We’ve seen some well-built Super Duties in our day, but this one had us stopping in our tracks at the 2011 Overland Expo in Amado, Ariz.
Built by Global Expedition Vehicles, this UXV 550 starts with a Ford F-550 crew-cab dually frame and makes quite a few body and suspension modifications, putting military-grade airbags at all four corners with military spec rims and tires as well.
Body camper construction can be customized to order. This S84 model includes a small dining area, an oversized Teak wood bathroom, an overhead sleeping deck, all the kitchen amenities and two large swing-out windows.
The outer body uses bullet-train and marine-grade technologies to mold, support reinforce the structure and skin. Under the hood is a 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine. Two full-size spare tires are in back, with a small winch-operated bike rack held out of harm’s way.
Racer (and self-described outlaw) Jesse James heard about this vehicle being built and thought it would be perfect as a support vehicle for his race team, as well as the ultimate base camp explorer. Global Expedition Vehicles doesn’t sell a lot of vehicles — just a few a year — but when they do, it’s something special. And it’s not limited to Fords. Current models are also built on Unimog, International and Mercedes-Benz chassis.
As you might expect, these units are not cheap. Many models start at several hundred-thousand dollars and build from there. It all depends on what you want, what you need, and how deep into the backcountry you want to explore.