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Jeep Wrangler TJ - 4 Word - Show Time

Posted in Events on March 1, 2003
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Every year, right around the Halloween season, the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) holds its annual convention in Las Vegas. For those in the automotive parts business, it's the event of the year. Everyone who's anyone shows up to promote all of their latest inventions, which not only gives others in the industry a chance to do business, but gives magazine editors a chance to preview all the new and interesting parts that will be hitting the shelves later in the year. It's four days of automotive mayhem.

For those in the off-road industry, this was a banner year. It seemed like everyone had something new to put on display. There were no less than four brand-new TJ suspensions, nearly a dozen skidplates and bumpers, and a slough of accessories ranging from air compressors to wiring harnesses. However, there were two items that I thought were particularly impressive and really caught my imagination.

The first was the latest brainchild from American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), whose longstanding history of fabrication work, bordering on artistry, was well born out here. Simply put, it took a TJ Wrangler, cut it just behind the front seats, enclosed the cab, and put a truck bed on it. The company calls it The Brute. Words simply can't do it justice. The first time I laid eyes on it, it was sitting in the DaimlerChrysler booth looking like nothing so much as a modern rendition of an FJ45. It was so clean, so perfect, that at first I thought it was a one-off prototype that the Jeep boys had brought out to tease us with. I wanted it.

David Harriton at AEV informed me that for a relatively modest fee, AEV will gladly perform the same transformation on any new Wrangler TJ. If it piques your interest as much as it did mine, you can reach AEV at (406) 251-2100,

Second on my list of outstanding products was the new Krawler tire from BFGoodrich, but not the one everyone's been taking pictures of. In an interesting move that speaks directly to the off-road market, BFG will be selling a version of the Krawler that comes with only a partial tread design, leaving about 50 percent of the tread area to be custom-grooved by the buyer. For those who thrive on re-cutting, siping, and grooving their tires for better performance, this is an extraordinary development. This version of the Krawler will make the perfect slate for custom groovers to experiment and develop their own designs.

For a look at the many other new products that were debuted at SEMA this year, go to page 63 where you'll find 50 of the most interesting aftermarket parts we discovered at this year's show. Enjoy.

VP Group Publisher/
Truck Group
Dave Withrow
Editorial Director Kevin Wilson
Editor Mark Nobles
Technical Editor Christian Lee
Assoc. Editor Kevin McNulty
Group Managing Editor Daniel Rivera
Copy Editor Vanessa Roveto
Editorial Assistant Sergio Euzarraga
Staff Contributors Allyson Harwood
Contributing Editors &

Chris Collard, Phil Dayton,
Russ Douglas, Mike House,
Phil Howell, Tony Huegel,
Sue Mead, Allen Merritt,
Mark Werkmeister

The Truck Group On The

Corp. Creative Director Paul Graff S
Art Dept. Managers Ron Huber
  Dean MacFadden
Art Dept. Assoc. Managers Shelley Baugh
  Jong Cadelina
Art Director Trish Assip
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Manufacturing Greg Parnell
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Production Manager Jennifer Mulroney
Production Coordinator Lisa Holland
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Advertising Director Tom Catone
Off-Road Group
Sales Manager
Steve VonSeggern
Advertising Sales Manager David Hamilton
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Ryan Alderson, John Filipiak,
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  212/716-8467 phone
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Maiorana &
Partners, {{{LTD}}}
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248/546-2222 phone
248/546-0019 fax
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Director of Marketing
David {{{M}}}. Cohen
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Nick Singh
President & CEO
Craig L. Nickerson
EVP, Sales & Marketing
Thomas B. Ryan Jr.
VP, Group Publisher
Dave Withrow
VP, Consumer Marketing
Bobbi Gutman
VP, Production
Nick Elsener
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John W. Cobb III
President & CEO
David G. Ferm
Chief Operating Officer
Daniel E. Aks
EVP, Consumer Marketing
Steven Aster
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Editorial Director
Elizabeth Crow
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Linda C. Jenkins
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& Distribution
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& Operations
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