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Jeep Wrangler Rock Crawling - 4x News

Posted in Features on September 1, 2003
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Women's Rockcrawling on VideoA staple to the four-wheel-drive aftermarket parts industry since the 1970s, Skyjacker Suspensions has found great success with its National Rock Crawling Championship Series for Women. In its third season, the Women's Series continues to see new competitors and has launched a number of women into the spotlight as drivers in other non-gender-specific rockcrawling competitions. Having previously released an action-packed video documenting the 2001 Women's Series, Skyjacker is now offering its most recent dose of women's 'crawling feats with its Women's 2002 Series video.

Featuring footage from such rugged terrain as Johnson Valley, California, and Cedar City, Utah, the 2002 Women's Series video offers all of the best action of the year by the top women rockcrawlers in the country. You can view a clip of the video at, where it and other Skyjacker 4x4 videos are also available for purchase. The 2003 Skyjacker National Rock Crawling Championship for Women continues August 21-23 at Avalanche Ranch near Durango, Colorado.

Shop Spotlight: Factory Tubular MotorsportsWith enough equipment in house to function as a small machine shop, Factory Tubular Motorsports (FTM) in Salt Lake City caters to the do-it-yourself fabricator and mechanic. Offering a full line of brackets, heim joints, misalignment joints, and spacers, Factory Tubular Motorsports will also build custom tabs and brackets and tie-rod and drag-link assemblies to customer specifications. It's services such as these that have established FTM as one of the premier rock 'rod shops in the state since it opened five years ago.

Within the 4,000-square-foot shop is a showroom featuring dealer and FTM parts and a seven-bay garage offering a hydraulic tube bender, MIG and TIG welders, a drill press, cut-off saws and grinding wheels, two lathes, a plasma cutter, and an Acetylene torch. Beyond its catalog of do-it-yourself hardware, Factory Tubular Motorsports specializes in all facets of 4x4 construction and repair, from frame-off conversions, custom suspensions, and rollcages to engine conversions and regular vehicle maintenance.

As hands-on as owners Matt Wooly and Dallas Luttrell are, it comes as no surprise that FTM is active in RCAA, UROC, and ProRock 'crawling competitions. The company has produced many of its own competition vehicles and currently competes in its custom '97 Jeep TJ. Using this competition experience, FTM designs and produces its own line of bead-lock wheels and its Rock Force tube chassis. The chassis is said to be one of the smallest and most affordable front-engine chassis available in the industry, and it will accept most drivetrain combinations and link suspension configurations. The Rock Force chassis is available as bare metal, as a rolling chassis, or as a turnkey vehicle, ready to hit the rocks. FTM's bead-lock wheels are available in a number of diameters and widths and are designed to withstand the rigors of rockcrawling competitions. Its latest bead-lock offering is available as the Johnny G Signature Series Beadlock Wheel, named for FTM-sponsored, rockcrawl competitor John Gilliland.

Whether you're looking for parts to complete your own rig or need an experienced builder to do the work for you, FTM fits the bill. From the competition course to the trail, Factory Tubular Motorsports has you covered. For more information, contact: Factory Tubular Motorsports, Dept. 4WDSU, 2978 S. 300 W., Salt Lake City, UT 84115, (888) 338-8327,

Limited Edition Tomb Raider WranglerCoinciding with the July 2003 release of the new film Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starring Angelina Jolie, Jeep will debut a limited edition '03 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Tomb Raider model. With a base price of $28,815, the new Wrangler model will encompass all of the great features of the Rubicon model TJ, along with many unique exterior features, including 16-inch Alcoa wheels, Tomb Raider badging, and an array of MOPAR accessories, such as a tubular grille guard, a diamond plate bumper guard, riveted fender flares, and foglamp and taillamp guards. Interior features include Dark Slate fabric seats with red accent stitching and a silver surround instrument panel bezel. Available in Bright Silver, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Tomb Raider model is sure to be a collector's vehicle with a little more than 1,000 units being produced. Jeff Bell, Chrysler Group Jeep Division vice president, stated, "The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is the most capable Jeep ever built, so the heroic and extreme environment in which Lara Croft uses her custom Wrangler Rubicon in Tomb Raider is accurate." The new Jeep model will be available beginning in July at dealerships across the U.S.

Off-Road Motorsports Hall of FameThe off-road motorsports community is finally receiving the recognition it deserves. Last June, organizers broke ground on the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, which will be housed in the world-renowned National Auto Museum (The Harrah Collection) in downtown Reno, Nevada. The first stage of construction is scheduled for completion in June 2004, at which time a group of nominees will be selected to be the first inductees into the Hall of Fame.

In addition to bringing recognition to individuals and organizations within the off-road community, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame has other objectives on slate as well. The organization intends to educate and inform the general public about the varied forms of off-road motorsports and these groups' efforts to protect and sustain the environment. A history of the evolution of off-road vehicles, motorcycles, and accessory products will also be offered, in addition to vehicle and photography displays.

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