For years, SEMA was the place for exhibitors to debut their newest items. And many still do, but for the off-road world that may be changing, as the Off-Road Expo is becoming the place to be. The crowds of enthusiasts seem to be bigger every year.
The Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo (Powered by General Tire, don’t forget) powered into the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California, on September 30 and October 1, 2017. The turnout of both enthusiasts and companies for the fall edition of the Off-Road Expo (The spring-timed Off-Road Expo is in Scottsdale, Arizona) proved that the sport is alive and well as the 2017 event had 10 percent more folks walking around than in 2016. The exhibitor list was filled nearly a year beforehand, so they packed as many parts in as possible too.
Little surprise really, as the Fairplex is a great place for a show, and the weather was very nice. The multiple large rooms along and surrounding avenues were packed with vendor’s booths and hundreds of off-road vehicles of all kinds and shapes. Being geezers ourselves, we especially liked the vintage race vehicles, but there were more UTVs and SxS related parts than ever before. Many of the major OEM’s were on hand and the more than 70,000 fans on hand were eager to see the latest from over 350 exhibitors.
With this year being the 50th annual Baja 1000, SCORE had some great old racers (cars and guys!) to go along with their usual gigantic display. They played race footage on a gigantic screen and had interviews going throughout the weekend, but a highlight was when they unveiled the 2017 Baja 1000 course map.
Some exhibits were elaborate. Thanks to Pro Comp, Smittybilt, and Rubicon Express (think 4 Wheel Parts), there was the rockcrawling course set up where folks were able to take real Jeep rides up and over the obstacles.
There was also some Pro 2, Pro Lite, and Kart drivers putting in some hot laps on their course. The action was great, and the crowd came running when they fired up their engines. Some of the Kart kids were really flying, and it was fun to watch everyone smoking the tires around the corners.
As usual, the Off-Road Expo was a great way to spend the day. No matter how you like your dirt served up, there was something for everyone to ogle and put on the Christmas list. Just in time for next riding season, the Spring 2018 Off-Road Expo will be in Arizona on April 21-22, 2018, and we’d be surprised if it’s not a killer too.