You can’t talk about off-roading

without talking about Jeeps.

1950s ad of Jeep FC-150

Jeep’s legacy came from somewhere, and that somewhere is hardworking American history. These rugged, off-roading sport utility vehicles have traveled a long road before landing in the prized collection of “the best thing to drive where no one has driven before.” Throughout that time, a few classics have risen to the ranks that placate the taste of modern collectors.

Just ask Roy Wallace, owner of 1st Gear Off-Road, specializing in two Forward-Control, or cab-over, legendary Jeep models, FC-150 & FC-170, produced between 1956-1965. At July’s Cars & CaFe, he brought his souped-up FC-170. It’s equipped with Sway-A-Way Coil-Over shocks we custom built for him, readying him for driving through Southern California’s rugged, jagged terrains. Roy lives the genuine Jeep lifestyle, with custom mods and trips to the outlands of Anza Borrego or Toro Peak.  

Roy Wallace and his Blue FC-170 talking to aFe Power at SEMA 2019
Blue 1960s FC-170 Jeeps at aFe Power Off-road themed Cars and Coffee August 2022
Side view of military-style blue forward-control FC-170 FC-150 Jeep at aFe Power Car and Cafe event in Corona California

 What’s so special about these veteran all-roaders?

Contracted by Willy’s Motors, Brooks Stevens pulled from full-size cab over engine trucks, basing it off the existing 1940s CJ-5. These enduring American-born and bred models swept the world, touting various municipal and functional usages. In the spirit of Jeep, they boasted impressive specs, like V8 engines or the capability to climb up to 60% grade. These cab-overs further served as prototypes for subsequent military, fire, garbage, and tow trucks. Further iterations of the forward-control build, like the FC-170 DRW,  served as a German fire engine, and the FC-180 to FC-190 served as an Australian rescue truck. Four variants of the F-170 even operated as US Navy, and Marine Corps designated vehicles under a 1964 contract. 

With their long beds, these forward-control Jeeps easily doubled as work trucks. The modern Gladiator, with its capable truck bed, may not have forward-control, but its long bed makes it a star. Our R&D Team developed a robust product lineup for the 2022 Gladiator: intakes, exhaust, differential covers, stock replacement filters, throttle bottle spacers, oil filters, and even Scorcher and Sprint Booster modules. 

     Wallace’s Blue FC-170 M677 has been to SEMA 2019 but will not be at SEMA 2022. Wallace hints that he’s bringing something else in its place, currently building another project for SEMA. We’re hoping for a sneak peek, but we may have to wait until November in Las Vegas.  

     For those at home, save the risky business for the pros, unless you go equipped with aFe. 😉 

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