The year is almost over and as we look back at the Top 10 articles we think back to all the vehicles we shot, parts we installed, and locations we visited in 2019. From high flying trucks to Jeeps that could crawl up a wall, we saw it all in 2019, but these 10 articles stood out from the rest.
The desert is an off-roader’s oasis during the cold months, while the river turns into their summer playground. Blake Wilkey headed out to the water with his high-horsepower bug and his newest toy, the Death Boat, in Havasu Assualt.
“Idea behind the video was why not,” Wilkey explained. “Why not build a coil-over bypass trailer. Why not put 270 horsepower in a 10-foot boat and jump over wild features in the water. Why not attach it to the 750 horsepower bug. When the why not became a reality it was a slight giggle seeing it all come together!”
“If John Wayne drove a truck, it would be a Humvee.” If that quote doesn’t get you interested in Steve Ortner, then I don’t know what will. He might not be wrong either. Steve is the owner of this 1990 M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee).
Steve got his chance to buy his first Humvee about five years ago. He was a square body Chevy guy before that, but he always had the dream of building a Humvee with a Cummins motor in it. Then Steve saw one with compounds sticking through the hood. While this truck is not a Cummins, Steve did accomplish that dream with a previous build.
Ultra4 Racing’s annual King of the Hammers has become a “must attend” event for thousands of off-road enthusiasts. People from around North America and the world gather on Means Dry Lake to take in the scene. Most of these people come to spectate the racing action in the desert, and some others just show up to show up. Since this is “the off-road event” of the year, there are also thousands of 4x4s and OHVs roaming around.
The 2019 version of KOH Week did not disappoint gearheads, as original and outrageous vehicles were easily seen. From old iron to new iron, there was everything an off-roader could want. There were throwback rides that not only hearkened back to the glory days of off-road racing, but also a few running around that had a place in that part of American motorsports history. There were also plenty of vehicles that had stories worthy of their own feature pieces. And there were some vehicles that even though they might not have been 100-percent original, the bodies were older than most of the people in attendance.
When overlanding first came about, everyone looked at vehicles a little different. Are they really putting a tent on their car? They want to do what with that? But those questions have morphed into, can you believe they put a tent on that? The underlining detail of all of it is to be and do something different than what is out there.
That is exactly what Roy Wallace and 1st Gear Off-Road did with the help of RSO Performance on this 1964 M677 Quad Cab Forward Control Jeep. In an overlanding world full of Jeep Wranglers, Toyota Tacomas, and vans, being a Jeep is nothing new, but being a quad cab forward control Jeep is something you do not see every day.
The side-by-side market is blowing up, and every model that gets released seems to be pushing the market further and further. Polaris recently announced another gamechanger, the 2020 RZR Pro XP all while celebrating its 65th anniversary. The RZR for 2020 receives an all-new platform that is packed with features and industry firsts. Polaris once again has pushed the envelope of what a side-by-side is capable of.
With a host of new features, the 2020 RZR Pro XP has something new in and out of the vehicle increasing driver comfort and performance. Each Pro XP model packs 181 horsepower, 20- and 22-inches of usable travel, and a brand new 96-inch wheelbase with eight-times stronger axles and a three-times stronger drive system.
SAE J583 is the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) designation of the fog beam pattern, it specifies a very wide beam with a flat horizontal cut off allowing minimal light above the horizontal cut off plane. This is critical in a fog application for multiple reasons, the first being the purpose of the fog light is to put the light beam low and wide so that the driver can find the edges of the road at low speed in poor weather without causing the beam to reflect light back at the driver in fog/rain/snow/dust, which reduces visibility in the conditions that the fog is primarily designed for.
The sharp horizontal cut off also allows this beam to be run in traffic without blinding other drivers, unlike any other auxiliary beam pattern. All other auxiliary patterns like wide cornering, driving, spot, flood, and diffused do not have the appropriate cut-offs to be run on the street with oncoming traffic and should be considered for high beam use or off-road use only. While each of those other patterns serves a specific purpose, none of them will illuminate the edges of the roadway while providing a sharp cut off to prevent reflecting light back at the driver in inclement weather conditions, nor will they be safe to use in oncoming traffic, making any of them a poor choice for fog light use.
Everyone loves an off-road halo model, especially automakers. Ford has the Raptor, GM has the Colorado ZR2, Toyota has the Tacoma TRD Pro, and Ram has the Power Wagon, although it doesn’t get as much media attention as it deserves. Perhaps as a way to remedy that, perhaps simply as a smart decision, Ram gave the 1500 another look in 2016 and called it the Rebel, gearing it toward off-road and outdoors fun.
With a bold front grille, striking body lines, and some simple buffs to the suspension, the Rebel was quickly associated with the Raptor, but it wasn’t quite up to snuff with Ford’s prerunner extraordinaire. Ram has kept it going since then, and given it a refresh with the 2019 model year. And what a refresh it is!
Hennessey Performance is no stranger to designing custom one-of-a-kind vehicles to its celebrity clients around the world. So when the company announced back in 2017 that it was once again developing a limited run of VelociRaptor 6×6 vehicles which would benefit from Ford’s EcoBoost platform, many of us wondered which larger-than-life celebrity this vehicle would attract.
This week, the team at Hennessey had a special delivery for one VIP client just in time for Christmas. The video shows rapper Post Malone taking delivery of his brand new Oxford White VelociRaptor 6X6.
Yokohama has announced the release of its newest all-terrain tire, the Geolandar X-AT. So in the crowded space of the all-terrain tire category, where does the X-AT fit in? On their invitation, We recently went to Las Vegas, Nevada and met up with Yokohama to try and find out. With promises of a deeper look at the X-AT and some seat time, we were excited to see what this premium offering had in store.
One of the best things about this line of work is that meeting one person often leads to meeting others. Sometimes, connections are made at a campfire after a long day on a trail. Other times, they are made doing a trail repair.
In the case of Doug Strimpel, I came across him and his amazing 1996 F-350 while doing another story. The story was on a Humvee built by Doug’s employer Mountain Machine. I could see Doug’s ride in the Mountain Machine parking lot a mile away; mostly because of its size, but also because of the build quality and how clean it is.
2019 was one for the record books, and with 2020 right around the corner, we look forward to what will be the off-road trends and top articles. What type of content would you like to see in 2020? Send us an email or leave us a comment with what you would like to see on Off Road Xtreme!