Cheap Truck Challenge Winner?
I’m a longtime reader, first time writing in. I just wanted to make a comment about the Cheap Truck Challenge (Sept. ’12). Yes, I’m a Toyota guy—you got me—but I think Péwé’s pickup won. This whole challenge demonstrates why we drive and wheel in Toyotas. If you wheel responsibly, “calm, collected, and methodical,” you can wheel the shit out of them for years. I believe both the Bronco and the Suburban had to be trailered home and the Toyota was the only one that survived the testing. For that reason I think the Toyota came in first.
When I was 17 I couldn’t spend that much money to wheel once then have to spend more money fixing bent axle tubes and oil pan damage. I guess the Bronco’s tire is not a huge fix, but still, leaf-sprung Toyotas take a licking and keep on ticking. I’m glad I got to my 4Runner before one of you guys did. I think it would have beat Péwé’s pickup with the 61⁄2-inch All-Pro leaves, 5.29s and ARB, and 35-inch MTRs. Even though mine needed a new engine it would have left a little for other upgrades.
Thanks for the great magazine, and keep up the good work. I have nothing against Jeeps, but it was nice to see a challenge without a Jeep contestant. Also, the 4Runner needs new tires, so if you come across a gift card or something send it my way please.
I personally thought my Toyota won as well, but hey, I have a vested interest in the whole deal. It’s not whether you win or lose but whether you had fun four-wheelering. I did!
Fred Williams replies: The Suburban didn’t need to be trailered home, but actually the Bronco was trailered and the Toyota was towed behind Rick’s motorhome, so my Suburban won!
Cheap? Truck Challenge?
I am a teenager living in San Luis Obispo, California, a town right near where you did your Cheap Truck Challenge. I am an avid off-roader and spend much of my free time hitting the same dunes you did and exploring the surrounding countryside. I want to say that I didn’t feel the off-roaders you guys put together were that cheap. The kids I know who have $4,000 cars got them from their parents. No kid working a job for two summers is going to be able to afford a $4,000 car; kids are just too lazy. They also spend their money on other things: food, movies, gas, and girls.
I liked reading about the cars you boys put together. However, next year I’d like to see you guys working on a bit of a cheaper budget. Say, $2,500 for everything? I know you guys are probably experts on everything 4WD and off-road, but I like to think I know a bit about how much your average kid can afford. I have a cheap truck, and I have maybe $1,000 in it, total. My friend has a cheap SUV, and he has about $2,300 in it, total. Another friend has an expensive truck, and he only has $3,500 in it. I know $4,000 is cheap to the guys who put a Viper engine in a Tahoe (that was you guys, right? [It was a Dodge Durango. —Ed.]), but to me and the rest of America’s teens, $4,000 is a lot of money. Still love the magazine, though.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Fred Williams replies: Luke, I am not your father and can’t afford to give you a $4,000 truck. With that said, you are not alone in your thoughts, but we had to start somewhere for our budget builds. And remember, the $4,000 budget was the max you could spend (even though Péwé broke that rule), not the required amount to spend. That budget was the most we decided a guy could afford over two summers of minimum wage work ($2K per summer). We don’t doubt you could do it cheaper—we could as well—but we opted for $4K to showcase a variety of build options.
A Really Cheap Truck Challenge
I recently saw a video for the Cheap Truck Challenge on YouTube [goo.gl/u5C2X] and noticed that the cost for the competition was $2,000 for the truck and a max of $2,000 in repairs and modifications. Recently I drove a ’93 Toyota pickup from England to Mongolia literally within that price range ($3,980 on truck and repairs total, not including kitchen plumbing fuel lines in Kazakhstan). In summary, the trip was madness but extremely fun. I thought you might find my adventure interesting.
To give some background on why I would have done this trip, here are some details. Have you ever heard of anyone competing in the geographical race England to Mongolia? My teammate (Will) and I did so by navigating one of the arduous 11,000-mile routes from South Hampton, England, to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in the 2012 Mongol Rally. We are one of the few American teams that made the run across Eurasia, and once we reached the capital we gave our truck away to a local tribesman as charity. Man, that guy was happy. We thought you might find the adventure interesting. Here is our Facebook with pictures (some 500 and we still have more to load): www.facebook.com/pages/Quarter-Life-Crisis-Mongol-Rally-2012/282749081746820. A good video about the rally is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VwacRktz2c.
Team Quarter-Life Crisis
Thanks for the links and photos. That sounds like an awesome journey. It is like Cheap Truck Challenge meets the DED (Dirt Every Day) Tour. Wait, maybe we should do that!
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