Off-Road Expo Has Spectacular Start
As the summer of 2000 gave way to the shorter, cooler days of fall, things were just getting started for Guy Petersen, promoter of the inaugural Off-Road Expo, which was held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. During the two-day event, more than 10,000 off-road enthusiasts walked the aisles of the outdoor and indoor exhibits, getting inside information on all manner of mods and hot components for their 4x4s from the 200 booths manned by aftermarket manufacturers. Next year, the second annual Off-Road Expo takes place on the weekend of October 6-7, 2001 at the Fairplex. If you're near Southern California, we suggest you stop by for a look. There will be major automotive manufacturers represented, as well as an increased number of aftermarket companies just waiting to share their wares with you. For more information, contact: Off-Road Expo, (626) 599-8622.
The All-New 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer - Strength Upon Strength
Chevrolet recently introduced the 2002 Chevy TrailBlazer, an all-new midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) that offers an unequaled combination of strength, power, and high-tech precision, wrapped in a design that evokes patented Chevy Truck toughness. The 2002 TrailBlazer will be available in Chevy dealerships in the spring of 2001 as an all-new entry in the Chevy truck family, giving Chevy the most competitive SUV lineup in the industry from Tracker to Suburban.
Using an all-new Vortec 4200, an inline-six configured engine, the TrailBlazer will offer the power of a V-8 engine, while supplying the efficiency of a six-cylinder. The new Vortec engine will provide an outstanding 270 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. A racing version of this powerful inline-six has won both the Baja 500 and the Nevada 2000 Best of the Desert races, competing against V-8 engines. "The 2002 TrailBlazer is absolutely all new and designed to deliver a new level of strength, power, security, ride and handling, and a true SUV toughness," stated Russ Clark, TrailBlazer brand manager. "It all starts with the 270hp Vortec 4200 inline-six-cylinder engine, which combines new technology with the proven balance of an inline-six engine. The TrailBlazer will offer unequaled power and smoothness, while providing excellent fuel efficiency."
These trucks were developed not only with outstanding power and efficiency, but also with refined ride and handling, ample cargo and passenger space, and long-lasting dependability. The new TrailBlazer offers a package of performance, features, and attributes specially tuned for the unique demands of SUV customers.
"This vehicle defines what Chevy trucks are all about," stated Clark. "The TrailBlazer is bigger, quieter, and more powerful than the Blazer, and will match up against any competition on the market."
The 2002 TrailBlazer - along with the GMC Envoy and the Oldsmobile Bravada - are the first products built on an all-new GM vehicle platform that establishes a new standard for technology in the midsize truck world. With features such as the exclusive OnStar system, the industry's first fully hydroformed frame, dual-stage airbags, and a five-link rear suspension, the 2002 TrailBlazer brings a host of innovative technologies to the midsize truck arena. This new generation of trucks is the key component in GM's overall strategy to be the industry's truck leader.
Toyota Trio Achieves A Triple VictoryToyota-powered off-road racers Jeff Kincaid, Rod Millen, and Johnny Greaves each dominated the muddy elements, as well as their opponents, when they claimed victory at the season's end of the Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) event in Topeka, Kansas. Kincaid, of Crandon, Wisconsin, won the first of two races in his Toyota Tacoma to secure the 2000 Pro-Lite (small-truck) class championship. This was his 12th win of the year, which also set a new single-season record for victories.
"It's been a really great year, thanks to my team and family," Kincaid said. "The track was really muddy, but I told myself to just take the Tacoma around easy and we'd have the championship."
Rod Millen of Newport Beach, California, parlayed an amazing start from Sixth Place to a first-turn lead and won the final Pro-4 class (fullsize, four-wheel-drive) race of the year in his Toyota Tundra. The victory, his sixth of the year, ensured Second Place overall in the class.
"We're disappointed not to win the Pro-4 Championship because we really felt it was an achievable goal," Millen said, "But overall, it's been a really successful year. The team did a fantastic job throughout the year, and Jack Ault and Bill Smith always gave me a great Tundra to race."
Johnny Greaves of DePere, Wisconsin, earned his first career Pro-2 class win (fullsize, two-wheel-drive) in his Toyota Tundra. A two-time Pro-Lite class Champion in '98-'99, Greaves' win is the 22nd of his CORR career, which is a series record. Previously, he owned the record for most wins in a season (11) until Kincaid, his Potawatomi teammate, won his 12th.
"This was one of the greatest wins of my career," said an excited Greaves in the Winner's circle. "I have to thank my family and the people from Potawatomi and Toyota for believing in me."
Big News From Daimler Chrysler
DaimlerChrysler has recently completed its purchase of the Detroit Diesel Corporation and has taken the company private, buying up all outstanding shares of Detroit Diesel at $23 per share. The Detroit Diesel Corporation, which was incorporated in 1987, is a recognized world leader in the design and manufacture of diesel engines for on- and off-highway applications. The output of various Detroit Diesel engines range from 22 to 11,000 hp, including powerplant generators; Detroit Diesel engines are sold through a worldwide network of 2,700 dealers. DaimlerChrysler also made news with the introduction of its Accelerated Corrosion Facility at the Chelsea, Michigan, testing grounds. The test vehicles are sealed in chambers where computers accurately replicate the environmental elements of any geographical location where the roads are salted to combat the effects of ice and snow. The chambers can also be warmed - as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit - with heaters and adjusted to 100 percent humidity. During the six-month-long tests, trucks are driven through snow, mud, and gravel for 84 miles, then they are sealed in the chamber for 48 hours to find areas on DaimlerChrysler trucks where potential rust problems may occur. When the six-month test program is complete, DaimlerChrysler engineers estimate that each truck will have been exposed to 10 years' worth of real-world driving.
Truck Sales In A Slump?
The people who publish the Kelly Blue Book, a must-have guide to used car and truck prices, also publish an annual list of the 50 most popular vehicles based on sales during the 2000 model year. Here are the rankings for the car and truck sales during the past year:
4.Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
5.Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
19.Chevrolet Blazer/GMC Jimmy
27.Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep Cherokee - A New Look For An Old Favorite
DaimlerChrysler's popular Jeep Cherokee hasn't had a makeover in 17 years, but now it's time for a fairly radical departure. Clearly influenced by the Varsity concept truck, the new Cherokee is less boxy and altogether more imposing.
This new model brings the Jeep brand fairly up to date, although some might argue that the relatively young but crude Wrangler could use a rethink. The continued popularity of the Cherokee might mean that it lives on, alongside the new model, named Classic Cherokee.
Michelin Man Identified!
Finally, after months of waiting, we're happy to report that Dan Brooks of Alpharetta, Georgia, has provided a correct answer to OFF-ROAD's November trivia question. You may remember that we offered an OFF-ROAD shirt to any reader who could provide the true name of the Michelin Tire Company's mascot, the one who looks like a stack of tires and is commonly referred to as the Michelin Man. Mr. Brooks was the only reader to provide a correct response: Mr. Bibendum is the Michelin corporate logo's official name. Two other readers sent in answers that were nearly correct; John Grist and Sara and Jamie (both via e-mail) identified the Michelin man as Bib or Mr. Bib, which was very close, but no cigar. Congratulations, Dan Brooks. Your prize is on its way.
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