Step By Step
Check out the parade wave from the passenger window. More like, Get me out of here. Now! Richard Smith and his wife were off-roading in Attica, Indiana, at the Badlands when their 94 Cherokee took a subterranean dive towards China. Both driver and passenger jumped out to safety on the driver side. With the help of friends they were pulled backwards within minutes to enjoy the rest of the day wheeling.
It doesnt take a genius to screw in a lightbulb and it does not take a big hill to roll a Jeep. While on a jobsite in Chula Vista, California, James Avila was dinkin around on a hill and dumped the 89 Cherokee on its lid. Who says you have to go rockcrawling to roll? It took the brunt and grunt from eight drywallers to right the Jeep. After a quart of oil the champ started right up.
Brakes are important. Corey Farmer of Belleville, Michigan, threw the pickup into Reverse and lead-footed it past the stopping point and rammed into a poor little Ranger. Guess he should have fixed the brakes!
Unfortunately its hard to see washouts in the dark as Pete Bloodsgood Jr. learned when his Blazer toppled onto its side. Potential landslide danger made the situation a little hairier. Luckily with the help of a come-a-long the vehicle survived and no one was hurt.
What a Little Beauty
Cant you just picture the Crocodile Hunter wrestling this beauty of a Blazer out of the river? Arthur Hoffmann found out that his 70 didnt have aquatic capabilities after all. After testing one side of the river it became time to test the waters on the other side. It was then that the Blazer submerged in the safety of the deep.
Stake Your Claim
Little Sluice claimed another small wheelbaser on a crawling attempt during a Rubicon trail run.
On Any Sunday
One late Sunday night Brian Sneed of Gainsville, Florida, with buddies Chad and Leeroy decided to go for a late-night ride. And as the cliche goes, if youre gonna play youre gonna pay. As soon as his 86 Toyota entered the mud hole the truck sank to its headlights. Instinctively Brian floored it but the truck sank to a stuck. Luckily he and the boys winched it out from the rear, cleaned out the starter, and drove home.
Time, energy, money, dreams, and a 79 Bronco all thrown down the incline while pushing snow during a North Hampshire winter. The heavy rain followed by 10 inches of snow created some icy conditions, which always seem to produce a good Whoops! predicament. Good thing the plow biz owns a wrecker too.
On an Easter Sunday romp in Arizona, the boys got a little too ambitious with the right pedal and sank the dual-wheeled setup down deep. By verifying the earth science details, Rick Godsey took the matter into his own hands and scooped out excess earthy material. Come to find out, if he would have taken the matter into his own hands in the first place by pulling the transfer case lever, he may have avoided this stuck.
Just Them Good Ol Boys
Easing into the center of a Kentucky pond in his 93 F-150 with 39.5 Super Swampers, Abby Ray Peterson learned quickly that a resolute attack of the gas pedal was definitely a better way to go. A backhoe and a couple of good ol boys helped remove the Ford from the pond. Luckily the lesson only cost $21.96 for parts from a local boneyard and a few broken log chains.
Spewing from the depths of the earth in Walled Lake, Michigan, and below the horsepower-loaded wheels, the 77 F-250 kept digging and digging and digging its way until, alas, it struck oil. Actually, the intensive situation was glorified by a mud fountain generated by Jim Williams right foot.
Sir, This Hole Came Out of Nowhere
After a week of Virginia Beach rain, and an hour of wrestling with a tow truck, a winch, and the Virginia State Police, the Wrangler was coerced from its mud hole. With the Jeep vitals intact, Vic Hundley was back on the road within the hour.
In an attempt to find a good place to hunt, Jose Rivera decided to explore this river in Puerto Rico. Instead of finding quality stomping grounds, he found a shelf in the river that dropped the Blazer to its hood. If it wasnt for a nearby Bronco and a tractor, the rig would have dove to a watery death.
A River Runs Through It
After the rains, Dan Baublits was trying to find a new river crossing to get to his favorite stomping grounds. The Nisqually River (near Mt. Rainer, WA) had another plan and swallowed the 77 GMC short box whole. Worse yet was Dans brisk swim to shore in the cold January waters. Burrrr!
