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An Introduction to the 2020 Ultimate Adventure Long Range Jeep #UA2020

We start a build to pay homage to Jeep’s military past.

Members of the expedition standing by cars, From a collection of lantern slides made to illustrate a paper by Major R.A. Bagnold on "A further journey through the Libyan Desert", read by W.B.K. Shaw on 29th May 1933, Libya. Artist R.A. Bagnold. (Photo by Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images)

Long ago, all over the world jeeps helped the allies win World War II. During the North Africa Campaign, mostly in the Sahara Desert MB and GPW jeeps were modified by the British SAS as fast attack vehicles and inflicted much damage on their foes. These jeeps would rush into an area, wreak havoc, usually on Axis air bases, with vehicle mounted twin Vickers K machine guns, and then disappear back out into the desert. Often these SAS jeeps were modified for these fast attack missions. They were sprayed in a flat sand color, fitted with extra fuel, water, parts, and iconically, all but the two center grille slats would be removed from the grille, supposedly to aid in air flow and thus engine cooling. The history is great, and there are tons of images of rag tag SAS soldiers riding in decked out Jeeps in books and on the internet. The history of these successful hit-and-run raids by the SAS was set in motion by another group of explorers who, prior to the war, explored the Sahara as one of the last areas on earth to go un-mapped. This group was led by a British Scientist named R.A. Bagnold who'd spent his free time before the war, with a few friends, exploring the un-mapped portions of the Sahara usually in modified Model T and Model A Fords. With the beginning of World War II, Bagnold and others first formed the Long Range Patrol, or LRP that would later become the Long Range Desert Group, a reconnaissance group that would teach and inspire the British SAS in WWII, the guys in Jeeps.

What does any of this have to do with Ultimate Adventure 2020? Well other than a general interest in off-roading history, and paying tribute to those who wheeled before us, not much. Truth is Editor Christian Hazel and Tech Editor Verne Simons have been discussing building this project vehicle, an SAS inspired Jeep, since 2012, but the time wasn't right until now. And, as you know when it comes time to build a project vehicle for Ultimate Adventure we like to find a theme to run with for the build, and building a highly capable adventure based vehicle that pays tribute to the SAS and LRDG and those men who spent time in jeeps in the desert during WWII risking life and limb makes about as much sense as anything we can come up with. Our plan, to make a modern-day Jeep that would be the envy of any and all desert bound soldier from WWII. Our starting point are some jeep parts, a tub of a Jeep Wrangler LJ and a stretched TJ frame, and to that end we will call the project the Ultimate Adventure Long Range Jeep Or UA LRJ. Our plan is to use the vetted and quality parts provided by our sponsors (that allow the Ultimate Adventure to occur) to build a vehicle that stands out, is capable and reliable and can take us through the weeklong on- and off-road adventure that is Ultimate Adventure 2020.

Here are some historical images of the SAS in WWII, the LRDG, and R.A. Bagnold exploring the Sahara in Ford Model Ts and As. Followed up with some of what we've got and what we've done to get started with the 2020 Ultimate Adventure Long Range Jeep

Members of the expedition standing by cars, From a collection of lantern slides made to illustrate a paper by Major R.A. Bagnold on "A further journey through the Libyan Desert", read by W.B.K. Shaw on 29th May 1933, Libya. Artist R.A. Bagnold. (Photo by Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images)
War and Conflict, World War Two, pic: circa 1944, Western Desert, North Africa, A New Zealand patrol of the Long Range Desert Group, part of the British Army, pictured resting and "brewing up" for drinks, This mobile force of small parties of men, heavily armed, covered thousands of miles in the Sahara desert. The group's Chevrolet 1 1/2 -ton vehicles are parked in the background. (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Lieutenant Edward MacDonald (foreground)sits at the wheel of his Willys MB 1/4 ton Jeep with Corporal Bill Kennedy manning the twin-mounted gas operated Vickers K machine guns beside him and the rest of the heavily armed patrol of L Detachment Special Air Service (SAS) Brigade on 18th January 1943 somewhere in the desert of North Africa.(Photo by Major Geoffrey Keating, No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The Campaign In North Africa 1940-1943, The Axis Offensive 1941 - 1942: A Special Air Service jeep patrol is greeted by its commander, Colonel David Stirling, on its return from the desert, 18 January 1943. (Photo by Capt. G Keating/ Imperial War Museums via Getty Images)
A war veteran talking to young WW2 reenactors in a reproduction WWII SAS Willys MB jeep during World War Two militaria fair. Our plan is to mimic this type of SAS re-creation with modern modifications to make the UA LRJ the pinnacle of what it can be for Ultimate adventuring. (Photo by: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images).
This is the starting point for the 2020 Ultimate Adbeuture Long Range Jeep (UA LRJ) that will pay homage to the SAS Jeeps from WWII in North Africa, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), and more.
It's a LJ body on a stretched 2003 TJ chassis, but it wont look like this for long. We have some tricks up our sleeves to make it much more retro.
Out with the old, and in with the new. It's got to come apart before it can be put together.

As in years past the event and the project vehicle build could not be done without our sponsors. For Ultimate Adventure 2020 we'd like to welcome back Cummins, the Official Turbo Diesel, Dana, the Official Crate Axle, Falken Tire, the Official Tire, IH Parts America, Official IH Truck & Scout Parts, Offroad Design, the Official Transfer Case, Skyjacker Suspension, the Official Shock & Suspension, and VooDoo Offroad, the Official Recovery Rope. We would also like to welcome back Warn, the Official Winch, and welcome a new sponsor for 2020, Quick Draw Brand the Official Adapter Kit.

We also need to thank other supporters of the Vehicle build like Quadratec, Summit Racing, Redneck Ram/West Texas Offroad, Rare Parts, Centerforce Clutch, Daystar, GenRight Off-Road, Trail Ready, and many more.

Source:

Sponsors:
Cummins, 800.286.6467, www.cummins.com/engines/repower
Dana, 800.621.8084, spicerparts.com/applications/crateaxle
Falken Tire, www.falkentire.com/
IH Parts America, 530.274.1795, www.ihpartsamerica.com/
Offroad Design, 970.945.7777, www.offroaddesign.com/
onX Offroad, onxmaps.com/offroad-app
Quick Draw Brand, 513.446.9654, quickdrawbrand.com/
Quigley Motor Company, 800.233.9358, quigley4x4.com/
Skyjacker Suspension, 318.388.0816, skyjacker.com/
VooDoo Offroad, 844.866.3661, www.voodoooffroad.com/
Warn Winch, 800.543.9276, www.warn.com/

Other Sources:
Daystar, 800.595.7659, www.daystarweb.com/
Centerforce Clutch, 800.932.5882, www.centerforce.com/
GenRight, 805.584.8635, genright.com/
Quadratec, 800.745.6037, www.quadratec.com/
Rare Parts, 800.621.2005 , rareparts.com/
Redneck Ram/West Texas Off-Road, 877.833.7464, www.westtexasoffroad.com/
Summit Racing, 800.230.3030, www.summitracing.com/
Trail Ready Wheels, 425.353.6776, trbeadlocks.com/