One of the first things we saw when we walked into the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, was a group of fullsize 4x4s sporting hand-painted camouflage and emblazoned with the words Mudd'n' Militia Off-Road Wrecking Crew. A quick look at these vehicles confirmed that they weren't kidding. The trucks were beefed with a plethora of gnarly bulletproof mods, and the trucks wore battle scars from numerous trail rides. This was proof positive that the 4-Wheel Jamboree Series appeals to all facets of 4WD fans - even the hard-core trail crowd.
The 16th Annual Advance Auto Parts Spring 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals followed the pattern set two weeks earlier at the Ozark Jambo in Springfield, Missouri, by smashing all previous records for participants and spectators. Heavy rain on Friday just fueled the fire, and Saturday's show grew to gargantuan proportions, resulting in vehicle gridlock for a short time on Saturday afternoon as participants and spectators packed the fairgrounds. This was good news for those who like to peruse trucks, and the wide variety on display ranged from the aforementioned trail trucks to clean and polished daily drivers to stunning show-only massive 4x4s. It was also good news for the Performance Marketplace vendors who came to the show from near and far to offer their goods and services. The collection included national vendors such as American Racing, Superlift, Flowmaster, Rancho Suspension, National Tire & Wheel, and Mean Green Industries, as well as local shops such as Lima Clutch & Joint and Tom Ahl Dodge.
The Spring Jambo had an intensity borne of a long Midwest winter, and that mood was strongly evident in the infield, where the racers let it all hang out in their respective competitions. Eight monster trucks, 157 mud racers, 32 Tough Trucks, 11 burnout contest competitors, and 5 Tug-A-Trucks kept the infield hopping throughout the weekend, offering an eyeful for spectators. In addition, a Saturday evening show rocked the Allen County Fairgrounds under the lights.
When all was said and done, more than 38,000 spectators had witnessed the Spring Jambo in all its glory, and more than 1,820 participants had funneled into the Allen County Fairgrounds to be a part of Jambo history. Many folks were making their 2002 motel reservations the day they checked out from this year's show in anticipation of next year's great show. For more information about next year's show or any of the events in the Performance Series, contact: Special Events, Dept. OR, 804 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 236-6525, www.familyevents.com.