— A UTV in disguise custom build —

Rugged Radios has come up with some really wild builds to showcase Rugged’s products, including the Baja Bug RZR (September 2016), Willy’s Jeep Polaris General (July 2017), Manx Beach Buggy RZR Turbo (January 2017)  and the Warrior Maverick X3. Rugged’s latest rolling billboard is this wild Milner ’32 Coupe from the cult classic American Graffiti. At first glance the build looks like a Ford 1932 Coupe street rod, but it’s actually a stretched 2018 Polaris RZR XP Turbo with a fiberglass body, complete with a trunk lid by County Line Rods and installed on the stretched and chopped XP chassis (with a six-point cage) by NVFab’s Nick Valentine, who also did the other Rugged builds.

As cool as the Milner ’32 Ford Coupe was in American Graffiti, we bet it couldn’t wheelie on loose sand or jump dunes like this Rugged Radios RZR XP Turbo ’32 Coupe build from NVFab, Ruff-Stuff, Walker Evans Racing, KC Hilites and GMZ.

The XP Turbo was stretched a foot and retains its rear-engine 925cc ProStar with an aftermarket Boondocker Turbo, which produces 200 horsepower at 20 pounds of boost (Boondocker also powered the Baja Bug). For a totally realistic build, the ’32 Coupe sports a plastic display 350-cubic-inch engine up front, complete with headers, valve covers, and an intake manifold with carburetors. Remove the right-front velocity stack to fill the gas tank, which is actually the oil pan converted into an 8-gallon fuel cell. The fiberglass radiator cowling hides the radiator and intercooler, and KC Hilites 8-inch Rally lights really add to the off-road hot-rod. The bright yellow paint by Grossini’s Auto Body and Paint and antique-distressed Rugged Radios garage decals by Wolf Designs keep the ’60s replica real. The build even has a retractable soft top by Legacy Products.

RuffStuff’s RZR XP suspension kit is not only lighter and stronger than stock with more ground clearance, it increases width and travel for $3500. The kit was chromed, and Walker Evans Racing needle shocks with performance upgrades were valved to work with the long-travel kit.


The dash blends the retro ’32 look with state-of-the-art electronics, including Rugged Radios’ waterproof 25-watt UHF/VHF radio and RRP660 Plus intercom, XP Turbo digital instrument cluster and switches, XTC turn-signal kit and toggle switches for the KC Hilites lights. The steering wheel is by Assault Industries with a quick-connect kit, and the bench seat is a custom PRP with PRP four-point harnesses. The panel behind the seat got tuck-n-roll upholstery, and the plastic console was replaced by a sectional metal tunnel with a custom piston shifter for the Polaris dual-range CVT. Leather panels inside the ’32 Coupe doors have leather, elastic-top storage compartments.

The front end gets pretty light in the ’32 Coupe, but it’s because of the Boondocker Dominator turbo kit ($2,995), which includes an upgraded turbocharger, clutch kit, DynoJet tuner, charge, and intake tubes and mounting hardware. It produces 193–210 horsepower, depending on fuel and boost, yet is very driveable and dependable.


The sand-surfing ’32 had to have trick suspension that could pass as a classic hot rod, so Rugged owner Greg Cottrell called on Hammer King Shannon Campbell’s RuffStuff to supply trailing and dual front A-arms, which got a healthy chrome coating. The ZP1K and Turbo kit is $3500 and is constructed of 4130 chromoly 0.120-wall tubing and 0.188-inch plates, 7075 aluminum and 300M materials. Hardware includes 3/4- and 5/8-inch heat-treated chromoly heim joints, stainless steel, heat-treated 5/8- and 7/8-inch Uniballs housed in chromoly cups, and both 3/4- and 7/8-inch knuckle and steering pins. The RuffStuff suspension kit also includes Grade 8 and 10.9 bolts. This kit won the King of the Hammers UTV race, so you know it can handle the dunes!

Here’s the real engine with the Boondocker Dominator turbo kit and the stock exhaust; this is protected by Safecraft’s on-board fire suppression system. Safecraft UTV systems run $537 to $899 but are cheap insurance, as the enclosed ’32 Coupe body really retains heat.

Walker Evans Racing’s 2.5 needle shocks with true dual-rate springs, cross-over adjusters and performance upgrades work with the RuffStuff RZR XP long-travel suspension kit, which also has chromed high-clearance lower front arms and link rods for an extra 3 inches of ground clearance. Sandcraft supplied the custom driveline, which is required because of the 12-inch stretch. Sandcraft’s Turbo Upgrade driveline combo includes a Sandcraft carrier bearing, larger U-joints, yokes and tubing starting at $1100. Brakes are upgraded with a Hayes master cylinder and hubs with a Chevy six-bolt pattern are by Zollinger Race Products.

For a cleaner dash, the OEM tilt steering was disabled, and the steering wheel and hub are by Assault Industries. Rugged’s RRP660 Plus Bluetooth intercom and waterproof 25-watt UHF/VHF radio provide ’60s tunes and communications while cruising the dunes.

For the UTV Takeover, the ’32 Coupe sported 15-inch Raceline Chrome Smoothies fitted with GMZ 30×13-15 front and 16-paddle 30×15-15 Sand Strippers. For general off-road use and street burn-outs, Cottrell fits his ’32 Turbo with 31-inch BFG KR2 rubber.

A chrome firewall reflects the fake small-block engine complete with a Rugged carbon fiber “distributor.” The headers and intake add weight, and the valve covers are removable for extra storage. The oil pan is actually an 8-gallon fuel cell, which is filled by removing the right-front velocity stack.


Cruising the dunes has to be done in the dark much of the year, so the Rugged Coupe has a KC Hilites Gravity Pro-6 light bar with seven Pro-6 LED pods. KC’s 45-inch universal combo LED light bar (#91314) throws 16,100 raw lumens out 1,562 meters with a 140-watt output. This combination also fits the Maverick X3 (#91334) and retails for $1,922.99. Headlights are custom 8-inch halogens in vintage housings.


Rugged Radios

951 E. Grand Ave.

Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

(888) 541-7223


RuffStuff Specialties

3237 Rippey Rd.

Loomis, CA 95650

(916) 600-1945


NV Fabrication

Grover Beach, CA

(805) 748-8453


KC Hilites

2843 W. Avenida De Luces

Williams, AZ 86046

(888) 689-5955

(928) 635-2607, ext. 1020


Boondocker, LLC

2379 Heyrend Way

Idaho Falls, ID 83402

(208) 542-4411


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