Off-Road is Blowin' Up!
According to SEMA, the off-road market is a $27 billion portion of the automotive aftermarket industry and is enjoying a surge in growth. Because the off-road market is leading all others in terms of growth, SEMA is implementing a multifaceted program to support this thriving market. The promotion is intended to add excitement to SEMA's regional trade show for auto and truck accessories. The effort will culminate in the introduction of an off-road-specific pavilion at SEMA's Spring Expo 2005, which will focus entirely on the rockcrawling, sand sport, four-wheeling, and popular off-road segments.
According to SEMA vice president of marketing and communications, Peter MacGillivray, SEMA "has the opportunity to put the spotlight on off-roading at the SEMA Spring Expo, while it's already in the limelight at the annual SEMA Show where off-road products are on display in virtually every section." In addition to the increase in show exposure, SEMA will also feature an off-road-specific story in every issue of its newsletter, which will give the industry an even greater appreciation for our market. This is great news for the readers of off-road because it means we'll see even more cool, new products for their trucks in the coming year.
Supreme Court Reviews OHV Access to Wilderness Areas
The Supreme Court will review a decision made by a federal appeals court that currently allows environmental groups to sue federal agencies for failing to adequately limit OHV access to wilderness study areas. The decision makes it possible for environmental groups to sue federal agencies for their day-to-day operations that may or may not limit access to wilderness areas. The Court must decide whether or not an agency can be sued. This is important because if the Court decides in favor of the current ruling, this could open the flood gates for a multitude of lawsuits. During these lawsuits the OHV areas in question could be closed while the lawyers battle in court, costing off-road enthusiasts a great amount of areas in which they may operate their vehicles.
CORR Series Final
With the 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series coming to an end and the 2004 series just around the corner, here's a look at the big winners. The $1.2 million season saw Carl Renezeder (Pro-4), Scott Taylor (Pro-2) and Jeff Kincaid (Pro-lite) come out on top in the Pro Series as division champions. It was Renezeder's first CORR title as Taylor and Kincaid continue to reign as the top dogs in their classes.
In the Sportsman Series, Aaron Hawley (Super Buggy) and Dan Baudoux (Sportsman 2) won their first CORR titles in 2003. Mark Keliman (Stock), Michael Seefeldt (Single Buggy), and Josh Hintz (Light Buggy) successfully defended their championships this year.
The top 10 qualified drivers took home $676,000, and contingencies and bonuses bumped that amount to the considerable sum of $1.2 million.
The Kumho Tire Rookie of the Year recipients were Steve Barlow (Pro-2) and Randy Rundhaug (Stock). Barlow took home a check for $2,500 and Rundhaug $500.
The GM Powertrain Mechanic of the Year award was presented to Mike Karaba. Karaba played an instrumental role in Carl Renezeder's successful run in his Pro-4 Lucas Oil Chevrolet and the award was worth an additional $1,000.
For the fourth consecutive year, Ford (Pro-4), Chevrolet (Pro-2), and Toyota (Pro-lite) won the Manufacturer Championship. The Manufacturer Championship points are awarded to the top-finishing vehicle of each manufacturer based on its final official finishing position in each Pro Series event.
The 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series highlight video is now available in both DVD and VHS formats so you can re-live the brightest moments of the series again and again. To place an order, call (317) 272-2827.
A Mitsubishi Truck With Dodge FlavorMitsubishi is set to introduce a new midsize pickup that will be built at the Dodge City truck plant. The new Mitsubishi trucks will share the technology with the next generation of the Dodge Dakota, which the Chrysler Group plans to roll out next year, said Mike Aberlich, a DaimlerChrysler spokesman. Each truck model will showcase a design signature reflective of the individual brand character. Mitsubishi Motors Design Studio in Cypress, California, and the Chrysler Design Studio in Auburn Hills are each responsible for their unique models. "We are excited to expand our product offering with this new pickup, and at the same time, leverage our alliance with DaimlerChrysler to provide even greater value for our customers," said Finbarr O'Neill, Mitsubishi Motors North America chief executive officer. Mitsubishi is 35 percent owned by DaimlerChrysler. Chrysler and Mitsubishi have collaborated on everything from engines to automobiles since the 1970s. Mitsubishi's assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, has also built Chrysler vehicles since the 1980s, and in October, Mitsubishi showed off the first concept vehicle built on the platform that will serve as the basis for the next generation of midsize cars from the Chrysler Group. Up until now, though, Chrysler had not built vehicles for Mitsubishi. The deal will allow Mitsubishi to extend its growing product line in the United States and Canada, O'Neill said. More Chrysler-engineered products could be on the way.
Bully Dog Wins Ford Design AwardLots of companies win design awards every year at the SEMA Show. Bully Dog received Ford's latest award for its awesome Bulled Elegance Ford F-350 Super Duty and deservedly so. We like the fact that using its own parts, Bully Dog was able to boost the diesel's power output to 499 hp and 913 lb-ft of torque. That is arguably enough power to tow a battleship down the freeway. But what we really dig are the incredible body modifications. An extra door was added to each side of the Crew Cab pickup, making it a six-door limousine. It gets even better. The bed was redesigned with fold-down bedsides and a vertically extending tonneau cover for maximum cargo carrying capability, and the bedsides make nifty work benches when in the open position. Other trick mods include a bed-mounted barbeque grill, a cooler, and twin 17-inch flat screen televisions mounted in place of the rear cab window. Now that's what we call a trick truck.
Hummin' Through the Desert
Hummer has once again signed up to race an H2 SUV in the Best in the Desert 2004 series as well as the SCORE Baja 1000. Legendary off-road racer Rod Hall will strap a race seat and get behind the wheel of an H2 to compete in the Full Stock class. Hummer is set to showcase the H2 platform's capabilities by successfully competing in desert racing's toughest courses.