Uncommon Rigs From The Common Guy
We know you hate it when you see super-flash rigs in magazines that cost more to build than a small apartment building. Sure, we've run them in the past and we will run them again in the future. But we never pretend that building such a vehicle is within the realm of possibility for every Joe-lunchbox. Rather, we often highlight these vehicles to show you the innovative tech and attention to craftsmanship that goes into making them. Then, if you feel inspired, you can take whatever information you gleaned from "big-daddy-dollar" and apply it to your own project.
What follows on these pages are three such projects. They were all built on a budget, in a garage, and by regular, ordinary people. These guys drooled over high-dollar, technically intensive rigs, aspired to have one themselves, and then made it happen. There were no plasma cutters, TIG welders, or components of unobtainium. Just good, solid real-world stuff like hand- operated tube benders, 110-volt MIG welders, and a whole lot of grinding and hacking on D.O.M. and welded-seam tubing.
Just the Facts
Planning on building a similar project? Here's a list of tools you'll need to keep from going insane as you make it happen. The costs are an estimate, but if you figure that time at a good fabrication shop is considered cheap at $60 an hour, it makes sense to buy what you need and learn how to do it yourself.
|Basic handtool set||$150|
|110-volt welder with|
|tank, helmet, and cart||$750|
|Sawzall or jigsaw||$100|
Booger Welds and Bilsteins for an '82 ToyotaHe built it in his mom's garage, next to the Beemer. The only tools used were a hand-operated tubing bender with one 111/42-inch die, a tubing notcher, a cutoff saw, an acetylene torch, a grinder, a drill, and a 110-volt Hobart welder. With these, Nick Cappa of Carlsbad built what we refer to as the machine.
What started out as an '82 Toyota pickup is now a piece of welded-seam art. Sure, D.O.M. or chrome-moly tubing is a lot stronger, but after watching Nick air the machine out near the Salton Sea in California, we've got a whole new respect for regular old welded seam. Nick removed the bed, torched off the frame behind the cab, gutted the interior, and started from scratch.
Want to see more of this tiny monstrosity? Check out www.4wheeloffroad.com to watch the madness.
It's pure entertainment.
Badass S-10 Cab Truck
Brian Boyd of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, has about $4,500 in his '90 Chevy S-10. That's right-for the price of a down payment on a Mazda Miata, Brian has something that will spank the stank off of any snot-slick hillside, claw its way halfway up the nearest tree, or launch off the rev limiter through a 4-foot-deep mudhole. We don't think any foreign convertible can match that fun.
Brian got tired of destroying his other vehicle's cab and frames, so he did what many in the southeast have done before him: He bolted a late-model mini-truck cab onto a '78 Chevy fullsize frame, added a hot motor and 1-ton axles, and stood on it.