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Sand Slammin'

Front Passenger Side View
John Cappa | Writer
Posted May 1, 2001

Learn Why Everyone Talks About Oldsmobile Hill, Competition Hill, and Sand Drags

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  • If you think sand is for the obstacle-challenged driver, try sidehilling a razorback dune. Wide paddle tires help but airing down gets the job done.

  • Larry Minor builds these turn-key tube-chassis Wrangler-like Jeeps. With 430 cubic inches of small-block under the hood, you better believe it moves.

  • Most of the faster Jeeps are two-wheel drive. Lots of wheel travel, longer wheelbases, and big horsepower with nitrous turn Oldsmobile Hill into a quarter-mile raceway.

  • The Sand Drags become a huge parking lot in the afternoon. All three hot spots are accessible in a stock Jeep. If you want to venture deeper into the dunes or race with the big boys you’ll want more than a stocker.

  • Sand-chucking paddles with scoops the size of your hand throw roosts like the Jetovator on your ski boat. Add horsepower here.

Chances are you didn’t get an invitation from Mr. Hefner and his scantily clad Playmates at the mansion. If you were like much of the U.S. population you probably spent New Year’s watching that stupid lighted ball in New York on television. We didn’t get our invite either so we headed out to the sand in Glamis, California. The tiny town is actually just east of the Imperial Sand Dunes where all the insanity is. Anything with wheels is fair game in the dunes but Jeeps and other off-road-worthy vehicles of all types can be found at the hot spots. Oldsmobile Hill is the daytime favorite, the Sand Drags along Gecko Road finish off the afternoon, and Competition Hill stays lit up well into the early morning. Here’s some of the more sick sand-blasting Jeeps we spotted in Glamis for New Year’s 2001.