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4x4 Trucks & Sport Utility Vehicles Clubs

Posted in Project Vehicles on November 1, 2006
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Photographers: 4-Wheel & Off-Road archivesCourtesy of GMJim WickesCourtesy of Serious ExplorationsRob Modica

One could say this magazine favors Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, and Jeep. One could be right. But that's not to say we dislike certain makes or models just because you don't see them in here every month. Our pages simply tend to fall under the rule of supply and demand: readers demand, we supply. But over the course of this magazine's history, we have not forgotten the non-Big Five. Honest.

Suzukis, International, and Mitsubishi have claimed our cover. An Isuzu, Lexus, and even a Ford Ranger have nabbed 4x4 of the Year awards. Nissan has done that twice. We've covered buildups, trail rides (when they're there, our cameras are on them like Yeti), new products-and just this year called the Scout II and Isuzu Trooper two of the best 4x4s on Earth. While these vehicles may not be as highly requested by readers as, say, a Ford F-150, they've each clearly proven themselves worthy participants in the off-road world. Since Hummer, Nissan, Isuzu, Scout, Land Rover, and Ford Explorer owners are active in the community but feel the most ignored, we wanted to highlight a number of clubs (North American-based, and some official, some not), aftermarket companies, and events dedicated to servicing them. Here's a sampling of what's out there if you're looking to build one-or simply have a hankering to gang up on us with other like-minded enthusiasts.


Isuzu has been hit or miss (Trooper, hit; Rodeo, decent; Ascender, desperate; Axiom, more fun on the pavement than on the dirt; Vehicross, way cool), but it has still managed to sneak some sturdy components into even its less hard-core four-bys, such as a Dana 44 in the Amigo. Isuzu followers almost seem to have gone underground-which is unfortunate, since the brand is struggling and could really use them more than ever before.

Isuzu Online Community We Like: Isuzu Trooper Owners Guild,

Isuzu Event You Might Want to Attend: The annual Zu Zoo ( in Moab.

E-ZooZoo Isuzu 4x4 Owners Club

4x4Wire Isuzu Club

Midwest Isuzu Off-Road

Planet Isuzu Club

VehiCross Info

Zutah Wheelers


Whether it's the military H1 or the GM-born H2 and H3, the Hummer is probably the vehicle that comes to mind when the public thinks of an off-road machine. There's the H1's heavy-duty brawn and war-hero rep-plus recent status as collector's item. Then there's the exploding fan clubs for the H2, thanks to its Humvee exterior and 31/44-ton creamy center, all packaged in a more parking-lot-friendly size. The new, shrunken H3 is a rockcrawler that might give potential Jeep buyers pause to think.

Hummer Online Community We Like: The Hummer Network,

Hummer Event You Might Want to Attend: Northern California Hummer Group's annual Fun in the Sun and Sand at Pismo Beach/Dunes combines with the Southern California Hummer Owners Group to bring together triple-digit attendance.

Arizona Hummer Owners Group

Canadian Hummer Club

Colorado Hummer Club

The H2 Club

The Hummer Club

Hummer Club of New Jersey

Hummers of Long Island

Illiana Hummer Club (Illinois and Indiana)

Maui Hummers

New England Hummer Owners Group

Northern California Hummer Group

Omaha Hummer Owners Group (Nebraska)

Pacific Northwest Hummer Owners Group

Southeastern Hummer Club

Southern California Hummer Owners Group

Wisconsin Hummer Owners Group


Nissan is cranking out serious players nowadays. Over the years we've found the Frontier increasingly more fun to drive and were blown away by the NISMO off-road package. The redesigned Xterra is the best it has ever been, and the Titan came out of the box with power and performance both on and off road. As Glen Meloy, president of Southwestern Xterra Club, told us, "Nissan has started to come into its own as a company that can really compete in the off-road game."

Nissan Online Community We Like: Nissan Offroad,

Nissan Event You Might Want to Attend: Check out Nissan4Wheeler's A-Z Run (in Arizona), and Gone Moab (, which happens in May the week before Memorial Day).

