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Steven Montpas: 1949 Willys Pickup

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2011 on November 1, 2011
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Contributors: Douglas McColloch
Photographers: Sean P. Holman

Truck class:Mean Green Willys
Originally our Truck Class alternate, Steven Montpas (a genuinely nice guy who is definitely not mean) got his promotion to TTC competitor after another finalist was forced to drop out a month before the event. He promised us that he’d be ready to run with the big dogs, and his Willys pickup would appear to have the necessary ingredients to compete, with ample power, 2½-ton running gear, plenty of tire, and some interesting creativity in its suspension design.

Resting on a shortened, boxed, and plated frame, the ’49 Willys rolls on 54-inch TSL Boggers mounted on 20-inch double-beadlocked HEMMT military rims. The rear cagework, by Moore Fabrication, provides an extra measure of protection for the relocated radiator and fan and a custom fuel cell. Retrieval chores are handled by a Warn 9.5Xp up front and by a Warn XD9000 in the rear.

The Details

  • Owner name/city: Steven Montpas/Roseburg, OR
  • Occupation: Field mechanic, Oregon Dept. of Transportation
  • Vehicle model: 1949 Willys pickup
  • Estimated value: N/A
  • Engine/aspiration: 350ci Chevy V-8, bored .030 over, balanced; 670cfm Holley Truck Avenger carb, Edelbrock Performer dual-plane manifold, Hedman headers, Flowmaster exhaust
  • Transmission: Muncie 465
  • Transfer case: JB Fabrication NP205 twin-stick
  • Suspension (f/r): Custom “double- leaf,” three-link, Tuff Country shocks/“double leaf,” four-link, Tuff Country shocks
  • Axles (f/r): 2½-ton Rockwell/2½-ton Rockwell
  • Axle ratio: 6.72:1
  • Wheels: 20x10 double-beadlocked HEMMT
  • Tires: 54x20 Interco Boggers

Steven Montpas, Team #10

  • Most looking forward to:“I want a piece of the Tank Trap, and I’m sure it wants a piece of me. They say it’s the toughest event, and I want to complete it.”
  • Not looking forward to:“I’m looking forward to all of them. I want to put my vehicle to the test on all seven events.”
  • Playing on your iPod/CD player:“Who knows? Too busy getting ready for TTC.”

A Real Jeep should be able to be hosed out after a day on the trail, and the Willys is true to the breed. Interior upgrades are minimal and all aimed at function, including the trio of Mac’s Tools gauges and a Grant steering wheel. Note also the JB Fabrications twin sticks for the 205 transfer case.
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