• Home
  • /
  • 4WD
  • /
  • Top Rigs at Overland Expo Mountain West

Top Rigs at Overland Expo Mountain West

Rigs, rigs, rigs. Overland Expo was founded as an educational event where travelers from all over the world could gather and share their experiences, knowledge, and skills with like-minded adventurers. But let’s be honest—we also love Expo for the largest number of the most diverse rigs you can find concentrated in one place. If ogling builds is your jam, you owe it to yourself to attend one of the four yearly Expos spread out around the US every year. The Mountain West edition takes place in Loveland, Colorado, in August, and I tracked down some of the coolest trucks at the event last week. Check out the top rigs at Overland Expo Mountain West.

TFL Truck UAZ 452

TFL Truck is one of the most widely watched automotive YouTube channels, and they always have a steady stream of interesting and oddball 4x4s cycling through their lineup. Possibly the most left-field truck they’ve featured recently is their 1991 UAZ 452 Buhanka. The cubic Soviet-made van (Buhanka means “loaf of bread” in Russian) rocks a positively antediluvian 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine behind the shocked-looking face and proper high and low-range four-wheel-drive. This is a unique ride by any measure. Oh, and it’s for sale.

The Long Cruiser

There’s not a whole lot to be said about the Long Cruiser other than it began life as a 1994 Lexus LX450 (an 80 Series Land Cruiser in disguise) and literally grew from there. It took me a full eight strides to walk its length, and I chuckled the whole way.

The Fast and the Furious

iKamper and Adrenalin Industries both took a similar tack in drawing onlookers to their booths at Overland Expo: all-wheel-drive supercars prepped for adventure. The R35 Nissan GT-R at the iKamper stand had a camo wrap and not a lot of ground clearance but was sporting their new wedge camper and some MaxTrax that you might struggle to get under the sills should you high-center the thing. In any case, you are likely to make it to the campsite before anybody else.

Nissan GT-R

Adrenalin’s Audi R8 “Rally” was more off-road ready, with a flat rack, a light bar loaded with Baja Designs LEDs, a barely perceptible lift, and some A/Ts on custom Braid rims. The off-road supercar trend is alive and well with the Porsche 911 Dakar and the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, so a mid-engined sports car from a brand like Audi with rally heritage and a long history of building 4WD sedans is an obvious choice. Sort of. All jokes aside, I would happily daily this R8.

Harrison Schoen’s Porsche Cayenne S

One sports car manufacturer that once built a legit off-road-capable SUV is Porsche. It’s not necessarily widely known, but the first generation Cayenne was equipped with permanent four-wheel drive, locking differentials, and a true low-range transfer case from the factory. Harrison Schoen has been building tough Cayennes for a while now, and he’s driven all the way to Alaska’s Dempster Highway and back in one (and has caught the occasional flight in the dunes). I had a chance to spend some time with Harry and his Porsche on the trails in central Colorado before the Expo, and I can report that this build is legit.

Porsche Cayenne

GMC Hummer EV EarthCruiser

The Hummer EV elicits a lot of opinions, and our own Scott Brady discovered that it’s probably more capable and easy to live with than you might imagine. One thing is for certain, EVs in general are staking out their own corner of the overlanding world, and the aftermarket is coming up with some creative new ways to take advantage of electric platforms. The EV with the most buzz at Expo Mountain West this year was GMC’s Hummer EV, equipped with a prototype camper from venerable overland upfitter EarthCruiser. Expedition Portal’s Brian McVickers got an inside tour of this incredible machine—you can check that video out here.

Hummer EV Earth Cruiser

Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers LS3 Swapped 60 Series Land Cruiser

Speaking of my colleague Brian, we manned the Overland Journal Snow Peak tent all weekend at the Expo. It was great to meet all the folks who stopped by to say hi and grab a magazine. It’s amazing to know how many travelers we’ve inspired to go on their own adventures and who still love high-quality print publications. It’s humbling, and we are grateful to do what we do. Do you have a story to tell? Maybe you can find yourself in the pages of Overland Journal—pitch us here.

Also in the humbling category is the shocking amount of labor and detail that went into the 60 Series Toyota Land Cruiser that shared our booth space. Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers pulled the body off the frame of this Cruiser and proceeded to rebuild or restore every inch of it, including cleaning and re-plating every single nut, bolt, and fastener. And they did a slight modification in the engine department by installing a CARB-legal LS3 motor from a Chevrolet Corvette backed by a modern Toyota transmission. The interior remains entirely stock (and almost completely original), which makes for interesting contrasts in the driving experience. The Nomad alloy wheels are a perfect retro-modern touch. PRLC’s crew is super passionate about Land Cruisers, and they know their stuff.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

Continuing on the Land Cruiser path, the 2024 North American version has been making waves across the industry with the return of the storied nameplate, and Toyota had this head-turning two-tone example on display. Between the two front fascia treatments, I prefer the throw-back round headlights on the lower trim models.

travelall.overlander’s International Harvester Travelall

One of the most intriguing slices of Overland Expo is the DIY area, where featured wheeled adventurers share their builds, both two-wheeled and four with attendees. International Harvester is an uncommon choice for an overland platform, doubly so for the full-size Travelall. This immaculate Harvester featured a carefully conceived and executed Cummins 6BT diesel swap and fully custom suspension. Maintaining much of the old-school interior contributes to its charm while still featuring some key modern upgrades in terms of comms, navigation, and electrical systems.

Rat Runners Garage NAS Land Rover Defender 110 Td5

Aaron Hagar has the disease. The same disease that dogs me and my fellow Expedition Portal editors and contributors, Graeme and Luisa Bell and Publisher and CEO Scott Brady. The name of this virulent strain of 4×4 sickness is Land Rover Defender, and it’s pretty much terminalno known cure. Thoughts and prayers to those affected.

Why else would you export a North American spec Defender 110 (produced for one year in a 500-example run) to the UK to have it converted to a 1999 Td5 diesel engine, re-import it at great cost and difficulty, and then modify the incredibly rare factory external roll cage to accommodate an Alu-Cab Icarus pop-top? And install 400-year-old black cottonwood counters and a huge suite of Vision X lighting? That’s just the tip of the iceberg on this comprehensively modified Land Rover. I saw the fever in Aaron’s eyes. He’s definitely infected, so if you run across him and his 110, beware—you’re at risk.

NAS Defender 110

Kincer Chassis Series 1 Ford Bronco

Kincer Chassis builds early Broncos from the ground up with their entirely original custom chassis or reproduction frames. This orange beauty had modern Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners, a Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel crate engine, and a host of off-road and camping goodies. A super-advanced electronically controlled and multi-way adjustable TracTive suspension ensures the truck rides like no Series 1 Bronco ever dreamed of (more on this fascinating piece of technology later). I also learned from Kincer that pretty much every body panel on these first-generation Broncos is available as a reproduction piece, so you really can build your own from scratch.

Our No Compromise Clause: We do not accept advertorial content or allow advertising to influence our coverage, and our contributors are guaranteed editorial independence. Overland International may earn a small commission from affiliate links included in this article. We appreciate your support.

Stephan Edwards is the Associate Editor of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. He and his wife, Julie, once bought an old Land Rover sight unseen from strangers on the internet in a country they'd never been to and drove it through half of Africa. After living in Botswana for two years, Stephan now makes camp at the foot of a round mountain in Missoula, Montana. He still drives that Land Rover every day. An anthropologist in his former life and a lover of all things automotive, Stephan is a staunch advocate for public lands and his writing and photography have appeared in Road & Track, Overland Journal, and Adventure Journal. Find him at @venturesomeoverland on Instagram.