The Ten Coolest Rides of Spring Off-Road Expo
Our Editor-In Chief trekked to Pomona, CA and brought back the Top 10 vehicles of the show.
Spring is a magical time of the year. Winter releases its icy grip on us as the seasons change. The melting snow gives way to lush fields of green. Birds are chirping and the smell of flowers is in the air. We could go on and on about the wonders of spring but the majority of us don’t go running through grass fields singing songs from the Sound of Music (no offense to those that do). For most of us, spring is the perfect time to blow the dust off our rigs, fix what is broken and hit the trail.
Timed perfectly for the spring thaw and resulting wrench fest is the Spring Off-Road Expo in Pomona, California. A sister show to the larger and original Off-Road Expo in October, the spring show is a gathering of the latest and greatest that the off-road industry has to offer. Open to the public, it was easy for us to sneak in and wander the halls looking for the coolest parts and products. However, in our search we also spotted some cool rides. Always acting with your best interest in mind (it's because we love you), we bring them to you. Without further ado, here are the coolest rides from Spring Off-Road Expo.
Off Road Unlimited’s Red Addiction
Off Road Unlimited (www.offroadunlimited.com) transformed this Chevy 2500 HD two-wheel drive into the cool vehicle you see here. A custom-four link front suspension was built using King coilovers and a Dana 60 front axle stuffed with an ARB Air Locker and 4.56 gears. A divorced Advance Adapters transfer case makes the big beast four-wheel drive while 37-inch Pro Comp X terrain tires are used as rolling stock. Off Road Unlimited also built the slick little prerunner light bar along with the Defender top rack and light cage.
Outlaw Offroad’s Grand Cherokee
We will admit that wedging 40-inch tires on a Jeep Grand Cherokee is fairly insane but it sure does look cool. Outlaw Offroad (www.outlawoffroad.com) had on display their GC shod with 40-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts wrapped around TrailReady beadlocks. A custom four link front and rear utilizes King coilovers to allow enough room for the big meats. What also caught our eye was the unique air suspension setup with air bags sandwiched between the lower suspension links and the frame. They should help control sway, work as a secondary suspension and also allow for some ride height adjustment. Let’s just hope those lower links are strong!
Also on display was this beautiful prerunner. Our jaws instantly dropped and we drooled profusely over what essentially is a Trophy Truck with a cab on it. The fabrication is top notch throughout the rig along with the design. It was also evident that the truck had gobs of wheel travel. Cool touches like a louvered hood, big air scoops for the coolers and a retractable light rack had us salivating more than usual. It was the only vehicle at the show that we routinely saw people laying underneath gazing upward in quiet awe. We even saw one grown man cry!
Dirt Sports Magazine’s Project Retro Bronco
Project Retro Bronco is simply the coolest full-size Bronco ever. Its owner Ron DeWolf spent an untold fortune and the crew at Speed Unlimited (www.speedunl.com) did an amazing job in its construction. Still retaining four-wheel drive, Speed Unlimited built their own beautiful extended front TTB arms to give it a wide stance. A custom four-link in the rear provides major wheel travel. Giving its menacing look is the fiberglass front clip and rear bedsides from Fiberwerx (www.fiberwerx.com) who also stretched the rear cap a foot to match the stretched wheelbase. The fabrication on the Bronco is simply breathtaking and we have never seen another Bronco come close to its beauty. Now if only we could get the keys from Ron to take it for a romp.
Resting in Dirt Alliance’s booth (www.dirtalliance.com) was this absolutely massive Chevy 2500 HD with a Duramax diesel. Since it’s stance makes the 49-inch Super Swamper tires look puny we can’t even fathom how much lift it has but it isn’t somebody’s six inch lift kit. That is for damn sure. If we had to guess we would speculate around 36 inches! Break out the step ladders and watch out for those freeway overpasses!
While we have always thought a M1 Abrams tank would make an ideal commuter vehicle for Los Angeles traffic we have never been able to afford one. The CFMOTO 500 (www.cfmoto.cn), equipped with a Tatou 4S track system, takes us much closer to that dream. Direct from China, the CFMOTO 500 has less of a sticker shock that other ATV’s and its four-wheel independent suspension did look interesting. We liked the black paint scheme and the Tatou tracks are simply cool. Now if it can crush cars we can make it to work in no time.
Camburg Engineering’s Toyota Tundra Racer
Trophy Trucks, Class 1 race cars and other exotica sure are cool but usually have absolutely zero factory parts on them. In stark contrast to that is Camburg Engineering’s Toyota Tundra stock class racer. The crew at Camburg took a brand-new Toyota Tundra, equipped it with a beautiful cage and strengthened it where allowed by the rules. After that, it is was equipped with Bilstein shocks, Nitto tires and it was off to Mexico. The Tundra’s first race was a big one as it took on the very long and rough 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. In a testament to the talents of Camburg, it made almost the entire distance before motor expired with only miles to go. It was the only race truck that was driven to the show!
Suspensions Unlimited’s Sand Pro 4
Parked in front of Suspensions Unlimited’s (www.suspensionsunlimited) semi truck was this wicked Sand Pro 4 buggy. Built to take on the biggest dunes, it features King bypass shocks and coilovers at ever corner along with loads of suspension travel to allow it to haul booty through the rough. Other niceties include a Mendeola S4S transaxle and GM LS-2 engine. We liked its black paint scheme and gold wheels making it look like one bad-ass mofo. If you want one be prepared to come up with $89,999 (options extra) or put 20% down and finance the rest. Now if it was only roomy enough for us to live in.
Wild Boar’s Jeep JK Rubicon
While Wild Boar’s (www.wildboarproducts.com) JK wasn’t exactly a head-turner, what did catch out eye was its cool rack system built by Wild Boar. Attached directly to the top of the rack was a Magnolia Grand Tour pop-up tent converting this JK into the ultimate camping rig. We didn’t get a chance to climb into the tent to see how big it was but we imagine two smaller people could fit inside without much fuss. Anything beats camping on the ground! However you would have to figure out a way to take a ladder with you.
Skyjacker Super Duty
Skyjacker (www.skyjacker.com) had on display their fabulous 2008 Ford Super Duty which features their coilover suspension system and sported 37-inch Kumho Road Venture MT KL71 which are the directional version of the normal Road Venture MT. A massive Fab Fours front bumper protects the front end along with housing a massive Warn winch and lights. Another Fab Fours bumper is found at the rear of the big Duty. Custom graphics were applied over the base silver paint to make the Super Duty stand out from the rest of the crowd. We doubt they will ever lose it in a parking lot.
For more info on the next Off-Road Expo, visit www.offroadexpo.com