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VEHICLE: '04 Jeep Grand Cherokee OWNER: Kyle O'Brien, CA TIRES & WHEELS: 33x12.50 BFG KM2s on 16-inch wheels SUSPENSION: 4-inch Iron Rock Offroad long arm DRIVETRAIN: Dana 30 front, Dana 44A rear PERFORMANCE MODS: 4.7L Other Doodads: Iron Rock sliders and skids DOES EVERYTHING WORK THE WAY YOU WANT?: Yes ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE?: Fox shocks, front bumper, and a winch ANYTHING TO ADD?: Wrangler guys like to laugh about my Jeep having factory navigation and heated leather seats, but on bad-weather wheeling trips, the joke's on them! O

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A FIRST AT THE BAJA1000

hen father-and-son racers Gustavo Vildosola Jr. and Sr. drove their Ford F-150 Trophy Truck through 1,061 miles of grueling Baja terrain between Ensenada and La Paz in just over 19 hours, they earned several spots in the Tecate-SCORE Baja 1000 record books.

Not only did they win First Place among the four-wheeled entries, but they were faster than the winning JCR/Honda motorcycle team of Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody, the first four-wheeled entry to do so in a full-peninsula race since 1973. The Vildosolas are also the first Mexican national team to earn an overall win in the race's 43-year history. And the Vildosola victory gave BFGoodrich its 24th overall four-wheel victory in the 1000.

"This race means a lot to me and my family," said Gus Jr. after the race. "Every time we go out and race, I say we have the privilege of representing Mexico because we're the only Mexican SCORE Trophy Truck team. It's obviously an honor to finally be able to win a race for them and for all of our fans who have been supporting us for all these years. And it is especially great for my dad, as well. He bought this SCORE Trophy Truck eight years ago with the dream to win a Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 overall, and today we were able to fulfill that dream."

T| he Vildosolas weren't ■ the only Ford truck driv-I ers with something to celebrate in La Paz. Mike McCarthy, Robbie McCarthy, and Greg Crowther drove Ford's EcoBoost-powered F-150 race truck all the way to the finish line in 38 hours 20 minutes, "and the engine never missed a ing and kept right ongoing."

F-150 and traveled to Oregon, where it worked as a log skid-der. Next, the truck towed 11,300 pounds at high speeds around a NASCAR track in Florida before towing up steep grades H' in Arizona ^

"Today we were able to fulfill that dream"

against competitive trucks. After its stint in Arizona the engine was installed in Che race truck.

Weather Kip

OYOU THINK YOU'RE COLD?

against competitive trucks. After its stint in Arizona the engine was installed in Che race truck.

THIS 1USTIN

Arctic Trucks, an outfitter based in Reykjavik, Iceland, specializes in equipping 4x4s for some of the most extreme conditions on earth. How extreme? A recent expedition used Arctic Trucks-built Toyota Hituxes to reach the South Pole, where temperatures were a balmy -49 degrees F. This marks the third year In a row that Arctic Trucks Toyotas have been used on South Pole expeditions. Currently a fleet of 12 Toyotas is down there, including a 6x6, and Arctic also provides drivers and mechanics to support the vehicles. You can follow their expeditions (three are scheduled for the South Pole this year) at www.arctictrucks-expeditions.com.

• 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 4W0R readerwho 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.

HAll'S STRiflK CONTINUES

Rod Hall continues to be the only racer to have competed in every Baja 1000 since the race began 43 years ago. In November, at age 72, Hall drove his team's new Chevy Silverado international rally truck across the finish line after sharing driving duties with his sons Josh and Chad. Their finish, 24th in the Trophy Truck class, wasn't among the family's best (the Halls have earned 33 class wins at the 1000), but it wasn't unexpected given that the truck was finished just three weeks prior to the race.

"We encountered issues that we fully expected, given limited testing before the race," said Chad, himself an eight-time Baja 1000 class winner. "We have additional tuning and work to do, but our goal was to reach the finish line, and we accomplished that."

The Chevy is a 4x4, maybe the only one in the Trophy Truck class. That choice makes more sense when you learn that the Halls plan to enter the Silverado in a number of international rallies, including the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the Australasian Safari Rally, and the Dakar.

OYOU THINK YOU'RE COLD?

LEXUS SURVIVES—AND WINS—IN BA1A TOO

Ioe 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.

DRIVELINES

•to help one of our best land-use advocacy groups, you can instantly donate $5 to Tread Lightly! by texting "tread" to 20222. A onetime 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.

OJEEP 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-shlne, 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.

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