There's a well-known aphorism that goes, "You get what you pay for." How true that is, especially in our off-road industry. Craftsmanship and the art of fabrication do have a price for attaining the ultimate drool factor. Take Gary Hough from San Diego, for example. Gary had his sights set on building a supreme prerunner\weekend toy. He needed a prerunner that was solid and reliable, and would function through a multitude of terrain challenges. Gary would put this thoroughbred to the test, prerunning and chasing for the competitive Pflueger racing team. On the off weekends from racing, Gary spends his time at either Ocotillo Wells (Gary's home away from home) or Glamis. It's not uncommon to see this Bow Tie flyer playing in the dunes or ripping it up with airtime in his stomping grounds.
With the parameters set, Gary went to H&M Motorsports out of San Marcos, California. These guys are known for their meticulous attention to detail and were just releasing their HM1 production three-seat prerunner.
H&M Motorsports' HM1 truck is a production chassis\ suspension package designed and built at the company's San Marcos, California, facility. The premise was to offer a viable solution to a scratch-built tube-frame prerunner in half the production time. This is accomplished by jigging up all the sections of the truck for production. H&M's full-tube chassis is designed and constructed of 1-3/4-inch 4130-chrome-moly tubing for the ultimate in strength and safety. The front long-travel A-arm suspension system is constructed out of 4130 flat-plate, then heat-treated for additional strength. H&M set the travel to a smooth and supple 24 inches, controlled by a 2-1/2-inch coilover Fox shock, one Fox 3-inch bypass per wheel, and a set of King 2-1/2-inch bumpstops aiding in the anti-bottoming-out department. Stopping power on the Bow Tie flyer was crucial, so Gary and H&M decided on running CNC front hubs with Wilwood six-piston calipers to handle the task. You can't go wrong with that combination. The steering is precise and responsive, using Howe's very large Trophy Truck rack-and-pinion.
The rear suspension on the HM1 is a four-link design using 4130 flat-plate heat-treated construction H&M set the rear wheel travel to 33 inches, damped by a set of Fox 2-1/2-inch coilovers, a set of Fox 3-inch bypass shocks, and a set of King 2-1/2-inch bumpstops. When it came time for the rearend, H&M fabricated up a rearend housing and equipped it with a Chrisman 10-inch third member with a 5-inch gear ration full floater. Just as with the front, CNC hubs, with Wilwood calipers mounted on them, handle the binder duties out back. In the past, H&M used an antisway bar setup that just wasn't up to the company's specifications. So the guys fired up Solid Works (a 3-D modeling software) and designed their own billet antisway bar system, which is now available to the public.
Having a rolling chassis this good, Gary set his sights on building a high-horsepower engine to really takes advantage of the fun factor. He contacted Larry Minor Racing out of Lake Elsinore, California, and the crew assembled a 750hp powerplant with more than 700 lb-ft of torque. The list of hopped-up goodies to build included an all-aluminum 443ci with a Lunati pro crank mounted in a balanced and blueprinted Dart tall block, with Oliver rods and JE pistons driving the bottom end. Airflow has been drastically improved with a set of 18-percent Dart Pro 2 heads, custom headers by Greg Hallman, and an exhaust system by Vista Muffler from Vista, California. Feeding fuel to the intake system from a 42-gallon racer X fuel cell is a Tom Bryant fuel system. You can't go wrong with using a Ron Davis radiator and Fluidyne coolers to keep this big motor running cool. A turbo 400 transmission built to the hilt by Steve Culhane of Culhane Transmissions out of Lake Elsinore, California, transfers the power to the rear wheels.
Inside the cab of the Bow Tie flyer is a functional cockpit, with all the gadgetry needed to take on the desert. Three seats by MasterCraft, including the harnesses, keep you strapped in. Racer-X took charge and outfitted the inside of the Bow Tie flyer with a Lowrance GPS unit. This is a must-have tool for plotting out the prerunning course and for safety. Next, E&J Wire Works wired up the cab for the two-way radio and intercom system. Gary opted to run a Winters shifter to engage the transmission. The instrumentation of vital statistics is handle by a set of Stack gauges.
Gary wanted a late-model Chevy body to go with his '03 Chevy cab. After much deliberation on whose fiberglass body parts to use, Trailer Products out of Hemet, California, was chosen for its tight-fitting fiberglass. E&J Wire Works wired the truck, including the GPS system, radio, and gauges. One thing learned in desert racing is that you need all the lighting you can get for nighttime.So Gary went with an HID lighting system made up of Baja Design's Sol-Tek lights and lightbar, with an electric screw actuator to fine-tune the beams to the terrain. You can have all the power and suspension that you want, but without good rubber to maintain traction, you're done for. With that said, there was no holding back. The wheels are 17x8-inch Robby Gordon bead locks, with 37x12.50x17 BFG Project tires wrapped on them - full traction.
So what was the estimated price when it was all said and done?Gary says somewhere around $175,000. Gary would like to thank Hebco Motorsports for help in prepping for his prerunner, as well as a big thanks to H&M for building the Bow Tie flyer to a 10 on the drool factor. So, if you are in SoCal, out at the local desert, and you see him flying by, give him a wave. He might even let you buckle in as a passenger.