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March 1998 Readers' Rigs

Posted in Features on March 1, 1998
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An Unusual Route, Even In '66
An FJ-45L is a rare sight in itself, and Jerry Girard's Toyota is also remarkably clean. More common (okay, "as usual'' is probably more appropriate wording), a Chevy 350 now propels the pampered '66 pickup around Mossyrock, Washington.

Clean Oil Burner
Honesty must be one of Kris Christianson's virtues-he tells us that "little'' of the work done to his Dodge was by himself. Then again, you really shouldn't have to do much to a '95 Ram diesel-after all, the smallest axle available is a Dana 60. A Warn 9000 is on standby for times when when brute strength can't get Kris back to Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Hate It When That Happens
Scott Wells of Danville, Virginia, seems to have bought his CJ-5 to have fun with. Bodywork, a lift, tires and wheels, and a stereo kept Scott happily playing in the mud with the '74 . . . until, he writes (and this was added to the spec sheet with a different pen), "getting ready to replace the 304 with an AMC 360 because the 304 blew up yesterday.'

Good Deeds (Sometimes) Don't Go Unpunished
Darrell Murray comes across as one of those great guys who does a lot for the sport. He's helped save at least one good trail near Tucson, Arizona, partly by starting the Ridge Running Rovers Club, has a lot of good stuff on his '94 Discovery, has been 'wheeling since 1970, is a law enforcement officer, and appears to be an all-around nice guy. With that out of the way, there's no space left to tell about the well-equipped Land Rover.

Pet Of The Month
"Originally, I bought the Jeep with Michigan winters in mind,'' writes Jason Steihebel of Sterling Heights. "It was fun in the winter with the snow and all, but even better when you get to climbing things.'' Jason adds, "My sometimes-faithful dog Tari thinks she drove it up the hill and sometimes appears just as proud as I am. After all, she thinks it's her (Wrangler).'' It's not the dog, Jason-it's a she-thing.

Prime Resto Material
Normally, we shy away from photos taken on pavement, but H. Lowrie's Cheyenne Super looked too good to pass up, and the (only-looks-like-it's-an-incab) flagpole adds something patriotic-as if a well-preserved '69 Chevy isn't enough. With only 64,000 on the odo, the shortbox even has original paint, and the few modifications done to the Ames, Iowa-based pickup can easily be changed back, creating a primo stocker.

Used To Drive One Just Like It
Okay, we're not sure anybody's actually said that to Chris Willemssen when seeing his home-built "The Mammoth,'' but it's not likely. This completely custom creation is based on a lengthened Chevy 1/2-ton and based in Oak Grove, Minnesota. Stainless-steel panels on a 2-inch-square "skeleton'' hide much good stuff, all Chris-made or -installed. He considers this vehicle a great learning experience, but we don't think even Chris can come up with a vehicle that somebody, somewhere, won't claim to "have driven one just like it.''

Elbow Greece
That someone in America would pounce on a '95 Wrangler and throw goodies at it is a given, but in Greece? Well, it did-to airline captain Marc-Antony Kalaitjakis. After 18 months and $87,000 (!), the YJ now supposedly has a 430hp Six, complete with 16 RS 9000 shocks, leather seats and (luckily) rear discs. To make it distinguishable from all the other Wranglers in Athens, Marc-Antony also applied a distinct paint job.

Beast On A Budget
With a total investment of only $2,700, Dale Jenewein has even won an "Ugliest Truck'' award with his M37. Not surprising, perhaps, but to us, that's beautiful. Homemade wheels are among the more obvious mods, and a 318 V-8 with an automatic trans now powers this '53 Dodge from Alledonia, Ohio. The "materials list'' is void of glamour-type add-ons, but Dale has added many functional items to his "Ugly 1.''

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