Savvy Off-road: Lighter is Better
Being able to transition from doing something as a hobby to doing it for a living is an integral part of the American Dream. This seems to happen with more frequency in the automotive sector than in many others and we find that it makes for a passionate and enthusiastic group of people who are a genuine pleasure to work with. This is certainly the case with Savvy Offroad and its owner, Gerald Lee.
Gerald Lee got his start off-road at the tender age of eight. He, like so many other dirt enthusiasts, started on dirtbikes and worked his way up to four-wheeled off-roading in the form of Jeeps. In approximately 2006, Gerald and a friend were finding that there was a distinct lack of quality lightweight off-road parts available in the market. Many of the various skid plates and bumper bars were made of heavy duty steel which, when added to the weight of all the other components and parts needed to undertake serious trails, was causing significant strain on engines and suspensions.
Gerald figured that by removing weight from his vehicles he could get up and over the challenging obstacles in his preferred Johnson Valley much easier. He designed some test pieces and as it turns out, he was right. Thus was Savvy Off-road born. Their first real product was a fuel tank skid plate for the Jeep TJ model Wrangler. From there the company went on to produce other skid plates, aluminum trail doors, aluminum bumpers (these alone can save hundreds of pounds of weight from a vehicle over steel) and even specially designed tail lights for the TJ that solved the problem of stock units being broken off when wheeling.
One of the things that sets Savvy’s products apart from the competition is their highly detailed understanding of the properties of aluminum. They work almost exclusively with 6061-T6 aluminum and have created special dies and tooling to work it in such a way that it doesn’t break or become brittle. They also minimize welding on their parts due to the heat’s effect on the aluminum which will again make it very brittle.
Gerald’s true passion is for hitting the trails in the Johnson Valley and he has taken that passion to the extreme. Johnson Valley is probably best known now for the grueling King of the Hammers event that occurs in the beginning of every year. Gerald worked with the event’s organizers and other prominent figures in the off-road aftermarket like Currie Axles to create the “Every Man Challenge”, a class at KOH that is designed to showcase aftermarket parts and allow average enthusiasts to compete and possibly win. Savvy Off-road won the first four events outright and last year they came behind some much faster machines with Jessi Combs at the wheel.
“It’s our passion to create unique products that fill a need in the aftermarket. We find that our lightweight aluminum parts will take the same kind of abuse that steel parts will and do so at half the weight penalty. We seek to constantly improve our parts and one of the ways we do that is in the “Every Man Challenge” at King of the Hammers. We love taking part every year and we feel so lucky that we get to take our hobby and do it for a living,” said Gerald Lee, president of Savvy Off-road.
MagnaFlow is dedicated to building products of extremely high quality and its imperative to us that we work with companies and individuals who share that mindset. We’re proud to work with Savvy Off-road and we can’t wait to see what they do next.