Show Notes for Podcast #136
Sean Holman on Four Wheeling and Finding Your Adventure
Scott Brady and Matt Scott interview the legendary Sean Holman, who has spent the last two decades exploring the globe by 4WD. Sean is a 4wd expert, podcaster, and Editor, managing popular titles like Fourwheeler. The conversation includes his thoughts on 4WD vehicle selection and modification, along with his favorite builds.
Sean P. Holman is a long-time automotive enthusiast who has been a working automotive journalist since 2003, holding editorial positions at Truckin’, Truckin’s SUV, Four Wheeler, 4×4 Garage, and Diesel Power magazines, and is now the content director for the MotorTrend Truck and Off-Road group. Sean’s work has appeared in many other titles, including JP, Recoil, Hot Rod Bikes, and Hot Bike.
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world’s most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady, and I’m joined today by my co-host, Matt Scott. For today’s guest, we have Sean Holman. Sean has been around the off-road and Overland community for decades. In fact, he’s just recently celebrated almost 20 years with publications like Four-Wheeler Off-Road and others. Sean has driven Jeeps and Toyotas and everything in between. In fact, recently he just completed a significant trip using Rivian R one Ts to go across the Transamerica Trail. We get into the details on how Sean builds his vehicles, some basic insights onto four wheel drive travel. He also gives some really thoughtful insights on some new trails that are available [00:01:00] in Southern California that take days and days to cross for the Overland traveler. This is a really great conversation. Sean is an awesome guy, great talent. So special for us to have him on the podcast today. So please enjoy our wide ranging conversation with Sean Holman. This content is brought to you by Overland Journal, our premium quality print publication. The magazine was founded in 2006 with the goal of providing independent equipment and vehicle reviews along with the most stunning adventures and photography. We care deeply about the countries and cultures. We visit and share our experiences freely with our readers. We also have zero advertorial policy and do not accept any advertiser compensation for our reviews. By subscribing to Overland Journal, you’re helping to support our employee owned and veteran owned publication. Your support [00:02:00] also provides resources and funding for content like you are watching or listening to right now. You can subscribe directly on our firstname.lastname@example.org. So Sean Holman, thank you so much for being on the podcast, man.
Sean Holman: I had to bring you a trailer, so I figured kill two birds with one stone. Right?
Scott Brady: Well, we’ve been, we’ve been talking about having you come out here for at least four or five years.
Sean Holman: It’s been, yeah, yeah. It’s been some time. Well, and then, you know, I, I get, you know, grief from these guys over here cause they’re like, you were in Prescott , you were at center force and you didn’t come by or you were at so-and-so didn’t come by.
Matt Scott: So we can always take you out for beers.
Sean Holman: So now the Center Force guys are be mad that I saw you and not them , so I’m cheating on them this time.
Matt Scott: So, you know what, I I love that. I love that. Tell me more about that.
Sean Holman: Is it Prescott or Prescott? Because that’s, that’s always the big thing. Nobody knows how to pronounce it.
Scott Brady: So, okay. So I do have a story about this. I have a story about this. I was at the, you’ve been to Crown King?
Sean Holman: I have.
Scott Brady: The back, the back road to [00:03:00] Crown King. It’s a great four wheel drive road. And you get there and this is, there’s this cool old hotel and, and a bar and everything like that. And I pulled up to the bar and, and I ordered a Prescott ale and this old guy looks over at me and he goes, he’s like, you know what’s called Prescott Ale? And I said, well, my name’s Scott. And until and until people start calling me Skit. Yeah. I’m gonna call and. Fair enough.
Sean Holman: All right. Well, you know what, I, I got no argument for that. I got no argument for that.
Scott Brady: So I actually don’t.
Matt Scott: He probably moved from California like last week, like everybody else in.
Sean Holman: So today we’ve had a bunch of storms come through. It’s been super wet out here just in the, in the southwest. Right. So I left home this morning. Beautiful day. Yesterday was, you know, about 65 degrees in sunny. I’m crossing the desert. Massive sandstorm, 30, 40 mile an hour winds. I get up in the mountains on my way here, snow everywhere, . I’m like, I think I’ve seen everything today.
Scott Brady: Yeah, you got the whole spectrum there.
Matt Scott: There’s a bunch of snow in Prescott [00:04:00] right now.
Sean Holman: There’s a ton.
Matt Scott: Especially like little higher up in elevation. Like my brother-in-law has like two feet. Sean Holman: That’s a lot of snow.
Matt Scott: And I have. Oh, we have like inches.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that’s the nice thing about Prescott weather though. It’s, it’s just kind of.
Sean Holman: You get a taste of everything, but there’s never anything too extreme in one.
Scott Brady: You get all, you get all four seasons. Yeah. And I think that’s why a lot of Californians end up here. Yeah. I mean, so speaking of California, I believe that’s where you were born, right?
Sean Holman: Yep, yep. Born and raised. And everybody keeps asking me when I’m gonna leave and I’m gonna be the, the last guy to turn the lights off and hold the carpet down. So listen, I had this conversation with my wife and she said, you know, if we ever went somewhere, where would we go? I’m like, well, I’m gonna go somewhere that’s a really red state. So I’m like, what’s the most red? Oh, Wyoming. And she goes, oh, it snows there, right? I’m like, yeah. She goes, man, I don’t wanna go anywhere with there’s snow. Oh, okay. All right. Look at the map again. I’m like, you know, Tennessee, that, that, everybody’s gonna Tennessee. That’d be pretty nice. She goes, Don’t they have like freezing rain there? Yeah. [00:05:00] She goes, and, and big bugs. I’m like, well, yeah, ticks fall out of the tree. You know, last time I was there I’m like, what? That’s not fair. like, how are they? They’re, they’re paratroop. All right. So that’s not gonna happen. So I’m like, you know, the Gulf Coast, Gulf Gulf Coast would be amazing. She goes, humidity. There’s a lot of humidity there, right? Like, all right, desert, Southwest, you know, do we go to Nevada? Do we, you know, get a little ranch at? We go to Arizona. Ah, I can’t do anything over a hundred. I’m like, well, what exactly do you want? She goes, well, I want it to be about 70 year round. We live there, we’re two miles from the beach. Like there’s, we’re not leaving, there’s no, you know, the taxes suck. Everything sucks. But I bought my house in, the current house in 2008. And so I’ve been there this coming year, or this year will be six years, or I’m sorry, 2018. So this year will be, uh, six years I guess. And it’s a pre, it’s gone up 66% value.
In that time.
Matt Scott: Wow. That’s almost Prescott in the last year.
Sean Holman: I mean, it’s crazy. It’s absolutely, you know, so like, why would I ever leave? Like I’m, I’m in real estate. I did really well in my first house. I have a really nice [00:06:00] house that, yeah, there’s no reason to go. Taxes are high. All that stuff’s the politics suck, all that stuff. But if you don’t turn on the tv and you, and you fire up.
Scott Brady: And you just go to the beach.
Sean Holman: And you just go to the beach and you have a cigar on the porch or some whiskey and you turn on your gas stove with reckless abandon, you don’t really care about the rest of it. Matt Scott: What’s the gas there?
Scott Brady: There’s, I don’t know what the deal is, but somebody, yeah, somebody decided that gas stoves were now persona.
Sean Holman: We’ve only been using for 120 years. That’s another thing that, here’s my thing. Yo, what’s up? Leave my stove alone. Like I purposely took out an electric stove, ran a gas line so that I could cook over fire. Like I did that on purpose. Now, now you’re, you’re messing with that. It bothers me. So yeah.
Scott Brady: It’s like, so elemental.
Matt Scott: And how long are, are you using it even.
Sean Holman: Yeah, like, well, the thing is, like, so I, I live in this neighborhood that, we had a Boeing plant that’s, now being parceled out for like Amazon warehousing and stuff like that. But this Boeing plant, supported Saturn five and all these great moonshot programs and, and all this stuff. Back in the sixties, it was part of the shuttle program in the, you know, nineties and two thousands. And so when they [00:07:00] built the plant back in the mid sixties, all the houses were like, it’s, this is the future. So all the houses were all electric. So it was electric stoves and electric furnaces. And then the only thing that was gas were the water heaters. Ah. And so my house, I’m like, All right. I got a gas line here, but I’m wanna get rid of this electric stuff. So, took out the, water heater cuz it was in an upstairs closet, which like I’ll let I, you know, nightmares of the thing, letting go and ruining the whole house. Did a tankless on the outside. And that, that gas line that fed it, I was having my whole house repiped cuz it was galvanized pipe, 50 years old. Horrible idea. So I’m like, Hey you guys re-pipe and, or do you guys do gas? Yeah. What do you need? I’m like, can you run it through the ceiling to my kitchen cuz I’m having my kitchen remodeled in a few months. So they just dropped it in and I’m like, yep. Got my gas. So. Anyway, that’s why that’s why I get triggered cuz I’m like, I put effort into making sure I can have my gas stove.
Matt Scott: It’s supposedly nicer to cook over.
Sean Holman: It is.
Scott Brady: I think so.
Matt Scott: I don’t know how to cook.
Sean Holman: Oh well, yeah, we can ask Laura. She’ll know you answer that question.
Matt Scott: One, she likes to cook, but I’m, I burn water. That’s, I put water on the stove.
Sean Holman: That’s why he’s so skinny. [00:08:00]
Scott Brady: It never shut. He goes away.
Matt Scott: I got my beer belly. Yeah.
Sean Holman: You don’t have to cook beer.
Matt Scott: So Yeah. It’s funny. People.
Sean Holman: And you get all the calories.
Matt Scott: People do talk smack about California particular here, but it is. It, it is the most beautiful state.
Scott Brady: It’s really cool.
Matt Scott: I mean, Utah is beautiful, but it’s kind of, it’s beautiful in.
Sean Holman: In a different way.
Matt Scott: Singular way. Like it, it’s the stark kind of red rocks and whatever. Californias has it all. I mean.
Sean Holman: We, we literally have mount, I mean, where I live in Orange County, I live in Huntington Beach. You could surf in the morning and snowboard in the afternoon. People don’t realize how close the mountains are to you know, Southern California proper.
Matt Scott: Tallest mountain in the lower 48. Which is right next to the lowest place, right?
Sean Holman: I mean, yeah, Badwater in, in Death Valley, we’ve got forests, we’ve got desert, huge forests, massive. The Mojave Desert, Inno Desert coming together. Yeah, unbelievable.
Scott Brady: Huge.
