Welcome to the H4O - HUMMER 4x4 Off Road.
Page 17 of 17 FirstFirst ... 71314151617
Results 241 to 252 of 252

Thread: The Wanderer

  1. #241
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD MARCH 1993 THE WANDERERS #50
    FORWARD: Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-roading areas. The Suburban, nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    Let's bring you up to speed on the story: After Emma made a bundle prospecting for gold, Carl decided to build a monster truck. They drove to Clearfield, Utah, where Boyce Equipment was located, and found out what it would take to build a monster truck. Carl figured out that he would use Emma's Bronco as the base for the project, but she went ballistic when he tried to talk her out of the Bronco.
    However, after plying Emma with sweet talk and cheap wine, she agreed to sacrifice her beloved Bronco... with two exceptions: firstly, the Bronco had to be painted bright pink, and secondly, Emma was to be the driver. Carl bit his tongue, but agreed to the deal. We join them now as the project starts.
    ***
    Carl shook hands with his new landlord and gave him the first three months rent for the old abandoned Sinclair gas station. "Take a look at this place, Emma. It's perfect! Not only is there a lot of room, but it's even got a lift in it. And a grease pit! Think of it, Emma; my very own grease pit! I've always wanted one."
    Emma looked a bit pale. "Carl, quit talking so loud. I have a terrible headache. Remind me never to drink that much ever again. Why don't you do what you have to do; I think I'll go back to the motel and sleep for a week or two."
    "No problem. I gotta run over to Boyce and order the parts.
    ***
    The man behind the counter greeted Carl warmly. "Welcome back sir. My name is Mark, and you're..."
    "The name is Carl. Listen Clark, I'm gonna do it. I gonna build that truck we were talking about the other day. So, where do we start?"
    "The name is Mark. Well, we start with the basics. Are you going to build your own chassis, or start with our ready-made base chassis. It'll save you a lot of work, and the price is definitely right."
    "What are we talkin' dollar-wise, Bart?"
    "Well, the complete rolling chassis, which we call the MSK-500 Kit, comes with an L-shaped frame, we lengthen and re-arch the springs to your specs, and its already set up to accept the five ton planetary axles. All kinds of parts are available to save you fabricating time, including mounts. And the name is Mark. The basic kit costs $6500. The serious five ton axles aren't cheap, but they'll take all the abuse you can give them. Figure about $8500 for the axles. The advice is free."
    "Right, Mike. But what about wheels and such?"
    "We can sell you some smaller wheels that'll let you roll the rig around, and when you're ready, you can order the big wheels and tires. The bolt pattern is the same. And the name is Mark."
    "Sure thing. Can you guys deliver the basic chassis to my shop. I rented that old Sinclair station not too far away. Now, I'm going to be starting with a new full-sized Bronco. How much of it should I keep, Clark?"
    Mark sighed. "Not that much. Naturally, you'll want to keep the entire body, and lots of monster truck builders like to retain much of the stock interior just for looks. You can't use any of the rolling parts or the drive train. But you can probably turn those parts into some good money. Nice fresh used parts for Broncos fetch top dollar. Plus you can yank the air conditioning units, the radio and all the stuff under the hood. Does the Bronco have a small-block engine?"
    "Yup. One of those scrawny little 351 motors. What can I get for that, Burt?"
    "You should be able to sell the complete engine with all the smog and ignition equipment for $3000 plus. And don't forget things like stock wheels, axles, tires, brakes, drive shafts and such. These can all be turned into cash."
    "Sounds great, Mark. Guess I'll get started as soon as I pick up some tools."
    "That's Clark. I mean Bart. Oh, never mind. Listen, we're here to help. Here's my card and our catalog. Have fun, Crandall."
    "Thanks for the info, but the name is Carl. You gotta start listenin' more careful, Mike."
    ***
    Carl stopped by a tool supply house and picked the basic cutters, grinders, air tools, tubing benders, notchers, oxy-acetylene outfit and a Miller-Matic 200 MIG welder. Everything was carefully loaded in the spacious interior of The Whale and headed for the shop.
    He backed The Whale into the shop and unloaded everything including the Craftsman tool box that normally resided in the big Suburban. Two hours later, Carl had a rather nifty shop set up.
    Moments later, Emma pulled up in her bright pink Bronco. Carl opened up the bay door and waved her inside, directly over the lift. Five minutes later, the Bronco was up in the air. Emma looked a bit better than she had earlier in the day. "What are you going to do now, dear?"
    Carl let out an evil little smile. "Now we get down and dirty and strip that sucker to bare bones. Stand back woman!"
    Emma got a worried look on her face and took a seat in the corner of the garage on a semi-clean milk crate. Carl leaped into the work like a whirling dervish. Four clicks with a long screwdriver had the hub-caps off. The air ratchet screamed like a banshee and all four wheels were yanked off and stacked in the corner. A whimper of sorts came from Emma. Carl ignored it.
    Carl raised the Bronco higher and got underneath, a fist full of sockets and air wrench in hand. The rattling of the air tool echoed off the bare walls of the garage, and a half hour later, the entire Twin Traction beam front end was off and stacked on a shelf. Emma choked back a sob.
    Carl darted to the rear and started ripping parts off. Brrrrrrp. Leaf springs off. Brrrrrrppppp. Shocks off. Brrrrrrppp. All the rear end bolts were loosened, the truck lowered to the floor, and the rear end laid there like a freshly cut log. Emma rubbed her eyes with a tissue.
    The Bronco was raised up again, and Carl had the transfer case out in less than ten minutes. A half hour later, the trans was out and on the floor next to the growing pile of parts. Emma reached in her purse and extracted a bottle of wine and took a hearty slug.
    Carl lowered the truck again, got under the hood and started gutting wires, hoses and accessories. Two hours later, Carl hooked a chain to the engine, lowered the garage hoist down and yanked the 351W V-8 out. Emma emptied the bottle and slumped against the wall.
    Carl wiped his hands on a red shop towel, put his fists on his hips and stood back, clearly admiring his handiwork. "Well, there you got it! One each Bronco, gutted right down to the bare essentials. Sort of brings a warm glow to your stomach, don't it, Emma? Emma?"
    Carl turned and saw that Emma had her eyes closed and was snoring lightly. Carl smiled. "Hmmmph. Looks like it didn't bother her all that much after all. Women! Who can figure 'em out?"










