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February 1999 Drivelines - Off-Road News

Suzuki Grand Vitara
Tori Tellem | Writer
Posted February 1, 1999

Behind the Scenes of 4x4 of the Year

Behind The Scenes Of 4x4 Of The Year
You think those 12 vehicles washed themselves? You think we communicated with the caravan by rolling down the windows and shouting? Shocking as it may be, the answer is no to both of those questions thanks to companies like Emgee Clean Tools and Cobra Electronics. Emgee donated The Absorber so that we could wash and dry the trucks without having to rifle the hotel housekeeping cart. The Absorber is machine washable and helped us dry the dirty dozen in no time.

In January's Outdoorsman, we introduced you to Cobra's 75 WX ST, the CB radio with SoundTracker for clarity and 50 channels (10 are all-weather). Each vehicle on 4x4 of the Year was equipped with the 75, which kept the drivers in touch with one another on the highway and off road.

Another necessity for dusk tire changes and undercarriage judging was the new Craftsman Rechargable Lantern with built-in battery-power indicators (PN 93196). It's able to last up to three hours on one charge (no battery changing needed), and the halogen sealed-beam light blasted near-daylight candlepower. The plastic body is lightweight and water-resistant.

Finally, check out this month's Outdoorsman to find out why we looooked maahvolous thanks to Woolrich and Wolverine.

Ay, Ay, Ay, No Es Bueno
Maxim magazine's Sept. '98 issue has a section on "Brand-Name Bloopers" and includes why GM's Nova didn't sell well in Latin America (no va means "no go" in Spanish), and why Ford couldn't market the Pinto in Brazil in the '70s (pinto is Portuguese slang for having a tiny, um, Mr. Winkie). It wasn't just limited to the automotive industry, though-KFC's "Finger-Lickin' Good" campaign was mistranslated as "Eat Your Fingers Off" in one country.

Fun Facts To Know And Tell
Results From the 1999 4x4 of the Year Test
•Vehicle with most warning stickers: Lexus, with 23
•Vehicle with least number of warning stickers: Chevy, with 8
•Vehicle with fastest auto-down window function: Nissan, at 2.14 seconds
•Vehicle with slowest auto-down window function: Mercedes, at 4.11 seconds
•Number of flat tires/popping tires back on rims during the competition: 4 (Jeep, Chevy, Ford, and Toyota)

Off-Road Driving School
Baja Off Road Tours now offers you the chance to jam through sections of the Baja 1000 in a $300,000 race truck that cranks out 750 horses. Larry Ragland, winner of the last three Baja 1000s Overall, and Chris Haines, five-time Baja motorcycle-race winner, have created the World's Most Exclusive Driving School, so you can floor it as fast as you feel comfortable for $4,000 per day, which includes roundtrip transportation by private jet from San Diego. Each tour is limited to four drivers.

To find out more about the Baja Off Road Tours and the World's Most Exclusive Driving School, call Chris or Barbara Haines at 714/830-6569, or visit

Lloyd Novak Dies
Lloyd Novak, owner of Novak Enterprises, died last October. A lifelong Jeep specialist, Lloyd was one of the first people to provide ready-made adapters for swapping engines, transmissions, and transfer cases into any Jeep model, from GPWs to late-model Cherokees. He was a regular source of technical information for this magazine and, as indicated by the occasional letters we received politely correcting or elaborating on a statement we made, a regular reader as well. He will be missed.

The 1999 Off-Road Championship Series Schedule Announced
You want extreme racing? The Off-Road Championship Series will turn your trousers inside out! Pace Motor Sports is producing the mayhem, and since we've shown you what Pace did for the U.S. Truck Fest Series, get ready to party like you're supposed to in 1999! For more information, contact Pace at 630/566-6214, or visit Hurry, though, since tickets will have already been on sale from Ticketmaster by the time you read this.

Date City Venue
1/9 St. Louis Trans World Dome*
1/16 Houston Astrodome
1/23 Minneapolis Metrodome
1/30 Anaheim, CA Edison International Field
2/6 Phoenix Bank One Ballpark**
2/13 San Diego Qualcomm Stadium
2/27 El Paso, TX UTEP Sun Bowl
3/6 Irving, TX Texas Stadium
3/13 Pontiac, MI Silverdome
3/27 Seattle Kingdome
*tickets available from Capital **tickets available from Dillards


Emgee Clean Tools
Westmont, IL 60559
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