Good day to you all, and welcome to Readers’ Rides. Putting together your submissions via our Facebook page, messages sent to our email address ([email protected]), or just everyday browsing through the classifieds of various internet locales, we’re excited to jump right in and talk about some interesting trucks, Jeeps, and other four-wheelers that deserve their time in the limelight. Buckle in and enjoy!
2-High: Jay Melcher’s ’99 Cherokee
SUVs deserve every bit as much to live the off-road lifestyle as trucks do. The Jeep Cherokee was and continues to be one of the most important examples of this, having gained a massive aftermarket support net over the past 30 years.
Jay Melcher, a resident of Epsom, New Hampshire, has been the loving owner of the above XJ for over three years, and uses it to go four-wheeling all over New England with his family, including his wife and two children, aged 15 and five. “When we’re in the woods together, it’s always fun,” says Melcher.
In the way of upgrades, Melcher has been selective and prudent with his choices: an RCX six-inch lift, modified to a 10-inch lift, along with 34-inch TSL Super Swamper tires and an Aussie locker in the front. “There’s also a 12,500-pound winch and an old metal bunk bed frame turned into a roof rack up top, which is where the ladder in the back came from,” Melcher remarks.
“I love adding to the vehicle, and upgrading on a budget is always a good challenge too,” says Melcher. “To me, it represents a whole lot of weekend fun and more so, a chance to test my off-road driving skills and hang out with friends.”
4-Low: Adolfo Garcia’s ’12 Tacoma
Over in Houston, Texas, we were pleased to see a rig like Adolfo Garcia’s Tacoma doing what every truck should do: Getting out and getting dirty. “I love how the truck has ended up,” he said. “It took me over a year to get it to where it is today, mostly because I was working a night shift at my job.”
As it stands, the Tacoma operates on the stock drivetrain, with modifications made to the ride height, tires, and lighting elements. “I used a leveling kit to raise the rear by two to three-inches,” said Garcia. “I upgraded the wheels and tires to XDs and Nitto Trail Grapplers, and I also installed a 52-inch light bar up front. The rock sliders were fabricated by myself too.”
One of Garcia’s favorite haunts is the San Luis Pas beach in Galveston, where the truck gets its exercise romping through the sand. “It’s good terrain, wide open, and gets nice and soft when it’s dry outside,” said Garcia. The man hopes to have the Tacoma even more prepared for adventure with new fenders and mid-travel suspension, but for right now, the Toyota does its job admirably.
4-High: Jack Cline’s Custom Buggy
Don’t let the vibrant two-tone paint job fool you–this awesome little rig owned by Jack Cline in Enid, Oklahoma is a one-of-a-kind monster when it comes to conquering Mother Earth. Built to custom specs to fit four people and carry them practically anywhere, the 4×4 is equipped with some very impressive hardware.
“We used a 401 ci V8, you know, from those old American Motors cars back in the 1970s, and it’s making above 250 horsepower,” said Cline. “We fitted a Holley Pro-Jection throttle body injection system to give it some better characteristics for fuel economy and cold starting.”
Elsewhere, the buggy received new axles–Dana 60 front, Dana 70 rear–and a Turbo 400 transmission, backed up by a doubler transfer case to offer Cline super-low gearing when he meets some disagreeable rocks. The icing on the cake is the tire and wheel setup, for which Cline uses recentered Hummer rims with rock rings and 38-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws.
If you or someone you know has a really bitchin’ truck, Jeep, or SUV that you would like to be featured here on Offroad Xtreme, then what are you waiting for? Go ahead and email us at [email protected], or find our Facebook page to Like us and send pictures and information along. Be sure to include the owner’s name, the year/make/model of the vehicle, and the city and state where it’s located. Till next time!