    OFF-ROAD MARCH 1993 THE WANDERERS # 50 HEADLINES

    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: EMMA'S QUANDARY
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  2. #242
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD APRIL 1993 THE WANDERERS #51
    FORWARD. Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-road areas. The Suburban, nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    Here's what's been happening so far: Emma made a small fortune prospecting for gold, and agreed with Carl that they would realize a dream to build a monster truck. They went to Clearfield, Utah, where many big trucks are built, and set up a temporary shop. Reluctantly, Emma agreed to let Carl use her beloved Bronco as a base for the truck, with some conditions: first the monster truck had to be painted the same color as her Bronco (pink!) and secondly, Emma was to be the driver. Against his better judgment, Carl agreed. We join them now as Carl heads back to Boyce Equipment (suppliers of monster truck parts) for more advice:
    ***
    As usual, Mark Boyce was behind the counter. "Good morning, Carl. How's it going with the truck?"
    "Pretty good. Got 'er all gutted like a dead carp. Guess the next logical question is, where do I proceed from here?"
    Mark scratched his chin thoughtfully. "Hmmm. I'd say we ought to get the MSK-500 chassis over to you. I'll have the guys deliver it over to your shop with the smaller wheels on it, so you can roll it around, or work on it at eye-level. You don't want to put the big wheels on until later. Your best bet is to get everything mounted up basically, and then proceed from there. I wouldn't go crazy and build a hydraulic tilt cab or anything like that for your first effort. Just remember the KISS rule."
    "The KISS rule? What's that?"
    "It's something we say around here that makes sense: Keep It Simple, Stupid. I've seen too many builders try to get too fancy, and end up with a real mess on their hands."
    Carl beamed. "Got it! Keep It Stupid, Simple."
    Mark shook his head. "Close enough. Then you better think about getting a motor and trans installed, so you can work around that. You don't want to fabricate something, only to have to modify later on when you have a clearance problem. I'm gonna give you some photos of trucks that were built out of here. This'll give you a better idea of how to get it done. As long as you're handy with a flame cutter and a MIG welder, it should be no problem."
    Carl looked puzzled for a moment. "Hells-fire, I never even thought much about a motor. You got any good builders in town here?"
    "Sure. Go over to A & A Automotive and talk with Andy Tucker. He knows his big blocks and his prices are a lot better than you might expect. As far as trans builders go..."
    Carl interrupted. "No problem there. I know this transmission builder name Greg in El Cajon down in California that all the big-time off-road racers use. In fact, he fixed the trans on The Whale..."
    "The Whale?"
    "Yup. That's the name of my Suburban. I couldn't keep a trans alive in it until Greg went through it and beefed it up. He runs an outfit called Valley Transmission. I found out about him in one of those tech articles in Off-Road Magazine. He can make a C-6 trans that'll take a bunch or horsepower. Maybe I better go see this Andy and find out how much horsepower I'm gonna need."
    ***
    Andy turned out to be a pleasant sort with plenty of knowledge about monster truck motors. "Well, since you're going to start with a 460, I'd say you can take it out to 521 inches. With a blower, you can get about 1250 horsepower. That's enough to get the job done."
    Carl whipped out a note pad. "What's it gonna cost, Randy?"
    "The name is Andy, and you can get the job done on a budget deal for about $10,000, but if you're going to run it hard, you'll need a special crank and some other goodies. With the really good stuff inside, you'll be talking about $15,000 to $18,000. So it's up to you; the high bucks stuff or the low-priced spread. You pay your money and take your pick."
    Carl thought long and hard for perhaps 1.2 seconds. "I'll take the good stuff. You got an old block around I can use for a template while you build the engine?"
    ****
    Ten days later, Carl had the killer engine bolted in place, and a few days after that, a big truck pulled up and dropped a pair of shiny built C-6 transmissions off strapped to a wooden pallet. Emma was curious. "Why two transmissions, dear?"
    Carl snorted. "Hell, woman. Don't you know nuthin' about racing? You gotta have a spare! We could be at an event and land all crooked with the power on and hurt the trans. With a spare, you could still make the finals."
    "Oh, I thought maybe because this was a four wheel drive, you had to have one trans for the front wheels and one for the rear. Why don't they do it that way, Carl? It seems to me that if they split the power through two transmissions, that it would double the life."
    Carl looked confused. "Well... uhhh... that is... you see... I mean ... er ahh... it's real simple why, but I don't have time to explain it to you now. I gotta hook up this here steering apparatus."
    Carl spent the next half day installing the front and rear hydraulic steering. On a monster truck, both ends steer, to allow the big rigs to make sharp turns. And it's all done with stout high-volume hydraulic hoses and pumps.
    Two days later, Carl had everything hooked up, the trans in, and the drive-shafts installed. Then there was the big moment when he fired the brute up.
    Very few things can match the sensation of hearing your very own project come to life after a lot of hard work. Carl hit all the switches and listened to the clicking of the fuel pump until it stopped, primed the throat of the intake, gave the throttle a few squirts, then hit the large marine starter button.
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  3. #243
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    The fresh tight engine turned over slowly as the starter growled away, then it lit with a raspy roar that yelled HORSEPOWER! Carl immediately checked the oil pressure gauge and saw it settle down to 75 p.s.i., right where it was supposed to be. The huge engine actually idled, although it was a lumpy, rough, vibrating, rocking idle that let you know something serious was going on inside that chunk of cast iron.
    After letting the engine warm up for a few minutes, Carl gave the big engine a few raps that sent chills up his spine. He turned the main switch off, and the huge motor stopped immediately, like a really good high-compression engine should.
    The shop was filled with a blue-gray smoke and Carls face was filled with an ear-to-ear grin. He opened the big garage door and let the smoke drift out.
    "Emma? Why don't you go out in the street and make sure no traffic is coming. I'm gonna back this beast out of the garage and take 'er around the block just one time. Not real fast or anything, but I wanna see how she runs, ya know, just to get a feel."
    Emma looked worried. "Carl, I'm not so sure about this. Maybe you ought to wait until that big trailer shows up?"
    "Naw! What could happen? After all, I'm gonna take it real easy."
    Emma walked out into the empty street and peered both ways, then waved an "all-clear" to Carl. He buckled the belts up, turned the switches on and once again fired up the healthy powerplant.
    Very slowly and cautiously backed the Bronco out of the garage. Even with the small tires on, it sat quite high up in the air. Carl didn't even have to move the steering wheel to back straight out.
    He backed all the way across the street into an empty dirt lot, then paused to check things over. Oil pressure: check. Water temperature: check. Pump the brake pedal hard: check. Wiggle the steering wheel from side-to-side: check.
    Carl then clicked the trans into low and gave the throttle a little blip. The truck lurched forward a few feet, and Carl hit the brakes, just to check again.
    Well, he thought, here goes! He eased the gas on and headed for the street. When the front wheels touched the pavement, Carl turned the steering wheel smoothly to the left... AND THE STUPID TRUCK TURNED TO THE RIGHT!!!
    In a mild state of panic, Carl yanked the wheel harder to the left, and the truck turned sharper to the right. He stabbed for the brake pedal, but nailed the throttle instead. The big Bronco veered wildly to the right and headed for the side walk. Carl fought at the wheel, but no matter how hard he tried, the truck seemed to have a mind of its own.
    The sound of trash cans being crushed was next. Then the sound of trash cans being dragged and mutilated under a moving truck screeched through the air. The last sound to be heard was the sound of the massive front bumper of the Bronco smacking into the tail lights of a parked car. A parked cop car, to be exact.
    ***
    Luckily, the cop was a nice guy and didn't impound the monster truck, but he did give Carl a ticket and a long lecture about damaging city property, and how much all that was going to cost.
    A hour later, after a frantic phone call, Mark from Boyce Equipment sent a fellow named Brett over to see what the problem was.
    Brett tucked his tall frame under the Bronco and peered around for a moment. "Well, you just hooked the hydraulic lines up backwards, Carl. That's why it steered exactly opposite the way you pointed. Let me get a wrench and switch some lines around to the right way. It's a good thing you didn't get yourself killed."
    ***
    Later, while noisily sucking down a pitcher of beer, Carl tried to calm Emma down. "Look, honey-pot. It was just one of those things. You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. A rolling moss gathers no stones. Better sorry than late. Or something like that. Anyway, I got some good news. This weekend, we get to put the big tires on the monster truck and we're gonna go out and practice crushing our first car! Ain't that romantic?











    OFF-ROAD APRIL 1993 THE WANDERERS # 51 HEADLINES

    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: THE KISS FACTOR REARS ITS UGLY HEAD
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN



    (NOTE TO ART DEPARTMENT) Suggestion for illo. How about a drawing of a monster truck (with small tires on it) blasting a bunch of trash cans into the sky? The small tires are what Carl had mounted when he crushed the cans. Put the body of the Bronco high up above the small tires.


