Readers’ Off Road Desert Toys

As we look forward to the upcoming 2015/2016 desert season, check out these off road desert toys owned by our readers. You’ll also find three pages of photos in our September print & digital edition, and since we received so many more photos than we had room to print we’re continuing the fun on our website! If you’d like to submit your photo to be considered for online publication send it to!



Here is my car, we go to Glamis a lot with it, Parker AZ and pre-run Baja 500 down in Mexico with it. It has a CBM 383 stroker motor with an Albins trans and all the other bells and whistles. We do lots of trips in it. My wife and 7 year old daughter love it, keeps the family playing in the dirt and sand together.
Trevor Gard,  Trabuco Canyon CA


2014 Polaris Razor 1000 built by CT Racing out in Ocotillo Wells during TDS Desert Safari
Dennis Miles, San Dimas, CA


I’ve been going to the dunes for over 40 years, this by far is the best ride I’ve had… it! It’s a Tatum Spider 2005. Ls6 engine, Mendeola 2d trans. Great ride. Just replaced the seats with JetTrim seats, two of which have heaters….Yay.  And we are getting it repainted, same scheme, but freshening it up a bit. We are the second owners. I have tons of old time pictures from when I was a wee little girl, and we had all the homemade buggies.

Philip Mullaly and Stacey Wise, Peoria AZ

Dave Wicka 2
Dave Wicka 1
Dave Wicka 3
2 seater off road car, Suzuki GSXR750 motor, 20″ travel front & 18″ travel rear built by Double Down Off Road Cars in Ramona, CA, Rich Bender & Clint Newman. Obviously, per the graphics,  “We use it 100% at Ocotillo Wells” JD Built in Escondido made the “Ride Ocotillo Wells” graphics to match our water tank graphics!
Dave Wicka, Escondido, CA  and Ocotillo Wells, CA  92004




My two babies. I have been racing the blue and silver Bronco for 20 years and have accumulated over 200 wins and 13 championships with her and she is still going strong. Grant Wilson, Tucson AZ


Grant Wilson 1

Oh yeah we just put on new flared fenders and paint. Ahh sweetness…. I live on a cattle ranch just outside of Tucson Arizona..So I get a lot of ..I have been racing the Whiplash off-road series which is mainly in Arizona, Southern California and Nevada. I have also done some SNORE races.. but the last couple years it’s been the Lucas Oil Off-Road Regional Series and Tuff Trucks that’s got my attention. I just use the green bronco to get lunch sometimes and just to cruise.

Thank you for considering using my Broncos. – Grant Wilson (one more time)

Jerrod Henderson

Jerrod Henderson from San Jacinto CA @ California City

Larry Hall

Here is my 70 bug. Has Chevy ecotec 2.4 ltr. motor. 

Thanks, Larry Hall, San Felipe, Baja Mexico

Leah Dannals

All nice and clean for the desert. Time to throw some dirt from Ocotillo Wells  on that polish.
Leah Dannals, Vista CA

Mike Paholsky

It’s an early 80’s Mazzone chassis with a 164 cid Corvair engine with a stock 180hp turbo charger installed. Custom exhaust. Hand made seat. All heim joints polished, brake lines hand bent and polished. Rancho Trans built the trans to my spec’s with a 3:86 ring and pinion. Jamar rear brakes were disassembled and polished by me and all paint work my me. The car weighs 855 lbs and engine is 200 hp with an approximate top speed of 90 mph. The car was completely built by me and not sublet to another company. The car is well balanced between chrome, aluminum and painted items. I prefer to ride a Dumont Dunes but do travel to Glamis at times. I reside in Apple Valley, Ca

Thank you for your interest, Mike Paholsky

Randy Ressell

Here is my 1960 Tririel 650. Pre unit Triumph motor and Ariel frame built by Dick Mann.
Randy Ressell
Rick 2
Rick 1
Blue car is a Mosebilt  and the Black/silver car is a Tatum. I live in New Jersey and play in Glamis.
Last season I spent 82 days in Glamis avoiding the cold and snow here in NJ
Thank You, Rick Mawker
Roger Schn 3
88 Honda TRX 250r, Big bore 350, Long travel plus 3 a arms, Axis shocks, Plus 4 no link swinger, 200 watt charging stator, 11,000 lumens, Led 10″ bar 6″ bar, Twin helmet lights, Gecko red whip. I’m in New York and have been going to Glamis for 17 years 19 trips ranging from 2 weeks – 1 month.  Pad 2-4 Life.

Trying to have a Honda 250 R Rally in February. The Facebook page is Honda Trx 250r owners for life – Check it out. 10,000 members.

