A monolith, set upon a backdrop that can only be found in the foothills of the San Joaquin: Justin Chenoweth’s 4×4 E-150 is, at mini,um, an imposing force on the trail. It towers above seemingly every vehicle on the dirt at nearly 9 feet (3m) tall; its shadow stretching for miles at dusk. At its widest, the van spans just two inches shy of a Hummer H1, pushing tight trails and obtrusive brush to their limits thanks to its Super Duty running gear and 35″ BFGs.
We all own cars and trucks for different reasons, largely to fill practical needs of transportation, while some fill selfish voids that we convinced ourselves that we have. I was left with a gap when I moved out of the city back to my small hometown to a perfect little house with a view down an old dirt road. I have a boring daily that fills most all my needs, and I sold off my “selfish void” of an RX7.
Nitto has teamed up with their friends at Toyota USA to tackle some of the best off road terrain in Southern California. The Holcomb Valley trail system lies up in the mountains just across from Big Bear Lake and Big Bear mountain ski resort. Most people refer to this off road area as Big Bear, but it’s technically Holcomb Valley.
At first glance, there’s an undeniable simplicity exuded by Gehn Fujii’s HJ60 Land Cruiser. From front to back, it relies on its core character to make a statement, leaving “staple” mods behind in favor of practicality, purpose, and pragmatism. Beneath the surface, however, is a truck rich with personality, history, and a story to tell.
With each passing year, it becomes tougher and tougher to find time to escape. In all of 2019 thus far, on only two occasions have I had the opportunity to hit the trail: once for a week and a half earlier this summer for our annual StanceWorks Off Road trip, and the other, just yesterday: a quick day trip to Big Bear, California, to shake things down.
Since acquiring the Hummer, I’ve been jonsing see just how well it performs doing what Hummers do best.