    Thanks, Rick Sieman
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  4. #244
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD MAY 1992 THE WANDERERS # 52
    FORWARD. Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-road areas. The Suburban, nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    Let's bring you up to date: Carl and Emma set up a temporary shop in Clearfield, Utah, to realize a dream: building a monster truck. Emma reluctantly let Carl use her new Bronco, with some conditions: he had to paint the truck her favorite color (pink!) and let her race the truck.
    After lots of work, Carl got the truck built, but nearly ruined everything by hooking up the steering backwards and running over a bunch of trash cans and into a cop car while taking the first test ride. We join Carl now, as he's leaning on the counter at Boyce Equipment, working out the details with Mark Boyce, about the upcoming car crush test:
    ***
    With his checkbook in hand, Carl got down to business. "Well, how many cars are we gonna need to get the feel for this car crushing test?"
    Mark punched some numbers in his calculator. "Hmmm. I managed to line up a bunch of beat up old State Highway Patrol cars at a good price. These are real beaters they've been storing in the yard that aren't worth fixing up. Somebody bought the engines and the transmissions, so we can get the rest of the hulks for about fifty bucks each. The only thing is we've got to haul them out on a flat bed truck. A wrecking yard will be out there to haul them away for free when we're done crushing them. Figure a few hundred for the hauling and 50 bucks each for the old cop cars; and we're getting eight cars. That should be plenty to learn the basics."
    Carl's eyes were wide with excitement. "Wow! I can hardly wait! Just think, tomorrow I get to join the ranks of Pig Foot Grave Robber."
    Mark sighed. "That's Big Foot and Grave Digger."
    "Right. That's what I said, Clark. You got wax in your ears or something?"
    ***
    After spending a near-sleepless night, Carl and Emma went over to the trailer place and hooked the new long widebody trailer to the back of The Whale. It took nearly an hour to load up and tie down the Bronco monster truck, even with the small tires on it. Mark said he would meet them at a section of farmland not too far out of town, with the big tires and wheels.
    Emma had to admit that the Bronco looked impressive sitting on the trailer, even though the paint job was still primer, and it was poised on the small wheels.
    ***
    Twenty minutes later, they met Mark and his crew at the site and both of them stood back and watched the Boyce crew unload and mount the big wheels. Using heavy duty jacks with long extensions, they got the Bronco into the air in minutes, and removed the small wheels.
    Four men man-handled the huge monster truck tires into position, whipped out the air tools and ratcheted the multi-lug nuts home. They worked so quickly and efficiently, that almost before Carl's mind could accept it, the Bronco was shod with the huge tires and sitting on the ground like a true monster truck.
    Carl walked around the Bronco, jaw hanging, not even realizing that tobacco juice was dribbling out of his mouth onto his shirt. "Why, why... it's huge! I never realized in the shop that it would look like this! Emma, whattaya think of your Bronco?"
    Carl looked at Emma. Her eyes were gleaming. "It's beautiful! I love it! Carl, you're a genius!"
    Amazingly, Carl actually blushed. "Aw, c'mon Emma. Don't get all mushy. The guys are gonna make fun of me."
    Emma ran over and gave him a big hug. "I don't care, you big teddy bear. You've made me a happy camper!"
    Mark came over and put a hand on Carls shoulder. "Hey, you big teddy bear. It's time to learn how to drive this thing."
    Everybody in the crew laughed good-naturedly. Carl got even redder. Mark took Carl off to one side. "Look, driving these big rigs is no different than driving any off-roader. You're just dealing with more of everything. More power. More height. More suspension travel. Things happen quicker. You're way up in the air, and you have a higher center of gravity. Even though both ends steer, you've also got to learn how to steer with your throttle. In fact, if you try to turn with the power off, things can get ugly in hurry. Most racers have been taught that whenever you get in trouble, hit the gas. This is the rule here. If you get crooked, gas it. If you land on one wheel, gas it. Power will straighten you out more times than not. Now, let's go over and we'll take a look at one of the cars we're going to crush, and talk a bit about lining up correctly."
    While Carl was taking lessons from Mark, the Boyce crew started setting up a row of cars for crushing. While they were doing this, several State Highway Patrol cars pulled up to observe, and chatted amiably with the workers. The idea of seeing some of their old cars get crushed interested them, and a few cameras were whipped out to record the event. A good time was being had by all.
    Carl ran over the instructions that Mark gave him. "I think I got it right. Line up dead straight. Don't get crooked while accelerating. Hit the front wheels square on the front car and keep the gas on when you make contact. Chop the throttle in the air. Get back on the gas just before the wheels land. Keep the truck straight. If I get crooked when I land, make sure the gas is on when I make a steering correction. Don't use too much throttle when correcting. Hit the brakes hard once all four wheels are on the ground. Is that all there is to it? No sweat. Stand back, Mark, and I'll take a run at it!"
    Sure enough, Carl did as he was told, and hit the first of the cars in the row dead square on. The front end of the Bronco lifted nicely, Carl chopped the throttle, then hit the gas again when the rear wheels hit the roof of the cars mid way through line-up, the front end came up again, then Carl landed smoothly on his front wheels with the gas on. The Bronco settled down nicely, and he hit the brakes hard and early. His truck came to a stop a mere 90 feet from the end of the row of cars.
    The cops and the crew let out a small cheer, and Carl beamed as he heard the noise. After a half-dozen passes, it actually got easier as the roofs of the cars got flatter. Like Mark said, "Once you get 'em flattened out a bit, it's just a matter of going as fast as you can without getting out of shape. That's the one thing you never want to do: get crooked! That's when you hurt the truck. Now, let's get over and practice jumping over one car. That's actually harder than doing a whole row. I set a few cars up off to the side, so let's give it a shot."
    Carl buckled up his helmet again, and fired up the Bronco. He rumbled around slowly, saw the car, lined up and waved back at Mark who was waving frantically at him.
    He nailed the throttle and hammered at the car, hitting it square, launching the Bronco clean and high and landing just like the textbook said.
    It was no wonder Carl was confused when Mark dragged him out of the Bronco, all wide-eyed. "Now you gone and done it!"
    "What's your problem? That was a perfect jump! It couldn't have been better."
    Mark sighed. "It might have been better if that wasn't the Highway Patrol Chief's car. And he was sitting in it when you jumped it!"
    ***
    Holy smokes! What has Carl gone and done now? We'll find out next month.


    OFF-ROAD MAY 1993 THE WANDERERS # 52 HEADLINES

    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: CRUSHING CONFUSION
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN



    (NOTE TO ART DEPARTMENT) SUGGESTION FOR ILLO. DRAWING OF A MONSTER TRUCK, HIGH IN THE AIR, (IT MUST BE A BRONCO!) WITH A BUNCH OF HAPPY YELLING SOUNDS EMANATING FROM THE CAB. I.E., YEEHAA! WAHOO!
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  5. #245
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD MAGAZINE JUNE 1993 THE WANDERERS # 53

