A few months ago, The EOTB was approached by Formula Special Projects representing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles about assisting them with a media event celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Jeep brand. After a brief negotiation, we came to an agreement whereby we would provide support for their event in exchange for a sponsorship of the club.
The event took place in Calabogie on July 26th. The EOTB’s role was to help identify a trail that would appropriately highlight the off-road abilities of each vehicle while at the same time providing photo opportunities and minimizing the risk to the vehicles and the journalists driving them all within a two hour window. After some advanced scouting, we settled on the Rusty Bat.
Our day began meeting with representatives from FCA and FSP at the Redneck Bistro in Calabogie, from where we convoyed the group along with a variety of Jeep brand vehicles including the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Cherokee Overland, Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, Jeep Renegade North and a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon all fresh from the showroom floor.
Our support group, comprised of five EOTB trail leaders brought them up the Rusty Bat, diverting from the freshly grated road in a few key spots to showcase the vehicles abilities. While not all the vehicles share the Wrangler’s legendary off-road capabilities, the journalists were sufficiently impressed with their ability to maintain traction even when the terrain had them three-wheeling at unsettling angles. We paused briefly at one of the steeper rocks, giving each person the opportunity to experience the Wrangler Rubicon in a steep descent.
After completing our time on the trail, FCA invited us to join them at the Calabogie Motorsports Park where the journalists would get the opportunity to drive the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, featuring a 6.4L Hemi V8 engine generating 475 horsepower. Better still than the opportunity to see this performance SUV in action, we were invited to run a few laps on the track with the guidance of a professional driver. This was definitely a different Jeep experience and the SRT-8 felt right at home on a race track!
As if that experience wasn’t enough, we were also treated with the presence of a 1944 Willys borrowed from the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan. This pristine sample of Jeep heritage was a pleasure to look over and admire, but the special treat was having the opportunity to drive it, even if it was only for a short time on pavement.
It was truly an honour for the EOTB to participate in this event and we wish we could have invited our entire membership to experience it with us. However, we were but a small contingent of the support team for this media event. Expect to see more about this event, including more photos, over the next few days and weeks as the journalists write about their experiences during this 75th Anniversary event.
We would like to thank Formula Special Projects and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for allowing us to be a part of this celebration of the Jeep brand.