A 2 1/2-Ton Monster
When most people hear the term mud buggy thrown around they likely visualize a rusty old Chevy truck frame with a large metal platform welded above it and a few lawn chairs for the driver and passengers. Not that there is anything wrong with that setup! However, you won’t see a buggy like that rolling out the shop doors from the boys at Bighead Aluminum. Owner David Boden and his crew of metal magicians have been pumping out some really impressive rigs over the past few years—and they say they’re just getting started.
Take for example this 2½-ton hunting buggy owned by Walter Pierce in Lake Worth, Florida. Bighead Aluminum managed to build the rig in less than a year. Just imagine hanging out deep in the swamps with your friends when all of a sudden this powerful black and blue buggy comes roaring through the tree line, blasting cool tunes on the insanely loud Infinity Audio sound system over the sweet sound of a well-built small-block Chevy 350ci.
Just like most of the scratch-built buggies that roll out of Bighead’s shop, this one started out as a pile of 2x4x¼-inch metal box tubing. It was measured, cut, and welded into a chassis with a 12-foot wheelbase. A set of stock leaf springs from a Ford F-250 were mounted to the frame using custom-cut brackets from PMF Customs. Skyjacker shocks were used to smooth out the ride. Both the front and rear axles are locked up 2½-ton Top Loaders. They ride on stager-fit 26x25 Plan B Fab wheels that are wrapped with 23.1x26 Interco Farm Chief tires.
Now that a brand-new Chevy 350ci crate engine fed by a Holley carburetor has been bolted in, the buggy is extremely dependable. A custom-built set of headers from Bighead Aluminum helps the new powerplant breathe. Helping turn the monster tires is the torque from a Profab gearbox with a 3:1 gear ratio and some custom driveshafts from Butch at Total Truck Parts. The custom Wilwood transfer case brake setup helps stop the buggy.
Once the fabrication was complete, the beauty stage of the build began. The frame, custom-built towers, steps, driveshafts, dog boxes, and even the exhaust were all sent out to Innovative Powder Coating in Oakland Park, Florida, for cleaning and coating. A few final details like custom upholstered airboat seats and a billet steering wheel were added to spice up the comfort levels.
Now Walter has the ability to take this one-of-a-kind rig to all the cool spots, whether it’s in mud or on a hunt. This is the ultimate vehicle for living the southern outdoor life.
2013 Bighead Aluminum Buggy
Owner: Walter Pierce, Lake Worth, Fla.
Engine: 2013 Chevy 350ci crate engine
Transmission: Turbo 350
Transfer Case: Profab 3:1 gearbox
Suspension: Ford F-250 leaf spring with P.M.E. Customs axle brackets
Axles: 2-½ton military
Tires & Wheels: 23.1x26 Interco Farm Chiefs on 26x25 Plan B Fab wheels