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Joe Quichocho: 2009 Custom Jeep CJ-7 Buggy

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2010 on November 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Sean P. HolmanKen Brubaker

Island Hopper
About 3,800 miles west of Hawaii is the island of Guam (about 212 square miles), which is home to Joe Quichocho, his incredible custom '09 CJ-7 buggy, and about 181,000 people. He ran a gauntlet of red tape to get his rig from its island home to Hollister, even enduring an unnerving delay as the rig was held up in customs.

There are no coconuts or palm fronds on Quichocho's island rig. There is an impressive no-fat custom tube chassis built by the owner. Outside, the rig has custom body panels and a CJ-7 grille. In case things get too gnarly, there's a Warn 9.5ti winch fitted with Viking synthetic winch rope. The whole works rides on 54-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC tires that are mounted to 12-inch-wide Stazworks double-beadlock wheels. A pair of KC lights and a quartet of Hella lights illuminate the trail.

Joe Quichocho, Team #36

  • Most looking forward to: "The Frame Twister. Because in past DVDs it looks challenging regardless of your tire size, so I'd like to see what my rig is capable of."
  • Not looking forward to: "There's not a single event I'm not looking forward to. I'm excited to be a part of it all this year and I'm anxious for each event. I'm just going to have fun and do the best I can in each one."
  • Playing in his iPod/CD player: "Led Zeppelin."
  • Quichocho says: "I didn't attend any formal school for welding, but I did go to school for automotive. And I have A/C certification. I learned to weld from my father and through simple trial and error."


  • Owner name/city: Joe Quichocho/Mangilao, Guam
  • Occupation: Welder/fabricator, JQ Fabrications
  • Vehicle model: 2009 custom CJ-7
  • Estimated value: $65,000
  • Engine/aspiration: 502ci GM V-8/Accel intake and fuel injection, Hooker headers, dual Flowmaster Delta Force mufflers
  • Transmission: Hughes TH400, full manual valvebody, Winters shifter Transfer case: Atlas 4-spd
  • Suspension (f/r): Four-link, 2.5 Fox remote-reservoir coilovers/four-link, 2.5 Fox coilovers
  • Axles (f/r): 2.5-ton Rockwell, Ouverson locker and axleshafts/2.5-ton Rockwell, Ouverson locker and axleshafts
  • Axle ratio: 6.72:1
  • Wheels: 20x12 Stazworks
  • Tires: 54x19.5-20 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC

Even the folks at U.S. Customs were probably impressed by the layout of Quichocho's interior, because functionality is king. Occupants are nestled in Corbeau Baja seats and held safely in place by Crow Enterprizes safety harnesses. Quichocho points the rig where he wants it to go via a Grant steering wheel, and he monitors engine and related data using Auto Meter gauges.
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