1000 plus ATC/Trx 250rs – Roger Schneider, New York
Roger Schn 1
Rzr s 2009, Mcx turbo 10 psi, 80 RWHP, Suspension seats, Sand Tires Unlimited
Roger Schneider, New York
Roger Schn 2
Sand Rail -All custom Mazzone frame, Mid-engine, Mid-travel, GM quad 4,  2.3L dohc, Type 1 Trans, Beefed up, Aj speed shifter, Candy purple, Buffs front, Comp shaved rears, 3:1 hp to weight ratio, 480RWHP, 1500 lbs
Roger Schneider, New York
for s and s
YZ450F (left) “Nasty”, YZ250 (middle) “Ol Blue”, YZ450F (right) “Dirty”, XR50 (front) “Lil Red”.
Richard Gray, Blythe CA
 Kitty and Lil Ricky. This is  Lil Rickys favorite desert toy that goes to races and camping trips with us, Yamaha Strider Bike also known as “Lil Blue”.
Richard Gray, Blythe CA
Craig Collett’s buggy parked out by Pumpkin Patch in Ocotillo Wells
Theresa Collett, San Marcos CA
Our son Tyler Collett’s buggy in a tight spot in the Truckhaven area of OWOHV park…Good Times!
Theresa Collett, San Marcos CA
This is my ’08 AG 5-Seater Sandcar. It’s got a Turbo 2.0 Subaru, our desert group is TBS Racing where we have numerous sand cars, quads and bikes, and we ride mainly out of Gordon’s Well in the Imperial Sand Dunes in CA
Barney Hogan, Surprise, AZ
Sandsprite 3. 2332 Ron Riffle built engine with Weddle tranny in rhino case and Sway-a-way axles. Midengine. Mendeola shift box. Everybody buys UTVs now but i cannot let my buggy go. All the power I need and eats V8s on hills or drags but not on rough dunes
Barry Katz. Moreno Valley CA
I’m Billy Dobbs and live in Mckinney Texas and this is my toy I named the Beast. He is an unconventional Class 5 Unlimited desert racer that I built and race here in Texas with TDRA with the help of my crew members of the VdubHobbyShop desert race team.  Lots of people said while I was building this car that it would never work, but I was able to knock down 2nd place in the TDRA 2014 season championship in the air cooled class and have a few sponsors including AMSOIL

1969 VW Baja Bug. Builder: Socal-Fab (Santa Clarita, CA) Specs: 2187 Type 1 VW engine with single Weber 48IDF, Fox Coilovers, Bus Trans, 14” travel front, 16” travel rear, Power Steering, Fuel Cell. Favorite Places: Glamis, Mojave Desert (Red Mtn, Jawbone, Cal City)

Brad Cameron, Castaic CA


David Hinojos

S&S Chassis, 3.5L Twin Cam V6 Engine, 091 Transaxle with Weddle Gearing

David Hinojos, Surprise AZ – Glamis W7C
Here is my desert toy, it’s a work in progress. It’s a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport with 3.5″ lift on 35’s and I have the Smittybilt XRC front bumper, winch and the front fenders.  Looking to do more upgrades in the future but due to my work injury everything is on hold. It is my daily driver and my off road rig and I fly the American flag to show my support for the troops and the people. – Carl Lord 
2007 Nissan Xterra Owner:  Chantel B. Built by: Clifford
I play with it in the Arizona desert
She is 2wd with the stock v6 4.0, super fast

My 2008 Honda 700XX aka ‘BLACK WIDOW’ that I have owned  just under a year. These are the things I have done to begin customizing her on a kool-aid budget:

– Black Widow raised emblem on  new front bumper
-13 tooth Renthal sprocket from stock 14 tooth
-Ceramic coated exhaust  (satin chrome) and header to mitigate the known heat problems with 700XX
– sits on Kenda Kutters front /rears for desert and rears paddles are  10-paddle Sand Geckos for dunes; all mounted on ITP-9 chrome rims
-PRM six pack rack with “700XX” CNC’d into aluminum

Still to come:
-carbon fiber wrap
-led headlight pods in addition  to stock bulb swap to led
-USB port
-bluetooth mc radio
-led brake lights mounted on I.R.S risers
– Pro Armor Fat Peg Nerf Bar

