Click for Coverage
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler

Custom Willys Mud Rigs - Big & Lil' Jack

Posted in Features on June 3, 2014
Share this
Photographers: 4x4cross

Every time we make our way up to the wicked north, Nasty Nate Scott out of Windsor, Maine, is one dude I always keep an eye out for. Throughout our travels nationwide via 4x4cross and the Yukon Gear sponsored Throttle King Series, we see a lotof different badass rigs. When it comes to Jeeps though, there are maybe three in the whole country that I can name right off the bat. I want to see these rigs in action whenever I get a chance, and If Nasty Nate is behind the wheel of Big Jack (or anything for that matter) you can’t keep me away.

Nate is one of my favorite drivers for two reasons. One, he is an everyday dude who doesn’t have ridiculously deep pockets. He’s not a big wig at some corporate company making bank, and he doesn’t own a company writing off his hobby as “business costs.” Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking junk to the dudes who are well of. I’m just saying Nate is someone regular people can totally relate to. Working to pay the bills and sometimes skipping payments to get the rig ready is not uncommon in this industry. These guys are known for throwing everything together at the last minute and stayin’ up to all hours of the night with help from friends to make it happen. Although being able to run such a sick rig with a furious disregard for anything resembling “taking it easy” has its advantages. This is the second and probably foremost reason why watching Nate drive is almost always one of the highlights at any event. He’s never interested in taking home prize money or anything like that either. Nate just wants to put on the craziest show possible for the crowd, and he always delivers.

The daily grind for Nasty Nate includes masonry work as a primary career. During his free time he owns and operates Hardcore 4x4 while helping friends part time out of his garage. He loves racing at his home track, The Barnyard All Terrain, in Livermoore, Maine. He can be seen there tearin’ it up at least twice a year as well as at Vermonster 4x4 and a few other places around the state. We’ve even seen him at the Throttle King Finale in S.C. and at Twitty’s piloting Jamie Bird’s mega truck while he was recovering from back surgery and couldn’t drive.

Nasty Nate’s reputation got him a spot behind the wheel of the crazy rig, and he even got a Second Place finish in the Freestyle portion. That’s impressive to accomplish in a rig he had never even driven before that weekend. Nate says, “My crazy driving skills have cost me some money in the past, but you can’t win if you’re scared of the throttle. Wide-open racing, baby! Happy Jeeps come from Hardcore 4x4!”

Nate’s uncle Skip was a big part of his life until a tragic accident took him from the family in 2012. Nate credits his uncle for being the one who got him into lifting vehicles and taught him all he knows about mud racing. When Nate turned 18 they started the build on

Big Jack, and it’s still an ongoing project to this day as most mud trucks are. Nate says it’s the one thing that really makes him feel close to his uncle.

After his uncle passed, Lil’ Jack was built in memory of him by the guys at SM Fabrication out of Weeksmills, Maine. They built it completely from scratch with a four-link suspension and 14-inch Fox float shocks in front. Honda CR-250 shocks fitt perfectly in the back, allowing it to clear the 29.5-inch Outlaw tires. A 350ci Big Bear motor with high and low range give him more than enough power for this Jeep. Nate says, “Don’t let it fool you. Lil’ Jack is not just for show. It will take a beating and keep on racin’.”

Big Jack, on the other hand, is also rocking a ton of custom fabrication work. It has a handbuilt aluminum body with a ‘46 Willys nose replicated by Steve Mayo from SM Fabrication. A custom four-link suspension riding on Fox shocks and powered by a 383ci small-block stroker motor is the setup, and it does the job perfectly. The engine is pushing about 650 hp while sitting up on 44-inch cut American Farmers tractor tires. A Corporate 14-bolt rear axle is paired with a Dana 60 high-pinion front stuffed with Yukon Gear & Axle 5.38 ring and pinions. Chromoly 35-spline axles replaced the factory shafts for a nearly unbreakable setup. The guts of this Jeep include a Turbo 400 auto transmission and a solid cast iron NP205 transfer case. Nate says the thing will wheelie straight off the line every launch, and trust me, I’ve seen it plenty of times. Nate is planning on making a lot of changes this year, particularly in hydraulic steering and some new shocks for the rear—if it’s in the budget, of course.

Nate couldn’t have finished these builds without the help of Yukon Gear & Axle and the Bad Apple crew. Friends and family supported Nate a lot, making Big Jack what it is today. Make sure you’re watching when he pulls up to the line if you get a chance to see him in action, and have your cameras ready because you never know whats coming.

PhotosView Slideshow

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results