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Charles Cotta is a name you might not recognize unless you know the “4X4”, a term used for four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering, a revolutionary idea that changed the automotive industry globally, inspired new methods of technological, mechanical ways of doing things.

Cotta, as far as is known, had no extended education, no engineering degree, but made all parts of the Cotta-mobile by hand, tooling and retooling, cutting and re-cutting. No “warehouse of parts” existed. Welding as we know it had yet to be developed. Charles Cotta, born and raised in Lanark, IL, was a self-taught genius in his field of expertise.