– Colleen Martel
My 3 SXS’s. One is my current 2015 Wildcat X on Engineer Pass Colorado, one is my full race Wildcat, and one of The Mistress, former King Of The Hammers racing Prowler. All Arctic Cats.
Darryl Dunlap, Dunlap Performance, Dunlap Racing, Farmington, NM
fulldump 1233-1
fulldump 1229
My 07 Tacoma 4×4 Total Chaos, Fox prerunner
Del Ocheltree, Chula Vista CA
2011 Kawasaki KX450F built by Precision Concepts ridden mostly in Glamis
Dennis Miles, San Dimas, CA
My 2012 S&S long travel sand rail 2 seat turbo Nissan V6
Derek Callihan, Hesperia CA
1987 Honda TRX 250r, 2+1 Burgard​ front end, stage three Elka suspension, full bore race cut plastic, ESR 310 four mill stroker, reworked by BDT Motorsports, 2001 CR250 ignition, 38mm air striker reworked by BDT Motorsports to a 40.5mm, v-force reeds, lightened flywheel, Curtis Sparks pipe and silencer, on VP 110.
Eric Christiansen, Vista CA
camo tracker
My Geo Tracker – Frank Vrettas, Ocotillo CA
The Catlin Family having some fun in Gordons Well.
Jesse Patton, JP Designs, Santee CA
My buggy out in the low desert near Bombay Beach around the Salton Sea. The buggy is a 2006 Potter, with an LS2 engine and a Fortin trans.
Jim Connelly, Long Beach CA
Savannah and Johanna Pope at Superstition with their Radio Flyer
SparePartsTruck 212
1975 F100 prerunner/Norra race truck, 460 engine, C6 transmission, Cone Dana 60 floater rear end, 18” front and rear travel with coil and leaf springs, Fox bypass shocks, Mastercraft racing seats and harnesses.  Entirely built by Autofab in Santee CA
John Ehmke, Santee CA
96 Suzuki Sidekick, 1.6, auto trans,  Trail Slayer suspension kit, Toyota truck axles, 33″ tires. All fabrication and installation done by myself. Roll cage and winch coming soon! My wife and I along with our 5 dogs love to go riding at Gorman, Ocotillo Wells, Johnson Valley, Cal City, Glamis, Superstition Mountain, Jawbone Canyon, Dove Springs and Pismo. We are members of Corva and we go out about 6 times a year doing fun runs, cleanups and club events.
John & Shelli Mathews
2009 Kawasaki Teryx with HCR LT, Benchmark Performance motor work and Str8up Motorsports cage.  It has 7,000 miles on it.  I drive it primarily in Glamis, however I’ve enjoyed it in Mammoth, Ca and Utah.  These pictures were taken at Sand Hollow, Utah.
 Josh Harper
We are BS Sand and we are a small family owned and operated company out of Phoenix AZ that makes seats for all types of off-road vehicles. While the Side by Side industry is currently our biggest market, we also make seats for everything from jeeps to sand buggies to trophy trucks. The vehicle shown is a Kawasaki Teryx that was built by Scott Estes in 2008 where it was raced in the Baja 1000 that same year. After completely rebuilding the car after the Baja 1000 we were finally able to go racing again. In 2013 we took the car back down to the Baja to race in the SCORE series where we held a solid position of 6th place in our class for most of the year before having to drop out due to insufficient funding. In the following year of 2014 we decided to take the car to Rocky Point Mexico to race it in the SADR series which has slightly cheaper entry fees. We are currently sitting in the number one position in our class and are looking forward to our next race in September.
Judi Hagge, BS Sand, Phoenix AZ
 Phone Pictures 5 184_resized
O6 Toyz4Bigboyz mid travel 2332 VW power plant, WR Racing built bus box transmission. Enjoy riding at Dumont Dunes CA
Ken Flores,  Altadena CA
 IMG_04562014 XP1000, TMW cage and bumper, Triple X seats, Rugged car to car radio w/intercom, Heretic and Rigid lighting, Assault steering wheel with quick release, Wolf Designs wrap, Hyper wheels on STU’s. Car built by me. Main use for the sand.
Kyle J. Stinemetz, Glendale AZ
2008 LS7 Powered SandCo. Ride Spot: Glamis/Gordons Well/Buttercup
Madin Lopez, Yuma AZ 
My 2010 Polaris RZR S 800. I ride in Ocotillo Wells, Truckhaven and Glamis.  Stock motor with lots of saftey add ons. I can’t keep up with the with the new bigger machines, but I have a blast trying!
Marc Tule, Salton City CA
2002 Ford Ranger. Fab work done in house. McNeil Racing Inc. Fiberglass. Work in progress! Perfect for Mexico!
Max Drew, La Mesa CA




Here is a picture from  is from the Jeep Squeeze (top) and from New Years on the trail to Pancake Rock
Mike Chasmar, Blowsand Products, Vista CA
2012 Polaris RZR 4 900 EPS customized by SDR Motorsports.
Nicole Nicholas Gilles, Executive Director, American Sand Association
Polaris 2014 RZR 800 XC.
Norman Harris, Los Angeles CA
2011 Score Baja 500 044
My buggy is a 2000 Chenowth Explorer with a Type 4 engine and Mendeola trans. I bought it from Mike Mendeola 6 years ago and have pre-ran the SCORE Baja and Best in the Desert races. I also take it to Glamis now and then.
 Randy Perry, North Tustin CA
Richard Calahan of Temecula is ready for wintertime. Needs to get back to the desert!
43 She took a beaten and kept on tickin
57 Still snow on Mt Whitney
2008 Jeep JK. V6 with RIPP supercharger, 3.5 inch lift on 34 in Nitto tires. These were taken during a week long camping trip to Death Valley last spring.
Owned and built by J Richard Fetters, Escondido CA
Quad with NO headlight, only a LEAD-DOG Helmet Light. Kenny Karcz – rider
Steve Karcz, Anchorage AK
 IMG_00311986 Honda 250R built from the ground up by myself, 700 Yamaha Raptor and 660 Yamaha Raptor. The family that plays together stays together. My name is Tom Rahn. My wife Paige and our daughter Madison like to spend our wedding anniversary at the dunes to celebrate where we met.  We live in Surprise Arizona. Usually ride either locally or at the Imperial Sand Dunes in Yuma AZ

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