Off-roading is one of the great American pastimes, and what makes it even greater is that it doesn't necessarily require a major wad of cash to do it. To prove that point, for the magazine's Cheap Truck Challenge, the editors of Petersen's 4 Wheel & Off-Road magazine took three 4x4s to the Arizona desert that they purchased for $4000 or less, including the vehicle and off-road modifications.
The contestants were Fred Williams with his 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser, the veritable luxo-yacht of the bunch, 4WOR editor-in-chief Rick Pewe with a small and nimble 1989 Jeep Cherokee, and Harry Wagner with the bruiser of the bunch, a 1978 Ford F-150. Each of the vehicles' attributes showed their respective strengths on each section of the course.
Since the trio was going "rock" crawling, rock star wigs were mandatory equipment on all challenges, a technicality that cost Pewe a victory in the hillclimb.
Although the oldest, and plagued with chronically squeaking belts and pulleys, the V-8 power and monstrous tires of Wagner's Ford proved a formidable combination.
But Pewe's Cherokee, the smallest of the bunch, flew through the mud bog thanks to its light weight and its driver's decades of off-roading experience. Check out the high-flying big-hair fun in the video below!