Jeepspeed Adds to the Fold
Like sequels to a successful film, Jeepspeed's lineup has expanded to include several additional Jeep models. Have you got an old J10 pickup that's begging to get flogged in the dirt? Jeepspeed's got a class for that. Has the new-car smell long since wafted away from your Grand Cherokee, making it ripe for a rebirth as a racer? Jeepspeed's got a class for that too. Finally, if you've got a TJ Wrangler that's begging to go faster, you'll find a newly built home for it in the Jeepspeed series.
Originally conceived to include '84-'01 XJ Cherokees, Jeepspeed's popularity has steadily grown through the years, with turnouts of 20 or more Jeepspeed entries at a given race. Rather than holding its own series, or piggybacking onto one racing series exclusively, Jeepspeed skips and jumps from one promoter to another. MDR, SCORE, and Best In The Desert are all home to a Jeepspeed round or two during the year. Indeed, Jeepspeed's schedule might be called "the best of desert racing" and brings to life Jeepspeed's motto of "A Jeep owner's club for racing, rallying, and adventure." About 2.4 million XJs were built between '84 and '01. They're easy to come by and economical to purchase, so why add to the fold? Two reasons come quickly to mind. First, the XJ's unibody construction tends to fatigue and crack when subjected to desert pounding, even with the addition of a rollcage. Second, owners of other Jeep models wanted in on the fun!
T&J Performance Center has been in the thick of the Jeepspeed world from the beginning. Owned by brothers Mike and Tom Barnett, T&J Performance has put its Jeepspeed experience to good use. The lessons learned on the racecourse translate directly into trailworthy performance parts. T&J's own lineup of Barnett Performance products is desert-bred and can help your Jeep survive off-road whether you're in the Mojave, Baja, or your own backyard.
The flying TJ on these pages is the first of its type to be built for Jeepspeed competition. A stretched wheelbase added stability that's as helpful in Moab as it is in the Mojave. King shocks, Rubicon Express suspension arms, and a Currie heavy-duty steering linkage are all tied together by a Barnett Performance Products SCORE-legal rollcage. Thirty-three-inch BFG Baja T/As are wrapped around American Racing alloy wheels. There's a longer list of mods that we'll get to in the photo captions, and each product makes this Jeep a better off-road contender. The best part? This TJ is still street-legal. All too often, sequels tend to tarnish that which went before. Not this time. Jeepspeed's new rules and classes are sure to turn a classic into an ever-growing saga.