1. home
  2. ultimate adventure
  3. 2020
  4. Meet the UA2020 Staff #UA2020

Meet the UA2020 Staff #UA2020

Ringmasters of the UA circus.

There's a core group of guys who spend an inordinate amount of time and/or effort to get Ultimate Adventure planned, executed, and covered in a such way that everybody who cares about the event can maximize their enjoyment of it. Fred Williams is always good for a solution to a problem or an industry contact who may be able to handle a need. Plus, he and his Dirt Every Day cohost, Dave Chappelle, shoot video for Dirt Every Day Extra episodes during the event that you can watch on MotorTrend On Demand. Harry Wagner is a former 4-Wheel & Off-Road staff member and longtime photographer. Playfully dubbed our "tactical cameraman," Harry's twin-gun Canon DSLR rig and artistic eye have brought the finished quality of the event coverage up significantly compared to the event's pre-Wagner days. Trent McGee, longtime Crony and all-around off-roading savant, has for years planned the UA routes and served as UA Guide, each year managing to find killer trails and incredible points of interest between the event start and finish location that Christian selects. And Verne Simons and Christian Hazel are the two fulltime editorial staffers and all that entails. For Verne, it's letting his creative juices flow inside his 40x40 home shop as he builds the official UA vehicle, incorporating event sponsor product and always finding a fresh way to build something that stands out and doesn't replicate traditional builds. And while Verne does the real wrenching, Christian Hazel spins all the corporate nuts and bolts with the MotorTrend events team from behind the wizard's curtain to get Ultimate Adventure planned, funded, executed, and covered in the best way possible. Hope you enjoy the results of all the work to put on UA2020. We know we do.

UALRJ 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited/MB Hybrid

DRIVERS: Christian Hazel, Verne Simons

DROVE IT OR TOWED IT: Towed

HOW MANY UAS HAVE YOU BEEN ON: 8 (Christian); 10 (Verne)

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP: Seeing all my off-road buddies and making new friends. I also really enjoy rolling through small-town USA with the UA convoy behind me and watching the reaction of locals as they see this off-road circus going by. (Christian); Fenton Pass in the Badlands of Wyoming. (Verne)

WHAT BROKE DURING UA: Heater core leaked and the main fuse popped when moving hoses around to bypass the heater.

>DRIVETRAIN

ENGINE: Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel crate engine

TRANSMISSION: AX15 five-speed manual with Quick Draw Brand adapter kit

TRANSFER CASE(S): Offroad Design Magnum box with ORD twin-stick Ford NP205

DRIVESHAFTS: Quigley Custom Driveshafts, 1350 CV front & rear

AXLES: Ultimate Dana 60 JK crate axles, 4.88s, Eaton E-Lockers (front and rear)

>SUSPENSION

SPRINGS & SUCH: Skyjacker LeDuc Series JK long-arm suspension with dual-rate remote-reservoir coilovers at all four corners

TIRES & WHEELS: 38x13.50R17 Falken Wildpeak M/T on 17x8.5 TrailReady beadlock

WINCH: Warn M8274-S 10,000-lb

OTHER: Warn Premium 35-spline locking hubs; Quick Draw Brand bellhousing and motor mounts; Chris Durham Motorsports MB/GPW to TJ/LJ hood; Omix ADA replica MB grille and lights; Mishimoto radiator and cold air charge boots; Poison Spyder 4-inch-stretch corner guards; GenRight 20-gallon fuel tank; Redneck Ram steering box and hydro-assist ram; Borgeson steering shafts; Rare Parts drag link and tie rod; Centerforce clutch and throw out bearing; Accutune air bump cans; Rugged Radios 60-watt radio and intercom system.

 

Ultimate International 1964 International Scout 80

DRIVERS: Trent McGee

DROVE IT OR TOWED IT: Drove it to the pre-run, towed it home

HOW MANY UAS HAVE YOU BEEN ON: 20

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP: The trail up to McKelvey Lake. It's scenic, challenging, and very rewarding at the end.

WHAT BROKE DURING UA: Front driveshaft separated three times, ARB compressor quit working

>DRIVETRAIN

ENGINE: Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel crate engine

TRANSMISSION: Tremec TR-4050

TRANSFER CASE(S): Offroad Design Magnum box with ORD twin-stick Ford NP205

AXLES: Ultimate Dana 60 bracketless crate axles, 4.88s, ARB air locker (front and rear)

>SUSPENSION

SPRINGS & SUCH: Skyjacker 52-inch Chevy springs spring-under, Skyjacker N95 monotube shocks, IH Parts America shackle-reversal system and spring hangers

TIRES & WHEELS: 38x13.50R17 Falken Wildpeak M/T on 17x9 Walker Evans Racing beadlock

WINCH: Warn Zeon 10

OTHER: PCI radio; Premier Power welder; MasterCraft seats: Lizard Skin interior; Redneck Ram steering; Rare Parts steering linkage; Quick Draw Brand bellhousing and adapter parts; IH Parts America floors; lots of real patina

 

Tube Sock 1997 TJ Wrangler

DRIVERS: Fred Williams; Harry Wagner (actually co-drove with Skinny Kenny)

DROVE IT OR TOWED IT: Drove it

HOW MANY UAS HAVE YOU BEEN ON: 17 (Fred); 6 (Harry)

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP: The big rolling hills and trails in Montana. I've never been exploring in Montana, and it held so much cool stuff I just want to go back. (Fred); I liked camping at Carruthers Lake. (Harry)

WHAT BROKE DURING UA: Signal wire fell off starter.

>DRIVETRAIN

ENGINE: Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel crate engine

TRANSMISSION: NV3550

TRANSFER CASE(S): Atlas 3.8:1

AXLES: Currie 44, 5.38s, ARB air locker, RCV axleshafts (front); Currie 60, 5.38s, ARB air locker (rear)

>SUSPENSION

SPRINGS & SUCH: Modified BDS long-arm 4-inch lift with Fox shocks

TIRES & WHEELS: 38x13.50R17 Falken Wildpeak M/T on 17x8.5 TrailReady beadlock

WINCH: Warn 8274-S 10,000-lb

OTHER: ARB fridge/freezer; Rugged Radios communication system; Chris Durham Motorsports hood; Bestop top; MasterCraft seats; Tuffy Security console; Poison Spyder armor and cage

Source:

Sponsors:
Cummins: Official Turbo Diesel, 800.286.6467, www.cummins.com/engines/repower
Dana, 800.621.8084: Official Crate Axle, spicerparts.com/applications/crateaxle
Falken Tire: Official Tire, www.falkentire.com/
IH Parts America: Official IH Truck & Scout Parts, 530.274.1795, www.ihpartsamerica.com/
Offroad Design: Official Transfer Case, 970.945.7777, www.offroaddesign.com/
onX Offroad: Official Mapping Tool, onxmaps.com/offroad-app
Quick Draw Brand: Official Adapter Kit, 513.446.9654, quickdrawbrand.com/
Quigley Motor Company: Official Custom Driveshaft, 800.233.9358, quigley4x4.com/
Skyjacker Suspension: Official Shock & Suspension, 318.388.0816, skyjacker.com/
VooDoo Offroad: Official Recovery Rope, 844.866.3661, www.voodoooffroad.com/
Warn Industries: Official Winch, 800.543.9276, www.warn.com/