Mike Brandt's '96 Ford is a stock turbo diesel. It does have 6-inch leaf springs in the front and 2-inch add-a-leaves over blocks in the rear. The external changes, such as light covers, a bug deflector, steps and a visor can be easily admired in the photo, which also indicates why Mike, from Palmyra, Pennsylvania, has won a lot of show-and-shine awards.

The Best Of Everything
In three years of showing his 1951 F-100, Leroy Feck of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, has won, by his estimation, about 40 awards, including 28 First places. The Emerald Green Ford has a swapped-in 350 Chevy engine, but the drivetrain is pretty much original, and the suspension is completely stock, with Monroe shocks. The fenders are now fiberglass, and running boards, an oak bed, and a tonneau cover have been added. Needless to say, the Alpine stereo is not original equipment, but basically, this pickup has been nicely modified, not horribly altered.

The Same Old You
Little on this '71 CJ-5 has been changed for looks; virtually all of the modifications have been to improve function. Dan Morris of Helenville, Wisconsin, says that every piece of his Jeep has been taken apart, gone through, and reassembled and/or improved on. He swapped the stock engine for a Chevy V-6, installed a high-volume oil pump, headers, a new carb, heavy-duty driveshafts and front shackles for the towbar. The bumpers, rollbar and custom pieces (motor mounts, bellhousing, clutch linkage, etc.) were made by Dan himself . . . And guess what? No stereo!

All Or Nothin'
This photo of Jeremy Kirkindoll's Bronco was taken when he was stationed in Iceland. It seems that the only original parts left on his '74 is some of the body-the rest is fiberglass. The engine is a swap-we don't have the space to describe all of the other engine mods-a custom 3-inch body lift and suspension lift have raised it, and its emergency gear includes, besides the usual tools, shovel and Hi-Lift jack, a tub of red-vine licorice. Jeremy points out that he's never won any awards for all his hard work because there aren't a lot of contests in the remote places to which the Navy sends him.

Pet Of The Month
If this photo had been taken in the winter instead of summer, and had it been taken somewhere other than the beach, we could have kept with our "snow theme'' and Jake would have been the Snow Pet of the Month. But snow and cold are hard to come by in Arroyo Grande, California, home of Tom Chambers,who describes Jake as his best friend, and who is pictured here in Tom's beautiful 1993 GMC Z/71.

The Big (J)Angle
Neal Fitzgerald, from Humboldt, Iowa, also has subscribed to the philosophy of keeping the engine, tranny, transfer case and suspension stock. This does not mean that people don't notice his `94 Chevy turbo diesel. If they can't hear the diesel coming, the 300 watt amp for his CD player gives notice that he's on his way. Once he has arrived, they can admire the light covers, bug shield, pin striping, visor, exhaust tips, tail light covers, window tint, louvers and Chevy stickers adorning the custom paint job.

Alright For Now
Gunnison, Colorado is the home base for Tony Curless' 1993 Grand Cherokee. Except for tire mounting, Tony did all of the mods himself, including the K&N filter charger, the suspension lift, the Warn winch with custom combo mounting system, and the 12-disc CD changer. Although these changes are more than adequate, Tony plans to install an ARB in the front, a new rear axle, a Magnum computer and a full exhaust system.

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