Dusy-Ershim Is Outstanding
When BFGoodrich Tires honored the Dusy-Ershim OHV Trail in Sanger, California, as one of its Outstanding Trails for 2011, our man Fred Williams was on hand to take part in the festivities. BFG gave members of the Four Wheel Drive Club of Fresno a $4,000 grant to be used to maintain and preserve the trail. Founded in 1954, the club has built 10 trails and currently maintains six of them. It also coordinates with the Forest Service to perform various work projects that maintain and preserve the trails throughout the year.
New TrailBlazer Unveiled
We got word of Chevy’s new TrailBlazer just in time to get it into last month’s “This Just In” section, but now we can show you the SUV Chevrolet debuted at the Dubai International Motor Show. Since it shares a platform with the new Colorado pickup, the TrailBlazer will be a body-on-frame vehicle “with a chassis tuned to combine heavy-duty off-road capability with refined city driving,” says Chevy. The show vehicle was equipped with GM’s new 2.8L Duramax turbodiesel and AWD.
• SEMA reports the EPA and NHTSA issued draft regulations to set fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions limits for ’17-’25 vehicles. The fleet-wide average will rise from 35.5 mpg for ’17 models to 54.5 mpg for ’25 models, a nearly five percent annual increase, with slightly lower standards for light-duty trucks. The government estimates the rules would add $2,000 to the price of a new passenger car in 2025 but save more than $6,000 in fuel costs over the vehicle’s lifetime.
• SEMA also alerted us to an oversight hearing held by a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on the U.S. Forest Service’s draft rule for managing the country’s 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. Among the organizations invited to testify at the hearing was the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC). SEMA has partnered with BRC in opposition to the proposed rule on grounds that it does not adequately protect access for motorized recreation and will be a source of ongoing litigation. The Congressional panel urged the Forest Service to revise the rule so as to provide a clearer explanation of guidelines and to ensure a “full mix of recreational opportunities.”
Like the Colorado, the TrailBlazer is intended for international sale, launching first in Thailand. And as happened with the Colorado, GM is not saying whether the TrailBlazer will be sold in the U.S. We’ve since learned that we are getting the pickup; we’ll wait and see about the SUV.
JeepSpeed & McMillin Headed South
JeepSpeed’s Clive Skilton sent us word that five-time Baja 1000 winner and Trophy Truck driver Mark McMillin is participating with Darren Skilton and navigator Gary Arnold in the 2012 Dakar Rally. The team will campaign the Hemi-powered Grand Cherokee that won the 2007 Australian Safari Rally Stock Class. They’re running in Dakar Open Production 2 Class, which includes Toyota Tundras and Ford Raptors.
You’ll recall that unrest in Africa forced the rally to move to South America. This year the route covers some 9,000 kilometers (about 5,600 miles) through Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
Clive Skilton grabbed this photo of the Jeep just before it went into the container bound for South America. We’ll keep you posted on the team’s progress.
Mopar V-10 Wins at Baja
In more Baja 1000 news, an off-road-race version of Mopar’s new V-10 crate race engine powered Kent Kroeker and Alan Roach to victory in Class 8. The team covered the 705-mile course in a little more than 20 hours and called the performance from the 800hp mill “superb.” Kroeker and his KORE race team put the Ram 1500 race truck together in just six weeks, and Kroeker pointed out that his truck was the only Baja 1000 entry using Mopar power.
The Great Outdoors
The outdoors are in, apparently. At least that’s the impression we got after receiving news about two special outdoors-themed pickups.
Chevrolet teamed with outfitter Realtree to build the Silverado Realtree concept pickup (below) for the SEMA Show. Based on a Duramax-powered 2500 HD, the pickup features custom Champagne Silver Metallic paint with Realtree graphics. Inside you’ll find Dark Cocoa leather upholstery with camouflage piping and blaze-orange stitching, plus Realtree AP pattern accents.
While the Chevy is a concept, Ram will sell a limited number of ’12 1500 4x4 crew cabs in a special Mossy Oak Edition (left). The Mossy Oak Ram’s bed caps and tailgate are covered in Breakup Infinity camouflage, while inside there’s more Breakup Infinity camo on the instrument panel and door inserts. Buyers also can opt for leather seats with Mossy Oak seatback embroidery.
• Mar. 2-4: 50th annual Desert Safari, Truckhaven Hills area of the North Ocotillo Wells SVRA, Borrego Springs, CA, by Tierra Del Sol. Info: www.tds4x4.com
• Mar. 9-11: Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. Info: www.score-international.com
• Mar. 10: Getting Started Off-Road Driving Clinic, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• Mar. 11: Advanced Beginner 4WD Clinic, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• Mar. 16: Death Valley Adventure, Death Valley, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• Mar. 17: Balls Out 250 desert race, Barstow, CA, by Mojave Off Road Racing Enthusiast. Info: www.moreracing.net
• Mar. 17: Dog Party 2, Twisted Trails Off Road Park, Copemish, MI. Info: www.twistedtrailsoffroadpark.com
• Mar. 24: Mojave Road Adventure, near Needles, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• Mar. 29-31: Texas Spur Jeep Jamboree, Llano, TX. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
• Mar. 29-31: Pine Barrens Jeep Jamboree, Hammonton, NJ. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
• Mar. 31–Apr. 1: Schuss Mtn. Snow Challenge, Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire, MI. Info: www.griztekusa.com/snowchallenge.html
• Note: If you have a 4WD event you want us to publicize, please send the date, location, a description of the event, and contact info—phone numbers and/or email/website address—to Calendar, 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit your info at least four months in advance of the event due to our press lead times.