MINI FEATURE: 2001 DODGE CUMMINS CRAWLER
We have always wanted to build a second-gen ⁄ -ton Dodge 4x4 into a crawler, so when we saw this truck at TDS we had to get a closer look. This crew-cab shortbed would make most folks super-happy as a tow rig with its 24-valve 5.9L Cummins. A coil spacer and ample fender trimming up front make room for a set of trophy truck take-off 39-inch BFG tires. The factory Dana 60 front has a Lock Right, while the rear Dana 80 spins tires thanks to a tight factory limited slip. Fred, the owner of the truck, plans to build a winch bumper, as he continues to build the rig. But as it is, it’s a great place to start, and until it’s “done,” there’s plenty of fun for weekend getaways like Tierra Del Sol’s Desert Safari 2018.
Speaking of vintage iron, check out this International Scout Traveler. The truck is powered by a 345ci tractor engine backed by a TF727 transmission. The suspension is built to go fast with a trick TTB front axle and a five-lug Dana 60 rear. Have a good long look at that front axle and see if you can figure out what makes that particular TTB axle very unique (hint: we’re not talking about the custom steering).
We spotted two off-road cars at TDS this year…and while not quite the traditional trar (truck car) that a Camaro body on a Blazer chassis is, these were still fun to see. We are digging the affordable side-by-side alternative of the modified Mazda Miata. That Toyota Supra reminds us of some awesome Toyotabased rally cars from the 1980s and 1990s. The Toyota wearing side-by-side tires looks pretty pristine for a dirt car, and apparently the Miata was out of registration. The owner got to have a good long talk with the local authorities and may have won a ticket right in the center of the Ocotillo Wells Training Center.