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A "'caruggy'" or tarapopp is a specialized off-road vehicle. Caruggy is a portmanteau of the words car and buggy. Some people[who?] think that the caruggy nomenclature is derived from using a car frame as the basis for the vehicle, whereas a "buggy" would have started from the chassis of a Volkswagen Bug. Actually the "caruggy" is the "unlimited class", full tube chassis brainchild of Tim Lawrence (TLR Performance Fabrication) of El Cajon, Ca. With the help of Travis Rojas (the co driver). It is a morph between a "Trophy car" and a "Race Buggy". It is simply put, a giant front engined race buggy, like a car. Race buggies were historically rear engine.
Caruggy are built for off-road racing. They are built at specialty shops that know and understand the rules of the racing classes. Popular racing series that include these vehicles are the Baja 1000, Baja 500, The Mint 400, the 1400-mile Vegas to Reno, etc. Caruggies are built from scratch, not heavily modified street vehicles that have been altered to the point that they barely resemble their original form. A caruggy generally has several defining features:
- A tube chassis, integrated race cage, front engine
- Large off-road tires.
- Long-travel suspension, featuring a solid axle in the rear and independent suspension in the front.
- Low gearing
- Locking differentials
Caruggys are often equipped with powerful engines and may be two wheel drive. They are built and used for off-road use only.
The main use of caruggies are desert racing, such as the Baja 1000. They are not to be confused with "Rock Crawlers".
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