Land Cruiser Afficionado, Kurt Williams, knows every little thing you can know about Land Cruisers. That’s what happens when you take them apart piece-by-piece and then put them back together. From business to cars, Kurt knows his stuff; since 2001 he’s been at the head of Cruiser Outfitters. Join us as we talk Toyotas and adventure – lots of worldwide adventure, with Kurt.
6:08 – the real school, the actual university, University of Utah
10:05 – that’s when I started recognizing the difference between a Land Cruiser and a Jeep
16:44 – we went full in, it spiraled out of control as we started taking things apart
22:57 – this is like paradise for me
28:13 – had no intentions of doing anything beyond helping Daryl sell off the business
41:44 – let’s talk about Expedition 7
51:23 – we had a Russian fixer with us
Special thanks to Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine for their support of this podcast.
[00:01:39.180] – Big Rich Klein
On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Kurt Williams. Kurt is one of three Williams that I know in the Utah area, but he’s not one of the two brothers that most people think. I thought so at first, but I was corrected years ago. Kurt is the owner of Cruiser Outfitters. We’re going to talk about that business. We’re going to talk about the cruiser heritage museum. We’re going to talk about Xpedition 7 and X Overland and everything else that evolves around Kurt. Kurt, thank you for coming on board and spending some time with us.
[00:02:19.580] – Kurt Williams
Well, thank you, Rich. Thanks for having me.
[00:02:22.010] – Big Rich Klein
Let’s start off right away. Where were you born and raised?
[00:02:28.420] – Kurt Williams
I’m from right here in Utah. In fact, I’m at my shop here in Murray, and I was born in Murray as well, so not too far away. I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot around the world and different places, but I just can’t really think of anywhere I’d want to live other than Utah, primarily because of all the amazing recreation opportunities we have here.
[00:02:47.910] – Big Rich Klein
Right. And that is big there. Of course, there’s people out there that are trying to stomp on all that, especially motorized. Maybe we’ll get into some of that.
[00:02:59.880] – Kurt Williams
We can talk all about that, too. You bet.
[00:03:03.200] – Big Rich Klein
So how did growing up in Murray, what was it like back… You’re in your late 30s now?
[00:03:11.480] – Kurt Williams
Early 40s. I appreciate you saying that. That’s kind of you to say, but early 40s.
[00:03:16.440] – Big Rich Klein
Early 40s. So what was it like growing up in Murray 40 years ago?
[00:03:23.360] – Kurt Williams
You know, awesome. I really loved this whole area. I actually grew up in Sandy, which is just a little further south of here, all one giant conglomerate of city. But I was fortunate. We grew up right on the south end of Sandy, like the sandy draper border. And all growing up, we had an area just five minutes away called Corner Canyon. And I grew up riding dirt bikes up there. You could shoot guns up there, and certainly all through high school, could four wheel up there. And it was a mix of private land and then forest service land on the upper sides of it. Unfortunately, nowadays, it’s all homes and development and closed off trails to motorize, which is so unfortunate because that’s really what got me so interested in offroading is the fact that we could ditch school or take a long lunch and go offroading for a few hours in the middle of the day. We did that a lot, too.
[00:04:13.200] – Big Rich Klein
Right. And what kind of student were you?
[00:04:18.320] – Kurt Williams
I’d say middle of the road. I enjoyed school and had a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t call myself a pure academic. I did exactly what it took to get through and get decent enough grades that my parents didn’t put the hammer down on me. But I had a lot of fun in high school and junior high, too. So many great adventures and still very fond memories of all the fun things that we did that probably still shouldn’t talk about too many of them to this day.
[00:04:46.920] – Big Rich Klein
Especially if you ever have plans on running for political office.
[00:04:51.460] – Kurt Williams
Right. There’s photos and video that will pop up one of these days, so I have to watch myself.
[00:04:56.760] – Big Rich Klein
Right, I get it. While in school, did you participate in sports or scouting or anything extra?
[00:05:08.260] – Kurt Williams
Yeah, I was really involved in scouting, which is a big thing here in Utah, or was, at least then. It’s tapered off now for a variety of different reasons. But boy scouts are really big, so that had me in the outdoors a lot. And then I played Little League football, and I wrestled all through high school as well.
[00:05:25.360] – Big Rich Klein
Okay, a wrestler. When you wrestled, what weight division did you start off as a freshman, I would imagine?
[00:05:35.020] – Kurt Williams
I was a little guy. I wrestled 119 as a freshman and a sophomore. Maybe sophomore, I was up to 125. And by my senior year, I had to cut quite a bit away, but I was wrestling 152 and 160.
[00:05:49.960] – Big Rich Klein
Wow. Okay. Interesting. And did you go to… I’m going to guess here. You went to college, is that correct?
[00:06:01.210] – Kurt Williams
Yeah, I did. I was right here in Utah. READ MORE