AGR Wheelin' RanchSteering 4x4 enthusiasts straight for 10 years, AGR Performance is now steering them in a second direction: right over to the newly opened AGR Wheelin' Ranch. Located 90 minutes northwest of Dallas, the AGR Ranch is a welcome sight to Texas 'wheelers. With only three other legal areas open to 4x4 use in the vicinity, the AGR Wheelin' Ranch offers a number of extreme 4x4 trails, most with moderate bypasses, all situated upon private land. The 4x4 park is operated by AGR Performance Inc. and Tim McGill, and it's open to the public on weekends. Groups of 10 or more vehicles are required for the ranch to be opened, and reservations are required. Day passes cost $20 per vehicle. There's also lodging, camping, and restaurants for those who wish to stay longer. The AGR Wheelin' Ranch has already attracted a good deal of attention among local 4WD clubs. The cowtownjeeps.com 4x4 club and The River Rock Runners club held a grudge match competition at the park, using the Ranch's rockcrawl course to determine a winner. For more information, contact: AGR Wheelin' Ranch, Tim McGill, www.agrwheelinranch.com.
GM Wins Hummer Grille Rights, Files Suit Over Studebaker XUVThe U.S. District Court of Northern Indiana ruled that General Motors owns the rights to the design of the Hummer H2's front grille. GM had been in a dispute with DaimlerChrysler, which claimed it owned the vertically slotted grille design used on the Hummer H2 and many popular Jeep models. DaimlerChrysler contended that a 1983 agreement left it the rights to the grille design, but the court ruled that the Chrysler Corporation relinquished its rights to the design in an agreement between Hummer's former owner American Motors and Chrysler.Ironically, around the same time GM filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit of its own against independent carmaker Avanti Motor Corporation. The lawsuit was aimed at preventing the company from producing a knock-off of GM's Hummer H2 sport utility vehicle. Avanti President Kevin Hines claims that its mammoth Studebaker Xtreme Utility Vehicle (XUV) has "substantial styling differences," including sliding rear doors and a sliding rear roof. With the lawsuit, GM hopes to prevent Avanti from manufacturing, advertising, and selling the Studebaker, which is named for the original Studebaker brand.
The '04 Avanti Studebaker XUV measures 80 inches wide, 79.6 inches tall, and 215.5 inches long. It offers a 134-inch wheelbase and a curb weight of 5,900 pounds. The vehicle is offered with either a 6.8L V-10 from Ford Motor Co. or a 6.0L V-8 turbodiesel, with a starting price of $75,000. For more information, contact: Avanti Motor Corporation, www.avantimotors.com.
Suv SpotlightHonda ElementTranscending its initial market demographic of 20-something Generation Y car buyers, the Honda Element has rapidly developed a dedicated fan club of owners and enthusiasts. Designated as a so-called crossover vehicle, which means it isn't a minivan or an SUV but rather a concept-inspired utility-type vehicle, the Honda Element has a bit of something to offer most anyone, even four-wheel-drive enthusiasts.