The Beauty and The Best
Pistons & Pivots - The Best Of
Pistons and Pivots features cool vehicles with character, and a little about their owners and the bikes they ride.
If you've got a vehicle and bike that fit the series, we'd love to help you share them with a wider audience.
You can submit your vehicle in one of two ways:
- Send photos and articles to [email protected]. Make sure to include 'Pistons and Pivots' in the subject line.
- Or simply post a few vehicle and bike photos and details to Instagram and use the hashtags #pistonsandpivots and #nsmb.
We'll get in touch to work on featuring them on the site.
Noah Wilcox's 1986 BMW E30
We've done a few wild and unique Pistons and Pivots articles over the years and none has been more eye-catching than the sweet British Racing Green BMW E30 Noah Wilcox built. Noah also built the bikes that sit on the back of this car. When the guy has a welder, lots of skills and a whole lot of creativity, It is no surprise the results are as striking as this.
Sean Estes' 2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5
3rd Gen 4Runners are arguably the nicest looking of the Toyota lineup and there are a million ways to build them. From hardcore rock crawlers to Baja trucks, they are versatile, they live forever and are simple to work on. Sean Estes built his 2000 4Runner SR5 to take him to sweet camping spots where he can ride his bike for days. From the custom high clearance bumpers to KMC Roswell wheels, this one ticked all the boxes for us the moment we noticed it. Paired with an equally gorgeous Specialized S-Works Epic, this pair is like peanut butter and jam.
Matt Livingston's 2003 Chevy Astro 4x4
Hey, Pistons and Pivots is about the journey, not the destination. We are less interested in the fully built and finished projects, and more in ongoing money pits and visual feasts. Matt's Chevy Astro 4x4 embodies the coastal BC lifestyle as much as any other feature. Pegged as "The Original" Sprinter van by a wise few, the Chevy Blazer chassis Astros are as capable as they are comfortable when you are living in the bush. Bring a bike or two and some bevvies and you are instantly transported back to a time to when people could taste difference between Differential fluid and ATF. Matt is a staple in the Sunshine Coast trail building community and while the Astro may have given him some headaches in the last few months, it is still dear to the hearts of many who have dreamt about living in the wilderness.
Brian Krueckl's Land Rover Defender Wolf W/W FFR
Of the many things we can thank the Brits for, making the Land Rover, a worldwide recognized symbol of perseverance, is high on the list. Through thick and thin, good and bad, running or broken, the industrial design and ingenuity that is the DEFENDER is a marvel. This one, from the army surplus auction may be one of the most unique you'll see. Designed for every imaginable scenari, and engineered for the literal apocalypse, Vancouver local Brian Krueckl's Wolf Winter/Water FFR edition Defender the is an outstanding example. Like a child, I crawled through every nooks and cranny and pored over the details that made these Land Rovers of the best 4x4 x Far.
Brad Hutchinson's 1970 C10 4x4
When you talk Chevy trucks, you can't skim past the pre-squarebody years with the bowtie perched right on the hood. For me, these are the golden years of American industrial design where the elegance of '60s cars was spilling into trucks. This C10 4x4 is an ultra-rare factory version designed to be a work truck. Normally a 2x4 truck, this C10 got its front-drive straight from the factory. Brad took his time finding, rebuilding and restoring the nameless c10 but the result is nothing short of stunning. I would love to open my garage and find one of these in there damn single day.
Konrad Kamisnki's BMW E39 M5 Custom
Konrad dailys one of the most desirable BMWs to come out of Bavarian Motor Works. The naturally aspirated 4.9L V8, breathes air and spits fire as it tours the twisty roads of Sea to Sky corridor. No stranger to cars and bikes, Konrad paired his lowered E39 with a beast of a bike too. A Forbidden Dreadnought sets off the classic lines of the BMW, a perfect sight when it is flashing high beams at you on the freeway. You won't be able to eat your take-out in his pristine interior but Konrad will happily show you what the Germans are capable of. There's an M badge to live up to after all. Having now driven in the E39 a handful of times, theonly thing that comes close is having a lion roar in yourface.
Brad Lever's Mountain Goat Fuso 4X4
If you were in the market for an end-of-the-times vehicle, you'd immediately be drawn to this utilitarian and extremely capable Mitsubishi Fuso 4x4 from Brad. Originally a dually, converted and lifted 4" with 37" tires, there is so much trickery going on with this work/play truck that Brad and I spent hours talking about it. It's a perfect vehicle if you want to shuttle 20 of your friends up to remote regions of the Chilcotins. As a set designer and builder, Brad's Fuso gets daily driven. Now thats a relationship!
James Cowan's Ex-Military Ambulance
When your vehicle is named Rolling Thunder, you are making a statement. The ex-military 1985 Chevy Ambulance wears it proudly. James calls his converted home-away-from-home the 'bucket of bolts' and as rough as this big boy looks, it is charming in all the right ways. James had quite the adventure driving this thing across the country with wrong gear ratios in the axles and not much in the form of heating in the camper he is "perpetually" building. A 6.2L V8 Turbo Diesel pulls this almost 10,000lb beast around on 37" tires... I love everything about this unique example squarebody and it's history. It builds trails on the North Shore too. Now that's a bonus!
Fraser Newton's 1995 Dodge B250 Sports Van
I wish I could fit Fraser and his mind into a short Pistons and Pivots revisit but that's not possible. This seemingly fresh-off-the-showroom floor Dodge Sports Van is anything but. Fraser's chaotic mind can manifest itself in crazy bike parts and inventions and certainly his prints are all over his Dodge. His family of 5 + the dog live in the Dodge on roadtrips across BC and Canada. There are always good tunes (or sometimes horrible ones) blasting out as the cloud of smoke seeps through panel gaps. Fraser can make anything run for as long as needed to finish a task and sometimes not a minute longer. The stories the Sports Van could tell, should probably stay with Fraser but if you ever see this thing at your local bike event, make sure to say hello.
As you can see, we aren't drawn to normal when it comes to Pistons and Pivots. The more unique, handbuilt, taped together or rare it is, the more we are likely to feature it. I have my eyes peeled constantly for cool combinations of vehicles and bikes and if you are within' a few hundred miles of Lower Mainland BC, I'd be happy to pay you a visit for a photoshoot. Or if you know of someone with a sweet ride, or come across one at your local trailhead, tell them to reach out. We would love to make it happen!
Till the next one!
Ape Index: 1.037
Trail on Repeat: Changes as often as my mood.
Current Regular: Every test product spends time on Entrail