If you are anything like me, you likely have one too many projects on the go. I for one am a victim of my own passions; I’m always thinking two projects ahead, whether it be vehicles I want to build or adventures I want to undertake. There just isn’t enough time in this lifetime.
As editor Irons constantly tells me, “stop thinking about what’s next, you have a Suzuki that needs all your time now.” Wise words from the off-roading prophet, even if he is a pot calling the kettle black, Project Canyonero still languishes in his driveway.
However, when it comes to my next build, I’m torn between two very different eras – the past and the future. Now, I’ve become a bit known for hating on technology, ranting how high tech is watering down the enthusiast vehicles. The truth is I’m not totally against technological advancements making their way into the vehicles I drive, I only wish for them not to detract from the driving experience.
One of the biggest evolutions coming to the 4WD lifestyle, in my opinion, is alternative drive. Using electric motors to spin the wheels, rather an internal combustion engine has very real benefits to an off-roader, which we will delve into with much more detail later in this issue. While the advancements in energy gathering or storage are not quite at the level required to make an electric 4WD viable to reach great distances into the wilderness, we are getting close. How cool would it be to build an electric-powered 4WD to get at least a day trip from? Am I the only one that thinks this way?
On the other hand, I love old vehicles. Not only do they exude a character that no vehicle designed today can match, they are simple, easy to work on, require very few tools and make lovely noises from the wonders of internal combustion. That being said, old vehicles can also be unreliable, unsafe and catch on fire at inopportune moments (not that there is an opportune moment to start burning).
Regardless, my heart still yearns for a Toyota 40-Series Land Cruiser. I’ve driven two in my lifetime, and each time I climbed behind the wheel, it was as though these 4WDs were built for me. They seem to fit just right.
While I’ve gained a reputation for ranting against technology, I’m equally passionate about saving older 4WDs that are no longer in production. They will never build another 40-Series, flat fender Jeep, Bronco, Scout or Series Land Rover. What we have now is all we get, and it is up to us to preserve and keep these fantastic old vehicles running for as long as possible.
So, which way do I go? Do I push into new futuristic territory, or try to rekindle the past? Oh right, there is a Samurai in desperate need of an axle rebuild… we’ll bring this up later.