I nominate the Caterpillar, and will just list all the upgrades.
Meet the Caterpillar… or rather a highly upgraded 1988 Craftsman GT18. It had a rough life before me as it was retired from mowing to drag logs up a hill, successfully I heard from the PO. The PO before him had done the Caterpillar repaint with decals, and that is what caught my eye on ebay, that and the 18 HP horizontal shaft Briggs & Stratton opposed twin engine, I bought it and drove the three hours for it, each way.
Once home I assessed the bare basic machine, it was dismal, but it did have two things going for it… starting with it ran good, and the hi/low transaxle worked well, once I freed up the range pin. So I began to use it as a go to machine and kept asking why I still had it. So I decided abuse it more and more to make the transaxle fail so I could have the engine for another project. After a year or two of it still working after dragging around steel I-beams 16 foot long and a 1000 pound trailer, I decided it needed some more features.
So I added a sleeve hitch, which was manual… I wasn’t going to have any of that from the start, so off to Harbor Freight I went to buy, a 2000 pound electric winch. I had seen a few people make this modification, but they all did it wrong, they mounted the winch way to low. I decided to put my winch, on a pedestal, literally. I mounted it to a 4 inch channel iron to stick it up to about the middle of the back of the seat. The winch creates effortless sleeve hitch operation, however, I had to finally address the issue of the battery not charging.
Could have just fixed the under the flywheel alternator, but, this is a work horse, I wanted off the shelf parts. So I mounted a 37 amp Delco-Remy alternator and wired it in. Instead of screwing with the old wiring, which had been highly hacked, I ripped it all out, and installed new, larger gauge wiring all around. Another thing I didn’t leave to chance was switches and gauges. All the old switches and gauges were replaced by automotive grade components. The ignition switch is for a commercial grade truck, the starter solenoid a pickup truck, and the ammeter was replaced by a voltage gauge. It works great, even with a few relays in the system to not fry the magneto… again LOL.
I finally got it to the next level recently, with the new tires. The front tires are 16x6.5-8 snow hog pattern snowblower tires mounted on the original front rims, giving superb steering capability. But the rears needed to be aggressive, so I turned to the ATV tire market. I found a brand new pair of 26x10.5-12 Titan brand Mud Monster tires, and mounted them on Cub Cadet brand 12x8.5 wide rear rims. I forwent filling the tires with fluid for now in favor of 100 pounds of cast iron wheel weights on each wheel (weights are mounted inside and out).
I followed the tires with a custom built front winch bumper. If I get a chance to I will bolt the winch on and update this before voting begins. There are more plans in the Caterpillars future because this year… I plan to break the transaxle.