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A True 4x4 Enthusiast - Buy Yourself More Junk

Posted in How To on December 1, 2000
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Shrubbery growing in, around, and through a parked 4x4 is always a sure sign of a swingin’ deal. Other good signs are rat nests, chicken droppings, and graffiti. Shrubbery growing in, around, and through a parked 4x4 is always a sure sign of a swingin’ deal. Other good signs are rat nests, chicken droppings, and graffiti.
At Moab, we spotted this Range Rover in pristine condition early in the day. Chances are, the seller came down significantly from that $9,999 price. At Moab, we spotted this Range Rover in pristine condition early in the day. Chances are, the seller came down significantly from that $9,999 price.
Your neighbors’ worst nightmare. The true 4x4   devotee will guard his flock in a rocking chair with his trusty dog at his side. Notice how the weapons carrier was considerately parked partially in the street to prevent unsightly oil stains on the driveway. Your neighbors’ worst nightmare. The true 4x4 devotee will guard his flock in a rocking chair with his trusty dog at his side. Notice how the weapons carrier was considerately parked partially in the street to prevent unsightly oil stains on the driveway.
Save your breath. It isn’t a 4x4, but who can argue the coolness of a backhoe? And we bet this one is plenty cheap after swan-diving off its trailer. Save your breath. It isn’t a 4x4, but who can argue the coolness of a backhoe? And we bet this one is plenty cheap after swan-diving off its trailer.
Call us whacked, but we almost carted this home. Add a flatbed, a big-block, and an overdrive tranny and you’ve got the queen mutha tow rig of the century! Come to think of it, we may go pick it up after all. Call us whacked, but we almost carted this home. Add a flatbed, a big-block, and an overdrive tranny and you’ve got the queen mutha tow rig of the century! Come to think of it, we may go pick it up after all.
Where’s Waldo? See what you can miss by keeping your eyes on the road. Where’s Waldo? See what you can miss by keeping your eyes on the road.
Once you get your purchase home, waste no time in the beautification process. We didn’t have a cut-off wheel, but the acetylene torch was raring to go…38s, here we come! Once you get your purchase home, waste no time in the beautification process. We didn’t have a cut-off wheel, but the acetylene torch was raring to go…38s, here we come!

It’s probably safe to assume 90 percent of you can’t drive down a rural road without craning your heads around to spy what is lying in the farmer’s field. You’re always on the lookout for that next purchase. You’ve got absolutely no need for another vehicle and have no idea what you’ll do with yet one more crusty non-running hulk. Your significant other is ready to kill you. Your neighbors burn you in effigy. The police and zoning commission know you both by sight and by reputation. And your driveway, side yard, front yard, areas in front of the neighbor’s houses, and most of the local store-it-yourself spaces are filled up with your crap. Congratulations—you’re a true 4x4 enthusiast!

Nobody knows why we’re like this. It’s easier to land men on the moon than try to figure it out, so the best course of action is just to accept it, surrender to it, and embrace it.

The Curse

Go buy dirt-cheap stuff with every last penny you’ve got. If you’re a true junk aficionado like us, you couldn’t care less about how easy your purchase is to find parts for, modify, or resell. The coolness/gotta-have-it/ never-owned-one factor comes into play heavily here. Take an older vehicle for example. It doesn’t matter that every last nut and bolt on this pile needs to be replaced, the axles are puny, the engine doesn’t make enough power to motivate a go-kart (if it runs at all), or nobody in the world makes anything remotely resembling a bolt-on part. You’d be hard-pressed to find spark plugs for it, let alone bearings, gaskets, or seals, but you drag it home on the trailer like a caveman toting Wilma Flintstone home by the hair.

It’s even worse with newer vehicles. “I found a ’78 Bronco that only needs an engine, tranny, rotors, third member, and some bodywork. All for only $500!” The 460 that used to reside in the junkyard Lincoln will fit no problem, and who cares if the stuff to install it will come to over $400? By the time you swing that big-block behind another salvage C6, swap a centersection in, and bolt on your Pep Boys rotors you’ve got over $2,000 into the thing—and the body is still trash.

Who cares, though. It ain’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Once a vehicle is running and driving it’s no fun anymore.

The Non-Believers

We’re writing you from Southern California. If there’s a more communistic, latte-sipping, Beemer-driving, pink-and-green-Polo-shirt-wearing group of imbeciles festooned with rules, regulations, and codes, then we just don’t want to know about it. We hope for your sake it’s better where you are, but we’re losing hope around here. For whatever reason, they don’t want a real 4x4 in their neighborhood. Don’t they realize their BMW X5 owes its very existence to the Carryall parked in your driveway?

The following is an actual conversation between a neighborhood homeowner and a homeowner’s association board:

Caller: I’m calling to have a big ugly truck towed.
Board: What’s wrong? Is it in your driveway, ma’am?
Caller: No.
Board: Is it blocking your sidewalk?
Caller: No, my neighbor just parked it in the street in front of his house.
Board: We can’t tow a vehicle in the street, ma’am. That’s illegal.
Caller: But I want it towed because it’s ugly.
Board: We can’t do that.
Caller: Well, then—(pause)—it’s abandoned and hasn’t moved for over a month.
Board: Goodbye, ma’am.

Which brings us to our next topic—justifying your purchase.

I’m All Right, You’re All Right

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. You owe it to yourself to be a good citizen and broaden the horizons of your vehicle-ignorant neighbors. That way, when they ask you what that unholy mess is in your front yard you can puff up your chest and tell them with pride it’s a WC-52 weapons carrier made by Dodge. Then watch them faint as you tell them it would be a shame to molest such an original and unrestored specimen. In fact, you don’t even think you’ll drive it—just let it sit in the yard and collect value.

Fun with the neighbors isn’t the only reason to justify your 4x4 purchase. For those of you who may need a little more help coming to grips with that whopping $200 purchase, we’ve compiled a short but dirty list in no particular order in the sidebar "Top 10 Reasons to Buy Junk."

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