Our 52nd year!

 





The 2000 Rally Was In Baja.
It Was Muy Bueno!

San Diego was the starting point
for the Baja Adventure.

73 Sportsmobile 4x4's made the trip. 23 cancelled, many due to several unfortunate south of the border incidents prior to the rally.

Alan Feld, President/Owner of Sportsmobile West, his wife Liz and adopted daughter Lucie hosted the rally.

The rally destination was at the base of the Guadalupe
Mountains in Northern Baja.

Lots of space permitted everyone to spread out or group together as they pleased.

Sportsmobile owners are really a great and interesting group of people. They come from all over the country and all walks of life.

These photos are a sampling of 73 camp sites.

What an enjoyable way to meet new people, share experiences, and enjoy the great outdoors. Dick Schwenkmeyer


For some reason one unfortunate fellow (the co-founder of Sportsmobile) wasn't able to share the comforts of a Sportsmobile and had to stay in a snake infested ravine.

One of the popular activities was hiking. This one was through a beautiful desert oasis.

Of course everything tastes better outside. The rally included evening meals. Everyone was on their own the rest of the time.

After dinner entertainment was provided by some very talented musicians and singers around a campfire.


A winching demonstration was given on the last day. Evidently most of these folks weren't in the
Army as they were volunteering for something.


And back to Tecate! The terrain was varied and interesting.

Somehow a few got separated from the caravan but we are happy to report all finally made it out. We think!

About 25 miles was through a dry lakebed.

Tires were deflated on the way in and re-inflated on the way out by an efficient Sportsmobile rally team.

The final night was spent at the Rancho Tecate Resort and Country Club. Needless to say, the cool water and drinks were first priority upon arrival. The hotel's 5 star restaurant was exceptional. Of course the 12 person mariachi band and more drinks added to the finale of the rally.

The next morning, late, it was back across the border and onward to varied destinations.


After the rally four Sportsmobiles headed back south.

" We'll let you through this time Senor - but next time bring more Tecate. "

Most of Baja is desert, however the mountains have lush forests.

Camping on the seashore south of San Felipe was worth the rough ride down.

It's a good thing we had a "slim-jim" to get into this locked Sportsmobile.

The Sea of Cortez is beautiful, there are few people and lots of great places to camp.

Here's one gringo's interpretation of the "Mexican Hat Dance".

And back to San Diego with a farewell photo.

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Hollister, that small farming community in Northern California made famous by Marlon Brando in the '50s classic The Wild One, is also home of a California State Vehicular Recreation Area (which means it's an open off-road area supported by green sticker funds). The SVRA proved to be an excellent choice and location for Sportsmobile's second annual 4WD bash, and nearly 200 four-wheelers in 68 vans attended the 4x4 Sportsmobile-only gathering. The rally is becoming so popular, almost 30 folks showed up without vans-theirs are on order.

Sportsmobile is an old company as RV companies go, beginning in 1961 converting Volkswagen buses to mini motorhomes. Taking this one step further, Sportsmobile also offers Ford and Chevrolet full-size vans with the only factory-authorized four-wheel-drive conversion, which is built by Quigley Motor Company in Pennsylvania. All new Sportsmobiles, whether 4WD or 2WD, carry full factory warranties.

Festivities included all meals (catered deliciously by the nearby Tres Pinos Inn), a trail ride/poker run hosted by Quigley on Saturday, a demonstration of off-road driving techniques by Mike Quigley, and a class in safe winching by Scott Porter of Warn Winch. Saturday night, after a wonderful tri-tip dinner with strawberry shortcake, a terrific trio took the stage for some rousing songs, several were original compositions.

Sportsmobile owners, especially those who chose to add four-wheel drive to their RVs, come from all walks of life and live all over the U.S. and in many foreign countries.
 

Speaking of Sportsmobile's Rally 2000, it will be held in Baja California Norte, which is the more northern of the two states of Baja California. The actual rally site is in a canyon
south of Tecate.
 

Charles Borskey (left), owner and co-founder of Sportsmobile, and Alan Feld, president of Sportsmobile West, discuss plans for Rally 2000.


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SPORTSMOBILE'S FIRST 4x4 RALLY
Lake Isabella 1998

REPRINTED FROM OFF-ROAD MAGAZINE, APRIL 1999

Sportsmobile's First Bash
By Craig Perronne
PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE AUTHOR

Reprint Condensed

The inaugural rally took place near Lake Isabella, California, where beautiful scenery was abundant. The day started out with a demonstration by Mike Porter of Warn Winch Company on the proper us of a winch. An excellent lunch was served and then it was time for some fun. More than 40 vans lined up and headed out to navigate the 4x4 course that had been set up earlier in the day by the Sportsmobile people. By the end of the day, everybody wound up on the banks of the Kern River before returning to camp. As darkness fell, dinner was served.

After dinner, many gathered around the campfire and told stories about exploring Baja and Central America. Sitting around the campfire and listening to these stories, it became obvious how diverse the group of people was. There were teachers, explorers, policemen, wealthy outdoorsmen and retirees. Although it was a diverse group, the need for adventure seemed to be a common element among them all.

The next morning, a delicious breakfast was served while seminars were held on how to explore Baja and Central America. Preparations were then made for the trip down the Kern River, where the rapids were running high and fast due to recent El Nino downpours. Everybody had fun on the river, and the whole weekend was a success. Many plans were made to attend the next event, and excitement grew even more as the rumor spread that the third annual rally might be in Baja. Many people, including those of us here at OFF-ROAD magazine, are looking forward to the next rally.



A float down the Kearn River was very relaxing and quite a thrill when hitting the rapids.