Sean Holman: And this is what a lot of people don’t realize. I haven’t got a lot of friends who’ve moved outta state and one of my friends is like, you know, I’m thinking about moving to Tennessee. And I said, okay, that’s, [00:09:00] that’s great. But you like off-roading. He was like, yeah, cause there’s no off-roading. He goes, what? I said, we are so lucky because out in the West California especially, you know, you guys are, have a lot of Indian reservations that you have to navigate from in Arizona, California doesn’t really have that. We just have a ton of BLM land and so, The further east you go. Obviously you get to Texas, Montana, all that. It’s, it’s all private. It’s ranches. You know, everything east of the Mississippi is private, off road parks for the most part. Yep. So the ability to go out, I mean, we have the East Mojave Heritage Trail, which is 733 miles long, and it is one of the most, incredible. It, it may be, I mean, you could fight me on this. I’ll go on record saying it’s, it’s the best over landing trail in the United States. It’s that epic. You guys talk about it.
Matt Scott: You’re enthusiastic.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I want to hear. Yeah, tell me more. Tell me some more stories.
Sean Holman: All right, so most of the people who have traveled to California, like if you go to, you know, Utah, you go to Moab or you go to San Hollow, right? Like those are the places you go. San Rafa as well. A lot of [00:10:00] people from outta state, they wanna do the Mojave Roads. Yeah, the Mojave Road is the original, original Wagon Road into, California. So that road was used by the Spanish missionaries, used by the, you know, natives. They traded with the coast. It’s 138 miles long from the Colorado River into Barstow. And, it was started by a gentleman by the name of Dennis Case Beer who passed away a few years ago. And it’s overseen by the Mojave Desert, heritage and Cultural Citizen.
Matt Scott: Which you’re involved with.
Sean Holman: So I’m on the board of directors. Yeah. So to make a really long story, slightly less long, when he developed the Mojave Road, there’s a mailbox that you sign in. So everybody always takes a picture of the flag and the mailbox. The reason that mailbox exists is so that, there’s a record for the BLM about traffic on the road. So once the roads started getting popular, they were like, Hey Dennis, can you go out and map out this new trail to take some pressure off the Mojave Road? So Dennis spent years mapping out the East Mojave Heritage Trail and the East. The, we call the M H T has four guidebook. For four segments, and it will take [00:11:00] about 10 days to do it. Right. Maybe. Maybe two weeks. You, you can’t bonsai through it.
Matt Scott: I knew nothing about this.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t either. Nothing. Yeah.
Sean Holman: Yeah. So he, he basically creates this trail and then in 19 and, and publishes the books and it’s only alive for a little while. Before 1994, bill Clinton signs the Desert Protection Act and puts wilderness areas all over this trail. So Dennis felt betrayed by the BLM because he had so much money into it. He had the books into it. They asked him to do it. And then they, they go and close all the land. So it basically died until, 20 I think 19 when Billy Creech, who’s now the president of MDHCA.
Scott Brady: He’s done some.
Sean Holman: Story for Expedition portal on EMHT but with Dennis’s blessing, he said, can I do a retrace of it and I’ll route everything and make it compliant and legal. And Dennis gave him his blessing and I went from 600 and, you know, 30 miles or something, [00:12:00] to 733 because of all the go arounds. It is epic on if, if you are an overlander and you want to have that, that experience of being away from everybody and you don’t one, do international. Yeah, there are very few places where you can go. Maybe you know, the BDR or maybe parts of the Transamerica Trail. Yeah. What I did with, Rivian this past summer, maybe, the Pony Express, some of those maybe. , but the amount of desolation and history that this takes you through, whether it’s petroglyphs, whether it’s the first African American homesteaders, whether it’s, you know, the silver and gold rush of that era, whether it’s the old, you know, Tidewater and Topo Railroad, um, and you see everything. You’re in high elevation with Joshua trees around the SEMA dome. You are in, you know, low elevation in, in the, you know, the, Mojave sink down on the, the southern end of it. It spans everything. Sand, [00:13:00] rock, I mean, just the, the entire trail is just stunningly beautiful and remote for almost the entire length of it.
Scott Brady: And is it, is it, something that you need? Like can you do it with a full size truck or, yeah. So you just gotta have some clearance maybe.
Sean Holman: I would say rear locker minimum. 30 threes, 30 fives. And you want to have a little bit of suspension lift cuz there’s a lot of washouts. There’s times where you’re driving. So a lot of World War II history out there. And on top of the old railroad berms, they took the, the, the rails during World War I. And, but the berms still exist and you’re in and off these berms cuz of erosion and things like that. You’re in, you’re finding desert springs. There’s places where there were, you know, cowboy Indian fights. There were, I mean you just, it’s, it’s so varied and there’s so much history. The only place to, that you can get all that history is from the books, from the, MDHCA website. So mdhca.org and then you can, you know, book 1, 2, 3 and four. It starts in needles, ends in needles. It’s a massive loop, but it starts [00:14:00] in needles goes over state line up to search light goes across the 15 kinda where that solar farm is. In fact that solar farm that’s just outside of the, you know Vegas right there on state line?
Scott Brady: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sean Holman: The original trace of the road cuts through their property. So you have to go along the fence line. You go down the backside of Baker on your way to Death Valley Coliseum mine, you come down, was it 1 27 down into Baker, you go the backside of Baker, you cross over to Coco Weave and you know, there’s a giant mining project out there. Vast, vast, vistas of the SEMA dome. And you go south from there down to the Mojave Road where 17 mile point is, and the cinder cones are, and the lava flows from there. You go down Rocky Ridge into the sink, and then you’re way south and you end up on their, matter of fact, the, the old wagon road that was like Laughlin to Prescott or something like that. So that’s part of the EMHT as well. So it’s just if you’ve ever wanted to do domestic travel and you want the penultimate, trail where you have to be [00:15:00] on your game and be self-sufficient and reliable, that’s the trail to do.
Scott Brady: Awesome. Stunning.
Matt Scott: I want to do it.
Scott Brady: You heard it here from Sean.
Matt Scott: Is it Herro Ball with a good driver?
Sean Holman: As long as you don’t mind knocking over, bushes and things like that. I mean there’s.
Matt Scott: As long as they’re not endangered bushes.
Sean Holman: I would, I would say the earth roamer is probably too big for some sections of it. But I think if you had something like a really well-built, prospector xl, that would probably be like the limit of Yeah.
Matt Scott: Something. Okay.
Sean Holman: A really nice 4runner with suspension on 30 threes, a Wrangler on 30 fives. You know, things like that. I mean, you don’t have to be overly built. You will need low range. There are gonna be times where you need, you know, recovery boards, things like that. Or yeah, potentially your winch. You should probably always go with a couple people or have a satellite communicator cuz you are way remote.
Matt Scott: Sounds remote. Yeah. I was at a, most of the people really don’t go.
Sean Holman: I was in a section between the, I think it was the old woman mountains in the Turtle Mountain wilderness area and it was getting dark and I [00:16:00] had left my guys, I wanted to finish the trail and they had to leave. I had an extra day. So I’m like, I’m gonna keep going cuz I’m good and I’m pretty self-sufficient. And I got to this wilderness area. And so basically on one side of the road is one wilderness boundary. The other side of the road is the other wilderness boundary. And you basically have 40 feet of center line on the road and that’s it. And there was a little turnout and it was getting dark. And I’m like, all right, well I’m just gonna, I’m gonna pull over here, set up a little bit of camp was on the side of the road and I looked around. There wasn’t a headlight, a flashlight, a taillight. There wasn’t a fire. I mean, it was pitch black, no moon that night.
Matt Scott: That’s cool. That’s hard to find.
Sean Holman: Made a little fire, sat there and just kind of was looking at the stars. And then I start hearing military aircraft overhead and, and you know, sounds like, a C one 30 and probably a Casey one thirty five looked at my phone. That’s what they are, except the C one 30 was doing orbits around me for about two hours on the pilot side. So I got a friend who, who does maintenance outta Yuma, and I’m like, Hey, just curious. This C [00:17:00] one 30 s come out there. I saw, you know, my, my radar app only showed some of it. There were more planes. He goes, was he orbiting you in the pilot side? I said yeah. He goes, yeah, that was a AC one 30. So that was like a puff, the magic dragon or a spooky, basically. See, saw my little fire in the middle of the desert and went, oh, there’s our target for the night. Basically orbiting me and I’m sure I died several times over. But it was really cool cause it was, it was so dark. The only light out there was the Vegas on the horizon. You could see that. Maybe LA on the other side.
Matt Scott: So four books. And have you done it all at once? Or is this something that people can kind of.
Sean Holman: Yeah, so I’ve done two chunks. I did like, yeah, I did one and two, and then I did, three and four.
Matt Scott: Cool.
Sean Holman: Yeah. And it was each, each one was, I think six or seven days. I mean, it’s, it’s.
Matt Scott: I think I kind of know the areas you’re talking about. Yeah. We’ve been back there a lot on like rebel rally and that kind of stuff. I mean, it’s, it’s remote and it’s, yeah, it’s.
Sean Holman: And there’s storm, there’s four mailboxes, so you wanna sign in for each segment. We’re also working on a passport program where you can [00:18:00] stamp your passport and then be a part of a, a special club for people who have done all of the MDHCA trails, so Mojave Road, as well as EMHT And a lot of people don’t realize that Goffs, Goffs, California, which is just north of the 40, west of, needles, people don’t realize that there’s actually a sixth or there’s a fifth mailbox there. I guess it would be a six mailbox. And so you can check in there and it’s like the mystery box. People are like, oh, I got all five of ’em. You’re like, well, there’s still one more. They’re like, what? And then there’s one at Goff. So it’s, it’s pretty cool. That, and Goffs is a cool place if you ever wanna check that out.
Scott Brady: It is cool. That whole area is just amazing.
Sean Holman: Yeah. We have a, one of the only working stamp mills, 10 St. Mills in North America. When that sucker’s going, man, it is. It’s so awesome. So awesome.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I remember the first time I did Mojave Road had to have been like 2004. 2005. And, and I drove for hours without seeing any tire tracks. Now there, and it was a well established [00:19:00] trail. Yeah. But there was no tracks. And now.
Sean Holman: It’s so busy now it’s so busy that.
Scott Brady: I don’t go back.
Sean Holman: There’s everybody with a RAV4 adventure with like a puck lift and like 28 inch tires is like, oh, I can totally do it. And you can or Subaru, and you can, and you can, there’s a, you know, but the problem is those, a lot of those people are out there. You aren’t equipped Yeah. If it goes sideways, but let’s, like your, the vehicle can do it, but you don’t have a strap and you don’t have enough water and you don’t have a blanket and all that kind of stuff.
Matt Scott: But let’s talk about that. I mean, I think that, you know, something that the media could do a better job in on this spaces, you know, to stop fixating on a, just a couple of trails and it’s so cool to be able to highlight this new project. I mean, that’s.
Sean Holman: It’s, it’s, yeah. I mean, there’s so many places to go. There’s, there’s a third trail that Dennis mapped out that’s been closed for a long time, hoping, Billy gets around to getting it reopened. We’re working with the BLM, we have a M O U with the Needles field office. We’re working M O U with the National Park Service for the Mojave National Preserve, which the majority of the Mojave Road goes through to be the [00:20:00] stewards of all that. Yeah. So yeah.
