So Much More Than a Dirty Face

Carspotting: 9 Adventure-Ready Overland Vehicles Caught in the Wild

August 28, 2017 Cars By Photo by Hunter Kelley

When you spend several days on a sprawling, rural Pennsylvania property with hundreds of folks dedicated to the overlanding lifestyle, you’re bound to see some fantastic vehicles. Trucks, SUVs and beyond, all custom kitted and built out for adventures of every stripe — this, I expected. What I didn’t expect was the degree of variety and the overall quality of everyone’s builds. In retrospect, that shouldn’t have surprised me either — the event is hosted by Main Line Overland and features outfitters like ARB and U-Joint Offroad, all top-end overlanding outfitters. These are just a few of the best vehicles I spotted that weekend.

Nissan Patrol

In the realm of vintage overlanders, the Patrol tends to be overlooked in favor of FJs and Defenders — both obscenely great vehicles. But there’s something about an original Patrol, especially in this shade of blue.

Most Notable Feature: Who needs a winch when you’ve got a steel bumper and a tough tow strap?

Toyota FJ Cruiser

To most, the FJ Cruiser may have seemed another retro-styled puff piece. But with the right mods (and, truthfully, even without many at all), the Toyota can absolutely hold its own off-road. A worthy successor to the FJ? Quite possibly.

Most Notable Feature: Snorkel. Because snorkel.

Land Rover Defender 110

The classic. Main Line Overland took this simple beast and tastefully modified it to become a streamlined two-track conqueror.

Most Notable Feature: The cage in the cab just barely edges out the white steelies on every corner.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged

At one point during the festival, there was a rock-crawl challenge: 12-18-inch boulders set up along a steep grassy incline, a gauntlet set up for anyone brave enough. Out host, running toward this very vehicle, yelled over to us, “Wanna watch my brother destroy a Range Rover Sport?” Spoiler alert: the RR demolished the course, not the other way around.

Most Notable Feature: Front bumper delete with a hefty skidplate in its place.

Toyota Tacoma

Rightfully so, the Tacoma has become the go-to for many overlanding enthusiasts: Tough as hell from the factory, the truck is easy to modify in your garage and there are gazillions of aftermarket suppliers who offer the necessary add-ons you’ll need.

Most Notable Feature: The brush guard/LED light setup from ARB on this pair is ready to light up — and smash through — whatever one might encounter under cover of night.

Land Rover Range Rover Classic

If there was an automotive gentleman present at the festival, this Range Rover took the prize. From the elegant color choice to its straightforward lines, kinda hard to be more dashing on four off-pavement wheels.

Most Notable Feature: The fact that it looks 100 percent stock yet can still tackle just about anything in its path.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Completely kitted out by our friends at Wheelers LLC, this Jeep puts the “Unlimited” in Wrangler Unlimited. Even with all the mods — huge tires, light bar, roof rack, snorkel, winch and more — this setup remains super tasteful.

Most Notable Feature: Fender. Flares.

Ford F150 Raptor

It’s no secret the Raptor is a vicious off-road monster. Even this first-gen model was ready to rip the planet’s face off direct from the factory. Its owner told me he didn’t like the new Raptor because it looks less aggressive and doesn’t have a V8 like his. Agree to disagree, but he’s still on the right path with his Ford monster truck.

Most Notable Feature: Two-tone hood, as if the other stock visual mods weren’t enough to set this truck apart from all the lesser pickups in existence.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

If ever there were a classy urban/rustic assault vehicle, the Unimog is it. Not that it needed an ounce of modification to be capable, but Main Line Overland kitted this guy out to ready it for [probably] anything you can possibly imagine.

Most Notable Feature: Hard to pick just one, but tires the size of Zues’s fists are a good start.

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