    FORWARD: Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-roading areas. The Suburban nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    Here's what's been happening: After building a monster truck in Clearfield, Utah, out of Emma's Bronco, Carl and Emma went out for an orientation day. The guys from Boyce Equipment lined up a bunch of junker cars in order to teach Carl how to jump and crush. Everything went fine, until Carl wandered off on his own to practice jumping single cars. After Carl made what he thought was a perfect jump, he was more than a bit surprised when Mark Boyce waved him down and dragged him out of the truck:
    "Now you've gone and done it!" yelled Mark.
    Confused, Carl protested: "What's your problem? That was the perfect jump! It couldn't have been better."
    Mark sighed. "It might have been better if that wasn't the Highway Patrol Chief's car. And he was sitting in it when you jumped it!"
    Everybody scrambled over to see if the Chief was OK, and they were relieved when he kicked the tweaked door open and stumbled out. His hat was sort of flattened, but he appeared unhurt. But he wasn't overly happy. "What in the #^*%^@^%* blankety-blank %@#$&&$## dag-blag it &*(%$##%%@$% blue-blazes *^&*%$#%%$@ is goin' on here? Stanley, get the cuffs out and put somebody in jail!"
    Carl was genuinely concerned. "Hey there, Chief. I'm sorry I sorta flattened out your car here, but you see, I thought it was one of those junkers I was supposed to crush."
    The Chief shook his head from side to side like a large hound dog. "Well, it looks like a junker now. I hope you got insurance that covers smashing a cop car, fat boy."
    "Fat boy? How would you like a pop in the snoot, Dick Tracy?"
    "Oh, threatening an officer-of-the-law, eh? Let's see... I figure a couple a years in the slammer for destroying police equipment, then another couple for threatening me, and maybe we can get some equipment violations tacked on to that. You ain't gonna have much hair on that balding head when you get to see the light of day, buster."
    "That's Mister Buster to you, J. Edgar Hoover. What were you doing parking your Bat Mobile in the middle of a test area in the first place? You better thank your lucky stars I didn't squash you flatter 'n a 78 rpm record."
    Carl and the Chief got nose-to-nose and proceeded to try and out-yell each other. Mark stepped in and tried to calm things down: "Boys, boys... please! I think I have a way to resolve this little problem. Let's go have a cup of coffee and talk my idea over..."
    ***
    Two hours later, Carl and the Chief shook hands. As it turned out, both of them had been in the Navy at right around the same time and both had been Chief Bosun's Mates on the aircraft carrier Forrestal.
    The deal was this: the Chief would have the local high school body shop class fix the roof of the patrol car and not file any charges. In return, Carl would run the Highway Patrol logo on the side of the Bronco during the upcoming Clearfield Smash And Bash, a special event to be held in two weeks at the Fairgrounds. Since all of the proceeds of the event would go to the Highway Patrol Orphans Charity Fund, everybody was happy.
    Carl was especially happy to have any sort of sponsor, because he knew it was easier to get more sponsors if you already had one. And he figured that having the Highway Patrol logo on the side would give him some serious leverage for new sponsors.
    The rest of the week was spent painting the Bronco a horrifyingly bright pink in because Emma had insisted on that before giving up her truck to be used as a base for the monster truck.
    Carl spent a few days acquiring some sponsors. Harry's Feed and Grain popped 20 bucks to put a small sticker on both sides. Wong's House of Tacos parted with $12.50 and a certificate for three free meals to get the name and phone number lettered on the hood.
    Arnold's Pest Control came in big and paid one hundred bucks to have a huge plastic spider attached to the roof, with "Arnold" on one side of the bug and his phone number on the other.
    Marvins Septic Tank Service gave Carl a check for $65 to glue a plumbers plunger to the rear part of the roof with a small flag on the handle with his company name.
    Burt's Burger Palace popped for $10 and a dozen McBonzo Burgers with fries to put a pair of small stickers on the rear fenders.
    Emma even got into the spirit of things and talked Wanda from Wanda's House of Fashion into spending $32.50 to letter her name on the rear window of the Bronco.
    Pedro's Dog Grooming Service got into the spirit of things and paid $40 to attach a pink stuffed dog to the hood with his name emblazoned on both sides of the stupid looking dog with sequins.
    The local pizza shop, Three Guys From Cleveland, didn't want to spend any money, but agreed to supply a dozen large pepperoni and mushroom pizzas at the event, in exchange for Carl throwing a bunch of dollar-off coupons to the crowd before each run.
    Tyrone's Health Club and Dance Studio paid $10 and three free Lambada lessons for the privilege of putting a 12 x 12 magnetic sign on the tail gate.
    Guns-R-Us coughed up with $65 to put a pair of styrofoam Uzis on the top edge of the front fenders. Carl really liked the look this lent to the Bronco.
    Bowl-O-Rama reached deep into their wallet and popped a big hundred dollar bill to have the monster truck crew wear bowling shirts with the Bowl-O-Rama name on the back.
    The local beer distributor, The Suds Connection, got five big stickers put on the Bronco for no charge. The fact that they agreed to supply a whole bunch of beer for the party after the event had nothing to do with it, Carl claimed to Emma.
    A local roofing company was turned down for sponsorship when they wanted to exchange a coating of Thompsons Water Seal on the underside of the Bronco in exchange for a large pair of stickers on the quarter panels.
    Still, Carl felt that he didn't really have any real high performance-type sponsors stickers on the Bronco, and a real racer definitely need this. He hit all the speed shops, auto parts suppliers and lubricant people in the area. Unfortunately there were no takers.
    Then Mark Boyce stopped by to take a look at the Bronco. When he saw all the bizarre stickers covering the monster truck, his eyes got real big. Carl slapped him on the shoulder, real friendly-like. "Say, Mark. The only thing that seems to be missing is a Boyce Equipment sticker on all four sides. Whattaya say, big fella? Can we count on you for a little sponsorship?"
    Mark stood there quietly for a while, scratching his chin. "Tell you what, Carl. I'll give you a reverse sponsorship. If you DON'T run the Boyce stickers, I'll pay you a hundred bucks. Deal?"
    ***
    Wow! Things are heating up. Next time, we'll hopefully see some real monster truck competition!









    OFF-ROAD JUNE 1993 THE WANDERERS # 53 HEADLINE

    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: STICK 'EM UP!
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN


    (NOTE TO ART DEPARTMENT) Suggestion for story illustration: How about a drawing of a Bronco monster truck completely slathered with the stickers and attachments named in the story?
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  6. #246
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD JULY 1993 1993 THE WANDERERS # 54
