Conley's Hurricane Hunter At A Glance
Platform: 2003 Ford F350 Crewcab Lariat
Engine: 6.0-liter PowerStroke Diesel V8
Fuel capacity: 36 gallons (plus three five-gallon jerry cans)
Range: 500 miles on one tank
Value: $100,000 (approx.)
The Pacific side of Mexico's Baja peninsula might be the most wave-rich stretch of coast on the planet. From the Tijuana Slews to San Jose del Cabo, Baja pumps year round, and anyone who's ever been lucky enough to make it to Abreojos or Seven Sisters can attest to the power and consistency of the 1,000-plus miles of coastline. But there's a problem. Completely uninhabited and with topography resembling the surface of Mars, almost the entire stretch from TJ to Cabo is desolate, dry, and inaccessible. To surf it properly, you need a vehicle designed specifically for the challenges Baja poses.
Enter the Hurricane Hunter. Brian Conley and his brother Scott have spent the last year converting a Ford 350 Crewcab into the ultimate Baja surf vehicle. The “Hurricane Hunter” (the brothers' name for it) has everything a Baja traveler could hope for–a huge diesel V8, a 12,000-pound Ramsey winch, full Safari Gard exterior caging, a three-man Hannibal roof tent, a complete off-road recovery kit by Rover Accessories, a 53-gallon freshwater tank with shower, a 1,000-watt power inverter, a ten-foot Novourania skiff with a fifteen-horsepower motor, and so much more I had to put the rest on our Web site.
When you stand next to the thing you feel small, or smaller than normal, depending on how you view yourself. It's one of those vehicles that gear-heads freak out over. “People are always turning their heads,” Brian laughs.
Inside, it's as luxurious as a Cadillac–leather upholstery, massive amounts of leg room, and the brothers are working on putting in a DVD player and dash-mounted screen. “It's pretty much a never-ending project,” Brian acknowledges. So far they've spent about 65,000 dollars on the Hurricane Hunter, and Conley estimates they've had another 40,000 dollars' worth of equipment donated by the likes of BF Goodrich, Tag Mortorsports, Safari Gard, Rover Accessories, ARB, and KMC Wheels.
When you sit in the cab, playing with the switches that work the eight or so Xenon lights attached to the truck and listening to the soothing click and chug of the diesel, you can't help but think a week in the bush in Baja suddenly looks so much easier.–Joel Patterson
Go to www.transworldsurf.com for a full spec sheet on the Hurricane Hunter.