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June 1998 Readers' Rigs

Posted in Features on June 1, 1998
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Wild Horses
It's hard to know where to begin in describing Tommie Burke's two Broncos, and given our limited space, we can't begin to do justice to his handiwork. Let us say that he has done 95 percent of the modification work to both vehicles. Both have swapped-in engines, but the blue '66 has more refinement to its 302 V-8, as well as its drivetrain, suspension, body and interior. This is not to say, however, that the red '74 hasn't had an amazing amount of work done as well. Tommie, of Siler City, North Carolina, has reason be proud of all that he's accomplished.

Like A Rolling Stone
It may be green, but John Leischner's (mostly) 1974 "M38A1'' gathers no moss. His wife calls it "Piece of Junk,'' which it kind was when John bought it in '91-having been used for boat towing-but it sure isn't anymore. Donor Jeeps provided replacements for various and sundry parts that give it a stock military appearance, but the engine, drivetrain and suspension are definitely not Army surplus. And we're impressed.

Paint It Black
From Eaton, Ohio, comes Michael Ernst's extremely black Ram 1500. Although the color is stock, it's accentuated by the very dark headlight covers, window tinting and near-complete lack of anything resembling chrome, with the exception of mirrors and wheels. You can't see the added reddish K&N air filter, and the Draw-Tite hitch was black already.

Jumpin' Jack Flash
College student Shane Dunton might attract just a little attention on campus in his rather flashy '94 Blazer. Its color scheme has earned Shane, of Kingman, Arizona, at least one Best of Paint award and probably a lot of stares, while the main working parts are pretty stock, with the exception of a power module and aftermarket oil cooler. But the Chevy has been lifted, has Progressive wheels and Big O tires, as well as tinted windows with Blasters, and a skidplate. The six-CD changer probably comes in handy for the long hours that must be spent maintaining "the look.''

Tattoo You
There is one "modification'' not shown in this picture-a replica of the Chevy emblem that's tattooed on Joe Duke's arm. Talk about customer loyalty. Joe owns two Chevys: a '79 Blazer and the '82 pickup shown here. The '82 has a four-bolt 350 with an RV cam, 2-inch add-a-leaf kit, and air bags taking it to four inches over stock, and a number of external changes such as nerf bars, a headache rack, tonneau cover and pushbars.

Time Is On My Side
It's hard to believe, but despite the fact that this Chevy is a mobile billboard for Craig Chase's shop, the '87 Suburban hasn't had any bodywork-just a paint job. Although Craig, of Fairport, New York, kept the stock engine, tranny and transfer case, he did install a killer stereo system for-in his words-"a camping we go.'' We like the sentiment expressed on the rear windows. We don't want to grow up, either-we might end up in a minivan.

Ruby Tuesday
From Brisbane, Australia, comes an uncommon (for the land down under) 1979 CJ-7. Apparently, there aren't a lot of older Jeeps in that neck of the woods, and it isn't easy or cheap to modify them. Despite the obstacles, Rory Vanarey has managed to produce his pride and joy, a Renegade with a 258 engine, a 3-inch body lift, Cepek tires and lights, Eagle wheels, and a ruby red paint job with black and stainless accessories.

Anybody Seen My Baby
The "Wife Complaining Award'' is the only one that's been bestowed so far on Chad Hey's F-250. Chad, from Redmond, Washington, has no idea how much time and money (besides "too much'') he's spent on his '78, but it must be ample. It still has the original engine but has been elevated to six inches over stock. Chad did his own bodywork, and added a rollbar, lights, new gauges, shocks, stabilizers, a toolbox, and much more.

Gimme Shelter
"Happy Camper'' is the name given to Pat Aulicino's 1978 F-250, and it is just one of several vintage Fords owned by Pat and his son Greg. Pat has taken a purist's approach to the renovation of this and his other vehicles. The engine is original, the tires and wheels are stock, and he even repainted it in OEM colors. The only real changes have been extra leaves in the rear and a trans oil cooler. The camper boasts all of the comforts of home away from Riverton, New Jersey, but is easily removed for re-installation of the original tailgate and bumper.

(Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Steve Lauer of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been fixing up his '71 Scout since he bought it in '90, but he says that the job is never really done. The stock 345 V-8 was rebuilt at 103,000 miles, and though the engine has been completely detailed, the chrome air cleaner is the only part that isn't original. Drivetrain and suspension are stock, except for urethane bushings, and the original shocks had to be replaced. Of course, some bodywork was necessary, and fender flares were added. But, Steve writes, there's much more left to do.

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