- A Huge 4x4 Party! Recap of the 39th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
A Huge 4x4 Party! Recap of the 39th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Three days of all things 4x4 rocked Indianapolis, Indiana at the 2020 Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree.
We were stoked when we learned that the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals was a go. Taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the 2020 Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals was set to bring more than 2,000 4x4s to the Heartland, and we couldn't wait to attend. Jam packed with a multitude of events beginning on Friday and continuing all the way through to Sunday afternoon, the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals was nirvana for truck, Jeep, and off-road enthusiasts. Many call the Jamboree a "state fair for four-wheel gearheads." There was just about everything for every type of 4x4 fan at the Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, including a Performance Marketplace, Show-N-Shine, General Tire Monster Truck Show, General Tire Burnout Competition, mud bog racing, the Tough Truck Challenge, mega trucks, a Dyno Challenge, monster truck rides, and lots more.
Immediately upon entering the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, we were greeted by a massive bumper-to-bumper line of 4x4s in the Cruise Lane.
Cruising the Cruise Lane
Immediately upon entering the Indiana State Fairgrounds, we were greeted by bumper-to-bumper traffic consisting of all types of 4x4s lined up in the Cruise Lane. This was an organized part of the event that had its own lane dedicated to cruising around the fairgrounds the entire time the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals was open. It was sensory overload. One minute there's a rock buggy on bags flexing its suspension right in front of you, then there's a lifted Chevy K5 Blazer with an engine loping so heavy you can't help but stop and listen to the sweet sound.
Who doesn't like a clean first-gen Cummins-powered Dodge Ram W250? Lorelle Hetrick of Ney, Ohio, had his all-original (including body panels) 1993 W250 on display as part of the Show-N-Shine at the grandstand.
From Show-N-Shine to a Dyno
The Performance Marketplace stretched for several blocks and consisted of vendors offering almost everything imaginable including tools, tires, wheels, swag, tuners, off-road lighting, and much more. Food trucks were scattered throughout the fairgrounds, but they were thick throughout the marketplace. As we ventured through the fairgrounds, the Performance Marketplace gave way to the Show-N-Shine area packed with parked 4x4s. The area included everything from numbers-matching all-original 4x4s with zero defects to total Frankenstein one-off custom rigs fully built and ready to hit the trail. As we continued through the fairgrounds we discovered the mobile dyno setup. We moseyed over and joined the crowd of spectators to watch a sleeper second-gen Cummins-powered Dodge Ram with a screaming turbo as it took a dyno pull. Continuing on, we spent several hours admiring all the different 4x4s in the Cruise Lane and Show-N-Shine before we headed to the grandstands.
It never got old watching the Modified Class Tough Trucks slingshot across the track and get airborne.
Infield 4x4 Action
Several types of 4x4 events took place at the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, including mud bog racing, the Tough Truck Challenge, mega truck racing, and the General Tire Monster Truck Show. Mud bog racing included six different classes of vehicles, and anybody could participate provided they paid a $25 pay-in and passed tech inspection prior to competing. Trucks could be seen relentlessly blasting through the mud pit, sending a shockwave of mud through the air. The Tough Truck Challenge consisted of a Stock Class and Modified Class. Modified Tough Trucks ran a high-speed route consisting of dirt track with jumps and a concrete racetrack where they could open up their high-horsepower engines. Here we saw high-speed approaches to tabletops and some mud tire drifting on asphalt. As the Modified Class finished up, we couldn't help but notice the larger mega trucks lining up at the race entrance. These trucks ran a route similar to the Modified Class, but they seemed to be launching over the jumps and they used their powerful engines to generate wheelspin in order to conduct a dirt drift turnaround. The turnaround is where things get dicey for these trucks. We saw one truck catch traction during a high-speed dirt drift only to conduct a complete barrel roll, land on its tires, and keep racing. As the mega trucks were wrapping up, the pits where the monster trucks were parked began to come to life.
The freestyle competition allowed each monster truck to show off for the crowd with jumps, wheelies, donuts, and any other tricks they had up their sleeve. Dirt Crew went for max air straight out of the pits.
The General Tire Monster Truck Show included Dirt Crew, Raminator, The General, Quad Chaos, Samson, and Bad Habit. These incredible machines competed head to head in a short course race then individually in a freestyle event. The freestyle competition is a free-for-all where each truck shows off by getting max air on jumps and ripping donuts, among other things. A panel of judges made up of selected spectators was responsible for judging each truck. All the trucks were impressive, to say the least, but Dirt Crew came out of the pits with no holding back, hitting jumps so hard we cringed as the truck's suspension absorbed every brutal landing.
The following day we spent the rest of our time meeting more great people and checking out the trucks on display at the Show-N-Shine. The creativity, passion, and personality that went into each rig we saw made the Show-N-Shine one of our favorite parts of the event. As we wrapped up our time at the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, we browsed through the Performance Marketplace one last time and grabbed a quick bite to eat from some of our favorite food trucks.
For more info on the Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree or if you're interested in attending any of the other Jamborees in the series, visit 4wheeljamboree.com.
We spent a lot of time checking out the Kenda Tires' 1991 Chevy K5 Blazer. It's outfitted with a 6.2L LS engine mated to a 4L80E, paired with a combination behemoth transfer case and underdrive box. The rig sits on heavily modified 1-ton axles with an Eaton ELocker-equipped GM Dana 60 up front and GM 14-Bolt loaded with an Eaton Detroit Locker in the rear. Bilstein M9100 2.5-inch bypass shocks and coilovers keep the ride as smooth as possible, even in extreme conditions.
