A Look Ahead at 2016 Off-Road Anniversaries and MilestonesDecember 30th, 2015 by David Beran
As 2015 draws to a close, the off-road industry is firing on all cylinders and poised to take a pivotal turn into next year. New vehicle sales surpassed all previous years, with Jeep and light truck numbers surging while consumers are consistently buying aftermarket parts and accessories for their 4x4s. Low gas prices are also kick starting more travel to different destinations including off-road journeys. Off-road enthusiasts are flocking to festivals, jamborees and races and these gatherings are eclipsing their previous attendance numbers.
2016 features a full slate of major milestones in the aftermarket manufacturing industry and events celebrating off-roading. Here is a look at five of the significant upcoming anniversaries that promise to make next year memorable.
King of the Hammers 10th Anniversary
When Hammertown opens on Friday, January 27, 2016, it will mark the 10th anniversary of the little race that could that has now terraformed into a colossal five race event encompassing a full week of activities. February 5 will be the running of the 10th edition of the Ultra4 desert race with the Smittybilt Every Man Challenge happening on Thursday the 4th. By now, most have heard the story of the OG13 who gathered on the Johnson Valley lake bed back in 2006 and drew up a course on a napkin. The 2016 Nitto King of the Hammers will pay homage to the original competitors and crown a new champion to cap off its illustrious first decade.
Rubicon Express 20th Anniversary
Founded in 1996 by Jeep enthusiasts Scott Becker and Ryan Wallace, Rubicon Express was inspired by its proximity to the legendary Rubicon Trail. Known as the benchmark of off-roading and Jeep trails, the company filled the need for products built to withstand the punishing elements encountered on the notorious trail and beyond. Manufacturing trail-proven Jeep lift kits, leveling kits, drivetrains and drivetrain components has distinguished Rubicon Express in the aftermarket industry and they plan to celebrate 20 years with special promotions and campaigns.
Easter Jeep Safari in Moab 50th Anniversary
Utah’s picturesque red rocks summon Jeep enthusiasts and clubs from across the country and around the globe to wheel and be a part of the annual Easter Jeep Safari. Presented by Red Rock 4-Wheelers, 2016’s 50th installment runs from Saturday to Saturday, March 19 – 27. 4 x 4 Vehicles of all sorts can be seen throughout the week testing their mettle on the numerous slick rock trails with such distinctive names as Poison Spider Mesa and Hell’s Revenge offering varying degrees of difficulty. 4Wheel Drive Hardware will partner with Rock Krawler, Crown Automotive, MCE Fenders and Synergy Manufacturing for a 2016 Adventure Giveaway. A winner and their guest will be awarded with a weekend long adventure during next year’s Easter Jeep Safari. “Moab is at the top of a lot of Jeep enthusiasts’ bucket lists and 4WD wants to give a lucky winner the chance to wheel with us in the desert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Easter Jeep Safari and the start of spring,” says 4WD Hardware General Manager Sean Campbell.
All-4-Fun 50th Anniversary
Colorado’s Mile-Hi Jeep Club will hold its half-century edition of the All-4-Fun mountain Jeep event from July 30 – August 6, 2016. Empire, Colorado, situated less than an hour from Denver, is the site of this family-friendly gathering. Registration opens on January 1 and all levels of jeepers from stock to buggy are welcome to attend. All All-4-Fun earnings are directed to causes related to land use and contributions are raised for the Denver Children’s Hospital Burn Camp. Plans are to celebrate the history of the event’s eventful 50 years all over Colorado.
Smittybilt 60th Anniversary
Basil “Smitty” Smith began fabricating off-road parts in his garage in 1956 and next year will mark his company’s 60th anniversary of an innovator in the manufacturing of 2, 4 and all-wheel drive aftermarket products. Smittybilt began as Rock-ett Products and grew into a father and son business with Smitty and son Tom living the four-wheel drive lifestyle to the hilt. Today, the company offers over 2,000 products catering to domestic and international truck and SUV markets. To commemorate 60 years, Smittybilt plans to honor its legacy with special deals and promotions.
About the Author: David Beran
As a professional inkspiller living in Los Angeles, I’ve written in industries ranging from entertainment to employment to automotive. Terrain I cover includes off-road events and races, budget builds, custom mods, EVs and the latest innovations in aftermarket 4x4 parts. I’m always eager to learn about new trends in 4x4s and my motto is “go off-road or go home.” Google+ is the destination for my dispatches: https://plus.google.com/+DavidBeran/posts.