    FORWARD: Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-roading areas. The Suburban, nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    Update: After building a monster truck in Clearfield, Utah, Carl and Emma found themselves almost ready for their first competition. They even managed to scrape up more than a dozen strange sponsors, including a pest control service, a local gun shop, a plumbing outfit and a dog grooming company.
    Only one thing remained before they were ready for the upcoming Clearfield Smash And Bash, a special event to be held in less than two weeks at the Fairgrounds. Everyone agreed to meet at Howard's Bar and Grill and Bar to see if they could come up with a name. Besides, it seemed like a good idea to relax and celebrate a bit, since all of the hard work had been accomplished. We join them now, as the third round of beer has just been ordered:
    ***
    Carl poured a round of beers from a big frosty pitcher, stifled a belch with the back of his hand, and stuck his forefinger into the air to get some attention: "Well now, as long as we're gonna come up with a name, let's make sure we get a good one. I don't want one of those wimpy names. This here is a big truck and should have a manly macho handle. And ideas? Emma?"
    "I was sort of thinking of THE PINK FLAMINGO. After all, Carl, you agreed to keep the pink color if I agreed to let you use the Bronco for the project monster truck."
    The Highway Patrol Chief furrowed his brow, pursed his lips and shook his head from side-to-side. "I'm not so sure the boys at headquarters would be too thrilled with that, ya know, havin' our logo on a truck with a name like that. It sounds like the name of some club in one of the shadier parts of San Francisco. I tend to lean towards something a bit more on the military side, like maybe the BRONCO BULLET, or the BLAZING BAZOOKA. Something with some punch."
    Arnold, the owner of Arnold's Pest Control, who had paid a hundred bucks to have a huge plastic spider attached to the roof of the Bronco, set down his mug and spoke: "I personally lean toward something like BUGZILLA, or ARACHNAPHOBIA. Think about it; most everybody is scared to death of spiders and bugs. I ought to know. I spend most of my time gassing and squashing those creepy critters."
    Emma shuddered. "Ooooohh, noooo! It's bad enough having a big ugly plastic bug on the roof as it is. Carl, do you have any ideas?"
    Carl was in the middle of taking a huge bit out of a Double Bongo Burger, while he had two pickled eggs and a Slim Jim sausage already stuffed in one side of his mouth. "Thhhure. Vhuff zfuulg fffttph grrruumf vidd ..."
    "Dear, I shouldn't have to remind you not to talk with your mouth full." Carl took a giant gulp, making his neck look like a snake that had just swallowed a 14 pound bowling ball. "It wasn't full. I had room in there for a slice of pizza, minimum. And look... I still had my chew in my left cheek, so ..."
    Emma shuddered. "Never mind, never mind. Anyway, now that you have that cavern empty for the moment, would you like to try again?"
    "Sure. I was sorta thinkin' on more sophisticated lines, like calling it the FLAMING INCREDIBLE FLYING MUGGER. Ya know, a name with a touch of class. Or maybe the WICKED WART HOG, or the MONSTER OGRE FROM HELL. So, whaddaya think?"
    Everybody at the table shook their heads "no".
    One of the mechanics from Boyce Equipment Company came up with an idea. "Personally, I think the name should be threatening and intimidating. This way, you set the tone for the entire competition. Think about it; you got one truck named TEDDY BEAR, and the other truck named the GUT SLASHER. Which one are you gonna think is the one you gotta worry about?"
    Carl smacked his palm on the table enough to make all the glasses jump a good inch. "I like it! This sets my brain cells into high gear. Let me run a couple by you. Let's see ... NASTY PUTRID CARBUNCLE. Or maybe FELONIOUS BANDIT MUGGER. Hmmmm ... ROWDY VOMIT FLINGER. Perhaps the BARBARIC HAIRY BOIL. Wow, I'm on a roll! You guys stop me when I strike gold, OK? Try this one: the GUTS & GORE GAGGER? Maybe the REPULSIVE REVOLTING RAT. Or the ROTTEN GRUBBY ALIEN. The FILTHY MURKY MERCENARY? The RABID SAVAGE? Jeez, they're all so good, I don't know which one to go with. Any comments?"
    Emma sighed. "Yes. I think we need another round of drinks. And I definitely think we need to search for names in another direction. Personally, I think we need a noble name, so I got out a dictionary and looked up some words that might work, and wrote them down. Words like DARING, DAUNTLESS, MIGHTY, INVINCIBLE, SUPREME, DEFIANT, INCREDIBLE, MAXIMUM and POTENT are some of my favorites. So if you gentlemen can tie those words in with some other inventive words, maybe we can come up with a winner. Carl? Do any of these words trigger some creative names?"
    "Lemme see ... hmmm ... howsa 'bout THE DARING WART HOG? Or maybe the INCREDIBLE GUT-STOMPER? Maybe the INVINCIBLE TERMINATOR? The MIGHTY EYE-BALL RIPPER? How ya like those, Emma?"
    Emma downed a half-glass of wine in one gulp. "Carl, those are horrible names! Does anybody have some reasonable sort of suggestion?"
    One of the sponsors, Marvin (from Marvin's Septic Service) leaned forward eagerly. "Looka here. I got this idea that might work. Back when I was a high school kid in Texas, we had to come up with a name for our new football team. The way we did it was to put all kinds of words on little pieces of paper in a can, and then draw out names. The first ones we drew sounded good, so we went with it."
    Carl blew some foam off his beer. "So what name did you guys come up with for a team?"
    "Oh, we were known far and wide as the Thunderdog Road Kills. First season, we went 11 and 2 and won the city championship."
    Carl beamed. "I like it! Why don't we all write down as many good words as we can think of, and stuff 'em in my hat. Then we'll let the Chief draw out a couple at a time. We just might pick us a winner. Emma? Why don't you tear up a whole bunch of pieces of paper off that there note pad you got. I'll get us some more pitchers of suds to help speed things along."
    For the better part of an hour, the only sounds that came from the table full of people were the scratching of pens on paper, punctuated by slurping sounds.
    Eventually, all the words were gathered up and dumped into the hat. Carl swirled everything around real good, then handed the hat to the Chief. "OK, Chief. Have at it. Let's find a name!"
    The Chief stuck his big hand in the hat, rooted around at the bottom, and extracted some bits of paper. He peered over his glasses intently, then in a deep, official tone, stated, "Folks, I think we got ourselves a name!
    He got up from the table, walked over to the blackboard where they normally write down the specials, grabbed a piece of chalk, and carefully wrote down these words:
    KILLER WHALE
    A cheer went up from the table and a call went out for another round. Carl was ecstatic, and Emma was literally beaming. She leaned over and whispered in Carl's ear: "I'm so happy I can't see straight! I put those words in the hat. Now we have your Suburban, The Whale, and my Bronco ... the Killer Whale!"
    ***
    Wow! It looks like The Killer Whale is ready for competition, now that it has a name. But how will it fare? Next month should be revealing, indeed.
    OFF-ROAD JULY 1993 THE WANDERERS #54 HEADLINES
    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: WHAT'S IN A NAME?
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN


