Building off-road rigs is something that people love to do or just like to see the outcome. Those lucky enough to build or own a capable vehicle going out at enjoying the dirt is worth all the busted knuckles.
For Matt Christian of Duncan, Oklahoma, building monster rigs is a well-kown trademark. From a massive S-10 nicknamed Money Pit 1.0 to his new project a 2007 Chevrolet Colorado, Matt knows how to build some massive vehicles.
Behind The Builder
“I’m just a small-town country guy who grew up on a ranch and learned what hard work was from a young age,” Matt explained. “I started racing motocross when I was around 13 years old and did that on bikes till I was 17, when I switched to racing quads. I got pretty good at that, but needed the financial backing to go to the next level.”
“I hung my helmet up and got into crawlers and side-by-sides,” Matt continued. “I did the side-by-side thing for a little while, until I took my wife out in my dad’s rig. She said she enjoyed it way more than my street bike-powered rhino, and that was all I needed to hear! At that point, I started searching for parts for Money Pit 1.0.”
Being different in the off-road world can be a good thing. It can get you more attention since people do not see particular vehicles modified all the time. Matt wanted to do something different than what all of the other rockcrawler and rock bouncer guys were doing. If anyone knows how that feels, we do; we did the same thing with the same vehicle – a GMC Canyon.
“I won Top Truck Challenge in 2014 with my extended cab S-10, but in October of 2014 my wife and I had our little girl,” Matt said. “At that point, I needed a rig with more room. I wanted something I could compete in and also keep family comfy while trail wheeling. With that in mind, the end product was Money Pit 2.0.”
Family has always been something that has been a huge part of Matt’s life and his first memories. “When I was six, my uncle bought a 5.0 GT and took me for a ride when my mom wasn’t around to yell at him,” Matt explained. “I have been hooked ever since.”
Matt’s dad has also been a huge influence in his off-road life. “I got my first quad at three and a dirt bike around five, and he built his first crawler when I was 10,” said Matt. “I got to go with him and that’s when I started to get into crawlers.”
Building A One Off Chevy Colorado
Through all the years in the dirt, Matt has learned some lessons like the rest of us. “One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that your rig is never bulletproof,” Matt laughed. “Always wheel with good buddies, because there will come a point you will need them or they will need you.”
Matt’s 2007 Colorado started as a Craigslist find for a mere $700. The build surprisingly only took him around five months to complete in preparation for Mountain Havoc 2016. “The most stressful part of the project was getting it completed before Havoc,” Matt explained. “I finished it as we were loading it on the trailer to leave for the 30-hour drive to northern Idaho. It was going to be tuned and have its first shakedown run prior to the event.”
The truck has a four-link front and rear suspension with 18-inch ORI struts, a full two-inch .188 wall tube frame, 54-inch boggers wrapped around Stazworks 20×14 wheels, AxleTech 4000s, front and rear 12,000 pound winches, stock Silverado radiator and fans, Tanks Inc. fuel cell, Moonbender Fab brackets, and Super Duty calipers.
Powering this monster rig is a 6.0-liter LQ4 coupled with an LSA blower, 2.55-inch pulley, and ported snout. Getting the power to the ground is a 4L80e built by Derrick Kessler.
Matt has plenty people to thank for making this project a reality. He wanted to acknowledge the help of his friends that stopped by the shop to give a hand, as well as his sponsors: ORI Struts, Steerco, Rockwell OffRoad, Factor55, Interco Tires, Beyond Percise Fab, Well Lit LED, and 208 Motorsports. “I also wanted to thank my dad for allowing me to build the truck out of our ranch shop,” Matt said. “Most importantly, I wanted to thank my wife and daughter Abby for putting up with with a lot!”
The versatility of the truck is Matt’s favorite part. “Being able to compete on Havoc, Backdoor Shootout, and trail ride with the family all in the same rig, no matter the weather, is pretty cool,” said Matt. Down the road, he’s looking to add front and rear cameras, as well as a better stereo.
The truck has placed third at Mountian Havoc in 2016, placed first at Rednecks With Paychecks Hill Climb, and has competed in the 2017 King of the Hammers Backdoor shootout all within its first year of operation.
For most, including ourselves, Matt’s bright green Colorado grabs your eyes. The work and craftsmanship on the vehicle are something that pictures cannot show. The size of the truck is also an understatement as we found out when we parked next to him.
If you are looking to get into a serious build like Matt, he ended with some advice: “Just dive in! Don’t be scared to get your hands dirty and try something,” Matt concluded. “Hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Someone can tell you how to do something 100 times, but until you get your own hands dirty, you really never know.”
If you are at a Havoc event or see Matt’s rig out playing around, don’t be afraid to say hello. We look forward to seeing the next wild ‘n crazy build he creates!