Tom demonstrated his Raptor for me....

...when I dropped by to get some toys out of BATF jail, and go get burgers and onion rings.

HO LEE FUK his Raptor got up and ran like a striped ass ape.

I was into muscle cars and did some amateur racing back in the day, and his friggin' Raptor would give a lot of old muscle cars a run for their money. Not saying it would beat all of them, but it would beat many of them. It is a true muscle truck.

And a very smooth ride. Suspension seemed soft and too comfy to me, until Tom demonstrated on a curb and other obstacles at speed. And not a trace of bump steer. Color me impressed.

I have a very capable 1971 FJ40 Land Cruiser, which is among the most respected off road rigs. Tom's Raptor is easily as capable if not more so, and a helluva lot more comfortable. That Land Cruiser is a very rough riding truck. And it has a helluva lot of bumpsteer. A lot had to be compromised to make it capable. The Raptor does not compromise away comfort and driveability.

And, I have a 2002 F350 7.3L diesel pickup. It is a very rugged truck, and will pull a house off its foundation. But it is not capable of driving off road at the speeds the Raptor will. The suspension is way too hard, which on a rough gravel road can cause the rear end to come around. The stiff suspension will be busting your back bouncing up and down. It was made to carry and tow things, not be used as a trail rig. Especially a very fast trail rig. It could be pushed like Tom did his on the varmint trip, but it would be punishing to anyone inside. I took it on a very rough road that has sections of gravel, rock, dirt and embedded boulders. It was as much as I would care to push the F350 off road. Too low (stock factory height), stock tires, too long of a wheelbase (crew cab long bed) and too much overhang. I was glad it it did not beat up the skidplates or hang up the rear bumper on ledges and boulders. I was also glad it did not fall through a wood bridge that had boards broken in two; at nearly 8000 lbs it was asking a lot of that old bridge. The F350 is a work truck. The Raptor is a play truck, and I mean rough play.

Would I buy a Raptor? Sure, if I had a winning lottery ticket. Just not in the cards. But if I had the money, oh hell yeah. Would still keep the FJ40 and F350, but that Raptor would be the fun rig for hunting, fishing, exploring, etc. Except in places where I might get the body scratched up. The FJ40 is more suitable for that.

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