    (NOTE TO ART DEPARTMENT) SUGGESTION FOR ILLUSTRATION: How about a drawing of the outside of HOWARD'S BAR AND GRILL AND BAR, with all kinds of words (like MONSTER, INCREDIBLE, GUT-STOMPER, TERMINATOR, and so forth) blasting out of the door and window like cartoon curse-words.

    Thanks
    Rick
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  7. #247
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    so things slowed down a bit but the plans... well, I'm starting to think a little bigger.... maybe a 6x6


    dare I ask.... thoughts?




    warning... be nice...
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  8. #248
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD AUGUST 1993 THE WANDERERS # 55
    FORWARD: Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-roading areas. The Suburban, nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    Let's bring you up to speed: After building a monster truck in Clearfield, Utah, Carl and Emma eventually got ready for their first competition. At this point, they even managed to scrape up a few odd sponsors and had come up with a name for their monster truck: THE KILLER WHALE!
    The event they decided to use as a shakedown was the Clearfield Smash And Bash being held at the local Fairgrounds. Well, everything was set, the Bronco was named and there was enough sponsor money to cover the entry fees. All that remained was the question: How would Carl and The Killer Whale do in real, no-holds-barred competition?
    ***
    Carl and Emma made quite a sight rolling down the road, with The Whale (their loyal Suburban), pulling a trailer, and on the trailer, in all its majestic glory was Emma's Bronco, The Killer Whale. Except it looked sort of goofy with the small transport wheels on it. You see, monster trucks are way to wide to fit on a trailer that'll fit a normal sized road. So they have small wheels and tires on just to transport it, and to load and unload. And nothing looks stranger than a huge truck with scads of wheel clearance and ordinary-sized tires underneath.
    When they arrived at the Fairgrounds, the folks from Boyce Equipment Company helped with the un-loading and the big wheel installing in the parking lot. With the wheels on, The Killer Whale took on the look of a true monster truck.
    Carl wandered over to the sign-up area and got in line. A huge bearded guy with a T-shirt that proclaimed "Arnold's Pig Farm" on it was in front of Carl, effectively blocking the view of the information posted on the board, but most of the state of Utah, as well.
    Carl tapped him on the shoulder. " Say, Arnold. You one of the drivers?"
    Arnold scratched one his chins as if lost in thought for moment, then brightened. "Yup. That's me. I drive a hemi-powered Dodge that goes by the name of PIG PARTS R US. You see, I raise oinkers and sell em when they're the right size."
    Carl raised one eye. "Is there money in that?"
    Arnold smiled, revealing two teeth on the top and one on the bottom. "Well, chances are if you ate some ham, sausage or bacon anywhere west of the Mississippi, it was probably from my outfit. Pigs is not only big, it's big business. So, you a driver, too?"
    Carl beamed. "Yesiree bub, I drive a new Bronco called The Killer Whale. Say, how many trucks we got in this here event? By the way, my name is Carl."
    "Glad to meet ya, Carl. Well, most of the local regular guys is here. You got THE GARBAGE TRUCK; it's a front loader ex-sanitation truck from Salt Lake City with a 454 Chevy under the bucket.
    "Then you got ITCHY FOOT. That's a '65 Ford stake bed truck. He wanted to call it Large Foot, but them Big Foot guys threatened to sue him.
    "If you like older rigs, there's THE TRENCH DIGGER, a '39 Chevy Sedan with pirate skull 'n crossbones painted on the side. Sort of a take off on the Grave Digger, if ya git my drift.
    "There's NUT CRUSHER; I do believe he's showed up. It's called that because the owner is a walnut grower from Indiana. Lessee... you got BEAR TRACKS and USA 6 7/8 and ..."
    Carl interrupted. "Whoa! Back up a bit. What's this USA 6 7/8?"
    "Well, USA 1 was sorta taken, and since the owner runs a hat store, it makes sense, I guess. Then you got SPECIAL DELIVERY. It's got an old UPS truck body on it and I got no idea what's under the hood.
    "One you gotta watch out for is THE STINKER TOY0; it's a real light Toyota pickup with a 540 inch Chevy mounted in the center. The only weird thing is that he went and painted it pink. Can you beat that? Imagine, painting a monster truck pink! Haw, haw."
    Carl reddened visibly. "Hold on there, Arnold. My rig is pink, too."
    Arnold peered at Carl suspiciously. "Pink? You ain't one a them light-in-the-loafers types, are ya?
    Carl bristled. "Now hold on, you pig farmer! My Bronco is pink because my wife refused to give up to make into a monster truck unless I kept it pink."
    "Hey, no offense, Carl. It's just odd to see pink trucks. It's sorta like seein' a bright blue pig, if ya git my drift. Anyways, there's a coupla more I can think of. You got PRIME SUSPECT; it's a Ranchero that's painted in half dozen different shades of red and gray primer. Naturally, it's sponsored by a paint store.
    "The last big name truck I can think of is HOUND DOG. It's the strangest thing I ever did see. I got no idea what kind of power plant it runs, or what it's built from, but the stupid thing has a big wooden dog house built on it. The owner runs a pet store, so I guess it makes sense, in a weird sorta way.
    "Lessee...including yours, that makes a dozen that I know about, and there's sure to be another four or five. Yup. We'll have a 16 truck field, minimum. Should make for a good payday for the winner."
    Carl's eyes widened. "Money? How much?"
    Arnold stifled a belch with a huge meaty hand. "Entry fee is five hundred bucks each and the promoter matches the entry fee, dollar for dollar. So if we got 16 trucks in the field, that makes a $16,000 total purse. Not too shabby."
    Carl was curious. "So what's the breakdown?"
    Arnold sighed. "That's the problem. Or the good part, if ya happen to win. You see, the winner gits $15,000, second place gets $750 and third place gits $250."
    Carl let out a low whistle. Wow! That's pretty tense. Almost all the money for first and damn near nuthin' for second and third." Arnold shook his head from side to side. "Well, you gotta admit it does give a fella some incentive to win."
    Carl looked puzzled. "So what's the trick to winning the whole ball of wax, Arnold?"
    Arnold squinted his eyes and pursed his lips. "Hmmmm. Good question. Well, now that I think about it, the key here is to jump as long and far as you can. You see, the field is all lumpy and un-even, and if you try to ride over the tops of the cars, you're gonna git pushed off to the side. So your best bet is to just launch it and try to clear all the cars. The only problem with doing that, is that you ain't got much run-off room to slow down and stop.
    "So the way they tried to extend the run-off area is to leave a gate open and you can go out through a tunnel to the outside area. Only problem is that the tunnel is only about two feet wider than the track of the average monster truck, and if you ain't aimed up just right, chances are you're gonna leave part of your truck scraped all over one side or the other of that tunnel.
    "It's just a matter of if you got the nerve to stuff it through the tunnel. I know I do. I've won here that last few times, Carl, so you're lookin' at the man to beat. However, if you can bring yourself to jump all the cars, land straight, and make it through the tunnel, then you got a chance to beat me. Well, my butter ball new buddy, are you up to the task?"
    ***
    Holy smokes! Will Carl be able to go for the gold by gathering up enough nerve to jump all the cars, and then make it through the narrow tunnel un-scathed?
    Well, folks... it's taken us a long time to get to this point, but I can personally assure you that in the very next issue, we'll get to see Carl finally get to put The Killer Whale to the test. The tension is building!























