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Seriously good article Cam.
I've been a car/truck enthusiast almost as long as I've been a bike enthusiast, and I've also been a tightwad about it for 99% of the time. The idea of tracking a car is amazing, and then the reality sets in that there is really no cheap way to do it. Even autocross eats through tires/suspension/brakes due to the very aggressive turning and braking - you're either 100% on the throttle, 100% on the brakes, or 100% turning (within traction limits of course). Outside of that, you're relegated to driving a quicker car on the streets and trying not to be too much of a dick about it.
But on the 4x4 truck side, I would compare that much more closely to MTB. We have managed to find cheaper ways to build 4x4s and wheel them pretty hard on technical PNW trails. Some would call this "rockcrawling", and the trails are definitely rocky, but it's just PNW 4-wheeling to everyone around here. Compare this to building a decently good MTB from parts, or buying a previous year mid-range MTB and then pushing it to a decent level of performance for a weekend warrior. It's all about having fun in the woods for me.
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