The sleepy town of Moab came alive once again in April, when the 44th Easter Jeep Safari brought 4x4s from all over the country for nine days of four-wheeling on 30 different trails. Motels were booked, bars and restaurants were packed, parties and receptions were held every night, and 4x4s of all kinds filled the streets. Moab's 4x4 Outpost was open 24/7, making overnight repairs and keeping 4x4s out on the trail, and the coin-op car wash seemed to be in use day and night.
The Red Rock 4-Wheelers 4x4 club negotiated with various agencies to establish a policy that included some 51 stipulations affecting camping, wildlife, water quality, and motor-vehicle-operator conduct. Land-use fees paid by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers, between the Bureau of Land Management and State of Utah, totaled about $38,000. Much of the money is returned to local agencies, which help keep the Moab trail system the national treasure it is.
During Easter Jeep Safari, the streets of Moab are a nonstop open-air 4x4 parade and a showcase of American entrepreneurial ingenuity. You might see any kind of 4x4 equipped with any kind of engine, any kind of suspension, using any kinds of body parts--OEM or fabricated. There were fewer extreme rock buggy rigs in town than last year, since there was no rock-crawling competition taking place on Saturday. But there was no shortage of masterpiece trail machines made by shops, magazines, and manufacturers from around the country. Many of those rigs were on hand at the trade show Thursday and Friday, but almost all were out on the trails earlier in the week.
Some of the most interesting were a group of custom 4x4s brought by Chrysler, built using spare parts commandeered by a group of dedicated engineers, designers, and fabricators working in their spare time. Their goal is to expose enthusiasts to ideas and products that might become part of the Chrysler/Mopar lineup in the future.
In a sense, their outreach allows individual enthusiasts
to influence the course of Jeep and Dodge Truck development. As Mark Allen, head of the Jeep Design Studio, put it,
"We will take all the feedback we get from customers back to
the design studio." Shown here are some of the more