To transfer the power to the ground, not much was changed to keep up the reliability of the machine. The stock drive clutches and drive belt are used as are the transmission and rear differential. The front diff is stock as well, but utilizes a Holz billet cage instead of the stock Polaris unit, which has been known to fail. Summers Brothers axles replace the stock units but are still installed onto the OEM CV joints that transfer the power to the hubs where Walker Evans 14-inch beadlock wheels wrapped in Maxxis Bighorn tires get the traction to propel the machine forward. A Baja Designs LED lightbar is mounted to the top of the roll cage so that Matt can still see far into the night, and a Lowrance 540C is installed in perfect view of both driver and passenger to ensure they remain on course while racing. Communication between driver, passenger and crew is handled by the PCI radio system, and a PCI air pumper system guarantees they have clean air to breathe since they're racing through some of the dustiest conditions that at times limit visibility to just beyond your arm's length. A custom wrap from Utendorfer Designs makes the car stand out from any other and gives Parks' sponsors the signage they deserve for being part of a truly unique build.
The Completed Package
In early August of 2010, the machine was finished and delivered for Parks to take out and start testing before his first race in October. While two months of prep time sounds like plenty, it seems to fly by when you have to revalve suspension and make last-minute changes after the initial shakedown of any vehicle. When asked his impression of the machine after his shakedown, Matt had this to say: "I couldn't believe how well the thing handled. I knew it was good before all of the work was done, but everything worked together to make an awesome package. It handled excellently and had more than enough power for what I was wanting it to do."
In October of last year Matt entered the machine in its first race, the Best In The Desert BlueWater Desert Challenge. Showing up to the race with a unique machine generated plenty of buzz in the pits, but it was his win at the event that generated even more. We were able to convince Matt to bring his SxS out to Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, for a photo shoot and let me see firsthand how well this machine handled. As we finished up our photo session, I gave Matt the green light to run the RZR 4 on a track that was designed to simulate desert racing conditions for the Baja Cup Challenge. As I watched, it was easy to see how well his setup worked through the choppy sand washes, and even through some of the hammered trails it seemed to track perfectly, and judging from the in-car video footage I watched later that night, driving the machine seemed almost effortless.
This project of Matt's has proven that it never hurts to push the boundaries or be different from the rest of the crowd. He took a machine and went in the opposite direction of its intended use but with a positive end result. This just shows that it pays to be unique.