The man behind the off-road action show 4X4Nation has spent years dreaming up the perfect machine. In the sport of rock racing, Chad Molitor says, there is a constant quest to create something that performs better than the last.
“You always want something stronger, faster, and meaner,” Molitor says. “And that’s why we built the Avenger.”
Molitor’s experience in off-road driving and his pursuit of mechanical perfection have lead to the creation of one of the strongest off-roading machines in the country. The Avenger—named by Chad’s driver daughter, Bree, who also hosts the 4X4Nation show—has an LS3 motor with a tune and cam, generating more than 500 horsepower. The axles are one of a kind: prototypes with extraordinarily strong 300 M 40 spline big bell RCV shafts and aluminum 14 bolt 3rd members from Solid axle company.
The Avenger also boasts custom housings from Diamond Axle and custom knuckles from Essentially Off Road. The drive shafts are made out of Dana 60 chromoly stub shafts with 1480 U joints. The Avenger has a lower center of gravity than most conventional vehicles like it, using Fox triple bypass shocks at each corner along with coil over shocks. It sits on 43” TSL SX tires with Raceline-forged 20” beadlock wheels.
And that impressive list of specs doesn’t even touch its appearance.
Bree and Chad spent months planning out exactly how this machine was going to look. The Avenger is decked out with custom graphics and powder coat color and design.
“The next buggy usually begins in my mind about the time that I’m finishing up the last one,” Molitor says. “We learn so much each time we build one, about what makes them better, stronger, and faster. And cooler, too! So the Avenger has been about 18 months in the process, the last nine months of which have been heavy, the last three months have been heavier, and the last ten days have just been crazy.”
And they got it race-ready just in time: Molitor and his daughter Bree intend to race it throughout 2014, starting next week with the Back Door Shootout at the King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California, the Avenger’s debut in the off-road racing circuit. Bree will be in the driver’s seat, with her dad as co-driver, in what will hopefully be the first of many successful races this year for this father-daughter team.