    OFF-ROAD AUGUST 1993 THE WANDERERS # 55 HEADLINES


    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: GETTING READY FOR THE MONSTER TRUCK RACE!
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN




    (NOTE TO ART DEPT. SUGGESTION FOR ILLO.... Drawing of a huge, fat bearded guy with "ARNOLD'S PIG FARM" on the front, waving his hands in the air, indicating a huge jump.)
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  9. #249
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD SEPTEMBER 1993 THE WANDERERS # 56

    FORWARD: Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-roading areas. The Suburban, nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    Finally, the day of reckoning arrived. Carl would get to compete in their new monster truck, The Killer Whale, at the Clearfield, Utah, Smash and Bash event. Things looked good, as a full field of 16 monster trucks showed up, and some serious prize money was on the line.
    Carl had done some inquiring at one of the other competitors, a huge bearded pig farmer named Arnold who drove a truck called PIG PARTS R US, and found out a few startling things. Firstly, the prize money - $16,000 in all - was divided up thusly: $15,000 to first place, $750 for second and $250 for third.
    Secondly, according to Arnold, it was necessary to jump all the cars if you wanted to win, as the field was all crooked, but because the landing area was so short, you had to go through a tunnel in the stands. A very narrow tunnel. It would take a skillful jump indeed, to leap over a dozen cars, bring the monster truck under control and snake it through the narrow opening.
    ***
    The first time Carl drove inside the Fairgrounds arena, he was stunned by how small the place was. And the row of junk yard cars - still untouched - looked long, high and intimidating, having not been flattened yet.
    A crowd of about 10,000 people packed the stands, waiting for the action to start. The promoter gathered all the monster truck racers around at a drivers meeting and explained some basic rules and how the schedule was to be run.
    A half-hour practice session would be allowed to warm the trucks up and to flatten the line of cars a bit, before the actual racing started. Eliminations would be run drag racing style: you lose, and you're eliminated. In addition to the cash money being offered, a huge six foot tall trophy was to be awarded to the winner. A small 12 inch trophy would go to second place, and a one quart plastic bottle of beef jerky would be given to the third place finisher.
    Wisely, Carl let the other trucks take the first runs at the line of junker cars. THE GARBAGE TRUCK, an ex-sanitation department truck from Salt Lake City, was the first out, and he took it easy, catching a small bit of air off the dirt ramp, and landing front end first on the third car in line.
    But just like Arnold the pig farmer said, the row of cars was very uneven, and THE GARBAGE TRUCK slithered off the left side about half way down the line. Three more trucks fumbled across the roofs of the cars, all of them dropping off one side or the other due to the uneven surface, before THE TRENCH DIGGER, a '39 Chevy Sedan with pirate skulls painted on the side, made a clean run.
    Carl made a cautious pass, and like most of the others, slithered off the row of cars. On his next pass, he got almost to the end before sliding off again, but did have a chance to eyeball the tunnel through the stands. Boy, it sure looked small from up there!
    The first truck to give it a real good shot was Arnold the pig farmer, at the wheel of PIG PARTS R US. He gave it a good launch and landed on the second car from the end, got a little bit crooked, but managed to straighten it out and darted cleanly through the tunnel, much to the delight of the crowd.
    The practice session was over far too soon, and Carl never felt right enough to give it a serious launch. He drove back to the pits and checked everything over. The Killer Whale seemed nice and tight, and all the gauges indicated the correct readings. The guys from Boyce Equipment did a deep inspection underneath the truck and reported that everything looked straight and true.
    The Boyce crew offered advice: "Just take it easy on the first run, Carl. Half of the trucks out here ain't built all that well and will probably break before they complete the run. Trust us on that."
    ***
    There was a break to allow the drivers to work on their trucks and to draw for the eliminations. Carl drew the fourth round against the pink Toyota truck called STINKER TOY.
    The first round went as the Boyce crew predicted; plenty of broken trucks. THE GARBAGE TRUCK had a slow run, but ITCHY FOOT (a '65 Ford stake-bed) had a drive shaft break and fly off nearly to the stands.
    In the next run, USA 6 7/8 put in a clean run, beating BEAR TRACKS, which caught on fire right before crossing the finish line. In Round Three, SPECIAL DELIVERY (an old UPS mail truck) took almost a full minute to creep across the now-slightly compressed line of cars, but still won, as PRIME SUSPECT (a battered Ranchero painted in primer and sponsored by a paint store) puked its transmission approaching the dirt take-off ramp.
    Carl was up next and Emma leaned forward to give him a hug and a reassuring kiss on the cheek, but poked him in the eye with the edge of her over-sized sun glasses. Carl went to the staging areas with tears streaming from his right eye, which was nearly closed and in severe pain.
    Carl staged against STINKER TOY and his heart pounded as the starter lined both the pink monster trucks up, making sure that both were dead even. The starting tree went from a red light, to yellow, hesitated a fraction, then went green. Carl hammered the throttle and hit the take-off ramp side-by-side with the Toyota.
    Both trucks landed about half way down the row of cars, but the Toyota emitted a loud crack, and the right front wheel flew off and flopped to the field, followed immediately thereafter by the truck, which landed on its side.
    Carl fought the steering wheel as the Killer Whale threatened to pull hard to the left, but he managed to save it and chopped the throttle while rolling smoothly over the last car.
    Back in the pits, everyone slapped Carl on the back and hooted and hollered. Carl beamed: "One down!" The Boyce crew interrupted the mini-celebration: "You gotta watch this next run. This is the man you got to beat if you want to win all the marbles."
    Arnold the pig farmer in PIG PARTS R US, lined up against THE NUT CRUNCHER. Both rigs left the line clean and hard, but Arnold launched the big Dodge almost the complete row of cars, while NUT CRUNCHER chopped the throttle a tad early. The PIG PARTS truck crossed the finish line about five feet in front of the other truck, and was barely able to stop the Dodge in front of the wall. Carl could now see that if you cleared all the cars, you would definitely have to go through the tunnel to get slowed down. There simply wasn't enough room otherwise.
    Fascinated, Carl watched the rest of the fist round eliminations. TRENCH DIGGER had a clean run, while HOUND DOG looped out right after the take-off ramp and landed on its roof.
    In round seven, a funky old Jeep CJ-5 easily beat a funky-looking Edsel when the transfer case on the Edsel fell out on the ground on the approach to the ramp.
    In the last round, a bizarre looking Checker taxi-cab bodied rig rolled sideways across the finish line in front of a truly ugly International pickup that was blowing steam like a locomotive boiler. Oddly enough, the boxy looking Checker body looked completely undamaged in spite of the roll-over.
    That left eight trucks to do battle in the second go-round. THE GARBAGE TRUCK matched up against USA 6 7/8 and literally left the USA rig standing at the starting line when the engine blew up in an oily smoky cloudy ka-boom!
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  10. #250
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    Carl was up next against the mail truck, SPECIAL DELIVERY, and had a relatively easy run when the ex-UPS truck veered of the row of cars when the tie-rods snapped and almost took out the ambulance near the hot dog stand before coming to a halt.
    Arnold the pig farmer was up next, pitting the PIG PARTS R US truck against THE TRENCH DIGGER. It was a close run, but Arnold jumped a bit further and nearly cleared the row of cars in the air, giving him another tight win. Again, he barely was able to stop his Dodge.
    Carl was curious. "I thought that Arnold guy was gonna jump all the cars?"
    The Boyce crew had the answer: "Only if he has to. You see, he had a slight edge on the other truck as they approached the jump ramp, so he didn't need to charge any harder. But I'll guarantee you that if he has to jump the whole row of cars to win the final, he'll do it!"
    The final pairing of the second session had that crusty old Jeep going against the Checker taxi. The Jeep won handily when the Checker landed nose-first half way through the row of cars, with the tail in the air. They had to bring a tow truck in to extract it from the rear window of a four-door 1968 Buick Electra.
    That left the Final Four: THE GARBAGE TRUCK, Carl and Emma's rig, THE KILLER WHALE, PIG PARTS R US and the Jeep with no name.
    Carl drew THE GARBAGE TRUCK and Arnold the pig farmer drew the no-named Jeep. Emma summed it all up for the crew: "It just doesn't seem right. Carl has to go against that radical GARBAGE TRUCK, and Arnold the pig farmer just has to deal with a funky old Jeep."
    The Boyce crew cautioned them: "Never write off a Jeep, no matter how old, or how strange it looks."
    Carl figured he'd play it by ear, rather than trying to calculate any sort of a game plan. When the starting light blinked to green, Carl hammered the throttle and grabbed a quick half-length lead over his competition. He played it safe and decided not to try to jump the entire line-up of cars, which turned out to be good strategy, as THE GARBAGE TRUCK landed crookedly on the third car from the end and rolled heavily to the Fairgrounds floor. Carl landed on the roof of the last car, bounded wildly into the air and landed on both left wheels, barely able to bring the Bronco under control right before smacking into the wall. Close call!
    Everybody clambered up on top of a motor home to watch the pig farmer go to work. True to the predictions of the Boyce crew, the Jeep pulled a hole shot on the start and literally flew off the jump ramp, with PIG PARTS R US a full length behind. The no-name Jeep crossed the finish line first, but landed crooked and didn't line up cleanly to make it through the tunnel. The side of the Jeep monster truck smacked the leading edge of the tunnel entrance and folded in half like a jack-knife. The engine ripped off its motor mounts and skidded through the tunnel, coming to rest out in the middle of the parking lot, wires and hoses dangling out like a flying plate of spaghetti.
    Carl turned to the Boyce crew. "What happens now? The Jeep is destroyed, but it beat the pig farmer."
    The Boyce crew ran over to the promoter, and came back with the answer. "The next fastest time advances to the finals if a semi-final competitor cannot make it to the starting line. And that means you're going to have to run against the pig farmer, and we might as well tell you, he ain't going to hold anything back in the finals. Carl, you're gonna have to go for the tunnel. Try to jump all the cars and head for the hole if you want to win. We don't want to put any pressure on you, but first place is $15,000 and second place is $750 bucks and a trophy the size of a cheap flashlight. It's all in your hands, Carl."
    ***
    Everything was in readiness; the truck had been checked out completely, from stem to stern, and everything seemed OK. Arnold, the pig farmer, got to the starting line early, with his raspy-sounding hemi sending almost visible waves of pure power bouncing off the eardrums of everyone in the grandstands.
    Carl waited as long as he could before reporting to the starting line. He remembered reading something in Off-Road about a cool engine putting out the most horsepower.
    Carl eased THE KILLER WHALE right up next to PIG PARTS R US and fixed his eyes on the starting lights. This was it. He had to go for it now, or never. The revs raised on both trucks as they waited for the lights to blink.
    Red. Then yellow. The micro-second the yellow light started to fade, Carl slammed the C6 trans into gear and mashed the throttle to the floor pan.
    Carl glanced out of his right eye and saw PIG PARTS R US dead even with his front fender. As the ramp loomed up, Carl resisted lifting his foot and left it buried. The Bronco hit the ramp and sailed ... and sailed ... and sailed ... and cleared the row of cars by a good 20 feet. Carl landed flat and solid, yanked the steering wheel a fraction to the left to line up for the tunnel. Stopping was out of the question.
    The pink Bronco slipped cleanly through the tunnel, and when Carl saw daylight again, he slammed the brakes on hard. The Bronco slithered on the dirt of the parking lot, big tires biting hard, and came to a stop almost in time. The front end slammed into the side of a parked vehicle, moving it a few feet to the west.
    Carl leaped out of the KILLER WHALE and ran back into the Fairgrounds, to be greeted by a joyful crew and Emma. Arnold apparently had a problem, as the PIG PARTS R US truck had tagged the wall and was now considerably shorter than it had been a few minutes ago.
    ***
    Carl accepted the check for $15,000, waving to the crowd as he did so. Emma came up and gave him a hug. "Congratulations, big guy! You won!"
    Carl blushed. "Well, my dear, the only problem we have now is how we should spend this here $15,000. Got any ideas, Emma?"
    Emma frowned. "I don't quite know how to break it to you, but the vehicle you ran in to was our Suburban, the Whale. And I had a local body show check out the damage. It's going to cost us about ... ahhh.... $15,000 to get it shaped up. Carl? Carl? Will somebody please pick him up? "




