Buggy Whip Inc’s Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS
Keeping It Lit For Over 50 Years
Buggy Whip Inc has been in business for over 50 years now, designing, producing, and selling innovative lighted safety antennas for military, mining, construction, and of course motorsport applications all over the world. Their commitment to designing and building products with quality as the number 1 priority is second to none, and that commitment definitely shines through with this Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS built to commemorate their 50th Anniversary in business.
I was met by Russell Porter, President of Buggy Whip Inc, out in Pismo Beach, CA to get the rundown on their new build, and to push this “show car” to its limits. Russell’s grandfather started the company back in 1967, and since taking control of the company he really has pushed it to the next level. Russ’s passion and excitement for the brand, and for life in general is truly contagious, his stoke-meter is off the charts!
Starting off with a 2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS, a vehicle known for its race-bred high performance nature, they stripped it down to the chassis and started building from there, leaving almost nothing stock. From the interior to the exterior, nothing has gone untouched. Russ partnered up with some of the best companies in the industry to methodically put this build together, and even with this being a full show-car build, it definitely performs just as good as it looks! BFD Offroad supplied the cage, bumpers, doors, and that rad custom hood and roof, with Cognito Motorsports’ control arms, trailing arms, and rear links all adding much needed strength in the suspension department. ECP Powder Coating finished it all off with a metallic copper finish to match the custom designed wrap from Wolf Designs.
Even though this build was intended to be a show car, and he has only pushed it hard in the dunes, I have no doubt that this car could survive a desert race. I mean, we know Cognito’s suspension components are bomb proof, then add in the Summers Brothers axles and ZRP Racing billet knuckles and hubs (drool warning here), and there’s not much this X3 won’t survive. This isn’t a race car though, so with no rules to follow, that gave Russ the freedom to call up Evolution Powersports to have them hook it up with a 2018 X3 XRS fuel pump upgrade, big injectors, and their Stage 4 tune run through their Maptuner X mounted in a custom anodized billet housing and mounted via a Mob Armor magnet mount. Evo’s upgraded charge tubes and blow off valve kit handle the added boost pressure on the intake side, while their cat bypass pipe and “Captain’s Choice” cut out style muffler quickly alleviate back pressure on the exhaust side of the turbo. This exhaust is definitely one of my favorites for the X3, you get the quiet, throaty rumble from idle up until you reach 5psi of boost as the cutout is closed and it routes exhaust through the baffled side of the muffler, then the cutout opens once boost exceeds 5psi and your ears are gifted with that full straight pipe scream. Good tires are necessary to put all that added power to the ground, and Fullerton Sand Sports’ Sand Tires, mounted on Raceline Ryno beadlock wheels, definitely hook up well (I’m still flossing roosted sand out of my teeth, and my camera). Fuel Off Road Gripper R/T tires keep traction in check when not in the dunes, also on a matched set of Raceline wheels.
Up until now this may seem like your average performance build, beyond the custom hood and roof, all components are mostly off the shelf bolt on accessories. However, climb into the cockpit and things become quite a bit less average. PRP went wild by taking their Podium Elite seats and added in seat heating and cooling, and adjustable lumbar support before covering them in gorgeous red and black ostrich leather. Custom door bags and a roof liner were also finished in the same eye catching red material, with the door panels finished in black ostrich leather, all giving the interior an extremely well finished, exotic look. That’s not all though, Rugged Radios outfitted the car with their 660Plus Intercom System and Car to Car 60W mobile radio, mounted in their billet dash mount which was then mounted into the seriously bada** Fourwerx Carbon Fiber Race Dash. XTC Power Products keeps the wiring and switchgear clean and tidy, and a Lowrance HDS-9 GPS system handles navigation duties.
Obviously driver/passenger comfort and safety is at the forefront of this build, so you’ll find PRP 5.3 harnesses holding you into their beautiful seats, the driver will have full control of the car through the Assault Industries Ballistic Steering Wheel and ZRP Racing Billet Throttle Pedal, and you’ll have a perfectly clear view of your friends in the dust through the Assault Ind mirrors. Should you find yourself in the dust however, you’d be breathing clean air via the Rugged Radios MAC3.2 Air Pumper system fed though Mag Lock magnetic hose systems. SSV Works provided their Phase 5 Kicker Edition Stereo System to ensure the music is loud and clear enough to overpower that EVP cut-out exhaust at wide open throttle, and Baja Designs’ full spectrum of lighting equipment will keep the dunes or the trails lit far into the distance. Should things get a little too hot, a Safecraft AT5 fire suppression system along with two handheld extinguishers will put out any unwanted fires.
The coolest part about this build? It’s useable. Unlike a lot of show cars that you see, and this was built primarily as a show car, when this X3 is done running its circuit of shows and events, Russ can take it out and really use it exactly as it is. Look in the bed area and you’ll find a cargo rack and full Powertank set-up, and there’s a Warn winch mounted in the front bumper. This car would be just at home on the trails in Moab as it would be ripping the dunes in Glamis. It’s fit and finish is surely show car quality, and its performance and reliability reaches that of serious play car levels. It’s very fitting that Russ would build such a car to commemorate Buggy Whip’s 50th Anniversary. Not only are they known for building the brightest whips lighting the dunes, they’ve built an industry of lighted safety antennas over the past 50 years through their commitment to constructing the highest quality products designed to keep construction and mining crews safe, and their work areas lit. Here’s to another 50 years of keeping it “Lit In The USA.”
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