ARB Sells 100,000th Air LockerEquipping 4WD vehicles with 100 percent traction on demand for more than 16 years, ARB celebrated a production milestone with the sale of its 100,000th Air Locker. Roger Godfrey of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, purchased the commemorative 100,000th unit in 2003. As an ARB customer for more than 10 years, Godfrey has owned several vehicles in that time, each equipped with ARB Air Lockers and accessories. His current vehicles include a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Hummer. In celebrating the milestone event, ARB's corporate marketing manager, Matt Frost, presented Godfrey with a plaque and several newly released ARB accessories.
The ARB Air Locker is sold in more than 80 countries worldwide, and is well received for its quality and dependability. Originally known as the Roberts Diff Lock after the inventor Tony Roberts, it was renamed the ARB Air Locker in 1988 and has evolved to incorporate more than 100 applications.
Miller Electric Celebrates 75 YearsPacked with technical specifications, product features and benefit descriptions, and product selection tips, the 2004 Full-Line Catalog from the Miller Electric Manufacturing Company also commemorates the company's 75th anniversary. From its Northeastern Wisconsin beginnings in the '20s, Miller Electric has continued to grow to become a leading worldwide manufacturer of arc-welding equipment and related systems for metalworking, construction, maintenance, and other applications. The 84-page full-color catalog features photos and suggested accessories accompanying each product description. Color-coded symbols assist in identifying process capabilities and power specifications for each Miller product. The catalog also offers a glossary of welding terms to help those who may be unfamiliar with welding terminology and includes descriptions of Miller technology exclusives. To receive a free 75th anniversary catalog, call (800) 426-45527, or visit www.millerwelds.com.
Formula Toyotas Enter Rockcrawling SceneIt was bound to happen: Somewhere along the way, competitive rockcrawling became really expensive. Not that it'll run you a tab anywhere near to what other motor sport ventures might, but as contingency and sponsorship programs continue to become larger and larger, competition vehicles are beginning to reflect these monies. The price for playing includes $10,000 in axles, with another $5,000 for the engine, and that's without a chassis or wheel and tire package in the picture. Add more four-figure prices for those, in addition to the transfer case, the tranny, driveshafts, seats, pedals, the fuel tank, and so on. The list goes on, as does the spending, bringing many to the point where they wish for the old days when everyone was running non-exotic suspension systems, small axles, less horsepower, and spending less money in general.
Hoping to see at least one vehicle class within the competitive rockcrawling scene move in a less spendy direction, Eric "Camo" Linker and Mike "Air Ride" Hendrix conceived the idea to create a beginning-level rockcrawler that would work well on difficult rockcrawling trails as well as be able to compete in rockcrawling events. Thus, the Formula Toyota and the Formula Toyota Rockcrawling series were born.
The Formula Toyota is based on the sandrail/buggy principle from the '60s, when a tube chassis was purchased for next to nothing and stock Volkswagen parts were used to complete the buildup. In building a Formula Toyota, however, Toyota mini-trucks are used as the chief donor. Vehicles consist of a tube chassis that sits on top of a stock Toyota pickup/4Runner frame and uses all-stock Toyota powertrain and driveline components. The CAD-designed tube chassis is CNC-mandrel-formed from mild steel or DOM tubing, and accommodates two front seats and a rear bench, with plenty of room for spare parts and storage. Formula Toyota rules cite that only non-fuel-injected four-cylinder engines can be used. Axles are limited to '79-'85 models equipped with 4.10 gears, although any Toyota 8-inch third member (FJ80, V-6, or four-cylinder), aftermarket rear axles, and front inner axles are allowed. The stock Birfield (or any aftermarket Birfield replacement, such as the All Pro Profield) must be used, and no eliminator kits are permitted. Suspension is limited to any conventional 1/2-elliptical leaf-spring design using OEM attachment methods, and tire size is unrestricted.
