The curtain drew closed on the Special Events 4-Wheel Jamboree season in the land of grits and biscuits 'n' gravy, and this late-fall celebration of four-wheel drive in South Carolina was a fitting end to a stellar 2000 jambo season. Southern folk and 4x4s go together like L.A. folk and tofu, and they came out en masse to be a part of the fourth annual event that set new records for participants and spectators. But it wasn't just local fans who made the trek; the Longest Distance Award Winner was Harold Markham who traveled more than 3,000 grueling miles from Sumas, Washington, to be a part of the action. The fun took place in Anderson, South Carolina, at the Anderson County Fairgrounds, where the spacious grounds were transformed into a 4x4-filled area that boasted two days of racing, shopping, and activities.
Do Real Men Shop?At jamborees they do, because the Performance Marketplace product line is almost entirely truck-related. The Carolina Jambo boasted a number of national companies such as Weld Racing, Rancho Suspension, Rhino Linings, National Tire & Battery, Carparts.com, Flowmaster Exhaust, and National Tire & Wheel. All of these vendors had loads of products on display as well as knowledgeable staff on hand to answer installation and application questions. There were also a bunch of local and regional 4x4 shops present as well, including Iron Man 4x4, Clemson 4Wheel Center, Foothills 4WD, Truck Farm, Jim's Off Road, and Trucks Plus. In addition, the Performance Marketplace included the huge main stage where MC Joe Pagano oversaw the kids' and adults' games, the scores of free giveaways, including the popular hourly super prize drawing, and the Miss Carolina 4-Wheel Nationals competition.
Puttin' On a ShowThe Show-'n'-Shine area was the biggest in the history of the Carolina Jambo, and it featured an impressive variety of daily drivers, show trucks, and trail vehicles. As with all of the jambos in the seven-show Performance Series, participants were invited to drive their trucks through the Pro Judging area, where a battalion of professional judges were ready and waiting to evaluate and score each truck in a number of areas. Although participants could park their trucks wherever they wished in the Show-'n'-Shine area, the judges split them into one of two classes: Street or Pro Modified. And awards were given to the top three finishers in a number of categories in each class. In addition, one Grand Champion was selected from each class, and the clean '86 Chevy belonging to Kevin Barrell from Alpharetta, Georgia, took home Street Class Grand Champion, while Johnny Ventura of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, took home the Grand Champion award in the Pro Modified Class for his detailed '85 Ford Bronco. Each of the two Grand Champions took home a leather jacket, a trophy, and a custom show ring to mark their achievement, while the winners of other First Place and Class Winners took home jackets and plaques.
Infield ActionIn addition to all of the activities in the Show 'n' Shine and Performance Marketplace, there was a full plate of racing in the infield over the course of the two-day show. Saturday's events kicked off with Class I of the Foothills 4x4 Mud Racing and progressed through Classes II, III, and V, before launching into the Tug-A-Truck competition in mid-afternoon. Saturday's events wound up with the Monster Truck Thunder Drags and Ironman Tough Trucks Competition. Sunday's jam-packed schedule of events included Class IV and VI mud racing, the noontime Burnout Competition (won by Jimmy Odum of Hubert, North Carolina, in his '91 Jeep Wrangler), Monster Truck Wishbone and Tug-A-Truck finals, and the Monster Truck Thunder Drags and Ironman Tough Trucks Competition. After each monster truck racing session, kids and adults were invited to a driver autograph session, and throughout the weekend, the Extreme Team offered monster truck rides in a real monster truck.
The Bottom LineThe Carolina Jambo went off without a hitch, thanks, in part, to the help of a couple of local four-wheel-drive clubs that graciously donated their time. The Renegade 4x4 Club helped move in excess of 780 participants through the registration procedure - which is no easy task - and the Trick 'n' Traction 4x4 Club helped funnel hundreds of racers through the tech area. And, speaking of clubs, the Redneck Racin' 4x4 Club illustrated southern friendliness when they donated their cash award for Best Club Attendance directly to charity.
The Carolina Jambo put the wraps on a successful 2000 season, but by the time you read this, the beginning of the 2001 Jambo season will be right around the corner. For more information on the Carolina Jambo or any of the events in the seven-show 2001 Performance Series, contact: Special Events, Dept. OR, 804 N. Delaware, Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 236-6525, www.familyevents.com.