This Just In
•Italian Jeeps? According to the Wall Street Journal, Fiat is investing some $1.3 billion in a plant in Turin that will make Alfa Romeos and Jeeps. More than half the vehicles built in the plant will be made for export, primarily to North America, said the paper. This doesn't mean, though, that we'll see Italian Wranglers on our trails soon. The article said the vehicles made at the plant "would use a platform modified by Chrysler from one made for Alfa Romeo's new Giulietta compact car."
•In this economy we're all doing what we can to keep food on the table. One 4WOR reader who lost his job was forced to sell his beloved Jeep Laredo, but he used the money to seed his own rug-making company. In memory of his lost Jeep, he designed a rug called Wilderness Trek that features Jeeps on the trail. To get yours, go to www.cobaltcreekrugs.com. Be sure to enter "4x4" in the coupon box during checkout to get 15 percent off.
•Red Line Synthetic Oil has developed an online application that helps you choose the right lubricating product for your vehicle. At redlineoil.com, click on the Application Guide tab and enter your vehicle's pertinent data (year, make, model, and so on). The app will recommend the right motor oil, ATF, manual transmission gear oil, differential gear oil, fuel additive and coolant additives.
•To help one of our best land-use advocacy groups, you can instantly donate $5 to Tread Lightly! by texting "tread" to 20222. A one-time donation will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance.
•The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) recognized 41 members of Congress who sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell urging the agency to prioritize and protect robust and diverse access and recreation in the national forests. This was done because the Forest Service is revising the regulations that govern how the agency prepares forest plans. These regulations will be the driving force behind how the agency develops, amends, and revises its land use plans. The BRC, along with other recreational stakeholders, has been concerned that the agency's draft proposals did not adequately address the importance of recreation.
•Speaking of the BRC, its founder, Clark Collins, was recently inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association's Hall of Fame. Collins was recognized for his contribution to the national fight to keep public lands open for OHV and other recreational activities.
Jeep Festival Hopes to Set Record
Jeep owners, mark your calendars. The Bantam Jeep Festival takes place August 12-14 in Butler, Pennsylvania, where the American Bantam Car Company produced some 3,000 jeeps in 1940-1941. (And yes, before you scold us, we know the vintage jeep in the photo is a Willys, not a Bantam.)
Among the activities planned for the festival-show-and-shine, trail rides, historic Jeep encampment-is a Jeep gathering that organizers hope to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Jeep parade ever. We'll be there taking pictures, so come join the fun. To preregister for the event, visit www.bantamjeepfestival.com.
Lexus Survives-and Wins-in Baja Too
Joe Bacal and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America-sponsored Lexus LX 570 spent a long night fighting mechanical issues in the Baja desert. A wheel came loose just 180 miles into the race, causing damage that took two hours to repair. Then an electrical gremlin kept the SUV from restarting. But Bacal and company persevered, got the Lexus running, and finished the race in 42 hours 57 minutes, winning the Stock Full class. This victory, plus three other wins and a Second Place, earned Bacal's team the Stock Full championship for 2010.