The First Jambo Of '02 Packs 'Em In
The 4-Wheel Jamboree Series ended its winter hiatus by screaming into Springfield, Missouri for an early May show. It brought with it a full plate of four-wheeling activities that covered virtually every aspect of the four-wheel-drive world. Seriously. No, really. You want proof? Look at these pictures. You'll see show-only trucks, monster trucks, tough trucks, daily-driven trucks, work trucks, and yes, even trail trucks.
Officially called the 5th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Ozark 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, this event is most commonly referred to by fans as, simply, the Missouri Jambo. Over the course of its five-year history it has enjoyed steady growth, possibly fueled by the avid outdoorsiness of the local population. After all, Springfield is set in a picturesque rolling, wooded countryside dotted with rock formations and shallow, rocky-bottomed creeks and rivers. It is terrain that begs to be explored. This area in southwest Missouri is becoming more and more popular on a national level as well, and the region even played host to the massive Camp Jeep this year, drawing thousands of Jeep owners to an area south of Springfield.
The Missouri Jambo contained three distinctly different areas. The Show-and-Shine was the largest of the three and contained several hundred 4x4s. All of these trucks were invited to roll through the drive-through judging area, where judges scored the vehicles in a variety of areas. The scores were tallied and the top finishers in a number of areas were awarded trophies and plaques at the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon. With all the cool trucks in attendance we had a heckuva time deciding who should win our coveted Four Wheeler Editor's Choice award, but after an excruciating process, we decided to pay homage to Brian Taylor from Wichita Falls, Texas, for his hard work in designing and building a totally trick '96 Chevy pickup.
Located near the Show-and-Shine was the Performance Marketplace, which featured a wide variety of vendors. Additionally, the Performance Marketplace contained the Family Fun Zone, which featured loads of stuff for kids including a clown and games, and the Main Stage, which is where the kids and adult games were held.
The loudest of the three areas was the infield, which hosted the six classes of NMRO-sanctioned side-by-side mud racing, from stockers to the unlimited four-wheel-drive dragsters. This infield competition drew the largest number of participants. The list of events here also included monster-truck racing, Tough Truck racing, a burnout competition and a Tug-A-Truck competition.
The fine folks at the Ozark Mountain 4x4 Club parked their trail trucks long enough to help with the logistics of the Jambo, and kudos go out to them for their donation of time and effort. They helped the Jambo achieve even more growth this year, and that trend promises to continue.