A life-long four-wheeler; at 53 Rick still owns and wheels the WWII Ford GPW jeep that he bought when he was 15 years old. It’s one of roughly 18 Jeeps in his current fleet.
Rick was among the first in his small group of friends in the Phoenix area who popularized wide (56-inch) axles for rockcrawling trail vehicles, and he was also the earliest proponent of axle articulation in a trail environment (in the mid ‘80s).
Rick’s Jeep was the first rockcrawler with Super Swamper Boggers, which proved very successful in a time when the 4x4 magazines were telling people never to use aggressive tires on rocks or sand.
In addition to trail riding, Rick also competed in off-road racing in a CJ-7, and has co-driven for Rod Hall and his sons in the Baja 1000, which he won.
As the owner of Republic Off-Road in Tempe, Arizona, Rick mentored many of the kids who are now big names in the world of competition rockcrawling and rock racing.
As a friend of Jimmy Nylund, who was then Tech Editor at Four Wheeler magazine, Rick contributed to the creation and the rulemaking of Four Wheeler’s now-popular Top Truck Challenge competition.
Rick’s GPW placed second in the very first Top Truck Challenge, missing first place by a fraction of a point in the scoring.
After having been hired as an editorial staff member on 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine in 1995, Rick helped redirect the magazine to make it more about functional four wheeling rather than about show trucks. This transition had a significant impact on the hobby that is still being seen today.
Also as a 4-Wheel & Off-Road staffer, Rick was the project manager of the “Elvis” ’97 Jeep Wrangler buildup vehicle. The success of this particular Wrangler ultimately helped lead to the creation of the production Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model.
Rick is a noted Jeep expert, a fact that led him to the editorship of Jp magazine.
As the editor of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, Rick has managed and led the Ultimate Adventure competition for 10 years. This event is a week-long on- and off-road drive where vehicles involved are not allowed to be trailered at any point.
Also as editor of 4-Wheel & Off-Road, Rick has led the influential 4x4 of the Year competition for 10 years. This is an annual test of all the newly introduced 4x4s each model year.
Pewe, along with friend David Freiburger, are well known among magazine readers for their Dirt Every Day adventures, which are freewheeling road trips that involve budget 4x4s and crazy adventures that require four wheeling every day of the trip. The most significant was driving a bone stock WWII jeep from Phoenix to Fairbanks, Alaska, and back.
Rick has four-wheeled all over the world, including Mexico, Canada, Belize, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Spain.