Scott Brady: There’s so much tourist dollars that come in from that. Yeah. I mean, there’s, I mean, people that. If you go out for a day trip or for a couple hours, you spend x amount of money. But if you go travel like you did for seven days or 10 days, I mean that’s, that’s a lot of money for the local economy. Couple, couple gas stops, gas stops, grocery stores.
Matt Scott: Well, and I think with what you’re saying initially is it is it takes that strain off of just one particular place.
Sean Holman: Well, that’s the problem with land closure closing. In my opinion, land closure is not helping the land because you’re starting to squeeze people into smaller and smaller areas.
And so you’re actually being, it’s a detriment to those areas. Now. They, now, because of that, they wanna close those areas down and you squeeze people more and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whereas if you can teach responsible recreation, stay on the trails and be able to, I was a big proponent of cherry stem roads and, and existing trails remaining open. You can’t create new ones. You can’t go over there unless you walk. I’m fine with all [00:21:00] that.
Matt Scott: Well, in a lot of places there’s no need to create new trails. I mean, in Arizona there’s, yeah. So many trails.
Sean Holman: So, so many. Yeah. Open up OnX. And you can see just, you know, there’s trails that you probably have been on or, or came across. Right. Where’s that one go? And like to have a, you know, some sort of a map software.
Matt Scott: Yeah an Arizona Onyx map is just like a, a large chunk of fluorescent green.
Sean Holman: Yeah. Totally. It looks like a yarn ball or something like that. That’s, that my cat’s been playing with or something.
Matt Scott: Its confusing.
Scott Brady: Well, and then once they close the trails, Then people still go out there and recreate. They just do it illegally. And because they’re pissed off that it’s closed. Then they knock over the signs and you see ’em driving all over the place.
Sean Holman: Yeah. That’s why we can’t have nice things. Right. It’s a, it’s a small group of people, but on our podcast, we’ve, we’ve done the whole like, try to do the education part of it.
You know, if you wanna go out and ex explore in your truck, like, that’s great, but, you know, it’s not excessive to have a weak supply of water or extra clothes or blankets or food or, and you know, people joke with, you know, overlanders that [00:22:00] were over loaders, but there’s a reason for that. Yeah. I mean, honestly it’s be prepared if you’re going for more than a couple days, like, you know, you have a pretty good amount of gear. I think, you know, somebody was asking me what I thought the next, big thing in over landing was. And I think it’s light weighting. I think people got to a point where they realized how heavy they got and how poor the suspension performance.
Matt Scott: 5000%. Yeah.
Sean Holman: And now people are figuring out what do I take that I’ve never used? Or what can I take, or what materials can I use for my boxes or my drawers or whatever that are gonna be lighter than what I did before so I can get some of that claw back. Some of that payload and ground clearance.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean, well, and, and just take some pressure off of these lightweight vehicles. I mean, a Tacoma is a lightweight vehicle and.
Sean Holman: Was it 900, you know, 50 pounds, something like that, you know, of payload. And so you put two people in it, two good sized dudes that are 200 pounds.
Matt Scott: My, my wagon has more payload than that.
Scott Brady: I know. That’s crazy.
Matt Scott: Station wagon.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That’s crazy.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I dunno. I mean, on, on that, you know, the, the lightweight stuff, does it almost seem to you guys that, like these [00:23:00] trucks that are like overbuilt, they just kind of look a little tacky? like we’ve trying too hard now. Like, I’m not trying to be like a fashionist of overlanding, but.
Scott Brady: But I think that’s what it is though. It’s fashion.
Sean Holman: It is fashion. I mean that’s, otherwise you wouldn’t have, you know, not everything needs to be mill specked. Anodized. But now get your anodized and all sorts of colors and things like that. Cool. Adds a pop of color. Some stuff does need to be mill speck cuz you’re relying on it, you don’t want to corrode on your vehicle. But the vast majority of people are just doing it for the, you know, for the vanity of it or, or the, for the look. I mean, they have to think of how many people their, you know, soft cover for the rooftop tent got UV roached before their tent got their first use. Yeah. Just from driving around. And I had a, you know, 20 jail with my gofast on it, which I absolutely loved and I tried not to hang anything off the back other than that. And then now I’ve got a 3 92 and I, I’m getting away from rooftop when.
Matt Scott: We need to talk about the 3 92.
Sean Holman: 3 92’s awesome. Awesome.
Scott Brady: We had fun with the one that we had. [00:24:00]
Sean Holman: Do you guys have seen the, videos? The, the, photo of me and the blue one on two wheels?
Matt Scott: Oh, was that, that was like when they first came out, when you had like the pre-production one.
Sean Holman: Yeah. It was awesome.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They’re insane.
Sean Holman: Yeah. They, it’s just, it’s a stupid amount of fun. Yeah. And, and they sound good. Matt Scott: And, and the 3 92 is the perfect transition from what we’re, you know, we’re talking about, you know, you had like the, the 2020 jl and I know that you did a supercharger on yours. I did a supercharge on mine. I don’t think either of us were happy. Like I know. I mean, I ended up taking mine off. Because like the MAGNUSON one was, I just, I so bad.
Sean Holman: I, I thought the quality.
Matt Scott: It cost me more to take it off than it did to put it back on.
Sean Holman: The quality of the kit I had was good.
Matt Scott: But did you have the Edel Brock kit?
Sean Holman: Yeah.
Matt Scott: And they know what they’re doing. I’m not saying Magnuson doesn’t.
Sean Holman: But I had the California compliant version, which I think really kind of neutered it. Yeah. And so I was down a horsepower.
Matt Scott: And it had a manual.
Sean Holman: And it had a manual.
Matt Scott: Which big deal.
Sean Holman: Which I loved having a manual. In fact it pained me when I got the 3 92 to, [00:25:00] to I, it’s the first new vehicle I have ever bought that was automatic.
Scott Brady: Interesting. That’s gonna be hard to do going forward.
Matt Scott: When you said Sean was coming in, I’m like, oh yes. Well, he won’t be here to visit Center force anymore. He doesn’t have a manual. He’s fine.
Sean Holman: Yeah, exactly. Well, and it’s, it’s, if you think about it, like why does everybody love the GX platform? Yeah. It’s cause it’s a 4runner with a v8, right? And I mean you kinda, the same thing with the jail. The 3 92 is, is something that only AV did in the aftermarket before, or Burnsville or America’s Most wanted or whatever. But full warranty, 470 horsepower, 470 pound, feet of torque, all wheel drive transfer case I mean.
Scott Brady: Isn’t it zero to 16, 4.5 seconds?
Sean Holman: Four and a half seconds.
Scott Brady: It’s insane.
Sean Holman: Yeah. The, the quarter mile is like, I want to say it’s like 12. Five at like 1 0 2 or something. I’m just some, and it’s, it’s funny cuz it’s got the, the exhaust button up.
Scott Brady: I love that though.
Sean Holman: So you pull up and you know, you’ll see like some douchey kid in like his stanced import, and he’s like, and you’re like, [00:26:00] he starts looking around. He’s like, what’s making that noise? Right. And, and, who was mad? Yeah. And then you just, you it’s all wheel drive. So then you just leap on the dude. And like, one kid tried to catch up with me and he looked, and I’m lifted. I’ve got a AV jail three 70. So I’m up fairly tall and I’m looking at the passenger seat or through the passenger seat or the passenger window, and I’m looking at him and I can just see this much of his head and he’s looking up like, what happened to me, you know, like when he caught up. Although I will say there was a totally done up super stealthy clean, Volkswagen Golf. And he ran, he ran me. And at the next light, I just nodded. I’m like, yeah, All right. I’m, I’m done picking on little cars. He just smiled. And I was like, all right, I got it. But. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s incredible. And then people don’t know this, but there’s a defecto sport mode on the 3 92, which makes it even more rowdy. So the off-road plus button, if you hit off-road plus it changes the shift points, it changes the timing, it makes the exhaust [00:27:00] crackle and pop on D cell and it tightens up the shifts and it automatically turns off traction control, which you wanna turn back on the street. Because it’s just, it’s, it’s just stupid.
Matt Scott: And you can run that in two, well, they’re all-wheel drive.
Sean Holman: Yeah. But I have a taser, so I can run in two-wheel drive if I want to. Which is kind, which is kind of nice. But, it’s just a stupid amount of power. They, it sounds great. And you know, the fuel economy is actually on the highways okay. Like, I’m on 37 s with, you know, the factory 4 56 is, cause my, I started out as an XR and I get about 16 on the highway. I 10-11 around town. That sucks. But on the highway, I mean that, you know, from a 20 gallon tank, that’s good. My, it’s better than what my supercharger got. So the supercharged Jeep was about a mile per gallon, better in the city and about two mile, per gallon, worse on the highway. So for going to Utah and all the trips, like I can go 300 miles on a tank, which I was around 2 50, 2 40 with the supercharger, which just kills everything. Like, like not being able to go [00:28:00] 280-300 becomes a problem. Especially out in the West where you’re trying to make time and get places.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Cause isn’t it kind of times with I gotta go to the bathroom, I gotta get some food, gotta get, you know, whatever.
Matt Scott: Can you just take a moment to reflect the, on the fact of this vehicle exists and how awesome that is.
Scott Brady: Thank you. Thank you, Jeep.
Sean Holman: So the, the reason it exists in that, and not the gladiator I’m sure. Cause everybody’s like, when’s it coming to the gladiator?
Matt Scott: Oh yeah, you were too, this is a good story.
Sean Holman: I’m like, it’s not, oh, So, Tim Kenis, who ran Dodge, who was Hellcat everything guy as a pet project came to Jeep. He was only a Jeep for about a year. and the code name was J nine. And so they, they put the Hemi and they went, well, why not? Why just do the regular Hemi? Let’s put an s r t Hemi in there. And so that’s how it became deal. Well, when he went back to Dodge and Jim Morrison, who was originally at Jeep, in marketing and all that, went to Ram, was running Ram and then came back to Jeep to run Jeep and replaced Kenis. That’s when the STIs stuff kind of happened. And, and the focus on EVs and four by E became more than 3 92. So it [00:29:00] was never ported over to the gladiator. And so, sorry Gladiator guys. And I also think as much as I love, I love the gladiator. I just feel like the jail rear suspension is so much, it just feels like a, a next generation in terms of ride quality and everything, where there’s holes in the factory setup on the gladiator, it just doesn’t feel as refined or.
Scott Brady: It’s pretty busy actually. More busy than the wheel base should allow to agree.
Matt Scott: I think the gladiator is a fantastic vehicle.
Sean Holman: But it’s not a good Jeep and it’s not a good truck.
Matt Scott: Its interesting. It, it does everything. But I parked mine, this is before I went to my Prospector xl. Because I parked mine at the dealer for service next to a 2,500, and I realized, it’s maybe six inches shorter. And it’s just as wide.
