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HITTING COLDENING WHERE IT LIVES

Gentle snow-beasts are advised to run for their lives:

What Icelanders call “jeeps” are actually massive, tricked-out pickups, armed with 4-foot-high wheels studded with steel cleats that allow them to climb mountains of snow and volcanic rock with earsplitting power.

Every weekend, normally placid Icelanders go wild in the volcanic highlands. Their heavily modified trucks sometimes fall into crevasses or break through ice and need winching out ...

These guys are serious:

Sveinbjörn Halldórsson, a 44-year-old real-estate agent from Reykjavík, drives a Chevy S10 pickup with a souped-up engine, 44-inch tires with spikes, and four kinds of radios and phones on the dashboard. Filling up the truck’s 240-liter tank (about 63 gallons) for the weekend costs him nearly $500, with gas costing $7.84 a gallon. He rolls with one of many so-called gangs on Iceland’s highly competitive 4x4 off-road vehicle scene.

Respect to the Icelanders. Long may they roll.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/05/2008 at 11:44 AM
  1. Icelandic gangs?

    Posted by charles austin on 2008 05 05 at 03:17 PM • permalink

  2. Uh oh.  What happens when Icelanders can’t afford their expensive truck toys anymore?  Back to long boats and raping and pillaging?

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 05 05 at 04:11 PM • permalink

  3. Well, now I know what people do in Iceland for kicks and giggles.

    Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 2008 05 05 at 05:17 PM • permalink

  4. Somebody brought out the jeeps?

    Posted by PW on 2008 05 05 at 05:26 PM • permalink

  5. That’s right, these are linear descendents of guys who used to row at England for a bit of a hit and giggle on the forshore. That was before Alfred the Great rallied the locals and put in place an education system to make Britain the clever country so they could go and make big pink spaces all over the world.

    Posted by Rafe on 2008 05 05 at 05:43 PM • permalink

  6. Top Gear’s Richard Hammond raced one of these beasts against a jet-powered kayak.

    Posted by Contrail on 2008 05 05 at 07:55 PM • permalink

  7. Between gas prices and the rising cost of food, beer and repairs, “these trips are getting very expensive,” says a rueful Rúnar Sigurjónsson, a member of the gang. “It can add up to the cost of a weekend in London. And a weekend in London is not as much fun."

    hmmm, let me guess what the big expense really is. [/jealousy]

    Posted by jpaulg on 2008 05 05 at 08:26 PM • permalink

  8. A hearty cheer for our Icelandic brethren. They are a shining example in these dark times.

    Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2008 05 06 at 06:47 AM • permalink

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