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Staff of Ultimate Adventure 2018 #UA2018

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2018 on August 3, 2018
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Photographers: 4 Wheel & Off-Road Staff

Despite working together, the staff of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road doesn’t all work in the same office or even live in the same state. Ultimate Adventure is a boatload of work to line up and execute, but once we get through check-in and the time comes for that first drivers meeting, most of the hard work and preparation has been performed. All that’s left to do is reunite with old friends and have an awesome week exploring and wheeling. It’s also an opportunity for us to actually get our rigs out on the trail instead of carrying a camera or sitting behind a desk writing stories and dialing in for conference calls. That’s what motivated us 19 years ago to skip town and go on the first Ultimate Adventure. While the UA has evolved, the motive remains the same.

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This year Verne Simons built a 1989 Range Rover as the official vehicle of the Ultimate Adventure. While he tossed all of the British drivetrain in favor of a Cummins R2.8, an Offroad Design Magnum with a Ford NP205, and Ultimate Dana 60 crate axles, he did put some British flavor back in the Derange Rover. Each day of the trip Simons and editor/cat herder Christian Hazel donned even more ridiculous British outfits while sharing driving duties. We really hope that these two are driving a Suzuki next year so we can see them dressed up like geishas and Samurais!

1989 Range Rover SWB

Drivers: Verne Simons, Christian Hazel
How Many UAs Have You Been On? 7 (Simons); 6 (Hazel)
Favorite Part of the Trip? “Being able to bring my off-road friends and colleagues to my old childhood stomping grounds and sharing some of the things I enjoyed as a kid and young adult, especially the trip up Mount Washington” (Christian). “Getting to wheel muddy rock trails back east. I grew up with slick East Coast trails and don’t get to wheel on them much these days since I live in Arizona now” (Verne).
>Drivetrain
Engine: Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel
Transmission: NV3500 5-speed manual
Transfer Case: Offroad Design Magnum Doubler
Axles: Ultimate Dana 60 crate axles with 4.88 gears and Eaton Elockers (front and rear)
>Suspension
Springs & Such: Factory Rover radius arms with Skyjacker LeDuc Series JK coilovers, Ruff Stuff Specialties track bar brackets, Rob Bonney Fabrication chromoly track bar (front); Rover 3-link with custom upper wishbone, Skyjacker M-95 shocks, and Skyjacker JKU rear lower control arms (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken Wildpeak M/T on 17x9 Method 101 beadlock with 106 rings
Winch: Warn XD9000
Other: Premier Power Welder; 26-circuit Painless Performance weatherproof off-road chassis harness; 40x55-inch Legacy Products sliding soft top; Axis Industries R2.8 adapters and motor mounts; Centerforce clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel; Wilwood clutch master cylinder and pedal assembly; Novak clutch slave cylinder; JE Reel driveshafts and 32-spline flanges front and rear; ARB front bumper, freezer-fridge, and roof rack; Stage8 Dana 60 spindle lock nuts; replacement Rover radiator from RockAuto.com; MasterCraft Baja RS seats; Flex-a-lite mechanical fan
What Broke: Magnet failed on Eaton locker actuator

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Is he staff? A crony? A tailgunner? Rick Péwé is all three in one. The longtime organizer of the UA now has a much more relaxed role, which he has taken to like a duck to water. he always lets the group know where the tail has made the turn and ensures that no one is left behind. In the seat next to Péwé was Art Director Alan Huber, the man responsible for making this magazine (and our sister magazine Jp) look awesome each and every month. We were happy to pry him away from his computer and get him out on the trail, where he was always in the right place at the right time with his camera.

2012 Jeep Wrangler

Driver: Rick Péwé
Co-driver: Alan Huber
How Many UAs Have You Been On? 17 (Péwé); 10 (Huber)
Favorite Part of the Trip? “My favorite part was the rain’ (Péwé). “Toss-up between getting to go to the top of Mount Washington and finally getting to cross the Millerburg Ferry after the water was too low back in UA 2010” (Huber).
>Drivetrain
Engine: 3.6L V-6
Transmission: WA580 5-speed automatic
Transfer Case: NP241
Axles: Ultimate Dana 60 crate axles with 5.13 gears and Eaton ELockers (front and rear)
>Suspension
Springs & Such: Zone 4-inch long arm (front and . . . front?)
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken Wildpeak M/T on 17x9 Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels
Steering: PSC hydraulic ram, Lee Mfg. steering box and pump
Winch: Warn Zeon 10-S (front); Warn PowerPlant (rear)
Other: GenRight aluminum fenders, Synergy Mfg. rock sliders and skidplates, Truck-Lite headlights and taillights
What Broke: Emergency brake cable got torn off

While he has never brought one of his own rigs to a UA, for the past three years Harry Wagner has been our main man behind the camera, capturing images for UA stories for the magazine and web. The tactical cameraman can often be seen on foot lugging two cameras around in his pursuit of the perfect shot.

Shoutouts!

While not official sponsors, we had some help on UA 2018 that cannot go unmentioned.

Tiger LeBrun has come on the Ultimate Adventure in the past, so he knew what he was getting into. he and his wife, Renee, kept the video production crew fed, hydrated, and running hard all week long. As the supervisor of 4x4 production at Quigley Motor Company, LeBrun had the perfect vehicle to haul our video crew (not to mention all of their gear) all over New England. The Quigley E-350 offered voluminous dry, lockable storage that no other vehicle on the trip could match and unparalleled off-road performance. Quigley Motor Co., quigley4x4.com
The bugs in New England are no joke. They are giant, abundant, and carry diseases that range from debilitating to lethal. We aren’t being overly dramatic—Lyme Disease runs rampant in this part of the country. Crony Tom Boyd coordinated with Sawyer to ensure that everyone on the event had plenty of Sawyer permethrin to treat our clothes and camping gear, and picaridin to apply to our skin. The products proved incredibly effective, and everyone enjoyed an itch-free Ultimate Adventure thanks to Sawyer. Sawyer, sawyer.com
Each year, Ultimate Adventure T-shirts, coozies, stickers, and other swag are distributed in a duffle bag. The past two years the bags we used may as well have been trash bags due to their disposable nature. This year things were different though. The Rightline 4x4 Auto Duffels we distributed are constructed from PVC-coated mesh and use sealed zippers to ensure that they are weatherproof. Rather than a keepsake to hang in the garage, these bags are functional pieces of equipment that can be used to organize clothing, camping gear, and recovery equipment for years to come. Rightline Gear, rightlinegear.com
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