Transamerican Auto Parts has named the winner in its second annual Life is Better Off-Road SEMA vehicle build competition held at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. This year’s best presented, truly off-road capable truck, Jeep or SUV on display at the show was the Daystar Products 1941 Dodge Powerwagon called Bootlegger.
A panel of off-road industry experts judged the competition. The winning entry was revealed at an event hosted by legendary Motocross, Supercross and off-road racing champion, Ricky Johnson. The panel of judges featured some of the most distinguished names in off-road vehicle engineering and development, fabrication, journalism and motorsports.
“The Bootlegger captures the essence of the Life is Better Off-Road Award for its on and off-road capabilities and customized update of the vintage vehicles associated with bootlegging,” said Greg Adler, Transamerican Auto Parts president and CEO. “The Powerwagon took the bootlegger theme and ran with it and the creative use of aftermarket parts impressed us with a nod to history and a keen eye for design.”
Mark Turner of Daystar Products wanted to employ a bootlegger theme throughout the build and chose copper because it was the prime metal commonly used to make bootlegger stills. The engine sports a copper radiator hose and copper air intake while the firewall was changed to copper, then covered with dynamite. Bootlegging’s roots are intertwined with NASCAR mythology and moonshine-running vehicles were made to look stock while their inner workings included supercharged engines and weighty shocks and springs to prevent sag as they transported Mason jars full of liquor.
The powerwagon’s supercharged power, racing transmission, custom driveshafts and longer leaf springs made it stand out as supremely off-road capable in a field of remarkable entries ranging from Rubicons to Titan XDs. Completed in 50 days, the Bootlegger was driven to Tennessee for Whiskey & Wheeling with Xtreme Off-Road Adventure then shipped to Alaska for wheeling where it was driven on a glacier.