Jeeps, even one with an airbag suspension, joined hundreds of 4x4s ranging from squeaky-clean well-built custom trucks with perfect paint to purpose-built hardcore 4x4s.
One of the best parts about the Cruise Lane is the variation of vehicles that were intermixed throughout and the sort of playlist shuffle in which you'd discover them. This Willys Rat Rod followed just behind a late- model Ford F-150, which was followed by a lifted golf cart.
As we kept wandering deeper and deeper into the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals we quickly realized that the Cruise Lane was seemingly endless, wrapping completely around the event in a bumper-to-bumper formation.
With the sun shining down on a beautiful Midwest fall day, the fairgrounds were jam-packed full of people that you couldn't help but sense were thrilled to be out and about.
Dixie the Praying Dog, a bluetick coonhound therapy dog, could be found greeting fans and posing for pictures near her owner's Jeep. For more on Dixie and her cause, check out @dixie_the_praying_dog on Instagram.
The Performance Marketplace included a broad spectrum of aftermarket parts suppliers. Everything from tires, tuners, tools, lights, and much more was available to check out. AirDog had its lift pump demonstration on display, showing the pump's ability to separate fuel from air, eliminating the chances for aeration to occur.
This mobile dyno was part of the Dyno Challenge powered by Moonlite Diesel Performance and was open to anyone who was a registered Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals participant willing to put their truck's power on display. With time slots available for appointment throughout all three days of the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, participants could pay $85 for two pulls on the dyno and a chance to win a Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals Dyno Award for highest horsepower each day.
This Ford F-350 had no issue burning rubber as part of the General Tire Burnout Competition.
Some of our favorite Cruise Lane vehicles passed us multiple times throughout the weekend. Here's one of our favorites, the airbag-suspension Jeep.
The line of vehicles that made up the Cruise Lane didn't stop. Even on the far side of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 4x4s were lined up.
It wasn't uncommon to see a cool rig parked with a for sale sign in the window. This 1979 Ford F-350 SuperCab was parked near a row of Show-N-Shine vehicles.
All kinds of vehicular creations could be seen throughout the event, like this trick Chevy K5 Blazer with matching K10 bed.
This retired fire unit Dodge W250 was parked among Show-N-Shine vehicles. We tried to track down the owner for more information, but sadly nobody could be found. Too bad, this truck probably has a great story.
The Stock Class of Tough Trucks allowed registrants to put both their vehicle and driving skills to the test. These two trucks went head to head through the mud pit.
Trucks competing in the Modified Class of the Tough Truck Challenge are seen here matching up at the starting line in preparation to race the modified short course. The short course consisted of a combination of a quick run across the dirt course followed by a long run around the paved track.
Even with a relatively short distance to build up speed, these high-horsepower Modified Class Tough Trucks managed to get air on almost every one of the obstacles.
Tough Trucks could be seen getting sideways and squirrely when they transitioned from dirt to pavement during their short course race.
The mega trucks ran a similar short course as the Modified Class Tough Trucks with exception to hitting the pavement. Mega trucks stayed on the dirt and let it rip. Rooster tails of dirt followed almost every truck as they competed against one another.
Mega trucks went into the turnaround portion of the dirt track race aggressively, ripping that portion of the course to shreds.
Mega Trucks also got their fair share of air.
Mega Trucks also competed in a drag race through the mud pit. Their take-off from the starting line really gave you a sense for how much power and traction these trucks have.
The trucks hit the mud pit hard, regardless of how sloppy it got.
It pays to get ahead of your opponent in a mud drag race. Not only to win but also to avoid getting covered by the muddy rooster tail.
Getting out of the mud pit was an obstacle in its own right for some.
Following the mega trucks was the monster trucks. Many spectators stayed in their seats, watching the monster truck pit area come to life.
From across the infield, you could see another line of spectators developing in anticipation of the monster trucks.
The sound of the powerful engine roaring from underneath the hood of Bad Habit as it left the pit area let everyone in the fairgrounds know that the General Tire Monster Truck Show had officially started.
The trucks seemed to find a way of staying on all four tires, even after hard landings.
Bad Habit managed to pull itself out of a rollover with a little help from its powerful engine.
The monster trucks managed to get big air on even the little jumps.
The monster trucks ran a dirt track course race that was very similar to the mega truck course. Here is a shot of Bad Habit and The General at the turnaround.
Bad Habit and the General race toward the finish line following the turnaround portion of the dirt track race.
Managing to recover from hard landings seemed to be a shared skillset for all of these highly skilled drivers.
Watching donuts never gets old, especially monster truck donuts.
As it was finishing up an awesome donut, Dirt Crew managed to pop a wheelie as it was pulling out of the donut.
The unmistakable arms of Samson added a Superman effect to jumps.
With just the right timing, Samson launched almost vertically into the air on many of the jumps.
While many of the trucks shot out of the pits and went straight for the biggest jump they could find, The General took a different approach and tore right into an aggressive donut.
Seeing the big trucks play on the pavement was spectacular in its own right. The General hit the pavement and with blips of the throttle could lift the front end off the ground on command.
You couldn't help but get the sense that the drivers of the monster trucks were having a blast during the freestyle. The General seemed to hammer down on the throttle every chance it got, especially on any turns in the dirt.
All the trucks were able to get sky high on the jumps, and The General was no exception.
The hard landings from big jumps not only makes you appreciate the driver's skills, but also the strength and design of the suspension.
The Raminator made the most of the little jumps, managing to show off with massive wheelies throughout the entire course.
As the main event of the monster trucks came to an end, spectators flowed out of the grandstand and down into the Performance Marketplace.