OG Rockcrawler still in the comp scene, Steve Nantz on Episode 65


OG Rockcrawler Steve Nantz of Sandhollow Offroad joins us in Episode 65.  Steve’s career has taken him all over the west, many know him from his 16 years at Moab 4×4 Outpost and the outstanding service we all received there.  Now at the burgeoning mecca of Sand Hollow, Steve still offers outstanding service.

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3:29 – I BMX’d a lot, sponsored rider for Kuwahara

4:45 – started off-roading in the mountains near San Diego

5:54 – we just declared war

8:34 – every day you act as if you’re at war, the difference is you’re loading live ammunition now

11:51 – joined the Mountaineers Jeep Club, that is a great club

13:12 – I went to Moab and broke my t-case, got offered a job

14:52 – I actually spotted for Kevin Hawkins at the very first rockcrawl

16:51 – my buggy was fighter jet style with a seat behind, that was the Centipede

20:07 – Four Wheelers Supply bred really good fabricators

23:32 – it was scary, I’d never been a business owner

29:14 – That’s how we built our reputation in Moab

35:29 – it just worked out good for everybody

40:45  – it really is the Mecca for wheeling

46:16 – when you fabricate, you get to be creative


We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.



On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have none other than Steve Nantz. Steve has been around the offroad world for a long time.

[00:01:30.490] – Big Rich Klein

I believe the first time I met him may have been an ARCA event, but we’ll get into all that history. I know that he’s been the owner of MOAB 4×4 Outpost and now Sand Hollow and we’ll get into all that history. So, Steve, thank you for coming on board and being part of conversations with Big Rich and sharing your life and history in Off Road with our listeners.

[00:01:54.070] – Steve Nantz

It’s a pleasure to be here, Rich

[00:01:56.200] – Big Rich Klein

so we’ve been we’ve been friends a long time, but there’s a lot about you that I don’t know and I’m sure there’s a lot out there that that would like to know the things that we’re going to discuss. So let’s jump right into it. And where did you grow up?

[00:02:12.670] – Steve Nantz

So I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Which is flat, just flat as can be, and which is kind of crazy to get it off road industry growing up there, but that’s where I started.

[00:02:27.330] – Big Rich Klein

You know, I always say Wyoming is the Indian word for always windy here.

[00:02:33.450] – Steve Nantz

That’s correct. It snows sideways there.

[00:02:37.410] – Big Rich Klein

So you grew up in in Wyoming. That’s where you went to school, born and raised or did you when did.

[00:02:45.260] – Steve Nantz

Yeah. Pretty. Yeah, pretty much. I graduated high school in Cheyenne and pretty much immediately after high school I joined the Navy and did four years work on airplanes as a hydraulic mechanic stationed on a couple aircraft carriers and actually went to Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I was over there for two tours, so. Oh, wow.

[00:03:09.840] – Big Rich Klein

So let’s go back to those early years in Cheyenne and in school or in those school years. What was your first foray into the off-road industry or off roading or, you know, were you a bicycle kid or motorcycle ATV?

[00:03:29.950] – Steve Nantz

Yeah, you know, back then, I, I BMX a lot, I was actually sponsored by Kuwahara for a period of time and did a lot of freestyle competition. Oh wow. And my my dad bought me a CJ5 that was the first vehicle I ever owned. And so I learned how to shift a manual transmission in a CJ5.

[00:03:53.560] – Big Rich Klein

So how old were you then?

[00:03:56.380] – Steve Nantz

Oh gosh. I was probably 14 or 15 years old when I got that Jeep. And so I’d go out in the field in front of our house and just practice shifted. And and, of course, going out in the field, you know, it’s kind of off roading, I suppose. So I just really enjoyed it. That was a fun time in my life growing up.

[00:04:16.750] – Big Rich Klein

Did you guys off road before that, hunting wise or something like that?

[00:04:20.950] – Steve Nantz

No, no, my dad was an avid hunter and we’d go hunting, but we didn’t really ever off road. So I didn’t really get into operating until after I got out of the military. Well, actually, I won’t say that while I was in the military. I started to get into off roading. So I had the opportunity to buy another jeep while I was in the military that was all fixed up and didn’t have big tires and it didn’t have lockers and anything like that.

[00:04:45.670] – Steve Nantz

But so we’d go out, you know, on our days off and in San Diego and there’s a couple of mountain ranges there, we’d go out and have some fun with them.

[00:04:54.680] – Big Rich Klein

So, OK, in school, those high school years, were you into sports or scholastic or just kind of did your own thing?

[00:05:04.840] – Steve Nantz

You know, I did my own thing. And like I say, I was I was heavily into freestyle, you know, on BMX riding. So that’s that’s that was my total focus at that period of time.

[00:05:15.190] – Big Rich Klein

Do you mind me asking when you graduated from high school?

[00:05:18.940] – Steve Nantz

Oh, gosh, that was 86, 1986.

[00:05:22.390] – Big Rich Klein
  1. OK, and then how soon after high school did you go into the military?
[00:05:28.420] – Steve Nantz

So I was in the military. I went in in late 88. So I was in eighty let’s say 88, 89, now 89, 1991, 92. All right.

[00:05:45.190] – Big Rich Klein

And that Desert Storm, that was the going into the Middle East with the Iraqi situation, correct?

[00:05:54.610] – Steve Nantz

Yeah. Yeah, that’s correct. In fact, you know, I was just I wasn’t even 20, 21 years old. I was 20 years old at the time. And I remember our captain came on the radio on the aircraft carrier and said, you know, that we just declared war and that we’re going to be the first the first people over there. And so that was a little bit scary for a young kid. But, you know, on an aircraft carrier, you’re pretty safe.  READ MORE

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