New Broncos Coming
We weren't sure why this Stroppe Baja Bronco and a second early Bronco-owned by Edsel Ford II and his sons-were parked on the edge of the Ford display until we noticed a sign announcing the spring 2011 arrival of reproduction early Bronco body shells from Dynacorn Classic Bodies. Dynacorn has reproduced a number of muscle cars and early Chevy pickups to help restorers get a head start on their projects, but this will be the company's first SUV.
Seen at Sema
On page 58 Fred Williams brings you the hot new products from the annual SEMA extravaganza in Las Vegas. We spent our time there shooting the most outrageous and interesting vehicles on display.
Superlift 4xAdventure Jeep
What's that they say about men, boys, and the size of their toys? Superlift was handing out Matchbox toy cars in front of its 1:1-scale Jeep. Along with Axletech/Dynatrac portal axles and 42-inch Super Swamper Irok tires, the project truck boasted Smittybilt body panels, a custom roof rack and bumpers by Off-Camber Fabrication, and much, much more. The reptile hue is from House of Kolor.
Xplore Adventure Series FJ
This modified FJ Cruiser is the first to come from a new specialty vehicle program from Venchures Incorporated. The Xplore Adventure Series vehicles will be "ultimate off-road adventure vehicles with the best parts available through the aftermarket," says the company. The vehicles will be offered in four stages, using parts from such companies as ARB, Magnaflow, BFGoodrich, and Warn. This particular FJ will be auctioned in the spring, with proceeds benefitting the National Parks Foundation.
This wild Tacoma in the Warn booth was grabbing a lot of attention. Covered in a custom camo pattern that resembled Pacific Northwest ferns, the radically modified Toyota is powered by a 6.0L V-8 out of a Suburban mated to twin transfer cases (203 and 205). It gets even more gear reduction from portal axles. As you would imagine, it fairly bristles with winches: an M12,000 in front, an M15,000 in back, and a PullzAll on top. The meats are massive 21/49-16.5 Super Swamper Iroks hung on custom trailing arms and damped with King shocks.
Trucks at this year's SEMA Show were anything but subtle, as if a fullsize truck standing on a tall lift weren't enough to grab your attention. Case in point: Skyjacker's HD Hauler, a Chevy HD2500 pickup riding on a 7-inch lift and 37-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers. To make sure this big truck stood out in a crowd, the suspension company painted it with wild graphics and then topped it with a Polaris ATV.
VW Turbodiesel Jeep
Canadian company HPA Motorsports has developed a conversion kit that drops a 1.9L Volkswagen turbodiesel into a Jeep YJ. (A TJ kit is in the works.) After tuning the ECU with a Power Flash, HPA claims the diesel will put out 190 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque and will get 40-47 mpg. Backing the engine is a rebuilt Jeep AX-5 transmission, while the Dana 30 and 35 axles house 4.10s from Precision Gear.
Wrangler is "Hottest"
SEMA recognized three vehicles as the hottest of the show in a new award this year. The Jeep Wrangler came out on top of the Hottest 4x4-SUV category. Several modified Wranglers were featured in the Mopar booth, including the Hemi-powered imMortal we first saw in Moab. Signage that accompanied the Jeep noted that its front and rear eight-lug portal axles now have Mopar part numbers.
F-Series is "Hottest" Too
While Wrangler took the SEMA award for the hottest 4x4 of the show, Ford's fullsize pickup was named Hottest Truck. The pickups in Ford's booth were split between street and 4x4 versions. This F-150 SuperCrew was modified by Mickey Thompson Tires and X-Treme Toyz with a Fabtech 6-inch suspension system, LT315/70R17 Mickey T Baja Claw TTC tires, Fab Four bumpers carrying Warn winches front and rear, and custom paint from MM Auto Art.
This Just In
•Mr. Goodwrench, RIP.
"As part of the initiative to better connect General Motors' brands with customers, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac will each receive its own Certified Service brand." So reads the official press release/obituary announcing the death of Mr. Goodwrench. GM has used the fictitious mechanic as a symbol for its dealer service for nearly 40 years, and he will be missed. Mr. Chevrolet Certified Service just doesn't have the same ring.
•Driver Travis Carpenter and the Ultra4 4405 Land Use rig have been awarded by Hammerking Productions a Merit Entry into the 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers race in February. The merit entry is based on the team's ongoing efforts to promote responsible land use, raise awareness of land use issues, and to generate funds, volunteers, and memberships for various land use organizations. In last year's King of the Hammers, the 4405 team raised nearly $20,000 for land use organizations despite only completing 98 miles of the race. Three months after the 2010 race, 4405 burned in a structure fire. Since then, many companies, along with members of Pirate4x4.com, have donated parts and cash to rebuild the vehicle so it can continue its mission.