Sean Holman: So people wonder why they’re so long. And that’s because on the Jeep you have to have the front axle so far forward to clear the oil pan so you can get that articulation. So because you’re locked into that front bumper to a pillar length anyway, because of where it is, where if you look [00:30:00] at a Ranger or Tacoma that front axle is closer to the firewall.
Matt Scott: Yeah. That, so the engine’s like sitting underneath your dash.
Sean Holman: Yeah. So the, the Jeep is already at a disadvantage because of the architecture of the front, and then they still wanted to have a five foot bed in it. And so it, you kind of, it is the size that it is, which is why it’s almost the same size as, AV brute because they same, same issue. It’s, they’re really close and size.
Matt Scott: And people criticize the gladiator for that. But I think the way you said it is just, I mean, you. If you had anything less than a five foot bed you.
Sean Holman: You wouldn’t be happy.
Matt Scott: You just have a Subaru Baja at that point.
Sean Holman: Yeah. So, no, it’s, the gladiator’s a great vehicle, especially after you take it to the aftermarket. Like I know the a v kit does wonders for the rear suspension, but stock, they’re, like you said, they’re busy, especially on a non Rubicon. Like it’s, I know it uses a lot of Ram Ds parts or d, DT parts on the back, which is good and bad and you know, it’s good because it’s familiar parts bin stuff, but it’s bad because it’s not its own suspension. Right. Yeah. So there’s some compromise in there.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the rear suspension, I had never necessarily thought of as a fault, but that is where I struggled [00:31:00] with mine, putting the camper on it. I had unfortunately sold mine before AV did the high capacity springs, which I think.
Sean Holman: Would’ve made all the difference on yours.
Matt Scott: Really would’ve made a lot of difference. I don’t know. Really, really cool car though. Glad, again, glad it exists. That you can have a pickup truck that you can take the doors off and yada, yada, yada.
Sean Holman: I’m just happy I can park, my, my 3 92 in the garage and not leave in the driveway anymore.
Matt Scott: Well, that’s the thing that I think is so cool about the 3 92 jail is, I mean, you live in a pretty urban area or suburban or whatever, but the, like the Wrangler is a great city car. You could park it.
Scott Brady: It’s so maneuverable.
Matt Scott: Anywhere and if there’s a curb there who, who cares? Yeah. Like you’re up high, but.
Scott Brady: Good visibility.
Sean Holman: And you don’t ever feel guilty about driving it. Like I remember back in, you know, four wheeler of the year, you know, back in oh five and I remember where there’s one year we had, a Hummer H three and we had. I don’t know, whatever the rest of the SUVs were. I guess it doesn’t really matter for storytelling purposes, but when you get in the H three, you just didn’t care about it. [00:32:00] Just you weren’t worried about it, you just drove it. And the, the Jeeps the same way. Like you can get in and just drive it. You take it off road. I’m not worried about scratching the pain or the bumper and the, you know.
Scott Brady: It’s made for it.
Sean Holman: Yeah. You’re using it as intended and if you hit a curb or you mess up on a line and drop ’em into a hole, it’s, it’s rugged enough. It just shakes it off. It doesn’t care. I think that that ruggedness and durability that’s inherent to that platform, you know? Yeah. It’s, it’s not as nice on the highway to drive, say a new Bronco or something like that, which, you know, I would consult. It’s funny, like my, my career in, in journalism for all these years, I can point to you things on like all you jail guys who have a, you know, garage door opener on your visor. That was me. On my jk I bought a one off a black expedition interior and wired it to my cigarette lighter and put it in my, a pillar. One of the executives rodee my Jeep and was like, what’s that? He said my garage door opener. Why aren’t you worried about somebody opening your garage if the, if the top and doors are off? I’m like, no, it’s tied to the ignition. I’m like, I don’t know why you guys don’t do it. Well, jail has it. [00:33:00] also, if you talk to Tony Carlo, who, yeah, recently just joined Steer Smarts was at desktop, but he was, at Jeep for a long time. Off-road, you know, off-Road Plus was mine too. So like that was, that was a whole thing. So I can claim parts of that. So if you love those parts of your Jeep, I’m gonna go ahead claim those things. But.
Scott Brady: Well you’ve had so much influence on the industry, Sean. I mean, when you, when you just left MotorTrend Group and four Wheeler, I mean, you were running the entire truck group.
Sean Holman: Yeah, so I had all the content for the truck and off roadside. So all you know, at one point I had diesel power and work truck and truck Trend and trucking. Mini trucking. I had four wheeler, Peterson Ford, one Off Road, jp. You know, it’s, it was, you know, we were touching every part of the industry through all those different brands, and as it consolidated, it, it, you know, it, it narrowed and we weren’t as able to, you know, to do as much fun stuff as we used to because we were only working with, you know, a few primary brands. But yeah, I’ve, [00:34:00] I’ve had the opportunity to work with General Motors, Nissan, Ford. I did a bunch of stuff with Bronco. But yeah, I think that brings back to you. The Bronco comment was, you know, is Jeep is, it’s a Jeep. And people go, well, that’s just an excuse. And you’re like, yeah, but if somebody today came to you and, and asked for about this, cause they had a lot of teething problems, somebody came to you and said, Scott, I wanna make a new car. And you’re like, okay. And they’re like, it’s gotta be four wheel drive. Yeah, no problem. It’s gotta go down the freeway 80 miles an hour. Okay. It also has to go off road. Okay. It has to have low range. Yeah, yeah. Whatever. The doors need to come off. It needs to be a convertible. It would sound like a homer car. And you’re like, nobody would ever build that today. Right? Yeah. And so it’s a Jeep, it’s a Bronco. It’s, but that’s the flexibility of, of being able to do all those things. The Jeep is special, you know, to have.
Scott Brady: That’s why they sell so many of ’em. They’re so good.
Sean Holman: 180,000 a year.
Scott Brady: They’re, they’re so good. They’re so good, you drive around Prescott. Like you, you can’t go three feet.
Matt Scott: It’s cheap city.
Scott Brady: You cannot go three feet.
Matt Scott: Everybody moves here, trade’s in their Mercedes and gets.
Scott Brady: And gets a Jeep buys cheap.
Sean Holman: Well, it’s like I’ve, I’ve [00:35:00] got a mid-size solid axle V8 vehicle. Think of the last time you could get a mid-size solid axle V8 vehicle from the factory anywhere.
Scott Brady:I know, it’s amazing.
Sean Holman: The eighties?
Matt Scott: With twin turbos, maybe the G wagon.
Sean Holman: Yeah. Yeah, totally. But they even, they went, you know, independent.
Matt Scott: Oh yeah, they, yeah. On the new ones and it’s better for it. But that chassis went back to 1979.
Sean Holman: Yeah. Yeah. For, for that, for that platform and for that buyer. It’s, it’s fine. It makes sense.
Scott Brady: No, you’re absolutely right. I mean, until like the Grenadier now. I mean, which is still isn’t a v8, but. But just the fact that Jeeps exist I think is so cool.
Sean Holman: And I actually think it’s good that, you know, when Hummer went away, I was actually worried for Jeep. Cause I always think that when you exist in a vacuum the scrutiny only goes with that one company. So I think that Ford came back with Bronco was actually good for Jeep, because I know for a fact that there’s some stuff Jeep engineers have wanted to do, but because it was such a successful program, there’s no competition. This company’s like, yeah, we don’t really need to, we’re not gonna spend the money on that. Well now they have to because they’ve got competition in the space. I think it’s good for Ford.
Matt Scott: It seems like a lot of people ATIs have had the, the, [00:36:00] the handcuffs. Literally and figuratively taken off, like I cannot wait for, you know, JL 2.0. It’s coming up soon, right? I mean, it has to be. They’re, they’re on like clockwork, 10 year product cycle with a five year refresh.
Sean Holman: Well, and until they realize that we’re still selling above our business plan. So we can kick that back a few years. But yeah, they’re, the mid cycle refresh is coming and I’ll leave it at that.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And these are important updates, you know, and we’re gonna see more electrification, which some people it’s gonna work great for.
Matt Scott: I think the four IE. Is cool.
Sean Holman: So, you know, here’s a perfect example of my driveway. My wife has a brand new Grand Cherokee, four by e. And I’ve got the 3 92 and the four by E is great, and the use case is perfect. My wife, her commute’s about 10 miles. She has 25 miles of electric range. We plug it in at night. She went from filling up, you know, every week to filling up every three weeks. And she just, we plug it in and she goes, and then by maybe the end of the day, she might have five or 10 miles of, of gas, or you know, if she has a long [00:37:00] day now, she can plug in while she’s somewhere, EV only right? She can plug in. And she’s, and it’s a beautiful car. It has the same torque as my 3 92. It’s a second faster than the Grand Cherokee two row V8 and actually just dropped the v8 and now they have V6 and four by E in the two row. Gorgeous cars grew together, the interior’s amazing on it. We’ve got a summit. So different than my 3 92 yet we’re okay having that. So, yeah. I had a four by e a Wrangler for a few months and it was actually, I, I actually pre ran Overland Adventure, which was a four-wheeler event that we put on this, past year entirely in the four x e. And it was kind of cool because what I didn’t realize is the gas tank’s smaller because of the batteries. And so it’s only 18 gallons to 21 and a half, which I wasn’t planning on cause I drive a Wrangler every day. So I was expecting my, my range to be a certain amount and I’m heading out to Goffs in about 10 miles short. I ran, I run outta gas . Well, I, this is one thing that Jeep does that to my knowledge, nobody else does, which makes the [00:38:00] electrification brilliant For the enthusiast, they have three modes. One is hybrid where it decides whatever the most efficient mode of transportation is. It has battery only. where it’ll you know, prioritize battery and it has e-save, which charges the battery while you’re driving and doesn’t use it unless you’re, you know, wide open, throttle passing or whatever, and you override that. But in normal driving won’t use it. I typically would drive around in E-save mode cuz it would be nice to cruise in the, the, you know, the, the neighborhood at night silently, or on the trail. There’s places where electric.
Scott Brady: It’s my favorite.
Sean Holman: This is a lot of fun.
Scott Brady: That’s my favorite. Just being quiet on the trail.
Sean Holman: It’s just like, you know, you know, running outta gas, I’m like, I’m 10 miles short of the gas station. I just went over, I hit the, the battery mode and was on electric the rest of the way in. And it’s like, who? So it’s like having auxiliary tank if you use it Right. Which is kind of cool. Right. And then off road again, it’s the, the, the torque of it. And it’s, from my experience in the Ford Lightning, the Hummer, the Rivian, and the four by e in [00:39:00] electric mode, you see so much more wildlife in animals. When you’re on the trail and it’s, it’s weird. It’s almost as if. the tires on the ground or remind them, or they think it’s hoof of an animal. Because we’ve had antelope and stuff, and they look and they don’t care. They shrug you off. You come in in a, an internal combustion engine and they, they all scatter. So we’ve come in the middle of like this wildlife in those things. You know, coyotes walking alongside you in silent modes looking like, oh, look at that big ugly coyote right there or something.
