jeep-jockey Research Archives

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Jeep Jockeys 4×4 Races – 1977 Souvenir Program

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Racing • TAGS: .

Here’s an official Jeep Jockeys souvenir program I found on ebay a couple years ago. I finally scanned it yesterday. Many of the photos didn’t print well, but it’s still an interesting booklet, especially for those like me that recognize some of the racers names. I was disappointed by all the ads, but I included them in the scans.

A little background information: the Yakima Jeep Jockeys of Yakima, Washington, formed a club in 1963. In 1965 they incorporated and joined the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association. Beginning in 1971, the club held a series of Jeep Jockeys 4×4 Championship Races. They held them at leaf through 1977, but I do not know how much longer they were held after that year.

Exploration Northwest featured the 1977 race in one of their 1977 episodes. I was given permission to share two video clips from their episodes here.

You might remember Ron Day’s photos from a 1977 Yakima Race. It seems to be the same race that was featured in the souvenir program below.

1977-jeep-jockeys-championship-race1 1977-jeep-jockeys-championship-race2 1977-jeep-jockeys-championship-race3 1977-jeep-jockeys-championship-race4

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Classic Jeep Racing Photos from Yakima, Washington

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Racing • TAGS: , .

These photographs were taken by Ron Day, who wrote articles about the races and has hundreds of additional photos.  I’ve contacted him, thanked him for publishing the photos, and asked if he had any additional information he could share.  Ron now lives in Alaska and continues to photograph.  You can see his website here:

This is a link to his jeep photos:

Racer driving modified racing willys jeep through the mud in Yakima

Not all the vehicles were modified.  Many 1970s racers were trail jeeps with winches and tow bars still attached, such as this drag racer.

Tags: Yakima Ridge Runners : Jeep Jockeys

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Videos — The 1977 Yakima Mud Race Yakima, Wa

• CATEGORIES: Racing, videos • TAGS: , .

This is another set of excerpts from an episode of Exploration Northwest called ‘Mud Race’. As I reported in the post about the Meeker, aka Naches, Trail post, Linda McCune from the Don McCune Library kindly has given me permission to provide some clips from the Jeeping1 DVD, a collection of 3 episodes of Exploration Northwest related to pacific northwest jeeping. To order this DVD, you can contact Linda McCune at 206 726-2650 and ask for the Jeeping1 DVD.  It costs $24.95.  I encourage you to purchase is as she has the video for a Jeeping2 DVD, but has not created it yet.

The race was sponsored by the Yakima Jeep Jockeys, a club formed in 1963. They began their 4×4 Championship Racing series in 1971.

The Mud Bowl episode was shown in 1977.  Mostly, it follows Jim Merritt as he prepares for the race, discussing a little about how they silicone various items to keep out water.  Plenty of video showing different stages of the race.  It’s a bit reminiscent of the Florida swamp races, though the water holes aren’t quite as deep or long (If you have never heard of it, you can read about the Florida swamp races at four wheeler’s online magazine and here’s a you tube video from a 1996 race).

From the Mud Race episode, I selected two clips.  Clip one shows Jim getting ready to race and shows the driver’s pre-race meeting.  The second clip shows the final race with Bill Smith from Tacoma taking the win.

Here’s Clip One:

Here’s Clip Two: