Our Reader's Write Back
Cheap Truck Challenge Is Back
I know you magazine writers will get a boatload of responses due to bringing back the Cheap Truck Challenge (CTC). It’s cute that y’all are using the imaginary high school kid and his budget, but you must realize by now that there are many of us in the non-kid age group who are just as budget build oriented. Most any normal Joe that has a teenager or two can attest to the lack of funds and time to buy or build a linked tube buggy on 42s. For me, the off-road ride of choice is the beater. It’s the $500 Toyota pickup, the infamous Jeep Cherokee XJ, tires for $500, that sorta thing. Your list of the top 10 used 4x4s (“Trail Rig Buyer’s Guide”) is top 10 in my book and my 13-year-old son’s book (I think he’s gonna be a Taco owner someday).
And we all know why Rick went to Marlin for help with his CTC Toyota build. It was because he refuses to learn the metric system.
Fred/Ali, thanks for the CTC and the top 10 used 4x4s articles. I’m a longtime subscriber to a great magazine. Rick et al., keep up the good work, and save all the old iron you can.
Welding in sandals is manly.
What more can we say? Nothing like a beater-mobile of any class or style. We hope to do more CTC stuff. Let us know what you readers want to see!
This is a response to an article written by a Mr. Rick Péwé. First off, let me say that this is not a mean-spirited or rude response. I love the magazine and read it every chance that I get. While reading the article “Cheap Truck Challenge Build 1” (Aug. ’12), I noticed you mention you could build up a trail-capable and daily driver Jeep for about $250. Being new to off-roading and having just bought my first Jeep (an ’84 Jeep J10 with AMC 360 Dana 44 front AMC 20 rear), I’m looking for advice on how to cheaply build it up. I’m 17 and currently working in a restaurant, so anything that will help me save money on this project would help. I’ve done nothing to the Jeep much yet: new air cleaner assembly, tune up, good tires, that’s it. It runs great. No problems there. So, any tips?
First of all, I quoted $278.43 using stuff in my backyard. You haven’t seen my backyard. But seriously, your truck is an excellent base to start with. About the only thing it probably needs is better suspension, tires, and traction devices, because almost any vehicle does. Start with the basics and go slowly, and you’ll have one great Cheap Truck project.
Still More CTC
I am a teenager living in San Luis Obispo, California, a town right near where you did your Cheap Truck Challenge [Sept. ’12]. I am an avid off-roader, and spend much of my free time hitting the same dunes you did and exploring the surrounding countryside. I don’t feel the off-roaders you guys put together were that cheap. The kids I know who have $4,000 cars got them from their parents. No kid working a job for two summers is going to be able to afford a $4,000 car. Kids are just too lazy, and also spend their money on other things like food, movies, gas, and girls.
I liked reading about the cars you guys put together. However, next year I’d like to see you guys working on a bit of a cheaper budget. Say, $2,500 for everything? I know you guys are experts on everything 4WD and off-road, but I like to think I know a bit about how much your average kid can afford. I have a cheap truck, and I have maybe $1,000 in it, total. My friend has a cheap SUV, and he has about $2,300 in it, total. Another friend has an expensive truck, and he only has $3,500 in it. I know $4,000 is cheap to the guys who put a Viper engine in a Tahoe (that was you guys, right?), but to me and the rest of America’s teens, $4,000 is a lot of money. Still love the magazine though.
San Luis Obispo, CA
We got mail from both sides of this one, those who agreed with you and those who said we should do a $5,000 CTC. Because our magazine spans the nation as well as all socioeconomic strata, we try to do everything from the bargain basement budget beater for $500 to the Viper engine in a Durango (not a Tahoe, but you were close; the Heavy Metal Mudder Project, Phase II, started in Sept. ’09). Check out the next Beater Binder below.