Scott Brady: It, it’s been our experience. Yeah. It’s so good.
Sean Holman: There’s a place for it. Yeah. And it’s not for everybody.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Everybody, everybody just loves to hate on EVs.
Sean Holman: I mean, we, yeah. Well I think it’s because they’re being forced on people. Right. And, and I think if we were honest about EVs and it wasn’t zero emissions and it was, you know, here’s the things where it’s better. Here’s the things where it’s worse. Here’s your use case.
Scott Brady: Consumer choice. Consumer choice.
Sean Holman: Exactly. It’s a tapestry of technology that’ll take us in the future. They shouldn’t be mandating one winner. Consumers should choose the winner. And I think that’s the heartburn that a lot of people have [00:40:00] with, with.
Scott Brady: And it’s understandable. We do know that EVs are not emissions free. Right? Because it takes an enormous amount.
Sean Holman: We’re offshoring them to feel better about ourselves, right? And offshoring the waste. And, and most of, especially in the southwest, most of our plants are natural gas anyway. And going back to the stove, it’s like, Hey, you can have all electricity, but you can’t have natural gas. But the electricity comes from natural gas. But just don’t look, door number two doesn’t exist over here.
Matt Scott: Like five years ago, natural gas was to clean energy.
Scott Brady: It’s still a clean energy, actually.
Matt Scott: Is natural gas the clean energy, like Imma?
Sean Holman: Well, we have, we’re the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. If we change our entire infrastructure from petroleum to natural gas, we could be almost completely independent. I mean, it, it’s amazing how much reserves and natural gas in North America is incredibly clean, incredibly clean burning. Yeah. And, and we don’t leverage that. Could you imagine? All of a sudden, like the politics of needing, you know, the, the Middle East, it didn’t exist anymore. [00:41:00] You’re like, no, we’re on, we got our own stuff. Yeah. And then all the, the world would stop and go, well wait a minute, what does this mean? Right. We can’t fight wars with each other for, you know, yeah. Oil anymore. I think most people would be fine with that.
Matt Scott: They’ll, they’ll find something to improve their ratings.
Scott Brady: They’ve gotta have reason to fight wars. So you’ve had all these great vehicles. What, which one was your favorite?
Sean Holman: Oh, I mean, that’s a loaded question. I’ve got a 1942 G P W that was perfect. The very first four by four ever drove on my uncle’s ranch. And he, yeah, he called me, a couple years ago and he’s like, Hey, thinking about getting rid of that old flat fender. And my kids aren’t interested in it. Man, I wanna see you go to somebody and I know you have some sentimental value. So it’s up at the ranch. Come get it. Sorry.
Scott Brady: Alright see you next week.
Sean Holman: Yeah. And so I’ve got that. It’s in various states of being fixed right now.
Scott Brady: That’s awesome.
Sean Holman: So that thing’s cool. And then for, for newer vehicles, obviously the 3 92, I had a [00:42:00] TRX for a year, which was phenomenal. I drove of that thing all over the desert, didn’t have any issues with it. Just, I mean, you’re going over stupid sized stuff at 60 miles an hour, airing it out and hucking it over, landing sideways. And it just feels like a marshmallow. Like it’s just so much power. And it was funny how at the beginning of that loan, I’m like, oh my God, 702 horsepower. And at the end of the loan I’m like, come on, gimme more. Yeah. Because you just, you, you just calibrate to it. And even the, you know, the, the four 70 and the 3 92, it’s the TRX chassis can handle. The Jeep is like at the bitter limp, man. It’s all, you’re like, I’m thinking I’m a supercharger. I’m like, what’s wrong with you? You maniac, right? I haven’t spent as much time.
Scott Brady: Could you imagine the torque?
Sean Holman: Oh so when I, this is a party trick. I’ve had my friends, I’m like, all right, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, you know, remote start and we all stand out and when it fires up, it, the whole body moves. Just like an old muscle car. And so all the old guys are like, oh, it sounds great. Didn’t you see that? The whole car moving it [00:43:00] started up reminds me of my Chavelle. Or. Yeah. I mean it’s stupid. That, that thing is phenomenal. But I also love my 20, even with the blower on it. Um, I had 101 to one, 101 to one crawl ratio with it. It was all, everything. A e v. That thing took me, you know, I think when I sold it had, you know, 35,000 miles on or something. And I guarantee you probably 15 to 20,000 miles were off road. Cuz every, cause I always had another car, so every trip was driving somewhere. And then wheeling it off road for a week and then driving it home.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That’s amazing.
Sean Holman: And it was, I never had an issue with it. It is just so capable and I’m hoping for the same experience with the 3 92. And one of the good things about 3 92 is all the Jeeps have that stupid auxiliary battery. The little one that goes bad. It leaves you stranded when you least expect it. No electronics start stop and a 3 92, one battery. So you don’t have to worry about your little battery, you know, hosing you. Plus the gross vehicle weight rating on a 3 92 XR is like 62 50. So from a tax write-off [00:44:00] standpoint.
Matt Scott: It’s only 80%. It’s only 80% for the 2023 financial year. Not that I know anything about writing cars off.
Sean Holman: I’ll take that 80% because I’ve got two businesses that just got fired up and all use every bit of it. I just think that 3 92 is gonna be an end of an era car.
Sean Holman: Yeah. It’s, it’s peak Jeep.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I, I don’t know if it will from an enthusiast perspective, I don’t know if it will get any more emotional. Cars will always, and always get better. I mean, will. In five years we’ll be sitting here and there’ll be some crazy electric.
Sean Holman: Yeah, but I don’t want a, I don’t want a steering wheel, this pod to, to pull up outside and take me to my hotel or something.
Matt Scott: No, what I’m saying is that there’ll be a, there’ll be another crazy fast Jeep, but this will be, this is a once.
Sean Holman: Well, EV allows that. Right? Ev allows that. But is it gonna be solid axles and super capable and it’s just, it’s a special, it’s a moment in time, whether it’s a Raptor R, whether it’s a 3 92, TRX, whether it’s a TRX, it’s the end of an era. If it now’s the chance, if you’ve ever been on the fence about purchasing [00:45:00] a V8 enthusiast vehicle, car, or truck, or have.
Matt Scott: It’s gonna stop soon.
Sean Holman: This is it. I mean, you’re in your last couple years of being able to do that, as electrification comes in and to your point, there will be things that match the performance. But I was with, my friend Gail Banks who owns bank.
Matt Scott: I saw that. I saw that.
Sean Holman: Yeah. And so I gave him a ride in it and we were just giggling the whole time. And he drives a black wing Cadillac ct six V and. It was, you know, we were just talking about the old hot rods. Like there’s nothing that’s like a V8 at full tilt. There’s nothing out there. And, and that emotion, that visceral feel where it’s not just sound, but you can feel it in.
Scott Brady: You can die any second.
Sean Holman: Yeah, I mean, it’s just, you’re like, it’s amazing, right? You know, having the world stretch out in front of you, but also having the soundtrack to go with it. And, you know, we just, on our, on the Truck show podcast, we just had episode three with Gail on it, and there’s one quote that he says, he goes, he’s talking about V eights. And he goes, there’s just nothing. I can’t remember what his term was, if it was exciting or, or emotional, because there’s nothing emotional about, you know? And. [00:46:00] But, but he’s right. You know, it’s, it’s, I’ve driven a lot of fast electric vehicles and they’re cool, and there’s a place for him. But they’re not emotional. It’s a different emotion. It’s a great toaster. Right. Like it’ll go fast and they’ll do everyone.
Matt Scott: But a lot of modern cars are still, they’re just internal combustion, combustion toasters these days. Right. Like, I’m not talking about the 3 92. But there’s nothing special about a Pentastar. V6.
Sean Holman: No.
Matt Scott: Right. That, I mean, yeah, it’s fine. It’s there. It works. It’s reliable. Okay. Cool. And, and then you get into, you know, commuter cars. Like I always say in la most people in LA should be driving electric car, like they’re sitting in traffic half the time.
Sean Holman: Yeah. No, it’s, it’s the perfect use case for that sort of thing.
Matt Scott: Yeah. What I, I think where the argument with electric cars is steered wrong with the enthusiasts is that nobody’s saying that you can’t have a cool old car. Nobody’s saying that you can’t have a 3 92.
Sean Holman: Yet. Slippery slope, my friend. Once they take your oven in your stove, they’re taking anything. [00:47:00]
Scott Brady: It’s certainly possible. I mean, and yeah. Although, I mean, you know, even.
Matt Scott: Arizona exists, there’s actually a lot of prominent car collectors. That are moving to Arizona for that reason. Not.
Sean Holman: Well, you guys have the awesome historical plates here.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don’t think in Arizona people will ever try and take it away.
Sean Holman: Verne Simon’s, who worked with us a four-wheeler, has a, let’s just say it’s a Frankenstein Jeep that has a flat fender grill on it.
Matt Scott: Oh. Seen the tan one.
Sean Holman: And it has a copper plate on it. And we’re at a show at one sometime, I think, and he told me a story. Somebody walked up and. That’s not a Willy’s. How’d you get that plate And Verne’s responses? What are you a cop?
Matt Scott: Oh yeah. You can put a license plate on anything in this state.
Scott Brady: Pretty much. Yeah. I gotta love Arizona.
Matt Scott: My trials bike doesn’t have a headlight or a seat and it has a license plate.
Scott Brady: License plate, everything. Works for us. Oh, [00:48:00] no. It’s been so cool to see all the projects that you’ve built through the years and, and a lot of the reason why even Overland Journal exists is because of four Wheeler. I mean, I remember, I mean, I’ve told this story before, but I, the first magazine I ever picked up was, it was a Camel Trophy on the cover. And I, and I think it was either off-road. Or a four wheeler, it was one of them. And I just, you know, I was a 19 year old kid, just completely wonderstruck by this, by this publication. And then I.
Sean Holman: A Land Rover defender on logs crossing a, like, I know v notch Waterfall Canyon. Scott Brady: It’s so good.
Sean Holman: With some dude smoking a camel, you know? And like, not only does that look awesome, but that dude looks cool.
Scott Brady: Exactly, exactly. You know, and, and I grew up in Southern California too, but I remember the feeling when I, that all came full circle and I got a hold of Phil Howell. And the guy actually replied to my email and, and I think the reason why he replied to [00:49:00] my email, I sent him a complete package. I sent him the story. Copy edited. All of the images with image key.
Sean Holman: Us editors love that stuff clean.
Scott Brady: Image key. Yep. It was ready to go. And he responded. He said, you know, this is the first time we’ve ever, you know, and the only thing he told me, he says, he says he’s some of the words, too many syllables. Knock that back a little bit. But other than that, you know, it was my chance to actually be in four Wheeler and off-road in those magazines. And with the announcement of four Wheeler closing, I think that it, it’s a loss for the industry.
