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Ultimate Adventure 2018 Invited Reader 2: Rick Prater – #UA2018

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2018 on June 6, 2018
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Photographers: Courtesy of Rick Prater

If there is one thing that we are a sucker for, it is classic sheetmetal. So when our panel saw Rick Prater’s Ultimate Adventure application, he was a shoe-in to get invited. The perfect patina on his 1951 Willys wagon caught our attention, but the drivetrain under the sheetmetal has what it takes to reliably survive a week-long torture test. Rick has built several Jeeps in the past, and even offered to help out others on the trip, which earned him another gold star. Hailing from Uintah, Utah, Rick has run just about every trail in Moab in his Wagon.

The Willys has a small-block Chevy 350 with factory TBI injection backed by an SM465 and NP205 transmission. It doesn’t get more dead-nuts reliable than that. With a deep First gear of 6.55:1 but no overdrive, Rick stuck with 4.10 gears in the front 10-bolt and rear 14-bolt axles. Simple leaf springs make room for 37-inch tires, and an iconic Warn 8274 upright winch looks right at home on the front of the Wagon. Rick is currently building a full rollcage to be compliant with UA rules then he is ready for whatever this year’s event has in store for him and the rest of the attendees.

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