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Dispatch - October 2014

Posted in News on September 12, 2014
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Jeep News & Rumors
• The ’15 Dodge Challenger SRT sports a brand-new supercharged 6.2L Hemi Hellcat, the most potent V-8 Chrysler has ever made. It’s worth more than 600 horses. So…Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT next?

• Is Ford trying to take on Jeep with its new Troller T4? And only in Brazil (oh, so that’s what a Brazilian is). And with a 3.2L diesel engine? And six-speed manual?

• Jeep’s best sales month ever in history was May 2014. Thank the Wrangler and Cherokee.

•’14 Cherokee: Northwest Outdoor ActivityVehicle of the Year by the Northwest Automotive Press Association.

•The 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, which evaluates new-vehicle quality after 90 days of ownership, put the Jeep at— wait, where is it on the list? There it is in the section on worst-performing brands.

• Rut roh. Is Chrysler undergoing an ignition switch investigation similar to the massive one GM is going through? Like, with ’06-’07 Jeep Commanders and ’05-’06 Grand Cherokees?

Industry News
• Goodyear is building a new North American plant. South Carolina, we might just be talking to you.

• Fred C. Offenhauser has been inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame. You recognize the Offenhauser name for performance products.

• Bridgestone is the official tire of the Olympics through 2024.

• More tires: Toyo is the official tire of the 2014 SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road.

• Holley will have a new R&D facility, which will bring with it around 20 new jobs. It’s not the official tire of anything.

• Aries Automotive has been acquired by CURT Manufacturing. Also not the official tire of anything.

• Need to do a Federal-Mogul product rebate? Now it can be done quickly during a promotional period via a digital upload—scan and upload proof of purchase rather than snail mailing it. You can scan your tire, but it won’t make it official.

Auto Graphs
• Ford wants to use tomato fibers for more sustainable bioplastic materials, like for wiring brackets, storage bins and French fries. One of those three is not a bioplastic material. Tough call.

• The average age of vehicles on U.S. roads is 11.4 years, says IHS Automotive. And light vehicles in operation are at more than 252 million.

• And Detroit is being called Carjack City.

• Google Auto Link—that’s right, GAL— might just mean your smartphone with Google’s operating system could be controlled via your vehicle’s controls and display.

• Hey, asbestos, get out of our brake products. At least that’s the goal. The U.S. House of Representatives is authorizing a study to look into imported brake products and their inclusion of asbestos.

• This can’t happen, right? GM is possibly toying with an app that would let you scan another vehicle’s license plate and then text the driver.

• The Census Bureau figured out that there are almost 90,000 auto service facilities in the U.S., seeing $43 billion in business.

• Don’t be surprised if aluminum-bodied pickups become the hot thing, with most sporting that lightweight material by 2025.

• The National Insurance Crime Bureau took a look at SUV and crossover vehicles stolen from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2013. Among the Top Five makes/ model swiped was the Grand Cherokee. Top state for SUV theft? California.

Quote Without Story
“I wasn’t keen to get my hair ruined.”
—Emma Nichols, according to Eastern Daily Press 24. Her new husband, L/Cpl Steven Nichols, arrived to his wedding in a restored ’42 Ford GPW. The vehicle had been with the 2nd battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire light infantry, part of the 6th airborne division on the Normandy beaches. It had been damaged and left during a landing after an airborne assault on the Rhine crossing before being restored. The bride preferred to depart the wedding in a Rolls. Her smart hubby figured out the secret to a happy marriage quickly and joined her.

Pay to Destroy This Guy’s Jeep
“I don’t think it’s all Jeeps, it’s just there’s something systemically wrong with this one.” That’s Ashton Wood of Queensland to the Daily Mailout of the U.K. He launched a Kickstarter campaign to get people to destroy his Jeep. For $12, your name will be written on it in permanent marker. For $22, you get a chance to use a sledgehammer on it. For $250, you might get to destroy the engine. For $55, you might be able to shoot a bow and arrow at it. For $5,000, you might be the one to set the chassis on fire. His goal is to raise $22,500, the amount Chrysler had offered to buy it back; it’s a Jeep Liberty/Cherokee Limited, which he bought new in 2010 and says has had 20 defects. He wants to destroy it so that it can’t be resold. Go to for the scoop.

The Passing of Mark Smith, Off-Road Icon
There are actual celebrities in the off-road world. But these celebs aren’t making dirty videos or starring in silly reality TV shows. Our celebrities are heroes. Legends. Icons. Trailblazers, and usually literally for that. One of those was Mark Smith, who founded the Jeep Jamboree USA, and helped with the first-ever Jeep crossing on the Rubicon Trail. He had also served as a Marine (through which he drove his first Jeep). Unfortunately, we lost Mark in June 2014 at the age of 87.

From the “We’re Not Sure We Understand This Exercise” Files
A Jeep press release: “The Jeep brand’s legendary 4x4 performance was put to the test today by members of the Juventus soccer team during a day of off-road fun and thrill at the Balocco Proving Grounds in Italy.”

Where the Jeeps Are
Have an event in 2014? Let us know! Remember, the magazine needs a couple months notice. Tell us about it so we can help put the word out. And be sure to follow these steps:
• Name of event:
• Date(s) of event:
• City/State of event:
• Venue for event:
• Website for readers to learn more about your event:
• Why your event is cool in five words or less:
• Have a high-resolution photo from a previous event? Feel free to send it to us and we might just include it.
• Send the info and photo to:
• Make your subject line: Where the Jeeps Are

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