Sean Holman: 60, 60 years. I mean, you think about, You know, we were really the original Overlanding magazine. Literally the very first issue, I think the tagline was the magazine for Back Country Adventure or something like that. And, and that was in February of, 1962. And we were showing people camping out of their Jeeps and their Toyota Land Cruisers and things like that. And you flash forward to the eighties and you’ve got Turtle Expedition with Gary and [00:50:00] Monica. And I mean that Turtle Expedition one through five, six, whatever it ended up being, was prolific for a lot of people and recognizing that you could have this lifestyle. Of living out of this vehicle and, and traveling the world and meeting people in a way that you only thought a cruise ship or an airplane could take you to. And now you’re going to places that most people would never see through, through, through their eyes. And then onto the original or the, I’m sorry. The current, you know, overland movement, which I would say probably started in about 2007, 2008 earnestly in the US arb bringing over the Simpson rooftop tent was kind of one of the things that launched that bull bars. Ooh. I get something Australians have? Right. And I remember we built, for SEMA 2010, 4runner, the new body style, at four-wheeler wrapped with four-wheeler, for SEMA in 2010 in the Toyota booth. With full arb, everything on it. And at that, Nobody had. So all these people who think they’re doing new things with [00:51:00] 4runner, I’m like, I’m sorry to tell you, 2009, 2010, I was already on that boat.
Matt Scott: So, yeah, sure. And it was still the same car.
Sean Holman: And it’s the still the same vehicle.
Scott Brady: It is still the same.
Sean Holman: Now you guys are using more gold on your wheels now than you did back then in extra ladders and lights. But yeah, think about it.
Matt Scott: Same, same drivetrain.
Sean Holman: Same drivetrain, transmission. Oh, I think the transmission is it go from, is it five speed or it’s still a five speed?
Matt Scott: It’s five speed.
Scott Brady: It’s still a five speed. It’s unbelievable and they’re still worth so much money. It’s, oh, I know. It’s, it’s just unreal.
Sean Holman: You know what’s funny is I have a.
Matt Scott: Well they work.
Sean Holman: A buddy of mine who has.
Scott Brady: They do, they do work.
Sean Holman: A, his son turned 16 and he’s like, I’m looking for a Tacoma and the pricing is, is insane. And I’m like, don’t get a Tacoma because you’re gonna overpay. Go look for Frontier Pro four X. Super underrated. Fully boxed frame, rear disc brakes. Four liter V6 with more torque on it. Super reliable, super simple vehicle. Rear locker on a pro, four x 32 inch tires. Dana, you know, 44 rear axle. So he starts looking at this, he goes, these are almost as expensive as Tacomas ago. Really? Cuz what happened was, [00:52:00] they didn’t build as many of ’em and everybody’s figuring out in the secondary market, oh my God, that was a great truck that I never even paid attention to, but it’s perfect to get into this for my kid or, or whatever. So we found one and, and he’s been wheeling the snot out of it. And it’s funny, I was on, there’s a Facebook group about wheeling the San Juans and somebody said, Hey, I just got this frontier. I don’t really know about enough about it. Could I do all the trails? And I’m thinking, oh, here’s going to be the Bash Fest. It was amazing. Everybody’s like, that was my first truck. Put a set of rock rails on it. Don’t do anything else. Have fun. You can do all anything out here. And that, and it was awesome to see this community that kind of got their start or guy showing off their frontiers. And it, it’s a shame that platform is, is has so much going forward and the aftermarket has largely ignored, ignored it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s really the only thing that’s hurting it, I think.
Sean Holman: Yeah. Because from a capability standpoint, when you look, it’s the Fal Alpha architecture. And it has a deep drawn frame rail, which it shares with the, the Titan half ton. And if you look at a Toyota, one of the things that always bugged me about the Toyotas was the frame rails aren’t very tall. And so the transfer [00:53:00] case hangs low and has that skid plate that hangs down. Look at a frontier. It’s almost totally flat. Nothing hangs below the bottom of the frame rail because they have these really deep drawn frame rails. It also makes the truck really strong and rugged. And so I always tell people, I’m like, Toyota’s living off the reputation.
It’s a great truck. Don’t get me wrong. They’ve earned it, but it’s not always the best choice. At least go look at a frontier.
Scott Brady: Go drive it.
Matt Scott: People, people always say, oh, I wish they sold the Hilux here. Yeah, well, Nissan sells their equivalent of it. It’s called a Navarra elsewhere. Yeah. I know there’s a few little changes and things like that, but it’s, it’s here.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I was just so surprised that they didn’t bring the five link from the Navarra.
Sean Holman: I know when we, we, you and I were in Morocco driving that 1832.
Scott Brady: It was so good. Oh, it was so good.
Sean Holman: It was so good. I’m looking at them and it’s like, guys like this. This is, and now, you know, ranger Raptor is gonna have, it sounds like, and have.
Scott Brady: The next Tacoma will have five link and the, the Tundra has.
Sean Holman: Cause they already have the geometry figured out.
Matt Scott: And I’m like, ah, that is my beef with the, with the frontier is that I drove the new Novara [00:54:00] in 2013 when I was writing the magazine in Australia. And it’s a much better vehicle than the one that they’re selling now.
Sean Holman: Well the one the, the one that just got redesigned I think is, they nailed it on the styling.
Scott Brady: Looks great.
Sean Holman: The nice thing is that looking, the chassis is basically the same, all the hard points are the same, all that as the previous truck, which means that all the accessories like suspension and stuff is a direct bolt-on and you can still do the Titan Swap where you do the Titan V8 and front end on the current truck. Just for anybody who wants to get a little wild out there. But, all that’s available, like that stuff all still works. So, but the truck is, is it’s a great truck. It’s completely underrated. I happen to like ’em a lot. So my advice for somebody looking for something mid-size, at least go drive one. And, and you might be surprised, you might find out like, oh, this is this.
Scott Brady: I thought the ride quality was great. Yeah, the first gear is better. It’s got a couple other co extra cost.
Sean Holman: A little more payload. Yeah. So, yeah.
Scott Brady: No, that’s pretty good. So speaking of the Morocco [00:55:00] trip, you’ve done a bunch of international trips in your time too. Were, were you on that infamous 2007 Wrangler launch?
Sean Holman: Yes. The, the one in, Africa. In.
Matt Scott: Didn’t they do it in Vic Falls or something?
Sean Holman: Zambia. Yeah, Zambia. Yeah.
Scott Brady: I heard that was just, that was one of the most challenging.
Sean Holman: There was two waves of media events. Yeah. They actually, I and when you said the infamous are, thought you gonna say the Iceland trip where everybody almost died, that was John Stewart got stuck on that one. That was a really bad a trip that went really sideways back in, back in the day. But no, the JK African camp.
Scott Brady: We gotta hear about that.
Sean Holman: Yeah. Well, I, I don’t know all the stories, so I, I’d probably be making stuff up. Scott Brady: You gotta get John on the horn.
Sean Holman: Yeah, but yeah, so the Africa trip was amazing. They actually brought all those vehicles, my understanding was through South Africa and drove them up to Zambia. They left them all there at the end of the media drive. Every vehicle they brought is still sitting in Africa. I think they just handed the keys to like a chief of a village and was like, here you go. You know, have fun with that. It was, it was one of the most magical, one of the most well run, [00:56:00] one of the most special. I still have a picture on my wall of all of us landing at the dirt strip. ma Fui, I think it was with a Zambian, you know, bill in it. It, it was the, the whole trip was funny.
There’s two waves. I believe I was on wave two, but I, I can’t really remember the whole adventure of that trip started at lax. We took United to London and London to Nairobi, and we get on the plane and Rick PayWay, I’m sure you’ve probably had Rick on the show or.
Scott Brady: Not yet, but we need to right here.
Matt Scott: He’s he’s down in Wickenburg.
Sean Holman: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, you can, you, you should get him on. He’ll have way, way more stories, but he’s standing there and we’re all in business class, right? Like this is an international trip. The journalists are gonna get taken care of and like, yep, this is gonna be great. And Rick gets his name called to the podium and we’re like, what’s called what? Rick got his name called, oh, what’s going on over there? And Rick walks on the airplane. [00:57:00] So finally comes time to board business class. Rick’s in first class and we’re all in business. He’s like smiling and stuff. They’re holding the plane door and here comes the passenger that Rick bumped back to business class. It’s Paris Hilton flying to London. So she sat next to us, which was super weird. And I remember her reading us Weekly with her girlfriend, like, like, oh my God. Oh, that’s so hot. Like her tagline in person was the weirdest.
Matt Scott: That was Peak Paris Hilton.
Sean Holman: Oh yeah. It was Peak Paris Hilton for sure. And I remember like, she has really pretty skin and huge feet. Those were the two things I remember. And it was just, it was the funniest thing. So like, that’s how that trip started. And I remember in, in Nairobi, you get off the, the plane in Nairobi and there’s no jet bridge. It’s all stairs. And we were on a triple 7, which is obviously a massive plane. And the ozone just hits you in the face and your eyes start watering and all the pollution like, oh my God, where am I? Where, where have you taken me? And we were at this British hotel the first night, had this amazing food and everything. [00:58:00] And the next day we go back to the airport, we take a charter, and, DC nine to a small airport went right by, Mount Kilimanjaro. And landed. Switched planes to Cessna caravan had to go to a dirt runway. They couldn’t find the runway, we were circling in the air. And I, I’ll never forget, I was sitting in the very back row and a caravan’s like 14 people.
Scott Brady: That’s a cool plane.
Sean Holman: They are cool planes. They’re super rugged. But I’m, I’m thinking, not only am I the last one to die, I get to watch everybody crush me as the sucker goes down. Right. I’m like, he said, can’t find the field and you’re going, well, don’t run outta gas, please. We land there and there’s all these Jeep executives and PR people and all the jeeps are all lined up on the side of the runway. It was really special. And.
Scott Brady: And wasn’t Duncan Barber the guy who put it all together?
Sean Holman: Yeah. Yeah. And Dun.
Matt Scott: He talked about that.
