A Custom Mix Of Jeep, Toyota, Chevy, And Hand-Fab
Anyone who describes his Jeep as a booger-green and black hybrid has a sense of humor. A quick look at Grady McLeod's creation, though, tells you he has much more than just a sense of humor.
Grady had 'wheeled and built Toyota pickups prior to starting this project and knew that they had some great pieces on them. He also knew that a Jeep of the flat variation shrinks the dentable sheetmetal to near nothing. He had seen all the combinations of Jeeps, trucks, buggies, and various fabricated suspension systems and decided he could combine the best of these ideas with prime Jeep, Chevy, and Toyota pieces to create an extra-flexy 4x4.
He started with a '48 CJ-2A and began whacking. When he was done with the Sawzall, torch, and other cutting tools, he had about two-thirds of the body left and none of the frame. He actually added 6 inches to the overall length of the body-4 in the hood alone. He fabbed the frame, and each framerail functions as air tanks in addition to holding the body, suspension, and drivetrain. His buddy Walter Duran TIG-welded the chassis and constructed the rollcage.
In less than 1 1/2 years, his custom crawler was ready to hit the trail. So far, the hybrid has proven itself well, but Grady is always looking for ways to improve it.