One Day Too Many
Take your rig out for what you think is a couple hours of wheeling fun and what do you get? Stuck! And a two-day ordeal to dig the 81 Ford Bronco with 6 inches of lift and 36-inch Super Swampers out of the mud. It took Chip Myers and his friends three 3/4-ton trucks, a Hi-Lift, and a come-a-long to extricate the truck.
Dont Mess With Texas
Why yes, that is a 99 F-250 sunk in the Texas mud. The divers discovered that there was an 8-inch lift with 38-inch Swampers under the truck. Larry Battles of Corsicana, Texas, wrote, It sure didnt look that deep from the road. Thats what they all say! Recovery tools included a 9,000-pound winch and a K-5 Blazer and it took a few hours to pull out the stuck truck.
1994Just K. Willis
I usually drive a restored 43 GPW, but when visiting my mother-in-law at Lake Almanor, California, I used her 76 CJ-5. I had just returned from gasing up for an expedition when, while talking to my wife and her mother, we saw her Jeep roll past the side of the house, down the back lawn, through a split-rail fence, and over several huge rocks, only to land in the lake and sink.
After tugging at the front to no avail, we hooked to the rear and this is what we discovered: While pulling forward, we had wedged a log above the right tire. Each pull put more pressure on the ball joints until they gave out. We ended up pulling the Jeep out and loading it onto a dolly for the rest of the weekend.
I took my eyes off the road and swerved, then overcorrected and rolled my 82 Toyota pickup four or five times. If it wasnt for my seatbelt and the Downey interior bar, I wouldnt be here. I only needed four stitches on my forehead. But I dont think Ill get the Toy running again.
This is Kevin Hodges carb fire, caught by then-Editor David Freiburger, featured on the cover of December 97 4-Wheel & Off-Road. Pleasantly, the Suzuki survived and was given a new skin and a transplanted 4.3 Chevy engine. Consequently the engine swap was less expensive than replacing the stock Suzuki engine.
My friend and I went mudding in the rain at 3 a.m. My Toyota stuck in a ditch and my friend got stuck trying to pull me out with his Jeep. Our rigs were pulled out two days later by an International tractor.
Our Online Editor Tori Tellem caught this great Whoops! moment during Psycho IIs crash-landing at the 98 U.S. Truck Fest in Colorado.
My uncle was wheeling down the trail, not paying much attention when, after driving into a washed-out portion, the Jeep lost control and pitched him into a rock as it continued 300 feet down the face of the canyon Yeah, rightEditor.
Where: Hinesburg, VT What: Jeep Cherokee Hot Pocket Why: The Ranger said all campfires must be in a metal container above the ground. Burl Ives: Weve heard of chestnuts roasting and all, but come on.
Its that time again. The time of year that we here at 4-Wheel & Off-Road get to celebrate pure asininity. Whoops!, the last page monthly feature has become a tradition of readers and their rigs in imprudent positions. They dont just signify, well, a lack of better judgement. Nope, they remind us of the times weve pushed ourselves too closely to the limit to test our own foolishness. As the optimist says, Good things always come from the bad. A lesson learned, a new wheeling buddy with a SuperDuty, new parts that you were meaning to replace, or your photo in our magazine.
This years Best of Whoops! installment is what were calling the best of the worst. Traditionally these pages are almost always graced by photos weve stashed away throughout the year. Weve dug through our new contributions for those up-to-date crazy antics, but weve also included a look back over the most intensely (and visually) shocking Best of Whoops images spanning almost 10 years of the tradition.
Inevitably, irrevocably, indubitably, if youd like us to shamelessly promote your Whoops! predicament, send us your photo, including a description of the who, what, where, why, and how. Taking photos at inopportune times is difficult, but if you have to squint to make out the photo, put that shot in the circular file and send us the clear one. Save the photo in which you can make out faces for the family album, and we have to have permission in the form of a signed letter from the owner of the vehicle in the photo (hopefully thats you) to run the photo. Send your mishap adventure snaps to 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine, Whoops!, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.