Sasquatch Lives!

4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 712

Photos and Story by Mike Boyle

4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 710After wheeling a Sasquatch Motorsports buggy for a few years, Michael Brassanini felt his then 12-year-old son Sawyer had advanced his driving skill to the point it was time for a new car. Mike sold the car to family- friend, Richard Hulse, and the search for a new car began.

Once in his possession, Richard intended to add rear steer, fix a few things and give the car a once over before flipping it and moving on to his next project. As with most plans, it didn’t take long for the original plan to get thrown out the window. As soon as he cut into the car, the project snowballed. Richard had already removed the front tube work and sectioned 5 inches out of the beltline within days of taking possession. Once he established the new silhouette, Richard moved on to reconstructing the front tube work, designing it to take full advantage of the new 14-inch ORI Struts he planned to install. He then proceeded to add a new winch cradle and completely reworked the transmission mount. 4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 864

Once the modifications to the chassis were roughed in, Richard moved his focus to the axles. The front King Pin Dana 60 received a custom truss and steering ram mount custom designed and cut. The rear drag axle was removed, and in its place, a 14 bolt with 05 Super Duty steering knuckles was slid into place. The axle was filled with a spool, 5.13 gears, Branik 40 spline axles, Rhodes 1550 u-joints, and ball joint eliminators to ensure it would hold up. Another custom truss was built for the rear that included the mount for the PSC double-ended ram and the suspension link mounts, and the lower mounts for the new 16-inch ORI Struts.

4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 714With all the major fabrication out of the way, the focus turned to the interior and cargo area. First, a custom cradle, mount, and insulation panel were created to secure and protect the RCI fuel cell. Next, Richard mounted the new PRP low-back seats and harnesses. With visibility the primary focus, Richard constructed an expanded metal floor with open footwells. A tight transmission tunnel/center console and a mount to locate the Art Car shifter, rock light switches, and the rear steer controls were fabricated to finish things out. After the new interior and cargo components were finalized, they were sent out to Powder Coating Specialties of Grand Junction, CO, for some Prismatic Powders: “Shocker Yellow” over “Polished Aluminum” and “Charcoal Vein” powders. With the parts out for powder coat, Richard took the time to paint the chassis and all the newly fabricated parts in gloss black before completely rewiring the entire car. With the freshly powder coated parts back, final assembly began. New Lexan side panels were cut, and along with the original Escalade hood, were given a fresh coat of Avery “Gloss Dark Grey.” To finish the transformation, the 20” TrailReady Beadlocks were powder coated black with “Shocker Yellow” rings before being wrapped in a properly broken in set of 42” BFG Red Label Crawlers. 4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 721

4x4 Magazine 4WD how to article 863The irony of this story is that somewhere along the way, Michael realized that the work being done to the car was going to result in exactly what he was looking for to replace the version he sold. Knowing that Richard intended to sell the car upon completion of the rebuild, Michael made him an offer to buy it back when completed. In a six-month timespan, Richard completely transformed the buggy, completing it just in time for Sawyer to take possession of his new/old car for his 13th birthday.

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