Old School Meets New School


Panamint Valley Days 2015

Had a fantastic weekend out at Panamint Valley last weekend.  The Wilco Offroad team was in full-force. One of our projects for the weekend was testing our new cargo rack and Rotopax system. The rack did an amazing job with two full five gallon Rotopax cans, and an approximately 50 lb cooler. We also put a static load test with Erik and I standing in the tray for a combined weight of about 400 lbs. Taking some rougher lines at speed, the MC2X rear bumper proved to be a remarkably stable platform for the additional weight.

We headed out from South Park towards the Briggs Cabins on the east side of the Panamint range. After an early lunch at Briggs Cabins a small group of us headed on to Goler to see the infamous Barker Ranch, hiding place for Charles Manson and his “family” wherein he was found by the F.B.I. hiding in the pantry and sentenced to life in prison.

Our guide to Barker Ranch was a fantastic gentleman by the name of Rudy in his 1955 CJ with 70’s chassis and endless customizations including a heater from an RV, a homemade switchboard (for theft prevention), and an endless supply of safety wire and bungee cords .

I had the pleasure of riding along in Rudy’s rig. It’s amazing to see the progression between then and now. Although a lot has changed, some principles remain the same. Rudy builds everything for his rig himself. He is a huge advocate of keeping things light. Although suspension and engines have come along way since the 50’s, back then they understood how critical weight was. With each change in model Jeeps have tacked on more weight and body armor has followed suit.

Its awesome to meet guys like Rudy who have seen the evolution of Jeeps. What works, and what doesn’t. These types of conversations are what inspire us to do what we do. To learn from those who’ve seen it all. In this day and age building the lightest bumper possible seems revolutionary, but to guys like Rudy it’s just common sense.

Days like Saturday are why we do what we do. To explore new places, meet new people, and have a little adventure.


Luke Wronski