The wonderful thing about driving offroad is that it’s an equal opportunity pastime.

You can spend $70K for a shiny new Silverado 4x4 with a lift kit and bush bar and head out to scratch paint on the nearest logging trail.  Or you can go technical and build a custom Jeep that’ll let you pick your way over boulders the size of washing machines.

Or you can go hard-core hillbilly and buy a piece of cheap junk and spend your weekends crashing through the woods until something breaks that you can’t fix in an afternoon. Then you throw it away and start over.

Rob and Andrew Ashford fall into that last category. The two cousins from Conception Bay South share a passion for Ford pickups and back-country violence. It’s a story that started a few years back with an old Windstar van and a reciprocating saw. Since then they’ve enjoyed and destroyed a small fleet of 4x4’s. They say there’s no end to what you can accomplish with a hammer and a welding torch.

They’re quick to point out that they’re also environmentally conscious and never leave casualties in the woods. What goes in must come out. If it’s not worth taking home, it’s trailered straight to the recycler. For the record.

They're also showmen at heart (in an earthy kind of way) and their competitive spirit fits well with the purpose-built obstacle course that springs up every summer behind Terra Nova Motors on Kenmount Rd. The GM dealer sponsors an event it calls TruXtravaGanza. The track is a series of rock piles and pot holes that lead to a mud pit and a veritable orgy of mechanical abuse.

It’s perfect for the Ashford boys and their "take no prisoners" style of driving. Their time this year — 1 minute and 34 seconds  won them first prize.

And their performance won over the crowd.

Even if the red truck they call “Fordzilla” , the monster they purchased for $300, will race again no more.  

Click on the video to find out why.


  • The video says Terra Nova Ford holds the TruXtravaGanza. It should say Terra Nova Motors.
    Oct 05, 2013 4:02 PM NT