Sitting pretty on display in the Nitto Tire booth at the 2013 SEMA Show was one of the hottest Ultra4 rock-racing cars we have ever seen — a mega-horsepower bundle of metal, motor and gnarly tires just itching to get back into the boulder-strewn desert landscape from whence it came.
Owned and driven by Nick Nelson of Las Vegas, Nevada, and sponsored by Nitto Motorsports, this rock-racing rig is an incredible amalgam of performance parts. It measures out to an incredible 116-inch wheelbase and 91-inch track, and weighs 4,800 pounds, with a sweet chromoly chassis built by Jimmy’s 4×4. All of which Nelson personally prepares prior to each and every race.
The Radflo suspension is also tuned to the maximum degree, achieving 20 inches of travel on the front independent suspension and 36 inches of on the rear solid axle, using 2.5-inch coilovers. “[This] allows the car to handle the rough desert with amazing speed compared to a typical rock crawler solid axle setup,” says Nelson.
GearWorks, meanwhile, did an amazing job in making the powertrain a beast to be reckoned with. It starts with the LS7 V8, making 740 HP, mated to a TH400 with a TT converter, an Advance Adapters Atlas transfer case, and 10-inch diffs in front and rear.
“It can climb big waterfalls, gnarly rock trails and blast through the desert at a top speed of 128 miles per hour. Recently we ran the ‘rock crawler’ in Class 1 during the BITD Blue Water Desert Challenge, and we were able to qualify fourth, running with the fastest desert cars in the business.”
Big, grippy 40-inch Nitto Trail Grappler MTs (made to spec for KOH) wrap around the ATX wheels, with Wilwood six-piston discs installed all around for the ultimate in stopping power. It’s a powerful machine, and one we can’t wait to see perform in the upcoming King of The Hammers race.
To check out more about this vehicle, visit Nick Nelson’s profile page on the Nitto Motorsports website. And for more photos, see the Gallery below >>>