Land Cruiser Wrath Buggy

“El Presidente”

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  • 54″ wide Pre-Runner Wrath tube chassis
  • Powertrain – 500 hp, 383 CI Chevy small block, TH400 Atlas transfer case
  • Suspension – SM double triangulated front and rear, King Coilovers
  • Axles – Dana 60 front and rear spooled chromoly shafts
  • 39″ Red Label BFGs, Walker Evans beadlocks
  • FJ40 Land Cruiser-influenced body
  • Mastercraft seats, harnesses
  • PCI Race Radio/ full communications system/Lowrance GPS

Land Cruiser Wrath Buggy

Mac Hampson

I first met Nick Sessions in 1999 at Eddie’s Leaf Spring in Ft. Collins, CO. Nick was working as a general fabricator and mechanic mostly repairing trailers and heavy trucks. He had a highly modified Jeep XJ that he used to park on the rocks out in front of the shop. By highly modified, I mean that in today’s terms, there wasn’t a single original bolt or part on it and it would out articulate anything I had ever seen in a magazine or otherwise. I was there looking for someone to build me a set of rock sliders for my 69 FJ40. Much to his boss’s chagrin, Nick agreed to do the work. We have been friends since, and I later wore holes THROUGH those rock sliders.

As the years progressed, I competed professionally in rock crawling in UROC and several other events. Nick had started Xtreme Engineering in the meantime and was there every step of the way modifying my FJ40 to keep up with my ever-increasing skill set. This was until 2005 when the old FJ just couldn’t be cut or pasted anymore so we started on my Wrath Chassis. We came up with a “radical” idea on the prodding of our adopted desert dad, Don Campbell. (Yes, Shannon’s dad.) Don had told us that the sport had to go another direction, and that direction was Fast.

So Nick proceeded to build me a rock crawling pre-runner. This was a radical new concept for the time when the King of the Hammers wasn’t even a thought and moon buggies were all the rage. And build me a rock crawling pre-runner he did. El Presidenté, the name given to my car by Nick and his crew due to my bossman demeanor, was longer, wider and had more up travel at ride height than anything else out there when it was first laid out. These were the days of droop travel and air shocks. No one was thinking about 2.5″ race gear and hydraulic 4″ bump stops on a rock buggy back then. But somehow Nick managed to keep its rock crawling roots prevalent in the car. Mind you, I have ridden in a center pivot pre-runner with 4″ gear and it was not that, but it would and did trade paint with class 6 trucks while still being able to run Upper Heldorado in Moab with no front or rear lockers with ease. In my professional opinion, that is pretty impressive.

Now 13 years later Nick’s cars have come to another level. I recently drove a friend’s car that Nick finished last year. It was his take on a southern rock bouncer and he nailed it. It was stable at any angle despite the 43″ swampers and 600+ hp engine. I could drive it right into a rollover and drive it right out with ease. It felt balanced and inspired confidence, like all of his cars. I can’t wait to see what he builds next.

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