Interviews

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Chris Marshall started his fabrication career helping his dad build a brush guard for his '92 S-10 Blazer. At the age of 14 or 15, his dad was buying up cheap tools to fix and resell, and it snowballed from the brush guard to a roof rack to projects on his own 1991 Explorer.

Chris says, "I started working on projects for friends and trying to learn everything I could. Over the next ten or so years I worked as a landscaper, a structural steel welder and a parts runner for an auto parts company all while doing fab projects in my dad's garage on the weekends. I wanted to end up with my own "official" fab shop. Well the landscaping business I was working for was drying up fast and I needed to come up with another job asap. My wife and I were settled into our house, she had a good job, it seemed like a great time to start a business. So almost 3 years ago to the day I opened up shop and started doing what I love for a living!" Click here to for the interview...
The Traxxas Offroad Championship 2012 Series opens this weekend at the dirt track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Presented by AMSOIL, this is short course off-road truck racing in a stadium setting! The epic battle at Charlotte last year between Ricky Johnson and Johnny Greaves was the series' most talked about race of the year. The two are set to square off again this weekend.

Ricky and Johnny took a few minutes to share their views on the rivalry. Click here for the interview...
Scott Fields is well-known throughout central North Carolina as a go-to guy for just about anything 'URE'. A Charter Member of the United Four Wheel Drive Association and a Forest Service volunteer for over 25 years, Scott was instrumental in getting 4x4 access trails at Uwharrie National Forest. He has not only acted as a liaison between the USFS, 4x4 clubs, and ATV clubs, but he helped in the design of the OHV Trail Systems at Uwharrie and Tellico.

As off-road enthusiasts, Scott Fields is one of our best advocates, spokesmen and lobbyists. We talked with Scott about growing up as an avid outdoorsman and how the UORTC came to be. Click here to continue reading...
When the subject of this weekend's ECORS season opener at the Flats came up Brad Carrier said, "we are 100% on and ready to kick ass." He admits he may not be the poster child for sponsorship but, on the track, he always drives the wheels off his rig.

Actually, since the inaugural ECORS race in October 2009, he's shown at least one XJ to its demise. He ran most of the Vale race in June, 2010, without brakes.

Brad sat down with us for a few minutes to discuss the upcoming 2012 ECORS season. Continue reading...
After finishing out 2011 by winning the ECORS finale at Windrock, Shawn Fisher is getting back to his roots. Applying his midwestern work ethic and explosive driving style to the 2012 season, he's taking aim at the best dirt tracks and rock obstacles the east coast and midwest have to offer. His sights are set on the 2013 King of the Hammers and, if things go according to plan, his competitors are in the rear view. Continue reading...
Sean Rose qualified for the 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers at the ECORS Harlan Qualifier in August, 2010, on a shredded right front tire. His 914 buggy arrived in Johnson Valley last February with a bang when the transmission blew up while backing off the trailer. Sean had been Shawn Fisher's co-driver at the 2010 KOH and was determined not to lose his chance to make a dream into reality: to drive in the epic race and take his shot at a chance to raise the sceptre as King of the Hammers. He and his dedicated crew put it all back together during the week on the lake bed but he rolled going up Outer Limits on his second lap.

After qualifying at Rausch Creek last May, Team Fourward Momentum is heading west this week for the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers! Click here to find out more about Sean and the 914 4400 car...
We spoke with Chris Steuber of U-Joint Offroad in the summer of 2010, and then ran into him and his lovely fiance at the Open Ride at The Flats back in Septmeber. Not only did we get to see the monstrous Vanaconda in person, we got the chance to take a ride and see what it could really do. Well, let's just say it is more than just. plain. cool., it is just plain awesome!

Over the past few months, U-Joint Offroad (UJOR) has been busy building 4x4 vans and shipping their DIY kits across the continental US, as well as to Alaska, Canada & Puerto Rico. Chris has been kind enough to share some photos & details of the unique vans they've built recently and promises more to come in a series of posts on his newest build, the Vanaconda 4!

We converted this 06 Sportsmobile 6.0 to 4wd so the owner can take it on trips across the US. He sells & sometimes delivers RV's, and the SMB will be towed behind & driven back to Georgia via the scenic route. This van received the complete UJOR 4" conversion & BFG AT KO tires (285/75/16) on American Racing Wheels.



Next up was an 05 V10 from West Virginia. This van will be used for hauling people, parts runs, and even as a tow rig. It received the UJOR 6" conversion with 35/12.50/17 Mickey Thompson tires.

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At the shop currently is this 99 E350 7.3. It is a really nice van and it's also getting the 6" conversion with 35" tires. This will be a really nice capable rig with front & rear Aluminess bumpers, rear skid system, AMP steps, and a few other goodies!

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Besides the current van builds, Chris explained more about the kits which range from simple bracketry to complete turn-key packages. They are putting together some Dana 60's that will be shipped out for DIY van conversions.

From stage 1 basic units to stage 2 axles with the RSC kit, some van owners will be happy when they see the big crate from UJOR. Full conversion kits including axles have been very popular lately. That's the beauty of the UJOR van conversion, you can do it at your pace, on your budget, with your own hands. There's just not a better way to do it!

As for the Vanaconda 4 project, V4 has arrived at UJOR. Chris has big plans for this mega build.

I found this 02 E350 7.3 at a junkyard. It was destined to be scrapped out and had already given up it's rear axle as well as a few parts under the hood. The dash & frame were in such good shape, I couldn't pass it up! I've been looking for the right project vehicle for some time, and I'm glad that I waited for the perfect rig.

The fun begins with a 6" lift, 37" tires, a custom flat bed and some other secret goodies that will make V4 the ultimate Expedition base vehicle!

We just received the 12" fiberglass cab back, and some flared fenders are on the way. Next week we'll pull the body and send it to paint.

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Please stay tuned for more on the V4 build from U-Joint Offroad!