Matt Henwood is one of our experts, and is passionate about overlanding because it blends two of his loves, motorsports and the great outdoors. Matt considers himself an outdoorsman, and enjoys rowing, hunting, fly fishin, hiking with his wife Kristen and their dog Gunner, and exploring new areas of the world whenever possible. Matt has been to amazing places around the world, including areas throughout the Western United States including Alaska, Eastern and Western Canada, Europe, and even South Africa.
Matt’s love of automobiles began at a young age while working on old British sports cars with his father, Tom, and his brother, Peter. At age 12, while most kids were inside playing video games, Matt was tearing down old Triumph engines and completely rewiring vehicles. When Matt turned 16 he began modifying his own cars, and still does to this day. Matt is very competitive, and has his SCCA National Competition License, racing a Spec Miata with his brother Peter in both sprint and endurance races. As a two time graduate of the prestigious Bob Bondurant School of Performance Driving, and a multiple time podium finisher throughout his racing career, Matt knows how to test the limits of vehicles.
Matt’s experience working on cars is very diverse, from English classics, German sports cars, and American hot rods, to classic and modern- day 4×4′s and motorcycles. Matt also has vast experience buying and selling specialty vehicles within and outside of the United States, shipping cars to Australia, Belgium, Denmark and the UK. Matt is also formally trained in business, and holds his MBA in marketing.
Matt began overlanding in a 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ62, affectionately named “Bertha.” The 60 Series Land Cruiser is a classic, and one of the tried and true overland vehicles due to its space for hauling gear as well as its amazing off-road capabilities. Matt and Bertha explored much of the East Coast including the northern woods of Maine. Over time he rebuilt and modified most aspects of his vehicle including:
- Old Man Emu Heavy Duty Suspension
- 4Runner Brake Upgrade
- Front knuckle & Hub Rebuilds
- Welding and Modifying Body Panels for Optimal Off-Road Use
- Rhino Lined Lower Body
- American Racing Teflon Coated Wheels
- 33×12.5 BFG All-Terrain Tires
- ARB Front Bumper with IPF Lights
- Warn 8274 Winch
- Custom Sliders with Side-Steps
- Custom Rear Bumper with Tire Swingout, Jerry Can holder, Rear Quarter Protection, Recovery Points
- New Tuff Duck Seat Covers
- ConFerr Roof Rack with Hi-Lift Jack
- Motor Modifications
Matt’s current overland vehicle is a 2009 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited, aptly named “Rubi.” The Rubicon is one of the best out of the box overland vehicles on the market today. Matt has overlanded throughout PA, NJ, VT and ME. Last year, Matt attended the Vermont Overland Rally where his Jeep made it out of the advanced 4×4 clinic by O.E.X. without incident or damage.
Rubi’s current modifications include:
- Gobi Stealth Roof Rack
- 2.5 inch Lift
- Mopar Winter Steel Wheels
- 35×12.5×17 BFG Mud Terrains
- AEV Rear Corner Protectors
- AEV Fuel Caddy
- AEV Procal
- Eezi Awn 1600 Rooftop Tent