The most desired chassis for building serious off-road Pre-Runners and 1450 Class Desert Racing Trucks is arguably the 82-97 Ford Ranger.
Yellow Jacket Motorsports now carries a high quality, DIY, LS Engine Motor Mounting kit for the Ranger, precisely for this reason.
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In fact, the Ford Ranger could be considered synonymous with desert-style off-road racing with maybe only the venerable Volks Wagon powered buggies and bugs being more universally thought of when one thinks of desert racing.
Since the Ford Ranger has historically been the best selling compact truck in America there are still plenty out there available for builds.
Consequently, they can be picked up at very reasonable prices.
Dozens and dozens of aftermarket parts providers make building yourself a serious pre-runner or race truck an easy task. The hard part is going to be choosing how you want the truck to look, ride, and run when choosing your parts.
I came across two great articles to help get anyone started when looking to build a genuine off-road machine. Click here for the articles. And enjoy!