Debuting at the 2004 CalROCS season opener, the Formula Toyota class will exist as a true driver's class, pitting drivers against one another rather than leaving one to lose out to the others' pricey and technologically advanced machinery. Competitors will pay a substantially lower entry fee and receive no payback for event wins. Rather, a contingency program has been established to benefit those competitors who achieve podium positions. Contingency sponsors for the Formula Toyota class include Hendrix Motorsports, High Angle Driveline, Marlin Crawler, Race Craft Suspension Seats, Advance Adapters, All Pro Off Road, DOA Racing Engines, and Bud Built. For more information about the new Formula Toyota class, check out www.formulatoy.com, or visit the pirate4x4.com bulletin boards for an ongoing discussion.
National Tire Safety Week
The Rubber Manufacturer's Association (RMA) will hold its 3rd Annual National Tire Safety Week on April 25 to May 1. The event is part of RMA's "Be Tire Smart - Play Your PART" program, dedicated to educating drivers about the importance of tire care and safety. RMA's tire safety program uses partnerships, educational materials, consumer events, media outreach, and public service announcements to encourage drivers to check their tires once a month. Donald B. Shea, RMA president and CEO, stated, "Our goal is to reach every American motorist with crucial tire care and safety information, and the most effective way to do that is to enlist the active participation of industry partners across the country." For 2004, RMA is seeking to extend its reach by recruiting additional partners in the tire industry, state highway safety officials, and others.
Annual surveys conducted by RMA consistently demonstrate a need for continuing tire care and maintenance education. The 2003 survey results revealed that only 14 percent of drivers properly check their tire inflation pressure, while 45 percent of drivers wrongly believed it was better to leave their tires a bit deflated when taking a trip with a fully loaded vehicle. RMA will announce the results from its 2004 survey in conjunction with National Tire Safety Week activities. For more information about the "Be Tire Smart - Play Your PART" program, contact: RMA, (202) 682-4800, www.betiresmart.org.
Jeep Adventure Series
An all-new Jeep Adventure Series is slated to air April 2004. The series will cover action-adventure sports from around the globe. The broad range of lifestyle and adventure sports covered will include big-wave surfing, extreme adventure, racing, snowboarding, and rally raids. It will also feature behind-the-scenes features on athletes, expeditions, and the world of action-adventure sports.
"Jeep, the original 'go anywhere, do anything' vehicle has always gotten adventure sports participants and fans to the heart of the action," said Jeff Bell, vice president, Chrysler and Jeep marketing. "Now together with NBC and Aura360, the Jeep brand will bring the heart of action to millions of viewers."
Jon Miller, senior vice president, programming, NBC Sports, says, "This is a terrific opportunity to showcase compelling events such as the Raid World Championships in Argentina and the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, to a national audience."
Aura360, in conjunction with NBC and Jeep, will manage sponsorship development, content, and event identification and integrated marketing programs surrounding the series.
U.S Army-Inspired '04 Jeep Wrangler Willys
It's the stuff of legend: The U.S. Army requested a vehicle - and drove off in a hero. The Willys MB, its spirit forged by the fire of combat and honed in the heat of battle, seared its way into the hearts of warriors fighting for freedom.
The legacy continues with the introduction of the Limited-Edition '04 Jeep Wrangler Willys. Reminiscent of the soldiers' experiences with the original Willys MB during WW II, today's collectors, veterans, outdoor enthusiasts, and adventurers will find themselves establishing a powerful bond with their faithful new Jeep Wrangler Willys.
The Wrangler Willys will feature an exclusive Moss Green exterior color, unique Willys decal at the cowl side, diamond-plate sill guards painted dark green, body-color fender flares, 4.0L Power Tech I-6 engine, Quadra-Coil suspension, Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system, tow hooks, foglamps, fullsize spare tire with matching wheel, removable half-doors, and fold-down windshield. For more information, contact: Jeep, www.jeep.com.