If you like body panels, show trucks, or fancy paint, turn the page. If you believe the original manufacturer's body styles are perfect and don't like change, turn the page. If you enjoy rock rash and body damage and are scared of exo cages, flat beds, buggies, or playground equipment, then turn the page. But if you have an itch to start cutting, bending, and welding steel to modify everything in sight from the neighbor kid's trike to your mom's Cutlass wagon, then stick around 'cuz we are here to discuss our belief in the church of the tube.
Whatever you call them-tube cars, truggies, buggies, juggies, exo-caged atrocities, or even jungle gyms-these tube-based rigs seem to be taking over every trail in the U.S. and snubbing their noses at the full-bodied crowd. In fact, if we had known to buy stock in DOM and welded-seam tubing back in the late '90s when this fad seemed to start, we would probably be living large in the Hollywood Hills by now. So why is this craze making so much sense? Body panels will eventually get destroyed, and often times the suspension and drivetrain you want just won't work well in the body and frame the OEMs have supplied. Besides, when you make your rig from a pile of tube you don't have to make any compromises. You just have to figure out where you want the drivetrain, seats, and controls, and then go to work. You can also build a tube rig as wild and unique as you want, and you'll never have to be a part of the Jeep Flatfender, Rubicon, Toyota Tacoma, Dodge Cummins, or any other vehicle model club that is dragging around the extra weight of bashed-up body panels. These are just a few of the reasons to start from scratch with your bender, welder, parts, and a pile of tube when you plan on building next year's off-road machine.
Building a tube rig is also great for competition because you can trim the fat down to just the necessary parts, and building a tube rig is great for the trail because you can build the truck to be just the size, shape, and weight that works best on your local trails. But the best part about building a tube rig is that you can push the envelope and make it look and do things that a stock rig or stock-based rig will never do. This month we'll show you an example of each of these and hopefully you will take the plunge to build your own tube creation that is one of a kind.