Sean Holman: Yeah, that’s, yeah. Duncan was great. And then Robin, who, can’t think of his last name, was a friend of Duncan. He just passed away, I mean, not too many years ago of cancer, I think. Cause I caught up with Duncan and I had [00:59:00] asked about, I think it was Robin and, we went on all these great trails you’re talking about like elephant trails, not jeep trails, elephant trails. I remember the elephant grass was so high on this hill and the the slope was so steep that the rear of the Jeep was sliding sideways as we were side sloping this thing on the elephant grass. And everybody’s jumping out and walking next to the Jeep with their hand kind of holding and you’re looking downhill and there’s all these, like, Africa will kill you 50 different ways. It will like the, the TT flies, like you hit ’em and they shake it off and they look at you and they bite you again, and there’s lions. Every rock is super hard. Every tree’s as hard as a rock. The bale Bob Tree’s gonna drop like the fruit on your head. Or there’s gonna be a giant, you know, African Bee Nest that’s gonna kill you. The villagers that we, we saw, I brought my first digital camera cause we had just swapped over to, cannon 10. And so I would take pictures of these kids and we brought ’em like pencils and smarties candies and I would show them their picture and they just went wild. They’d never seen anything like that. We’d be driving through these villages and [01:00:00] these trucks that were going into the city had a hundred people on them and they would put these boards on the side and, and bang nails up so that people’s feet couldn’t go on the boards to hang off the truck. And they figured out a way to hang off of it anyway. And they’re all topsy, you know, top heavy. The, the whole just, I will tell you, I never felt unsafe in Africa. It was the people there are amazing.
Matt Scott: Hundred percent.
Sean Holman: The, you couldn’t find more animals than the San Diego Wild Animal Park. I mean, there was, we had these, these huts that had like an open shower, like a half wall.
Monkeys would come down and grab your soap while you’re taking a shower. I had a hippopotamus hit my door trying to break in in the middle of the night’s.
Matt Scott: That’s terrifying.
Sean Holman: I’m like, I don’t want a hippo in here. You know? I’ve got pictures of the hippo.
Matt Scott: I think hippos kill more people in Africa.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Oh, they do?
Sean Holman: Yeah. Cause they flip boats. We had to go across this river and it could only hold, I think, two jeeps at a time. And there was this cable. And these guys had, think of it as like a, it was shaped like a guitar or a club, but it was like a question mark it, you know? And [01:01:00] they would row the boat by clipping on this cable and pulling just two dudes and they’re pulling a jeep across this river on this guide wire. And so they’re like, oh, this is gonna take a lot of time. Do you wanna go out in the boat and get photos and it’s a canoe or a like little metal canoe that has a motor on the back. And they’re like, I’ll get you close to the hippo so you can take photos. Cause what they do is they’ll knock the boat over and then attack you in the water.
And I’m like, all right, is it safe? He goes, well, as soon as they go under water, be ready. Cuz we have to move . So he gets me up to the hippos, they get these pictures and you know, looks like the jungle crews right? And all of a sudden they disappear. He’s like, whoa, you’re trying to, did not fall out of the back of the boat. There was, we had a Camp King Cobras are like slithering through camp. I remember Douglas McCollough, who’s the editorial director of four wheeler at the. stepped out of his tent in the middle of the night to take a leak and fell down a five foot berm where there all the crocodiles had been earlier in the day.
Scott Brady: Oh no.
Sean Holman: I mean, it’s just, it was just, and we, there’s a wildfire. We were driving through a wildfire on our, on our trip. One of the guys, Todd Goyer, from [01:02:00] Jeep and Colin McBain were in a two-door jeep and rolled it and the airbags went off the inside impact and so they were shaken up. Jeep was okay, but we, the top was messed up and the windshield frame, so we drove it the rest of the week with no doors, no top and the windshield folded down, which is perfect. And you’re just complete, you’re, you’re as dirty as, looks like you worked in a coal mine. And like me and PE we were fighting over driving that thing. You were like, screw the other ones. This is a two door in now. Open top Jeep with dents all over this thing’s. This is awesome. That, that trip, I remember I started my watch when we, when we left Zambia and when I land and did that lax it was 36 hours later cuz I was curious how long the total time to get home was. And when we went through customs in Nairobi, they asked me if my camera was real. And so I just took a picture to show ’em and I got swarmed by security. Cause you’re not allowed to take pictures of government officials. I’m like, no, I’m just showing you it works. And so that almost became a big thing. Yeah. I mean the whole, the whole trip. Everything about it. But, just the, the, the food, the people, the experience. [01:03:00] I went to the New Zealand launch in 2019. No, 2017.
Matt Scott: Yeah. That was for the jail.
Sean Holman: For the jail. Yeah. And the guys who put that on, a couple of them had been on the Africa trip and we were having dinner one night and they’re like, tell us the truth. You’re one of the only people here who’s been on both. Which one’s your favorite? And I’m like, Africa. And they’re like, what? I’m like, it’s New Zealand was incredible. It’s top, top five of media trips of all time. Africa will probably, there was a moment in time where a company was willing to spend a million dollars. To have 10 journalists fly across the country to have an experience in their new vehicle. They knew that JK had to be revolutionary and they had to get everybody at every major publication there. The landscape of publications is different now. The people who are in the know or who are the trusted journalists are, are in different places now.
I don’t know that you’ll ever quite have a trip like that. It was that special.
Matt Scott: Well, defender.
Scott Brady: Yeah, defender in Namibia was pretty good.
Matt Scott: Yeah, but that’s not on the same level as, as that trip.
Sean Holman: I mean, we were doing.
Scott Brady: We landed on a dirt run. We did [01:04:00] all this.
Matt Scott: I remember, I remember having to.
Scott Brady: Of course, Duncan was there.
Matt Scott: to fake land once to get the goats off of the runway.
Sean Holman: Well, that happens. Yeah. Well, and I, I’ll, I’ve got photos. There were some sketchy stuff that we did in the Jeep. I mean, obviously driving up wood, kinda like Camel Trophy. We had to drive over these wood bridges that were maybe 30 feet over a ravine that were laid out, and you only had inches on either side of the wheel. Your wheel placement had to be perfect. And we had to cross this really fast moving river, and my rear end started washing away and I dropped off the, the stone road that was underwater and had to like gun it with water going over the hood. Just showing you like how high the water forwarding is on those. They’re like, oh, you’re, you’re gonna get washed away. I mean, we did some serious stuff. There was one particular.
Scott Brady: That’s what I heard. It was just the most difficult.
Sean Holman: Yeah. There was nothing light. You would not take your average journalist and say, drive this. Yeah, they would, they would fear for their lives. I, that’s not an exaggeration. There was one place where we dropped into this unbelievable, like [01:05:00] Granite River Canyon and it was probably a 45 foot drop. It was exactly the width of the Jeep. And as you know, jks, were a lot wider than tjs. So we weren’t used to the width. At that point. You were scrubbing your side walls and as you dropped on the front, your rear lifted and there was a complete drop, 40 feet to your right. So if you would’ve stabbed the brakes and did the momentum shift, you would’ve rolled and crushed yourself in this gra I mean, it was, it, this was one of the things where you go, these guys are the real deal. There’s a lot of manufacturers who you watch their commercials and as the Jeep executives will say, now they’re trying to be Jeep. Right. You have Kias on, you know, going up Hell’s Revenge. By the way Swaybar was disconnected. Different tires, there wasn’t stock. Right. But RAV4s are out there, Subaru Wilderness, and they’re, they’re good vehicles in their own Right. But they’re not this, and it just showed that these engineers and this vehicle was the real deal. And.
Scott Brady: It was special, man.
Sean Holman: It was special.
Scott Brady: Yeah, for sure. It was special. Well, Sean, if someone’s getting new into over landing and they like [01:06:00] to do more challenging terrain,what would be a couple pieces of advice that you would give them for driving off-road? What would be your top. Your first five things that you would tell somebody to pay attention to when they want to do a, a better job or protect their vehicle in technical terrain.
Sean Holman: Take your time. It’s not a race. I think people rush themselves through or they get nervous because somebody’s watching them. If somebody’s spotting, you take one person’s advice and tell the rest to go away. One of my pet peeves is somebody who’s spotting, another guy jumps in, think it’s like, and I always tell the driver, you decide who you want. Like, I’m not gonna kick these guys out, but you can only have one, you know? And don’t be afraid of the winch. So many people think it’s like shameful to grab your winch cable and they’ll have this like, you know, $2,500 winch setup on their $2,000 bumper and they’ll be afraid to grab it because what will people say? No, that’s why you have it. Grab the winch.
Matt Scott: Itsthe pride for people to not ask them.
Sean Holman: Yeah, yeah. And, and don’t be prideful and, and air down, like the, the, the number one thing you could do to your vehicle to make it more capable. Offroad is airing down.
Scott Brady: A hundred percent. [01:07:00]
Sean Holman: You know, everybody think and beadlocks are, nobody over landing needs beadlocks. You, you don’t need it. They’re dangerous. You have to torque ’em. You can get injured if you do it improperly. There’s no, if you’re over landing and have a load, there’s no reason to ever be below 15 or 14 psi and at that, at that PSI with the weight you’re carrying, you’re not cutting the wheel enough to, to pull a beat anyway. Don’t run Beadlocks. Like on my AV wheels, I have it in protection ring mode because, I can replace the ring. It doesn’t scratch up my wheel. That makes sense. Don’t you know, I, the other thing I would say is a stock vehicle is incredibly capable. Learn your stock vehicle and get comfortable with it first. Don’t feel like you have to have all the upgrades everybody else does, because if you don’t understand stock, you’re not gonna understand modified. It’s kinda like if you haven’t had a bad day, you can never really understand what a good day looks like. Right? I think too many people go and make a Frankenstein vehicle of all these great brands that never were designed to work together. So do, do simple mods at a time, figure out if they [01:08:00] work together. Don’t, don’t do a whole, oh, I’m gonna go drop $50,000 the day I buy it, and, you know, have it completely done with all these different parts. Unless it’s maybe like an aev, which it has been holistically designed for all the parts to work there. But too many people rush out and they build their vehicle and then they’re not happy about it. Or they get death wobble or they get an issue and it. Did that issue exist before it was stock? Well, I don’t know cause I never drove it stock and so you don’t really have a baseline to start from. And I think ego gets a lot in the ways of, of people. I think that’s when mistakes are made. Don’t be, there’s no shame in, you know, Chris Callard is one of those guys who’s, who always has a good quote and he said it best, good roads bring bad people, bad roads, bring good people, be respectful of the people you run across on the trail. Because you’re not calling aaa, you may be calling that guy to come back and save you.
Scott Brady: You may need them.
