Scramblers are great trail rigs. Their spacious interior is easily filled with adventure gear. The 5-foot cargo box in the rear of the tub is a perfect place to store camping gear and a couple kids while on the trail. The 103-inch wheelbase gives the CJ-8 a comfortable highway ride and stability on steep, off-camber terrain.

by Kevin McNulty photography KEVIN MCNULTY

ANY OF US HAVE ASPIRAtions of building the perfect 4x4, and just like every other aspect of life we all have different ideas of how that vehicle should function. That's why our four-wheel rigs hail from different manufacturers, vary in functionality, and range from trucks and Jeeps to custom-built creations and SUVs. Some of us like our rigs rusty and archaic, while others have a penchant for state-of-the-art off-road machines they have to build themselves.

Fred Williams started project Fun Buggy a little over three years ago, and at just about the same time I started building my perfect 4x4: a scratch-built Jeep Scrambler. While

Fred's scratch-built buggy represents a street-legal vehicle that can handle the extremes of the toughest rockcrawling trails, my project is a tough and dependable overland adventure machine. I wanted a vehicle I could pack with enough gear to sustain me for a week's time while negotiating thousands of miles of America's highways and outback. There was no way to have my perfect 4x4 other than to build and design it myself.

Most of the build has been completed at Extreme Gear Off-Road in Orangevale, California, with owner Scott Arntz. Since then I have moved the project closer to home, and I'll be completing the project with Extreme's help and the help of a few friends. The first thing I need to check off the list is the wiring. This will include the engine harness, lighting, ignition, and gauges. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming scratch-built Scrambler tech.

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