Outdoor Channel Goes High-Def
Following the popularity of such programs as Primedia's Hot Rod TV and Dema Production's Four Wheeler TV, the Outdoor Channel has made the jump to high-definition. The two programs, each with distinctive and loyal fan bases, are now available in vivid HD as part of the programming lineup on the new, all-HD Outdoor Channel 2 HD. Four Wheeler TV offers coverage of off-road adventures, industry events, and contests and challenges, as well as how-to segments that showcase products and accessories from leading manufacturers. For more information and show times, check out: www.outdoorchannel.com.
2006 JeepSpeed Series to Include Wrangler, V-8 Engines
My buddy Super Steve sent me an e-mail the other day with news from the JeepSpeed online forum that Clive Skilton's JeepSpeed Challenge competition series had added some new classes for the 2006 season. In addition to the very popular JeepSpeed Cherokee XJs, a new Wrangler Unlimited class has been announced. Standard-model Wrangler 4x4s will also be permitted providing the vehicle's wheelbase is stretched behind the cab to 103.4 inches. This is the stock wheelbase of the Wrangler Unlimited. Vehicles must include an upright windshield frame, hard doors, and a solid roof above the cab area. Additionally, rear coil springs must remain in the factory location.
The second new class is an Open Jeep class that will include any Jeep vehicle with a max wheelbase of 110 inches. Any Jeep, AMC, Mopar, Dodge, or Chrysler engine will be permitted, with V-8s limited to wet-sump small-blocks. For more information, contact: JeepSpeed, (714) 538-7434, www.jeepspeed.com.
New Events, Just Trails Option for 2006 Jeep Jamboree Season
With two new Jamboree events, the debut of a special edition trip, and a new "Just Trails" option, the 2006 Jeep Jamboree USA season is underway. The first event of the year, the second annual Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree in Llano, Texas, will occur March 24 through 26, and is followed by 31 events across the United States, taking place through the end of October. The new Jambos for 2006 include the Top of the Ozarks Jamboree (4/21-4/23) in Seymour, Missouri, and the Ruby Mountains Jamboree (9/15-9/17) in Elko, Nevada. The special edition adventure includes the first-ever Great Nevada Outback with Mark A. Smith which will provide the opportunity for a select group of Jeepers to spend three days with Off-Road Hall of Fame honoree, Mark A. Smith, on a personal journey through the lands he calls his "backyard."
The latest and greatest feature of the 2006 Jeep Jamboree season is the new "Just Trails" option that will include the traditional Friday and Saturday night family-style dinners but will allow Jamboree guests to make their own meal plans for the remainder of the weekend. This feature was added in direct response to Jamboree guest requests and will help make the "Just Trails" designated events more affordable for families. For those who enjoy the traditional Jamboree format with all seven meals provided for the trip, the "Classic" Jamborees will still be available.
Another new element of the 2006 Jamboree season is a simplified pricing structure for kids ages 6 to 12. Additionally, children under the age of 5 may now attend Jamborees with their families at no charge. For more information, contact: Jeep Jamboree USA, (530) 333-4777, www.jeepjamboreeusa.com.
Jeep Heroes Nominees Awarded new Jeeps
As part of its ongoing Jeep Heroes Nomination Program, Jeep has announced the four latest Grand Prize winners who will each receive their choice of an all-new '06 Jeep Commander or Grand Cherokee Laredo. The Jeep Heroes Nomination Program was established by the Jeep brand to honor military, police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel who deliver exemplary, unique, and heroic service to improve the quality of life in cities and towns across America. More than 2,500 nominations were submitted over the last 10 months and narrowed down to 12 finalists by an advisory committee made up of military, police, fire, and EMS association representatives, uniformed services advocates, and former public officials. The Grand Prize winners included: U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Vera Harris from Denton, Texas, who was nominated by her daughter, Nitia; California Highway Patrol search and rescue helicopter pilot J.C. Dodd from Applegate, California, who was nominated by his wife, Jacqueline; Placitas, New Mexico, firefighter Bud Brinkerhoff, nominated by friend and colleague Drew Owen; and volunteer first responder and emergency medical technician Cindy Gibson of Star Prairie, Wisconsin, who was nominated by her son, Rick Larson. For information about all of the 12 Jeep Heroes finalists or the Jeep Heroes Nomination Program, check out: www.jeep.com/heroes.
Superlift Off-Road Park Celebrates Fifth Year
Way back in 2001, Trent McGee of Superlift Suspension Systems, invited us out to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to check out the newly opened Superlift Off-Road Vehicle Park. With its countless logging and powerline roads, the area had been a four-wheeling hot spot since the '70s, but access became restricted over the years and eventually closed to the public. During the time of our first visit, only a few trails had been cleared and reopened among the 1,254 wooded acres, and the only facilities were portable. These days, however, the park plays host to events such as Jeep Jamboree and the Superlift 4xAdventure Series and boasts multiple trails that are mapped and posted with difficulty ratings. Permanent structures have also been added, including modern restrooms, showers, and a 4,000-sq-ft pavilion. Both tent and RV camping with full hookups are also available. Superlift Off-Road Park is open to the public by day pass, annual pass, family pass, or group discount. Special event planning and execution packages are also offered. For more information, contact: Superlift Off-Road Vehicle Park, (501) 625-3600, www.orvpark.com.