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2001 Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals - Still the King

Side View
Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted February 1, 2002

The Fall Jambo Still Reigns Supreme as the Nation’s Largest

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  • Jeff Dedick pounded his “General Lee” Bronco, and he left Indy in Fourth-place overall in the season’s Tough Truck Challenge standings.

  • Kids (and adults) drooled over the latest in mini monster truck tech at the Patriot Racing booth. These little trucks are the latest craze in high-tech toys, and they sport all kinds of impressive specs including a top speed of more than 70 mph.

  • Quadrasteer is a new GM option, and spectators and participants at the Fall Jambo were invited to drive one of these amazing vehicles on a custom-designed course. The technology was designed by Delphi, and allows the rear tires to turn up to 12 degrees. Under 45 mph they turn the opposite way of the front wheels, and over 45 mph they turn in the same direction. Steering of the rear wheels is controlled by an electric motor, and the diff itself is a Dana 60 unit.

  • Steve Sharp from Tulsa, Oklahoma, nailed down Eighth place in his ’72 Blazer, which used to be a full-on show truck. Its show days are long gone now, and it’s been stretched to 105-inch wheelbase and beefed with 2 1/2-ton Rockwell axles.

  • “Bigfoot” was one of eight monster trucks competing in side-by-side drag racing. At the end of the Fall Jambo, “Bigfoot” was trailing “Executioner” by 20 points in the season standings.

  • The Fall Jambo enjoyed temperatures in the 80s and lots of sun, which helped draw more than 85,000 spectators and 4,300 participants.

  • Robbie Steinmetz showed that rockcrawling wasn’t just a “guy sport” as she blazed her way to Third-place overall in the Rock Fest Challenge. She piloted a ’92 Wrangler that’s been beefed with a 383ci engine, 700-R4 tranny, Atlas II transfer case, reverse-cut Dana 60s front and rear, 5.13 gears, National Spring spring-over suspension, and 39.5-inch TSLs.

  • The top finishers at the Kahlo Jeep Rockfest Challenge were Dan Johnson (middle, First place), Mark Quisenberry (left, Second place), and Robbie Steinmetz (right, Third place).

  • Tom Crane from Waynetown, Indiana, scored a Seventh-place overall finish in the Rockfest Challenge in his ’82 CJ-7, which has been modified with rear coil springs, Dana 44s, 4.88 gears, and 35-inch Boggers.

  • Mike and Michelle Webb’s awesome, blown ’56 Ford was one of a number of trucks in the Pro Show area, and it gathered a huge amount of attention throughout the three-day show.

  • Scores of vendors lined the Performance Marketplace, including Drive Train Specialists from Wayland, Michigan, had a full array of ready-built differentials available for instant delivery.

  • Roger Cardot and his Ford “Bubba” are Modified Tough Truck regulars, and he made it to the semi-final round of competition before being edged out by Chris McCoy in “Mac Attack.”

They don’t call the Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals the “King Of All Jambos” for no reason, and the 2001 event easily continued its mind-blowing tradition by drawing thousands of trucks and spectators to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis for three days of 4x4-based events. This year there were numerous surprises waiting for participants and spectators, including the addition of the new Rockfest Challenge, which brought a formal rockcrawling competition to the already jam-packed weekend schedule of events.

The event formally kicked off on Friday with the opening of the Show-and-Shine area, and as it does each year, it quickly filled as 4x4s flowed into the fairgrounds. The vehicles were invited to roll through the professional judging area, where Special Events Show-and-Shine guru Ron Carlson and his crew of judges went over each vehicle with a fine-tooth comb. The votes were then tallied, and the winners were presented with either trophies or plaques at Sunday’s awards ceremony. There were more than 100 awards given out in scores of categories, and the list included the Grand Champion awards, which honor the absolute best vehicle in each of the three major classes. The Street Class winner was Jamey Smith from Washington, Missouri, for his awesome ’86 Chevy; the Modified Class winner was Scott Ramsey from Brookville, Indiana, for his stunning ’98 Dodge; and the Pro Class winner was Marty Goldberg from Wildwood, Missouri, for his show-stopping ’89 Chevy S-10. There were also brand-specific awards, like the Best Jeep in the Street Class (won by David Smith from Carlisle, Pennsylvania) and the Best GM in the Modified Class (won by Nancy Revalee from Cambridge City, Indiana), as well as many others.

Winding through the Show-and-Shine was the Performance Marketplace, and it was newly redesigned this year to integrate with much of the Show-and-Shine area. It was packed with aftermarket parts suppliers offering everything from waxes and polishes to complete trail-ready differentials from national, regional, and local suppliers. This area also included R/C truck racing, loads of food booths, and the Main Stage. Speaking of the Main Stage, this is where MC Joe Pagano handed out the hourly Super Prize award, which is an award drawn at random from entries filled out by participants. Most of the awards are valued in excess of $200, and this drawing was held each and every hour through the course of the show.

One of the benchmarks of the Fall Jambo is the top-notch racing program, and the 2001 event featured a bumper crop of 4x4 racing of several varieties over the course of the weekend. There was NMRO-sanctioned side-by-side Mud Racing (six classes), Tough Truck racing (two classes), a Burnout Competition, back-to-back Truck Pulls, Monster Truck Thunder Drags, and a fire-spewing jet-car demo. This wide range of activities guaranteed some form of racing going on in the infield virtually nonstop.

The show included two very cool debut activities. One was the Delphi Quadrasteer track, which offered the opportunity to actually drive a General Motors Quadrasteer-equipped 4-wheel-steering vehicle around a specially designed course. This new GM option is the latest cutting-edge tech, and hundreds of participants and spectators got to experience the difference that four-wheel steering makes on a fullsize pickup truck. The other hot new facet of the Fall Jambo was the Kahlo Jeep Rockfest Challenge, which brought hard-core rockcrawling to both spectators and participants. There were two courses constructed, and they were designed by John Conrad of JB’s 4x4 Inc., of nearby Kingman, Indiana. The qualifying rounds were held on Saturday, with the top 10 finishers returning for the finals on Sunday. Portions of this fender-bashing, frame-twisting competition were videotaped for future airing on ESPN.

The Fall Jambo enjoyed another year of success, due in part to the hundreds of 4x4 fans who made the trek to Indy, as well as the efforts of the Monroe County 4x4 Club who helped out with the daunting task of registering the thousands of vehicles entering the show, and the Ruffriders 4x4 Club who registered and teched the hundreds of competition vehicles. The 2002 Fall Jambo is already being planned, and it will take place September 20-22, again at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. For more info contact Special Events, 317/236-6525,