Word on the street is that, Ron Bryant of Silver Valley, Idaho is selling his 1999 Kawasaki ATV. This “green machine” is built with a roof from an old Toyota 4-runner, a 1953 Jeep front end, headlights pillaged form a ’53 Studebaker and possibly a lot of duck tape. Buy this and people will stop and stare at you like a deer in the headlights, correction, at the deer in your headlights. The deer skull hood ornament has eyes that light up.
Decorated with American flags and patriotic stars, the custom-ATV has become a fixture in this small Idaho town, but after seven years, Bryant, a Vietnam-veteran, knows it’s time to hang up the keys and replace it with something more practical.
What’s not practical?
The ATV is a one-of-a-kind, cobbled together hodgepodge of parts collected from local junkyards. The roof is from an old Toyota 4Runner, and the front end is from a 1953 Jeep, featuring ’53 Studebaker headlights. Bryant, who used to overhaul cars and motors, has also installed small working doors, and Jeep step-ups after rocks were kicking up and abusing his legs.
“I’m just a Vietnam vet who pieced this thing together little by little. I used to work on motors, and I work on ATVs for other guys still. I can’t quit,” Bryant said. “This thing has really just been put together at the junkyards. I know the guys down there, I help them. I’ve hauled some cars for them and showed them how to weld and do mechanical work, and they scratch back. I’ve given out about 200 pictures of it, and I think it’s in an ATV book somewhere.”
Every little item on Bryant’s rig has a story behind it. From the flashing light attached to the back of the ATV, “my neighbor likes to drink a bit, and nearly drove into the back of me a few times,” to the goggles protecting the deer skull adorning his grill, “why the goggles? There’s bulbs in the eyeballs, and they cost me a buck fifty every time it rained, so I put sunglasses on him.”