Thorley Is Back
Doug Thorley, the man who started the performance header business, has opened a new custom header and muffler shop under the original name, Doug's Headers. Located in Anaheim, California, the shop specializes in custom-built headers and exhaust systems, modifications, repairs, and installations. For more information, contact: Doug and his crew, (714) 502-0286.
Governor Davis Appoints New Commissioner
Following the death of Eldon "Curly" Nobles, Governor Gray Davis has appointed Daphne Green to the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. Ms. Greene, of San Rafael, California, is the owner of TWENDE, an outdoor adventure consulting company, and is a senior driving instructor for Land Rover North America. In addition, she is a member of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, the Access Fund, the United Four Wheel Drive Association, and the Sierra Club.
Ms. Greene states that there is a delicate balance between OHV recreation management and resource management and she is committed to educating those within and outside the OHV community about the importance of this balance in order to preserve off-highway recreation in the years to come.
The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle
Recreation Commission is a California State Parks advisory board on off-highway issues that makes policies and approves grants for managing OHV recreation in California. Commissioners represent environmental protection organizations, the OHV community, biological scientists, rural landowners, law enforcement officials, and soil scientists. Members do not receive a salary and appointments do not require Senate confirmation.
GM To Build Flex-Fuel Fullsize Suvs
General Motors has announced its plans to begin building fullsize sport utility vehicles with flexible fuel capabilities. Beginning in the 2002 model year, all Chevrolet Suburbans and Tahoes and GMC Yukon XLs and Yukons equipped with the 5.3L V-8 will be able to run on varying blends of ethanol and gasoline - from 100 percent gas to a maximum of 85 percent ethanol (E85). The new Chevrolet Avalanche with the standard 5.3L V-8 will also have E85 capabilities beginning in the 2003 model year.
The fullsize sport utilities join the Chevy S-10 and GMC Sonoma small trucks, whose E85-compatible 2.2L four-cylinder engines went into production late in 1999. By current estimates, GM will have produced more than 1 million flex-fuel trucks by the end of the 2004 model year.
According to Thomas G. Stephens, GM vice president and group director of engineering, "E85 is a viable alternative to gasoline where it is available. It is a renewable fuel that can be produced from grain or agricultural waste, and that makes it very attractive."
GM's flex-fuel trucks offer the same warranty as its gasoline-powered models. Further, the E85 system will be offered to customers at no additional charge.
Coalitions Fight Sequoia Trail Closures
A number of national and state multiple-use coalitions are preparing to file an RS 2477 rights-of-way assertion on the Sequoia National Forest and certain lands proclaimed by the Clinton administration as a National Monument. This action is expected to protect some of the existing recreational Jeep travelways and OHV trails that have been targeted for closure.
At the core of this action is the Mining Act of 1866, which created or acknowledged a number of rights-of-way and property rights for local governments and individuals, none of which required any approval or affirmative action from the government to become vested. It has been recognized that the Forest Service does not have any authority to control or affect RS 2477 rights-of-way.
Toward this end, the Blue Ribbon Coalition is working with both the SAMS Coalition and the High Desert Multiple-Use Coalition. Other groups have expressed a desire to sign onto this assertion, including a chapter of the California Nevada Snowmobile Association.
Walker Evans Wins in Vernal
Off-road racing legend, Walker Evans, 61, won his first rockcrawling event in Vernal, Utah, driving his 2000 Chevrolet Blazer to First Place in the fourth event of the five-part Goodyear Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series.
Evans, semi-retired with 140 career victories and 20 championship titles, was the first driver in off-road racing history to win both the Baja 1000 ('79) and the Fireworks 250 ('82). "This victory is sweet," said Evans. "It ranks right up there with anything I've accomplished in my off-road racing career."
Evans brought his new truck to Vernal outfitted with hydraulic rear-wheel steering and pre-production Goodyear Wrangler MT/R 37x12.50- R15 tires.
Joel Randall of Nebraska drove his modified '73 CJ-5 to Second Place, while Chris Durham of South Carolina finished Third in his '85 CJ-10.
BLM Sued Over Road Closures - Again
The Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association and the Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club have filed suit against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. It's challenging the agency's closure of public roads to motorized vehicles in the Robledo Mountains.
Prior to the closure, the network of roads northwest of Las Cruces were in regular use by the general public for a variety of recreational purposes. In their law suit, the plaintiffs contend that the closures violated New Mexico law because the routes were established as public roads under Revised Statute 2477 and are therefore protected under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.
A number of New Mexico non-profit corporations have joined more than 1,500 families in the suit and are currently represented by attorneys Lee E. Peters and Barbara Hjelle of Utah.
The fine folks at Beard Seats and Trust Me Tie-Down make a wide variety of towing accessories that can help make your next trip easier and safer. If you have any questions about how they can help you with your towing needs, contact: Beard Seats/Trust Me Tie-Downs, Dept. 4WDSU, 12322 Penn St., Whittier, CA 90602, (562) 696-6686, www.beardseats.com.
Kawasaki And MDA Join Ranks
Kawasaki Motor Corporation, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and more than 1,500 off-road enthusiasts recently gathered at the Ocotillo Wells SVRA in San Diego County to have a little fun and to help raise money for the fight against muscular dystrophy. Off Road For Hope II drew more than 650 SUVs, motorcycles, sandrails, and ATVs to the Southern California desert and officially raised more than $46,000. Kawasaki donated cash to the MDA along with a variety of accessories that were given away as prizes for the various games that were held during the weekend-long event. Next year's event is scheduled for February 3-4, 2001. Mark it on your calendars now.
Mickey Thompson Acquires Cepek Assets
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels has announced the acquisition of all assets owned by Dick Cepek. Representatives from Mickey Thompson have stated that, "This acquisition will allow the Mickey Thompson Company to perpetuate another legendary tradition in off-road racing." The Cepek line of products included tires, suspension components, and off-road lighting.