Sean Holman: Yeah, I mean, I recently on a four-wheeler of the year this year we get up the backside of Big Bear in California and we just had an ice storm and about five miles of [01:09:00] the trail with a sheer drop on the north side of the mountain facing Johnson Valley is a sheet of ice and we’ve got all stocked vehicles and there’s a, a girl who’s absolutely petrified, who’s been stuck up there for two and a half hours cuz she filled her Jeep slip and she just parked it. And we get to her and we’re like, Hey, you know, are you okay? She’s like, no. Like I don’t, you know, I, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Like I’m, I’m scared I’m gonna, you know, I mean like, like heart stopping can’t breathe. Full on panic attack. And I said, okay, it’ll be terrifying. And, and it, I I, it was enough ice where I couldn’t, I could barely walk next to the vehicle to get up to her. So we talked for a while, kind of earned her trust. And I said, she, I said, do, would you like one of us to drive it? And she goes, yeah, could you? And I said, well, or I’ll walk with you and you drive it. And I said, I’m gonna even walk on the passenger side. So if you go down the hill, I go with you. Because that’s how I know you’re not, I I’m gonna show you that I trust that we’re not gonna go down the hill. I’m gonna [01:10:00] be between you and the, and the fall. Okay. And so we worked on it for about 20 minutes, like literally inches at a time. So, okay. It’s not gonna do anything. Oh, it just slipped. No, no, it fell into a hole. It’s icy, it’s fine. By the end of that, she was driving and talking to me. She was going, you know, 10 miles an hour. I hop in with her. She had some friends that met her the rest of the day. All she did was drive on ice and she, I, I got her Instagram and, and we’ve become friends, , and she text me and she said, that moment of your patience, walking me through the, all the rest of the day, I felt had so much confidence. All he did was drive on the ice all day long. And I had a blast. And that goes to like, taking care of people and not letting the ego get in the way. And I didn’t go, oh, you know, what the hell are you doing up here? You don’t belong here. These aren’t the right tires for ice. So you, you’ve never done ice before.
Matt Scott: It gets so cagey.
Sean Holman: What? Yeah. And it’s like, what do you need? What do you need to feel comfortable? Let’s get you down the road. You, you’ve got a, a great built vehicle you can do, this is mental. Let’s walk you through it. And yeah. And I, I just, I, I’ve seen so many people be dismissive of other wheelers. Oh, I [01:11:00] don’t like their vehicle, I don’t like their setup, or I don’t like whatever. Or, or somebody driving being like, I don’t want to pull my winch because they’re gonna think less of me. It has nothing to do anything.
Matt Scott: They’re the same people who don’t like beginners, but they were, yeah.
Sean Holman: But they were all, but they are beginners. Yeah. They never stopped learning.
Scott Brady: Of course, of course.
Matt Scott: They started a year before that person.
Sean Holman: Yeah. The other thing I would say, I enjoy spotting people. Always say passenger and driver.
Scott Brady: That’s right.
Sean Holman: Never say right and left. That’s right. Because you’re right and left. And that’s how people have accidents. And you see, you know, the qualified captain equivalent of a dude, you know, ass over tea kettle coming down a, you know, from a bad spot. Say driver or passenger use hand gestures. I always keep, so, you know, for most people who don’t have a ham license, G M R S with a 10 year family license is the, is kind of the best thing going. It’s really great. Plug and play consumer out the box. Midland makes some great radios.
Matt Scott: They make great radios.
Sean Holman: They replace the cb. You don’t need to have the technical acumen of a ham radio. They’re perfect for the next [01:12:00] generation of consumers. Wheeling. What I like about ’em is you can still have the handheld ones. So I have my hard Mount Midland and I also have a Midland X talker hanging off my, off my grab bar. So if I hop out and everybody on the trails on it, I take my radio with me so I can spot them and they can hear me. So always grab, if you got a gmrs, grab the little walkie-talkies because they can become invaluable if you’ve gotta walk away from the group or you’ve gotta spot somebody and, and you know, a lot easier than yelling at somebody with the engine or, or whatever. And, and somebody’s not embarrassed cause you’re like, no idiot drivers, right? No, you’re on the radio. Okay. A little bit more. A little bit more. And you can be a little bit more calming than it is if you’re trying to talk over, you know, exhaust or engine sounds or a crowd gathered, things like that.
Scott Brady: What other questions you got for Sean?
Matt Scott: I want to know about your new magazine.
Scott Brady: Yep, exactly.
Sean Holman: Oh, yeah. So, I recently left motor Trend.
Matt Scott: I’m trying wipe this for you.
Sean Holman: So I recently left Motor Trend and I’ve got a, a lot going on. I’m never somebody that,[01:13:00] does anything halfway, so I don’t know what the future’s gonna hold, so I’m kind of hedging my bets and I got involved in a lot of things. So, I took over our podcast, the Truck Show podcast. We’ve been doing that for five years.
Scott Brady: Which is a great podcast by the way.
Sean Holman: It’s great if you’re into trucks and, you know, busting with your buddies and having a good time. And, we’ve got great interviews and we just have fun with it. So I own that now, which is, which is huge. And then I started a new, company called Use for Adventure, and that’s sort of like freelance marketing, consulting and adventure stuff. And then the third project I’m involved in is this new magazine here, which is, called O V R. So it’s outdoor vehicle recreation. Four wheeler unfortunately was canceled and so the print magazine’s not around anymore. And a friend of mine who was a Motor trend alumni who started Recoil, this is his baby, he’s been trying to get me over here for two years, and my leaving Motor trend and four, four-wheeler being canceled coincided with the launch of it. And they gave me an [01:14:00] opportunity to buy in as a minority partner in the magazine. And it fits the perfect space. We were talking earlier, I think it’s sort of, you know, not as aspirational as Overland Journal is, but a little bit more technical and little broader than maybe tread. It’s kind of that middle ground that I think four Wheeler lived in really well. Yeah. And it’s, it’s O V R hints at over landing, but it’s about wheeling, it’s about gear. You know, there’s not a lot of magazines, maybe you guys, and I can’t really think of any others. There’s not a lot of people who do gear review from the. Vehicle based, exploration perspective. You go to Gear Lab or outdoors, some of those, it’s always like, we really love this mattress, but we couldn’t take it with us because it was too heavy for a backpack, or it didn’t sew. And I’m like, that’s exactly the mattress. I want for my, you know, rooftop 10 or my shift pod or something. Right? So, you know, I think, you know, it’ll be great to be able to give those kinds of, of advice and gear review from the, from the back country traveler, vehicle based exploration, plan on doing destinations, trail [01:15:00] rides, tech, you know, maybe not as hardcore as four-Wheeler was, but you’ll still get a lot of that.
It’s an oversized package. I just like Recoil Magazine was, it’s the same team that did the design for this and the design for that. It looks great. I’m excited. I think it’s gonna be really cool. It’s sort of a dream come true for me. I’ve, I’ve worked for somebody else my entire life. I’ve worked for the same people for almost 20. To have the opportunity to, to be an entrepreneur and, and get on the ground floor of, you know, something that I, I really believe in the space to still be able to start a, a company helping other companies in the space. And then to, to maintain ownership or to take over ownership of the podcast I started five years ago. The Future’s bright. It’s, it’s super exciting. And, you know, I kind of am breathing, you know, drinking through a fire hose right now, you know. There’s a lot of spaghetti on the wall. We’ll see what, what, what, what sticks. But, you know, there’s, the, the world is pretty exciting and lots of options.
Scott Brady: So, we’re super proud of you, Sean. I mean, I’ve known you for a long time. I’ve always been so [01:16:00] impressed with your attitude. You’ve always had a positive attitude and you’ve done a good job of maintaining not only professional friendships, but a great reputation in the industry. And that’s.
Sean Holman: I appreciate that.
Scott Brady: That’s gonna serve you really well as you go on to these new things. And it’s just been so fun to have you on our podcast.
Sean Holman: Well, I appreciate the invite and being able to make it happen. Like I said, I think, you know, the key to my success was when I started in the magazine world, I wanted to be in the off-road space. I realized that everybody wanted to drive a Ferrari or Lamborghini and they ended up driving minivans. And you have this entire room full of minivan experts. I’m like, this, that’s boring. You know, forget the exotics. I wanna go drive off-road vehicles. And, you know, when I came up with, you could count on one hand the number of people that were well-versed, OE trucks and aftermarket. It was maybe Alison Harwood, Mark Williams, John Stewart, maybe Rick PayWay to an extent. And I just realized like putting myself in that [01:17:00] company where I could go on both sides of the OE and aftermarket fence and really follow my passions. And, you know, I’ve always been somebody who values the relationships with people. And, you know, people are like, are you mad about motor trend? I’m like, no. They gave me a tremendous opportunity. I had an amazing 20 years. I put a post out and I said, you know, Johnny Hankins had said it best. He said, we have the best job in the world one day at a time, because we all know that it’s the magazine world’s been volatile. We, I had seven ownership changes in the 20 years I was there. I had a lot of those one days strung together. I was very fortunate, very blessed to, to be able to have that lifestyle and to experience those things. I’ve been wheeling on four continents. I know. I haven’t been to Antarctica. Like you have you, you’re one of two people I know with the Antarctica passport stamp, which is super awesome.
But I got to wheel on four continents. I’ve, I’ve gotten to, you know, wheel in Africa and Australia and New Zealand and the Sahara Sand Dunes when we were out there with Nissan. Scott Brady: Yeah, that was so good.
Sean Holman: Europe, you know, with Land Rover, Canada, I’ve raced in the Baja 1000. We won with [01:18:00] Josh Hall. Got to know people like Gail Banks and Rod Hall before he passed away and all these greats of the industry. You know, the Jay Lenos of the world and just to have those experiences. I’ve lived five lifetimes and have gotten the access that people dream about. No, I’m not bitter at all. I’m excited. And yeah.
Scott Brady: You’re just getting started.
Sean Holman: And I’m just getting started now cuz I just go out on my own.
Scott Brady: Yeah. You’re you’re a young guy still. You got it all, all ahead.
Sean Holman: I don’t know when I, nobody tells you, when you, when you hit 45 that there’s a lot of noises and things that hurt. Now I’m like, what is this? Right. All right. My, my oldest daughter’s 15, she’ll be 16 this year and my youngest is five. And I think with my oldest kid, I was like the young, cool, energetic dad. And with the little one, I’m like the old tired. Wow. Where’d all my energy Go dad. Right. But yeah, no, it’s, it. This is, I love the space. I love the people. You know, I, to see what you’ve done with this, this magazine and company. I mean, how many years has it been? [01:19:00] 15?
Scott Brady: Oh, it’s gonna be 20 years.
Sean Holman: Oh my gosh.
Scott Brady: In February, since we started, it’s crazy west.
Sean Holman: Yeah. That’s crazy. I mean, just to see the growth that you guys have done and, you know, people come and go out of these industries. You know who the real deals are and the people that stay and, you know, I, I think this industry is a lot more special than other ones because of the closeness of community. It’s a small world out here. It’s, it’s funny, you know, you’re a a five hour drive from me, but I may not see you until we’re in Europe or Africa.
Scott Brady: Totally.
Sean Holman: Right. I mean, it’s just, it’s crazy. You’ll, you’ll be at some media thing and, and you know, you flew 12 hours together. You’re like, I could have just driven to see you. Right. It’s, it’s special. We’re, we’re lucky to, to be a part of it. And I appreciate your kind words and supporting me and.
Scott Brady: Oh man, this is awesome. No, it’s been so impressive what you’ve done. Any other questions, Matt?
Matt Scott: You wanna have a beer?
Sean Holman: Yeah. I could go for a beer. Hold on, let me check with HR. Yeah, [01:20:00] we’re good!
Scott Brady: Oh, Sean, thanks so much for being on the podcast. We thank you all for listening, and we’ll talk to you next time.