Kings of the Road
Photos by Geoff Wood
When a passion for cars and collaboration happens between two close friends, off-road legacies are made. While all vehicles play the role of getting us where we need to go, some just make it more fun. The vintage vehicles hand-selected for renovations by Carolina Off-Road Outfitters are those that have acquired a cult-like following. With communities of people exploring back roads, custom paint colors, and technology options, this Raleigh vehicle haven is a gathering place for some of the most loved adventure vehicles.
When Tyler Morris met Jeff Nicholson through a mutual friend in Wilmington, North Carolina, neither knew that they would one day be business partners. Jeff and his family were preparing to moving to Raleigh, where Tyler also resided. The duo quickly found many similarities that personally put them in each other’s lives. The Morris and Nicholson families were both raising children around the same ages, attended the same church, and shared many of the same friends. Tyler and Jeff got to share time in one another’s lives and also discovered their shared passion for vintage Land Cruisers. And the search began.
After the thrill of the hunt comes the first purchase of a classic off-road vehicle in need of some love. Jeff and Tyler purchased a 1973 gem and began their passion project. After a motor swap, paint and body work, and new tires along with a lift, the duo knew that they were onto something. In 2015, Tyler and Jeff rented a space, hired their first employee, and Carolina Off-Road Outfitters was born. What started through word of mouth from friends who shared the love of vintage vehicles, quickly grew into a trusted name for vehicle restoration and renovation. While their devotion to the Land Cruiser is intense, partly due to Tyler’s 6’5” frame that easily fits into one, they are an equal opportunity renovation resource. With custom work on most any vehicle brought in, “the sky is the limit. Whatever you can come up with, we can make it work,” says Tyler. All of the vehicles that come in contact with Carolina Off-Road Outfitters leave with their own unique identity.
The deep green beauty that graces the cover off this issue is the first vehicle that Jeff and Tyler purchased together. Their friendship and passion created a business that facilitates all of the creativity that their customers can dream up. With craftsmanship and integrity, the pair behind Carolina Off-Road Outfitters creates the vehicles that off-road dreams are made of.