Lamborghini’ LM002 was a utilitarian rig developed for the military in the 1980s, and less than 400 were produced. Any classic Lambo is rare and the LM is no exception, so it was a surprise to see one at SEMA on the Nexen Tyres stand. What was more amazing was that, beneath the flipforward hood, the highly strung Lamborghini V12 engine has been swapped out for an inline six cylinder Cummins diesel engine. Sacrilege, yes, but cool? Hell yeah! Credit to Italian Design and Racing of Arizona for having the balls to do it.
Ford’ T6 Ranger has only just hit the USA, and FoMoCo had five tricked-up examples of the US version on its stand. The one we liked most was outside and built by California’ Dirt Cinema as a commission for Dana Drivelines. Needless to say the right-hook Ranger features Dana axles front and rear, and you can read all the details about it on page 34 of this issue. Could these be the start of SAS conversions for the PX Ranger here in Australia?
It’ not everyone’ first choice when thinking about a 4x4 desert racer, but this late model Challenger from Daystar is one hell of a muscle car. Daystar always comes up with some of the best rigs at SEMA Show, and its Cactus Runner didn’ disappoint. A supercharged 392 Hemi V8 drives through a dual range transfer case to all four of those 35-inch KM3 BFGs. This Challenger would be a demon in the dunes.
We’ d been following the build of this FJ40 Land Cruiser from Vegas’ Nefarious Kustoms for the last couple of years, and it was only completed days before the 2018 show. Being based in the desert city, Nafarious’ main work is on off-road racing and pre-runner vehicles, so it’ no surprise that business owner Cameron would follow that style for his own Cruiser. Rolling on a chassis derived from a Toyota Tundra pick-up and retaining the Tundra’ 4.7-litre V8 and auto transmission, the Trophy FJ stands staunch on long travel suspension and BFGs on Raceline wheels. Keep an eye on 4X4 Australia magazine for a full feature coming soon.
The International Scout is one of those classic American off-road vehicles that are drop-dead gorgeous, even in stock trim. That didn’ stop Colorado customiser Billy Bibb from taking to this 1973 International Scout II and transforming it into an all-terrain hot rod. The glowing gold open-top Scout is powered by a 550hp supercharged LSA V8, driven through an auto transmission. Dana 60 axles are stuffed full with ARB Air Lockers, which are hung from the custom chassis on links and coilovers. The Scout was indoors on the Lund International booth, but it shone when it hit the Strip for the SEMA Cruise.
EACH YEAR 4X4 AUSTRALIA IS INVITED TO THE SEMA SHOW TO BE A PART OF THE GLOBAL MEDIA AWARD JUDGING PANEL. EXHIBITORS AT THE SHOW ARE INVITED TO SUBMIT PRODUCTS TO THE SEMA NEW PRODUCTS SHOWCASE, AND THE 30 GMA JUDGES, WHO IN 2018 CAME FROM 19 COUNTRIES, CHOSE THE 10 PRODUCTS WHICH THEY LIKE AND THINK WOULD WORK WELL IN THEIR MARKETS. WITH CLOSE TO 3000 PRODUCTS IN THE SHOWCASE, IT’S A LONG TASK; BUT HERE’S OUR SELECTION FOR 2018.
We’ ve all drooled over the Factor 55 links shining on the front of winch fairleads, but here’ something simple and clever from the recovery equipment company. The extra-long 20-inch-diameter Extreme Duty soft shackle can be double-looped for increased breaking strength. Made from HMPE Plasma rope with a woven polyester jacket whipped and Fiberlock-coated for protection against abrasion and damaging UV light, the shackle has greater than 418 tonnes breaking strength.
Another synthetic rope recovery product, the Monster Hooks Zeus recovery rope is unlike any other rope. Zeus rope has soft-shackle technology spliced into both ends. Replacing standard eyes, this allows for safe, strong and simple connections by eliminating the use of heavy shackles, making recovery much safer. Made of 100 per cent Nylon-coated rope; the ends are made of Spectra fibre.
Aussie company MaxTrax has branched out from its well-known recovery boards to create other recovery items for use with synth ropes and soft shackles. The MaxTrax 50mm Hitch is a tow hitch receiver specifically designed for use with soft shackles and will not accept the fitment of steel shackles. It is CNC-machined from 6061 billet aluminium, featuring smooth curves and no sharp edges to protect the soft shackles; and it’ anodised for protection. With a WLL of 8000kg and tested to total destruction at 40,000kg, it is up to any 4x4 recovery.
The MaxTrax Winch Ring takes more heavy metal out of your recovery rig by replacing the traditional snatch block with a simple 120mm-diameter polished aluminium ring, which your synth rope slides around. Again it is designed for use with soft shackles and synthetic winch rope to make vehicle recoveries as safe as possible Website: www.maxtrax.com.au
Another product designed for the JL Wrangler but one that could be useful in the back of any 4x4, or even a trailer. The Trail Kitchen from MorRyde is a compact, modular bolt-in kitchen system that attaches to any solid, flat surface. Offering more than 5.5ft² of counter space, 300 cubic inches of storage space, and room to accommodate the most popular 12-volt fridge/freezers in use today, it is perfect for any off-road vehicle.
JL Wranglers were everywhere you looked at SEMA, with all manner of products for them. Premium shock absorber manufacturer FOX has stepped up the game for Jeep JL Wrangler suspension with the all-new Factory Race Series 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks. These bolt-in rear shocks deliver extreme off-road performance without sacrificing everyday comfort, thanks to position-sensitive Internal Bypass technology, DSC adjusters, 3.0-inch aluminium bodies and finned piggyback reservoirs. Match them with the Fox shocks up front for the ultimate JL set-up.
Another quality product to improve the performance of the JL Wrangler, ProCharger has produced a complete air-to-air intercooled supercharger system for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL’s 3.6L V6 engine. These new systems produce a reliable 50 per cent + horsepower gain with just 7psi on otherwise stock JLs running premium pump fuel.
Just like JLs were everywhere at SEMA, it seems you can’t turn around without seeing Patriot Campers and Supertourers in Australia. Its line of X1 and X2 camper trailers are super popular at home and are starting to make an impression on the burgeoning US market. The X1 camper uses innovative features and patented designs to make overlanding easier no matter what side of the Pacific you are on. The integrated tent sets up in three minutes, a folding staircase ascends to a pocket-spring mattress, and independent suspension and an off-road hitch make the X1 one of the most capable trailers on the market.
We were driving Chevrolet’s Colorado ZR2 on our SEMA trip and were super impressed by its suspension. Chevrolet Performance now offers the components of the suspension as individual products. The ZR2 High Angle Upper Control Arm enables increased upper ball joint articulation and increased front suspension travel. It increases cross car articulation by up to 18 per cent and features a sealed ball-joint design and boot design, providing protection from off-road elements. The ZR2’s Multimatic shocks have been retuned by Chevrolet Performance for off-road racing, and these replacement Long Travel Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) Shocks provide up to a 10 per cent increase in overall rear suspension travel on 2017+ Colorado ZR2 models. Intended exclusively for off-road use, we wonder if they’d bolt into our local Holden Colorado.