Arizona Xterra Club

Calgary Nissan and Import 4x4 Club

Eastern North Carolina Xterra Club

Heartland Xterra Owners Club

Midwest Xterra Owners

New England Xterra Club

Nissan 4Wheelers

Nissan Offroad Association of the Southeast

Northeast Import Off Road Association (NIORA)

Northern California Club Xterra

Pacific Northwest Xterra Club

Rocky Mountain Xterra Club

Southeast Xterra Frontier Club

Southern California Club Xterra

Southern Ontario Xterra Club

Southwestern Xterra Club

Texas Nissan Trucks

Twin Cities Xterra Club

Upstate New York Xterra Club

Utah Xterra Owners Club

Virginia Xterra Club

West Pennsylvania Xterra Club

Xterra Owners Club

Land Rover

Camel Trophy says it all. The annual event allowed Land Rover vehicles to get beaten, bashed, drowned, and subjected to all sorts of bad smells from its weary occupants competing in the thrash-fest in exotic locales. And yet the trucks just keep on trucking. In the states, Land Rover may have more of a perception of putting out overpriced poseur SUVs driven by overpriced actors, but the debut of the LR3 proved the automaker has still got it. It has kept its off-road legacy alive, and with the most advanced engineering you'll find on the rocks.

Land Rover Online Community We Like: The Enthusiast's Range Rovers Site,

Land Rover Event You Might Want to Attend: The annual Land Rover National Rally, which will take place in Moab September 28-30 (as in, a couple of weeks away). The Solihull Society has the details.

Alabama Land Rover Club

Arizona Land Rover Owners

Bay State Rover Owner's Assoc.

Blue Ridge Land Rover Club

Carolina Rover Owners Club

Cascade Rovers

Chicago Land Rover Club

Finger Lakes Rover Club

Florida Land Rover Club

Great Lakes Land Rover Club

High Desert Rovers of New Mexico

Houston Land Rover Club

Land Rover Adventure Assoc. of Ontario

Land Rover Club of Las Vegas

Land Rover Club of San Diego

Land Rover Club of Tennessee

Minnesota Land Rovers

Northern California Rover Club

OK Offroad

The Old North State Land Rover Society

Ottawa Valley Land Rovers

Pacific Coast Rover Club


Rover-Landers of British Columbia

Rover Owners' Assoc. of Virginia

Soggy Oval

Solihull Society

Southern California Land Rover

Southern Land Rover Society

St. Louis Land Rover Society

Tennessee Rovers

Texas Rovers

The Toronto Area Rover Club

Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is the best-kept secret in the off-road world. With a few modifications, they become nearly unstoppable," says Rick Horwitz of Serious Explorations. "The trouble is that most people equate a Ford Explorer with soccer moms and shopping malls rather than off-road trails."

Ford Explorer Event You Might Want to Attend: Two of the big annuals for Explorers are Truckhaven Hills (in Southern California) and a trip to Moab about a month after the Easter Jeep Safari. Serious Explorations has the info.

Ford Explorer Online Community We Like: Explorer Forum,

Club 4x4ord

Kansas City Explorers

Serious Explorations


Not many trucks can claim true bloodlines to a farm, but International Harvester dabbled in both trucks and agriculture. When the Scout debuted in 1961, it became "the other Jeep." International's vehicles seem to pop up at farm shows more than 4x4 events, but with an available V-8, Dana 44s, and beefy implement-inspired mechanicals, it's not a surprise that the Scouts, Travelall, and pickup crowd is so loyal-no matter where they do appear.

International Online Community We Like: The Binder Bulletin,

International Event You Might Want to Attend: Arizona IH Rendezvous, which happens every April. Sonora Desert Scouts will have details.

Bi State Binders

Just Internationals

North Texas Binders

Rocky Mountain Binders

Scout Owners of Texas

Scouts West

Sonora Desert Scouts

Southern Scouts

Aftermarket Companies

These sources offer bolt-ons, suspension parts, and performance items for such vehicles as Nissan, Hummer, Isuzu, Scout, Land Rover, and more.

Advance Adapters


Automotive Customers

BDS Suspension


Black Diamond


Buckstop Truckware

Cage Offroad

Calmini Products

Comp Cams

Desert Rat Truck Centers

Driveshaft Superstore



Eaton/Detroit Locker



Gale Banks Engineering

High Impact Transmission & Gear

Holley Performance Brands


James Duff

Jet Performance Products

Laguna Speed Shop



Motive Gear

MSD Ignition

National Drivetrain

NCD Customs


Performance Distributors

Performance Products

Pro Comp

Rancho Suspension Systems

Randy's Ring & Pinion

Reider Racing

Rock Auto

Rocky Mountain Suspension Products

Rough Country Suspension Systems


Slee Off-Road

Stylin' Concepts


Super Truck Essentials

Suspension Connection

Top Gun Customz

Total Chaos Fabrication

Trail Master

Truck Performance Center Wholesale

TSM Brakes

Tuff Country

Tuffy Security Products

Tyres International

West Coast Differentials

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