10 Hottest SEMA Builds
Real 4x4s at SEMA 2019
Bro-dozers aside, there actually are real off-roadable 4x4s at the SEMA show just about every year. Sure, some may never get wheeled hard while others do, but there are several here with the goods to get them down the trail and up the next obstacle. Here are 10 builds we know we would like to see on the trail. Some of them we are sure we will, while others may never get to hit the dirt.
Sure, it's kind of a self-feed, after all we did build and wheel this particular tractor, but we have it on pretty good authority that our little 13 letter $&it spreader was pretty hot at SEMA 2019. Between its farm fresh looks, 38-inch tires, one-ton axles, gearing for days, turbodiesel torque, simple suspension and way, way more, this IH is without doubt one of the hottest and real 4x4s of SEMA 2019. Do you see the whisky bottle? The differential side gears? How about a guy riding a little tractor? It's all there.
Green Apple Cherokee
In the mid 70s Jeep sold a few of its models in a color known as Green Apple. This color is not exactly everyone's cup of tea maybe folks who like green tea. Green Apple is, however, one of our favorite colors because no matter how much it looks like something you may find squashed on your windshield or steaming in a baby diaper, it is unique and defiantly 70s—and generally lovable. This particular Cherokee is rare not only because of its color, but also because of its re-fresh by New Legend 4x4.
Legit Mahindra Roxor
Sadly, we can't tell you too much about this Mahindra Roxor, and we like a lot of what we see. The high-lined hood and front fenders are a nice touch and give the little not-Jeep Jeep space for more tire. The theme is carried out in the back where the wheelwells were moved up, effectively mini-tubbing the rear just a little. The Dirty Life wheels hold 37s, a great looking size tire that may just begin to tax the Dana 44-like axles. We totally dig the primer grey color, but just can't get behind the added traction and weight bed lining a body adds. But all-in-all, this is one nice Mahindra.
Tucked back in the North Hall of SEMA 2019 sits a survivor of a late 70s to early 80s CJ-5. These Jeeps are sadly the black sheep of the Jeep family, but since we always pull for the underdog we find ourselves liking these short Jeeps. This one has well-aged paint; the patina tells a story of adventure. We also dig the factory spoke wheels, BFG muds, tow bar, and retro cool Warn Winch.
Week To Wheeling Bronco
OK, this is another self-feed, but an un-cut Bronco is always going to be a hot commodity, and this one is basically brand new. The details on this Ford are many: the Ford Racing 302, AOD, Atlas II, 3:1, narrowed F-150 Dana 44, and Wild Horses 9-inch rear both with Eaton differentials and 4.56s from Yukon Gear. Our leader, Head Editor, Christian Hazel and Ultimate Adventure Crony Chris Durham pair up to build this Bronco in one week. Check out the Week to Wheeling videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVkq5eGzzJ7YLYzYF7MqTuxcZAssvaDuJ
BDS' Old Ultimate Adventure CRD Liberty
This has to be one of (if not absolute) the coolest Jeep Liberty there is. The guys from BDS Suspension built it for Ultimate Adventure 2013. The Jeep was an awesome shade of grey that has now been updated to copper and black not too long ago. The Jeep still gets wheeled and still runs the 2.8L diesel connected to a five-speed auto which sends power to an Atlas II, and it has front and rear JK Rubicon Dana 44s that have been re-geared (Nitro 5.38:1 gears), RCV axles, and OX/ARB Air Lockers.
Dan Grec's Globe Trotting JKU
Our friend Dan Grec drove this JKU all over Africa. His stories are spread out via various media outlets around the globe. Dan had some crazy adventures, but he did it, and this Jeep did to. The Jeep wears some of the scars that lend credence to his stories. There are far too many tales to tell; we recommend you google his name and find out all about his trip. We know that many of you have shared the dream of this type of adventure. Most of us think there is no way we could do this, and the truth is we could if we would, but it may be easier to live vicariously through Dan and his global roaming tan JKU.
Sugga is apparently Swedish for pig or sow. Whatever it means, we like this momma pig. Truth be told "Babe the Sugga" is a little bit cleaner than we might go for, but we are admittedly obsessed with utility over form. This thing may look like a Sugga, but it is a pig in wolf's clothing. The Sugga body sits on a modified 1994 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 chassis. Power comes from an intercooled 12-valve Cummins with a P-pump which sends power through the venerable Dodge NV4500 five-speed ahead of a New Process transfer Case, Dana 60 front, and Dana 80 rear. The owner of the baconator swears he will use the rig; we're hoping he takes it off-road and falls in love with wheeling this potent pig.
Ned Bacon's NORRA Roxor
Man, right now I sure wish I hadn't hit the pig names so hard in the last bit of text because this side-by-side is as flavorful as pork belly. Our pal Ned Bacon built this Roxor for the historic NORRA Mexican 1000 race. The Indian evolution of Willys-era Jeeps finished the race with very few issues, slowly but surely poking down the race course with Ned at the helm. Ned and his wife Kat also raced the Sonora Rally in the Green Mahindra. Since wrapping up these races, Ned and the Roxor also attended Trail Tour (an event inspired by Ultimate Adventure) and drove over the Rubicon. The rig shows some evidence of both race use and its time on the trails. Here are some more detail photos of the rig.
IFS Early Bronco
We have a sweet spot for Broncos, but unlike our Week to Wheeling Bronco, this one not so subtly bends (or breaks) most of the rules of what a Bronco is. The Early Bronco body sits atop a fabricated frame with independent front suspension and massive go-fast trailing arms locating the custom rear axle. We're guessing the rig has a Ford 6R80 transmission and perhaps an Atlas II transfer case.