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2000 Go-4Wheelers Off-Road Rally: Call It What You Will

Front View
Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted March 1, 2000

The Minnesota Go-4’s Annual Bash

Step By Step

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  • Mud Duck is an evil mudhole in which participants are invited to play. It swallowed almost everyone who tried to beat it, including this mini-monster Ford.

  • The XXX-treme Challenge offered participants the chance to show off their rockcrawling skills.

  • We all know how capable Suzuki Samurais are, and Dan Deegan from Mankato, Minnesota, demonstrated it while conquering the Noid obstacle. His stock-powered Sami is dialed in with minimal mods, which include a rear Lock-Right and a Calmini transfer case.

  • Six monster trucks took part in a double triathlon. The field included two Fords, two Chevys, and two Dodges.

  • Keith Hanson prepped his Toyota Land Cruiser for trail battle with a rear Lock-Right, a front posi, and 4.10:1 gears. A shackle reversal makes room for the 46x12.50 Swampers, and in case of trouble, Hanson has a PTO winch and on-board air at his disposal.

  • If you’re like us, you’d think Wisconsin didn’t have rocks this big. Pete Meissen eventually ’wheeled his 440 big-block- powered CJ around these diff- and sheetmetal-eating rocks to beat the Noid obstacle.

  • The National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) sponsored the weekend’s tough truck racing. The lengthy track ran the gamut of obstacles, which did nothing to slow down some competitors.

  • The brutal Rocky Mountain High obstacle proved to be a rocky road for Dave Koenig from Moline, Illinois, who gave it the ol’ college try but dropped a driveshaft from his dual Detroit/ 4.56:1 Jeep CJ.

  • The very first obstacle on the White Trail is Dog Gone, and it’s a mixture of medium-sized rocks and sand. This is only the beginning of a very entertaining trail.

  • Rick Armbrust from Green Valley, Illinois, had a great run on Dresser’s brutal tough truck track.

  • That was close. The blindfolded tough truck race created this little inconvenience for driver Kathleen McNamara and her codriver. It wasn’t even her Jeep.

  • The Hill was where spectators gathered to watch the infield racing, shop the manufacturer’s row, and watch the XXX-treme Challenge.

  • John Jungeblut from Corder, Missouri, had a great tough truck run, then he celebrated by mowing over some banners as he fought to keep the Chevy on the track at the finish line.

  • Brian King from Hampton, Iowa, attempts Rocky Mountain High. His ’88 Samurai has a ’Crawler ’case, a locked rear, a 5-inch Calmini lift, and 32-inch BFG Mud-Terrains.

Its proper name is the Minnesota Go-4 Wheelers Annual Total Off Road Rally, but in the four-wheel-drive community, it’s simply referred to as Dresser. The Rally takes place at the Trollhaugen Ski Area near the small town of Dresser and includes mud racing, tough truck drags, monster trucks, trail rides, camping, and more. Over the years, the Go-4s have transformed some of Trollhaugen’s unused property into a home for this diverse event. The Go-4s designed all the 4x4 trails and modify them each year, incorporating ideas gleaned from experiences at other trail rides as well as their own twisted sense of extreme four-wheeling. The group has hosted the Rally for 31 years and counting.

Hard-core trail runners will be quite pleased at how the Go-4s construct their trails. Deep mud, Hyundai-sized rocks, and looming tree-trunk stairs are prevalent. Lockers and 33s are the rule if you want to do battle with the major obstacles (and win). There are bypasses around each of the difficult obstacles, so the adventurous can still enjoy the trails without risking drivetrain and/or body damage. All the obstacles have names, so participants can brag about which one they beat or mumble about which one kicked their butts. Of course, all trail vehicles must pass a basic tech inspection to run, and for safety, Go-4 members are posted at each obstacle to lend assistance during recoveries. Each member assigned to an obstacle is in radio contact with event operations.

Each year, the Go-4s have added to and improved their infield, which now features tracks for monster and tough trucks as well as dual mud-racing lanes. For spectators, every seat is a good one, because the track sits in a natural bowl. In 1999, the Go-4s brought in six monster trucks (Gravedigger, Nitemare II, Bearfoot, Monster Patrol, Extreme Overkill, and Executioner) for a Double Triathlon, which included a killer freestyle show. (Overkill broke an axle.) Dual black peat mud tracks welcomed a full plate of mud racing from Stock to Open classes. The Central Mudracing Association (CMA) sanctioned the event, which drew in some of the best mud racers in the business. The National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA)–sanctioned tough truck racing took place on a lengthy, chewed-up track and included every obstacle known to destroy a truck.

The spectator area, known as The Hill, featured a manufacturer’s row, food, and the XXX-treme Challenge. The XXX-treme Challenge offered spectators the chance to watch the rockcrawling participants do battle against a man-made, uphill boulder field. This competition was open to all registered players. An RTI ramp (sponsored by the Minnesota Four Wheel Drive Association) was in the camping area along with food, showers, and evening entertainment under a big tent.

The 2000 event will feature all kinds of new stuff, including the brand-new Dresser Y2K Trail Challenge, which is open to any registered participant from the ’99 event. This hard-core event (modeled after Four Wheeler’s Top Truck Challenge) will test your vehicle’s toughness and your driving skills over a series of runs. The winner will be showered with more than $5,000 in cash and prizes.

It doesn’t matter what you call the Go-4’s Memorial event, just make sure you’re there in 2000. For information on Memorial 2000, contact Go-4 at its Memorial hot line 612/427-5903 or visit its Web site at