The Cronies are the best part of Ultimate Adventure 2019 #UA2019
Crony Cream of the Crop
Sometimes the Ultimate Adventure coverage can feel a little muddied when we try to divide the participants into categories. Historically that's just been how we cover the event, but in recent years we've had cronies serving as sponsor representatives, stepping in as surrogate staff members, and everything in between. In short, how do you really categorize a group of folks who do absolutely anything asked of them to support the UA? Outside of labeling them the best damn bunch of friends, wheelers, and on-trail rock stars, we can't think of anything. So even though the full list of cronies who are the oil that keeps the UA machine from seizing up in a fireball of sparks isn't laid out in this single story, together the UA cronies are the heart and soul behind the event and a huge reason for its success over the past twenty years.
2012 JKJ Double Ender
Driver(s): Sam "Five-Quarter-Ton Dismantler" Gillis and Clifton "Cliffypoo" Slay
Drove it or towed it: Flew in and drove it like rock stars
How many UAs have you been on?: 15 (Gillis)
Favorite part of the trip: Visiting a part of the country I will never get back to. Totally different environment than the UAs of the past. Being able to see the glaciers and camp with animals that may eat you made it exciting!—Gillis
What broke during UA: Noting except for my credit card. Being in "rock star mode" this year was great. I flew in, picked up rental UA rig, ran the sh*t out of it, and parked it. Relied on Delta Airlines to carry me home. Great trip.—Gillis
Engine: 3.6L Pentastar V-6
Transmission: WA580 5-speed auto
Transfer Case: NP241
Axles: Ultimate Dana 60 crate axles with 5.13 gears and Eaton ELockers (front and rear)
Springs & Such: Zone 4-inch long-arm front and rear
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken Wildpeak M/T on 17x9 Mickey Thompson Classic II
Winch: Warn Zeon 10-S (front); Warn PowerPlant (rear)
Other: GenRight aluminum fenders; Synergy Mfg. rock sliders and skidplates; Truck-Lite headlights and taillights
Driver: Rick "Ricardo Los Cabesa" Pewe
Drove it or towed it: Towed there, drove it home.
How many UAs have you been on?: 18
Favorite part of the trip: Mud trail.
What broke during UA: Front ring-and pinion, what else? That's it. Wipers in the rain on the way home.
Engine: Odd-fire GM 5.3. Wish it had a Quadrajet. LOL 6.2 LS3 EROD.
Transfer Case: Atlas
Axles: Dynatrac ProRock 44/60 front; ProRock 60 rear
Springs & Such: Custom Atlas packs, Fox coilover front leaf rear
Tires & Wheels: 38x13.50R17 Falken WildPeak M/T on Walker Evans beadlock
Other: Former Ultimate Adventure vehicle so it has everything under the kitchen sink
Team Ultimate Adventure
Read with the theme from the movie Team America, World Police in your head, please. This is the dedicated team that has been a part of every Ultimate Adventure for the past 20 years in one way or another. Whether we call them staff, cronies, or some other made-up name, what's true is that these are some of the most accomplished off-roaders, field fixers, camp cookers, story writers, and truck-building Ultimate Adventurers in the business—even if they can't all look at the same camera at the same time. Left to right: Clifton Slay, Christian Hazel, Trent McGee, Ken Smith, Keith Bailey, Chris Durham, Verne Simons, Fred Williams, Rick P w , Sam Gillis, and of course in the foreground, Tom Boyd. Not to mention Harry Wagner, who is in his natural habitat behind the lens taking this photo.