Adrian's Tomcat 100"

Custom Made Chassis

Instead of using the chassis from the donor vehicle, I could use a custom made chassis. This gives more flexibility with the size of the resulting vehicle. It takes a lot of skill and experience to design your own chassis, but I could buy one developed by somebody else. The ABS Freestyle, Foers Ibex, the VW based sandrail and off road buggy and the monster trucks all use parts from the donor vehicle other than the chassis.

Muddler Trials Car

This is the "Muddler" trials car. It is used for competitive Super Modified Trials with the All Wheel Drive Club (AWDC). It is built on a modified Range Rover chassis and retains the 3.5l V8 engine and front axle. The engine has a Weber down draft carb fitted and the rear axle is a modified Salisbury rear axle. Both axles have air locking diffs. The driver describes himself as a 'nutter'!

Muddler trials car Side Rear and side Rear axle
Interior Interior Engine bay Engine bay

Some readers may have noticed that the Muddler has moved pages. This was because I originally thought it had a modified Range Rover chassis, but the original builder Bernard sent me an e-mail to correct me and give me some more details.

Nice of you to use pictures of one of my old Muddlers on your web site, and I am pleased to know it was of interest to you, however I feel I must put you right on a couple of things

The chassis were not Rangerover but home made, the newest being at least 10 years old now, early landrover axles were used, as they aren't so wide. Although some RR suspension parts were used they were much modified and used quite differently.

I built and sold 7 Muddlers in all, one was intended to be road legal with RR axles and a 3.9 EFI, but is now reported as being in Australia!

I have attached a couple of pics of how they were when new.

Custom made chassis Simple metal bodywork New Muddler off road buggy Blank

When I built the first Muddler with the short lived AWDC enduro events in mind, it needed to survive multiple rolls and endo's without panel damage, the frame had to survive serious abuse and all tubes apart from the roll hoops were kept straight, so a bent one showed up and could be replaced quickly, all running gear and suspension parts had to be standard off the second hand shelf (or the tow Landrover in a crisis).

Axle travel had to be unhampered by friction/wind-up so a three point linkage was used, two at the bottom and one on the top of the diffs, with panhard rods at both ends, it was possible on tickover to drive one wheel up a ramp around 3ft while the others were flat on the ground, with an 80" wheelbase, the propshaft flanges remained perpendicular to the chassis at all times.

It also had to be smaller than anything else at the time both in height and width (couldn't match those damn Suzukis on that) as a wooded sites were often very tight, it had to have a low centre of gravity to be very stable on side slopes, it had very soft springs with Bilstein dampers. It handled well at speed apart from corrugations where the Salisbury rear axle took over alarmingly!

Last but not least I had to like the look of it and a lot of thought went into making it look like a proper car, small things did this, like the angle of the grill and side cockpit rails, the rest was form follows function.

Thank you Bernard for that information. Bernard now has a new hobby, a 1953 Scammell Explorer. He has gone from building the smallest possible off-roader, to driving the biggest off roader he can find! More details can be found at his web site

I would be happy if you recognise any of the vehicles on my site if you and gave me some more details.


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