The pandemic continues to be raging, and Roadkill is not taking a break. However what are David Freiburger and visitor host Steve Dulcich to do once they need to social distance, cannot keep in resorts, eat in eating places, and even drive in the identical automobile? Go tenting, in fact! Since they need to be in separate automobiles anyway, why not have a shootout to up the enjoyable and journey quotient whereas they’re at it? Welcome to the Roadkill $2,500 4×4 shootout! Will Freiburger’s go-anywhere ’94 Suburban overcome Dulcich’s beloved ’99 Durango?
Freiburger and Dulcich trekked out to the Central California area east of Bakersfield close to the Mojave Desert to place their low-cost 4x4s to the check. They explored Bonanza Gulch, the Burro Schmidt Tunnel, Jawbone Canyon OHV Space, deserted pumice mines, previous mining cabins free for anybody to make use of, and all the pieces in between. Whereas their automobiles aren’t severe off-roaders, there have been loads of sandy washes, whooped-out trails, and dusty hill climbs to pit a budget 4x4s in opposition to one another and decide a victor.
Freiburger’s 1994 Chevrolet Surburban 2500 4×4
Freiburger has severe off-road genes; he was the editor for Petersen‘s 4-Wheel & Off-Highway earlier than working for HOT ROD and has been a jeeper simply so long as he is been into muscle automobiles. Whereas he does not totally love the unbiased entrance suspension in his ’94 Suburban 4×4—he is a solid-axle man relating to severe off-tarmac adventuring—he does assume the Chevy Suburban is the perfect all-around, do-everything car. Plus, this 2500 mannequin has severe beef: a 454 big-block, 4L80 overdrive transmission, and a 14-bolt rear finish. Freiburger says the Suburban is the right journey car as a result of if you must sleep in it, they’re large and you have got acres of room to get snug. Then there’s the barn doorways on the again, vastly superior to a tail or liftgate, in his opinion. You possibly can shut them from contained in the cargo space with ease, it is a lot simpler to get the cherry picker into the again to tug the brand new junkyard engine you’ve got been hauling round, and when it comes time to toast nature with a chilly brew, you’ll be able to stand totally upright on the again of the cargo space and absorb all of the glory round you! Freiburger will concede that Dulcich may need an edge with the smaller and lighter Durango.
Dulcich’s 1999 Dodge Durango 5.9L V8 4WD
Steve Dulcich loves the Dodge Durango. He is had a minimum of one in his private fleet since 2003 and has put sufficient miles on all his cumulative Durangos to go to the moon and again (that could be a slight exaggeration, the mathematics works out to over 28,000 miles a 12 months). In Dulcich’s opinion, the Dodge Durango is the best SUV ever made. This primary-gen mannequin mimics his favourite Mopar muscle automobiles, as nicely, with its 5.9L Magnum V8, torsion bar unbiased entrance suspension and 9-1/Four rear finish. It’ll even clear a 32-inch tire with out a suspension elevate. The place Freiburger dislikes unbiased entrance suspension for off-roading, Dulcich thinks it is nice, absorbing all of the bumps and ruts like they are not even there. In comparison with the Suburban, the Durango is gentle, nimble, and fast. It helps that the Durango is greater than 2 toes shorter than the Suburban. Dulcich says it is like a trophy truck that you could sleep in! However he does have a fairly uncomfortable first night time within the Durango. That is not the truck’s fault, although—his air mattress had a leak.
Competing for Pink Slips!
Because the journey goes on, the blokes get much more aggressive, to the purpose the place a severe wager is made: a winner-take-all off-road impediment course of doom—for pink slips! Will Freiburger get to take his Suburban residence, or will Dulcich declare victory and maintain the Suburban for himself (he is already received a Durango at residence)? These mall-crawling and grocery-getting 4x4s will not be the forms of Roadkill automobiles you are used to—they’re too clear, too new, and too dependable—however they’re proof that you could exit and purchase one thing low-cost to have a blast in.