    OFF-ROAD SEPTEMBER 1993 THE WANDERERS # 56 HEADLINES
    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: DEALING WITH THE TUNNEL OF DOOM!
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN


    NOTE TO ART DEPARTMENT: SUGGESTION FOR ILLUSTRATION: How about a drawing of the rear end of Carls' monster truck disappearing into an inky-black tunnel?


    Thanks, Rick


    By the way, the last
    few illos have been great!
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  11. #251
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    OFF-ROAD OCTOBER 1993 THE WANDERERS # 57

    FORWARD: Carl and Emma live the good life. Carl, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, drives a huge 4WD Suburban all over the country to explore off-roading areas. The Suburban, nick-named The Whale, is loaded to the max with every goody known to man. Emma, a very patient lady, tries to keep the short-fused Carl out of as much trouble as possible.
    ***
    A recap is in order. Last time, Carl finally got a chance to compete with their new monster truck, but even though he won the main event and a tidy $15,000 for first place, a bit of bad luck happened. Because Carl jumped the entire row of cars, he didn't stand a chance of slowing down inside the small Fairgrounds facility, and had to go through the tunnel leading out to the parking lot.
    There, he rammed into another vehicle while stopping, which unfortunately turned out to his Suburban, The Whale. Luckily, it wasn't totaled, but the damage came to almost $15,000, which, when you consider the fact that the entry fee to the event was $500, Carl had a net loss of about $300 for the weekend.
    ***
    We join them now as they're driving The Whale down the road, two weeks after the event. Strangely, there's no trailer hooked on the back of The Whale.
    Emma sighed. "You know Carl, I'm sort of sad that we sold the Killer Whale monster truck."
    Carl bit a hefty chunk of Red Man chewing tobacco and tucked it in the side of his mouth. "Well, we had a good run at it. It was fun and all that, but the way I figured, it was gonna cost us a fortune to compete on a regular basis. I mean, you ain't gonna win all the time, and when you get to the big events with the big money, then you gotta go up against Big Foot and all them sort of trucks. Naw, we had our fun and it's time for us to get back to wanderin' around. That's the longest we ever been in one town for the last three years."
    Emma sipped at her Yoo-Hoo chocolate soda delicately. "Well, at least we were able to recoup our money we spent building the monster truck."
    Carl bit off another plug. "Wffffpll, fffoo grrrtt thsuu vvllimmm nnnn ..."
    Emma cut in. "Carl, please don't try to talk with a half pound of tobacco in your mouth. I can't understand a word you're saying!"
    "Sorry, honey-pot. Now I got it all wadded up in one cheek, so I can denunciate properly."
    "You mean enunciate."
    "Right. That's what I said. Whatsamatter, you spill some of the chocolate soda in your ears, or something?"
    Emma settled back with a sigh, and smiled. "Well, are we heading to Canada finally? I'd like to get up there when the leaves are turning colors."
    Carl spat a huge wad of chew-juice at a road-side sign and nailed it on the lower left corner. "Boy, I'm gettin' better with age. That musta been a 22 foot shot at 55 miles per hour. Not bad at all. Oh yeah, you mentioned Canada? Well, I think we ought to wander in that general direction. But I sure got the urge to do some off-road wandering on the way up there. Just find us a nice little dirt road somewhere, find a stream or a lake and maybe do some camping. Sound good?"
    "Ooooooh! That sounds wonderful. I'll get the map out and look for something interesting."
    Carl grunted. "We don't need no stinkin' map! All I gotta do is use my keen sense of sight. I'll just keep my eyes open for some landscape that looks good, and any old dirt road that heads in that direction will do."
    "What do you look for?"
    "Easy. You look for some humps and bumps in the terrain. Hills have to have valleys. I mean, you can't have a hill if it's all even. If a hill was even, it would be level and wouldn't be a hill, now would it? You follow that so far?"
    "Uhh, yes. I think so. Then what?"
    "Like I said, you got your hills, so that means you got your low spots. And when you got low spots, that's were you can find water. I ain't seen a lake yet on the side of a hill, or on a mountain peak. So, we head for some kind of space between a coupla hills. Bingo! Chances are we'll find a perfect camping spot, catch a few fish and have a great time."
    They drove for a few hours, listening to Willy Nelson tapes and munching on Dorito chips dunked in a garlic/jalapeno/bacon dip. Then Carl let out whoop and pointed off to the right. "Now that looks a spot with some potential! Check it out; big hills, lottsa trees, some grass on the low land ... should be fine camping somewhere back in there."
    Carl peeled The Whale off the highway and onto a side road. A few miles down the road, he pulled into a small gas station and gassed up all three tanks. The attendant wiped a greasy red rag over the windshield. "If you're headin' back in the hills, you might wanna buy some extra water to take with you."
    Carl took out some paper towels and re-cleaned the windshield. "No thanks. I'll just find me a place to camp near some water."
    The attendant wiped his runny nose with the same greasy red rag. "I don't think there's much in the way of lakes or ponds up there. Of course, I ain't ever been up there myself, but I don't see no boats ever go by here."
    Carl let out a clever-looking smile. "Young man, that don't mean a thing. If you know your way around the woods, you can always find some water."
    Emma finished off her Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Soda. "Maybe we should stock up on water, Carl? I haven't checked the water tanks lately."
    Carl snorted. "Hey, have you considered the fact that they charge money for the water here? If you want water from that hose, you gotta put three quarters in the machine. And the jug water is 59 cents a gallon. I think we'll just pass on that for now, and find our own free water. I will need some beer extra beer, though."
    Ten minutes later, they were underway down the narrow paved road, which soon turned into a pleasant dirt road, which in turn, turned into a bumpy-narrow two-track. The came to a fork, and Carl took the right trail, which was a very tight, gnarly trail that headed off toward those inviting hills.
    Carl was glad that he had some good Rancho shocks on The Whale, as the trail deteriorated badly, and the big Suburban was able to get up to a comfortable speed that let the shocks work, while the chassis stayed relatively stable.
    Up ahead was an abandoned old farmhouse with a faded Mail Pouch sign on the side, that looked ready to fall over with one stiff breeze. Carl stopped, and zeroed out the odometer. It never hurt to know exactly how far back in you were, and that farmhouse made a great landmark. Just in case.
    He headed for a gap between two large green hills that looked promising. The trail got rougher and rougher, and all that was left on the ground to guide Carl, was the two-track marks left by others who had gone that way in the past.
    There were some slippery off-camber sections that required finesse from the driver, so Carl slipped The Whale into four wheel drive, and instantly felt the big BF Goodrich All Terrain tires start to grip and pull smoothly forward. No slide-slipping with those babies!
    A half-hour later, Carl dropped down into a rock-filled canyon, and had to pick his way slowly around most of the boulders and over some of the bigger ones. The only clue that any other vehicles had ever passed through here, were the scrape marks on the rocks.
    Carl was glad when they finally got out of that stuff and into some normal woods. The two-track trail resumed, and Carl was able to go back to two-wheel
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck

  12. #252
    Super Swamper
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    3,382
    Thanks
    178
    Thanked 619 Times in 461 Posts
    drive. The only thing that made the driving difficult, was that the brush was over-growing the trail. Fender-high weeds, brush and scrub pines scratched up against the sides of The Whale. At times, Carl couldn't even see the trees flanking the trail, and shuddered when he heard that all too familiar scraping sound on the body that meant it would require several hours of buffing with rubbing compound to get the scratches out.
    Emma tapped Carl on the shoulder. "Dear, I don't mean to interrupt you, but ..."
    "Then don't! Under conditions like this, a driver has to pay complete attention to the terrain and his machine. My mind is like a computer, wanderin' back and forth from the controls, to the gauges, to the obstacles, so any distractions would ... what's that noise?"
    Emma sighed. "I think it's the sound of your radiator boiling over."
    "What? How could that be?"
    "That's what I've been trying to tell you. While you've been so busy driving, I figured the least I could do was keep an eye on your gauges. You know ... the oil pressure, the temperature. All the usual stuff. You've been running about 280 degrees right now."
    Carl peered at the dash in stark racing horror! Whoa! the temp gauge was pegged. He found an open spot and pulled The Whale off the trail and shut the engine down. When Carl popped the hood, he was greeted by a wall of steam.
    He let loose with a stream of vile Navy curses that would have curdled milk on a cold day. Emma blanched. "You know, I never did get used that kind of language. Not even after you spent 28 years in the Navy with all those foul-mouthed friends of yours."
    "Sorry, honey-pot. I got sorta carried away. Now stand back from all that steam and let's see if I can figure out what caused this here grief."
    Carl did the old trick of moving the hood up and down to clear the steam from the engine, and in moments, he had a clear view of the engine compartment. A small stick was poking right dead center in the front of the radiator, and steam and liquid was blowing out of the hole.
    Carl started swearing like a trooper again, and Emma smacked him on the top of his head with an empty Yoo-Hoo bottle. "Carl! Now you stop that, right now! One more foul word from you, and I'm going to stick this bottle up your ... your ... your nose!"
    "Whoops. Sorry, my dear. I promise to try harder to correct my language, no %*#@. Owww! That hurt. You almost split my head open with that stupid soda bottle. We got us a bigger problem here than my foul mouth, Emma. There's a hole in here the size of bowling ball."
    Emma peered over the front end. "Pish and tiffle. That's nothing. I've got a copy of the latest issue of Off-Road that tells you how to fix cooling system problems on the trail. I read the whole article while we were driving down the road, and there's no reason in the world we can't fix this ourself."
    "Where's that magazine? It's the September issue, right? Go get me the magazine and a couple of cold beers. I think I'd better read that thing over."
    A few minutes later, Carl was working on his second beer and had finished the article. "No problem, Emma. This thing pretty much covers it all. We've got the right stuff to plug the hole, so all we have to do is fix it, then fill it up with water. Emma? Go fill up a couple of jugs from the sink tap and bring 'em out here. I'll start on fixing the damage."
    Carl grabbed a rag and released the radiator cap, and watched as the last bit of steam escaped from the massive over-sized radiator. He then checked out his tool kit and found some radiator sealants. Just about that time, he heard a loud "Oh, no!" from inside The Whale.
    "Emma? What is it? A spider? A snake?"
    "No. It's worse than that. We're completely out of water!"
    ***
    Well, Carl appears to have done it once again. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, with a bone-dry radiator, and no water to put in there. What will happen? Who can tell? We'll simply have to wait to see what happens. Quite frankly, I'm worried.












    OFF-ROAD OCTOBER 1993 THE WANDERERS # 57 HEADLINES

    HEADLINE: THE WANDERERS
    SUBHEAD: DEM OLE BONE-DRY BLUES
    BYLINE: BY RICK SIEMAN



    SUGGESTION FOR ILLO: How about a drawing of The Whale with a giant cloud of steam blowing out from under the hood? By the way, the last few illos have been great!
    Thanks,

    Rick Sieman
    This too shall pass
    on a tow truck


 

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Logout