If you’ve attended a 4x4 show, motorsport event or major local fair in the last 50 years, chances are you’ve seen, or even ridden with, Team D-MAX as they tear around on two wheels or pull off one of their many other precision driving displays to the delight of crowds nationwide.
As a long-standing sponsor of Team D-MAX, Toyo Tires often find themselves liaising with the drivers during such events, sharing anecdotes of the unique stresses they torture their Toyos with while throwing around the types of crazy concepts that invariably pop up in discussions between like-minded enthusiasts.
A lot of these ideas are more banter than business and initially, we laughed along with the team as they locked eyes with some big Open Country M/Ts at a recent 4x4 show, with their boss, Wayne, joking about putting them on his company car.
The Open Country M/T was an obvious choice considering its motorsport pedigree and bulletproof 3-ply construction, not to mention the awesome aesthetic an aggressive mud-terrain tyre provides. We had no doubts that the tyre itself would work well for Team D-MAX but we knew there’d be a lot of work making something in the vicinity of the 37-inch tyre they were joking about fit under practically any modern vehicle.
As many crazy concepts do, things quickly snowballed and when we received word that two sets of 20x12 -52 Method Racing MR610 Con6 wheels had arrived at Team D-MAX HQ needing BIG tyres to match, it became clear that they weren’t mucking around anymore.
“The project got a bit out of control, but once we’d started, we were determined to make [something] unique,” says Wayne Boatwright, Director of EMG Pty Ltd and Team D-MAX. “We didn’t set out to build a racer or pre-runner or rock crawler, or yet another version of the ultimate 4WD tourer.”
Under the veil of secrecy, Concept X was created, with Wayne and the rest of Team D-MAX struggling to agree on whether a D-MAX ute or MU-X wagon would be the best base for their beast, eventually deciding to go all-in and build both!
Bulging bespoke bodywork is only the beginning of what’s required to fit a 38x15.50R20 Open Country M/T on vehicles factory-fitted with a 245/70R16, with over 4-inches of tyre lift complemented by a whopping 7-inches of custom suspension lift, including 60mm remote-reservoir shocks and an MU-X style 5-link conversion under the D-MAX’s impressive full-alloy tray.
"It would have been easy to bolt on many accessories,” adds Wayne, “but we wanted to go our own way, so most of the build; the guards, bull bars, bonnet, brakes, suspension and chassis modifications are all in-house custom work. The result is two vehicles of epic proportions, which could almost look at home in the next ‘Transformer’ movie... the kind of car that every child dreams about."
This commitment to craziness continues practically anywhere you look on these, well, two-of-a-kind vehicles and for those not lucky enough to drool over the duo in person at the Melbourne 4x4 Show, you can CLICK HERE for a closer look until they make it to a town near you.