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Like a Kid in a Mud Puddle: Artur and his Sidekick

4x4_UltimateAdventure_Suzuki_featureC When it comes down to selecting six readers to join in Petersen's 4Wheel & Off-Road magazine's annual Ultimate Adventure, out of thousands of submissions received, you can imagine that there’s something uniquely special about each one chosen... Artur Pasternak is one of those examples. Recently finishing a full-build on the 1989 Suzuki Sidekick he’s driven and off-roaded for the past 20 years, Artur hasn’t always been interested in 4-wheeling...growing up in Poland he dreamed of owning a Corvette. An extremely rare car to see in Poland, the first time Artur set his eyes on a Corvette as a child, he imagined a UFO would look similar to the streamlined body lines of the car. Migrating to North America (Canada to be exact) as a young adult, Artur jumped at the opportunity to buy his dream car…and hated it. Not amiable to the harsh Canadian winters, the Corvette was promptly traded in for something more practical – a 4-year-old, stock, 1989 Suzuki Sidekick. Soon thereafter a friend took Artur to a local mud pit and and Artur was hooked on off-roading. “It was kind of like being a kid again…I felt like a little kid jumping in a mud puddle, almost hysteric with enjoyment!” 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_31 Artur started taking his stock Sidekick out to nearby trails and learning new driving skills. Soon enough, it was time for some upgrades – tires, and then a lift, which ultimately began the evolution that his little vehicle was destined for. Fast forward to 15 months ago. Artur had just finished pouring a ton of work into a major renovation  - when lo and behold he was in a car accident, hit from standing by another driver going 60 mph. Although the caging kept Artur safe, the car needed a lot of work. Angry and dejected after putting all that work into the vehicle, he struggled to work past his feelings and get back to work in order to enjoy the fun of 4x4ing again. Not wanting to merely put all those hours in again to get the same result as before the wreck, Artur started brewing up a new plan for his Sidekick’s next evolution. Evilution255-1 Evilution 2.5R” as he calls it, would require cutting the back, shortening the body and adding the pickup. Artur gathered some thoughts from buddies, both local and on Pirate4x4 forum. Soon plans were drawn up and work was underway. Picking up fabrication skills years ago in order to save money as well as have the ability to create innovative mods for his rig, Artur has transformed himself into a confident builder. As he puts it, “To me , the fabrication process is an obstacle in the way of enjoying my vehicle…The actual grinding isn’t the part I like – but seeing things become real is the enjoyable part for me.” 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_01 The build progressed extremely quickly – from planning to completion and registration in less than a year. Of course, during it Artur was highly engrossed in his work – spending any spare moment thinking about or working on the build. 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_02 First came dismantling and cutting into the body. An excess vertical rise in the floor was taken out from behind the driver’s seat, allowing for the seat to fully recline (for all those times when you have to sleep on the trail!) Eventually the outer frame was removed and suspension got started. The new cab was finished off and then more suspension set up was done along with checking, checking, and re-checking of clearances and geometry. 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_04 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_11 From there the body needed to be finished and painted - followed by the fabrication of the new cage frame…and plenty more suspension work, exhaust, interior, windows and bed fabrication. 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_14 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_16 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_18 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_21 All along, Artur was building this Suzuki with thoughts of taking it on Ultimate Adventure. In fact, when a local friend went on last year’s trip during the midst of Artur’s build – it helped to push him on and continue with his build. 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_35 While many people choose to “upgrade” their vehicle for a different one, that hasn’t been the case with Artur. He’s never thought of trading – and in fact, if he were to have unlimited means he would still keep trailing with the Sidekick (but would then add a few additional vehicles to his stable). As he puts it, “The Suzuki is light from the start and has a lot of functionalities that I would look for in any vehicle. It’s also drivable for the street. For me, I always wanted a vehicle that could go on the road, go on a road trip…and for me, Ultimate Adventure is really the point that kind of proves what I’ve always had…I couldn’t go on it if I had a buggy. To me that represents the largest freedom - having a vehicle that is street legal.” 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_39 Once finished and accepted as one of the few exclusive reader’s to join along in UA, Artur’s modifications turned towards expedition modifications – a trunk-style lid, tie-down pullings and equipment organization - all things that make a long trip easier. 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_37 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_55 When your adventure begins in the garage, with a car you’ve worked on and driven hard for twenty years…it’s a sure bet that the results will be a well thought out and successful build. Artur’s “Evilution 2.5R” Suzuki Sidekick is most definitely a one-of-a-kind trail-blazing 4x4 - ready to transport him towards his next big adventure! 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_38 Vehicle Specs 1989 Suzuki Sidekick 2.5L V6 Automatic Transmission Dual T-cases with front Toyota and rear Dana 300 Dana 44 Front Axle Dana 70 Rear Axle ARB Differential 5.86:1 Gear Ratio Front Suspension: Long-Arm radius arms with remote reservoir coilovers Rear Suspension: Double X 4-link coilovers with hydraulic bump stops Nitto 37” Trail Grappler Tires Warn M8000 winch 4x4_Suzuki_UltimateAdventure2013_25
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