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Johnson Valley Report: King of the Hammers

By   /   June 26, 2014  /   Comments Off

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2-10-12  #65  Car of the King (winner)  of the Hammers 2012.

The King of the Hammers off-road competition, billed as the ultimate desert race, began here in Johnson Valley and has spread its mystique across the country and over the oceans.

Competition. It’s a bad word to the unmotivated or unsuccessful, who say it begets low self-esteem. Maybe it does for some. But competition among self-motivated experts begets innovation. And then as FDR said, “…cooperation…begins where competition leaves off.” KOH is competition and cooperation.

Racing any vehicle for last 100 years…the cooperation of any team of designers, fabricators and racers,  in competition with other teams of designers, fabricators and racers…is a well-documented pathway to incredible innovation. The past 8 years in Johnson Valley has led to the development of the Ultra4 desert racer-plus-rockcrawler. This creative process continues, standardized only by safety, sand and rocks.

A race among a few friends has become a unique cradle of competition and cooperation. Thrilled spectators all over the world are part of it, but the trickle-down benefits for Joe Blow and family off-roading next weekend is also phenomenal. OHV aftermarket vendors at Hammertown have raised the bar for cooperation, in aid of racers and Mr and Ms Joe Blow alike. Up close and personal conversation with race teams while soaking in all the details of their cars makes KOH unique as a spectator experience. Among other things.

This week the Ultra4’s competed in the Maxxix King of the Mountains in Italy. When checking for results on pirate4x4.com – you know how it is, one link led to another and another – two stories showed up of interest to race fans and motorheads alike.They feature former Kings, Jason Sherer of California and Erik Miller of Maryland. Of course litany of the details and capacities of all the car parts goes over the heads of those of us not into building. But these entertaining stories tell of thoroughbred creativity and character, out of cooperation by competition. It’s a fair bet that one or both of these former Kings will reclaim the crown pretty soon.

http://www.drivingline.com/2014/05/jason-scherer-2014-ultra4-build-thread-1/

http://www.drivingline.com/2014/04/never-give-up-the-story-of-a-true-champion/

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Speaking of off-roading, we were delighted that Rick Russell of Sidekick Maps has recovered so well from surgery and came last week to the Saturday Breakfast. So now we are re-supplied and you can now get both the Johnson Valley paper map with all the trail info on the back, 3.00, and the handsome Bandana Map, 8.00. They will be displayed on the Hobby Club Boutique Table or ask the cashier.Sidekick Maps kept us on the right trails for years before we ever met Rick (at a Marine scoping meeting) and he kindly added the Saturday Breakfast to the Johnson Valley map. Thank you, Rick, for leading us to some great places and getting us home again.


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