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Beater Blasters: Will Ten Grand And Two Craigslist Specials Turn Into Off-Road Racers?


Beater Blasters: Will Ten Grand And Two Craigslist Specials Turn Into Off-Road Racers?

In the white corner, sporting a 4.0L inline six cylinder that’s pissing coolant all over the place, a fender that’s being held on by a zip-tie and a prayer, and a rear-view mirror that behaves more like the springy doorstop than any functional piece of automotive safety gear, we have a 1991 Jeep Cherokee XJ. In the red corner, fresh from the local salvage yard’s “CRUSH NOW” section, sporting expensive parts installed by someone tweaking themselves to heaven and back, is a 1992 Ford Explorer, in a surprising two-door, manual transmission layout. Huh…we thought all of these were green, four-door Eddie Bauer wagons. You learn something new every day…

So what’s with these two beat-to-hell SUVs? Hoonigan has decided to get into the “build off” scene with a new series, Build & Battle. Each team has a maximum of ten thousand dollars that they get to use to build the machine they want to compete with. That includes the wreck itself, any parts, and they get basic tools and an open bay with no lift to make it all happen. Exploiting Craigslist and wheeling and dealing is all part of the game and counts. Overly dramatized bullshit doesn’t count. In fact, outside of the crew shooting the video, the only “professional” aspect of the series so far are the participants: The Explorer will be built by Michael Cox, who impressed the Hoonigan crew by jumping his LS-swapped Ford Bronco higher than the shipping containers at the Donut Garage repeatedly like it was an ordinary Tuesday. The XJ, on the other hand, will be built by Blake Wilkey, the man who became infamous for tearing the living hell out of San Diego with his Volkswagen-based dune buggy. Each man has brought their right-hand mechanic to help them out and they get fifteen days to do all of the work, from purchase to battle.

Hopefully we don’t see any thrown wrenches or hear the phrase “tight timetable”, and that we see both of these machines flying over the dunes in short order. Which one would you root for?


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