|Annual 4-wheel drive
jamboree draws an estimated 24,000 people
Gary Hale from Leigh Acres, Florida, kicks up mud in his car
White Lightning. Mr. Hale was competing in the class IV mud
drags competition held at the Anderson County Fairgrounds during
the 6th annual Carolina 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals Sunday
afternoon. [Sarah Bates Anderson
Fricks, 3, sips on her drink Sunday afternoon while waiting for
the next competition to start during the Carolina 4-Wheel
Jamboreee Nationals at the Anderson County Fairgrounds.
If you blinked, you would have
It took less than 2 seconds for the souped up trucks competing at the
6th annual Carolina 4-wheel Drive Jamboree this weekend to travel from
one end to the other of a 120-foot long, 30-foot wide mud pit at the
Anderson County Fairgrounds.
The crowd roared its approval as the drivers revved their engines to
unleash a spray of mud. And then they were gone.
The drag races, featuring oversized trucks, some running on a
supercharged mixture of alcohol and nitrous oxide, are always the star
of the two-day event, which draws in an estimated 24,000 people from
across the southeast and more than 979 participants from as far away as
Missouri and Michigan.
The spectators who paid $14 a ticket also got to see a six monster
trucks, a "show and shine" featuring thousands of customized trucks, a
"rock crawl" comprising an obstacle course made up of bolders for the
more intrepid truck enthusiasts, and even a beauty contest.
"As Americans, we've always loved automobiles," said Doc Riley, a
spokesman for Special Events, sponsoring the jamboree. "It used to be
the cruisers and the hot rods. Now its trucks."
Austin Chapman, a 9 ¤ -year-old Anderson native, was having fun watching
the rock crawl Sunday afternoon. He said he enjoyed the event because
you never knew if the driver would get stuck or the truck would flip.
"I'm going to have a truck like that," Austin said. "But I ain't going
to try rock climbing. I don't want to get killed."
The midway at the fair looked like a truck menagerie Sunday — row upon
row of trucks, foreign and domestic, old and late model, gleaming and
mud-spattered. One truck fanatic with a sense of humor had turned a
Chevy Vega into an all-wheel drive mean machine.
This year, the number of trucks on show rose by nearly 10 percent after
last year's jamboree was featured by photographers from leading truck
The vehicles were swarmed by spectators marveling at the size and raw
power on display while others came to get some ideas and swap tips.
Josh Cochran, 19, of Liberty sat in a lawn chair in front of his 1976,
5.7 liter, silver-colored Chevy truck with 44-inch tires and a Superlift
Mr. Cochran said he spent $20,000 and every weekend for six months
working in his backyard to turn the stock truck once owned by a family
friend into his very own pride and joy.
"That's what I do it for: When someone comes up to you and says 'You've
got a good looking truck,' said the Hitachi assembly-line worker. "It
does a lot for you."