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Desert Racing Will Never be Cheap—but Here’s a Start


Picture of John Thawley

John Thawley

Photos by JeepSpeed and John Thawley

Between  1984 and 2001, Daimler  Chrysler built about two million eight hundred thousand Jeep Cherokees. They were built in several combinations—two and four door, two and four wheel drive and stick or automatic and with three different engines. The vehicle was not well received. In print they were tagged as being too long, too heavy, under powered, poor brakes , and worst of all—uni-body construction. Before every Tom, Dick and Mary had an SUV in the driveway, young families were getting to work, going to school and having weekend fun. Give credit to Jeep for introducing a lot of young people to off-roading thru the Cherokee line.

As used Cherokees became plentiful,  the automotive aftermarket began to step up—bumpers, skid plates, gas tanks, lift kits and suspension bits. The natural progression in the automotive world be to find a place to race the Cherokees.Since there was no place readily available, Clive Skilton invented Jeepspeed.

Cleaner racing rules have seldom been written. There are two categories in JeepSpeed—JeepSpeed 3 and JeepSpeed 2. Any Jeep Cherokee built between 1984 and 2001 will fit in either category—two or four wheel drive, any production based engine or transmission combination. For years, the rules were quite  simple. There were two categories—Stock an Pro. They have been renamed JeepSpeed 2 and JeepSpeed 3. Basically the difference between Stock and Pro JeepSpeed is money. Far more medications are allowed in Pro than in Stock. We’re not in the business of reprinting racing association rules—they often change slightly over seasons of racing. If you are a newbie to any  form of motorsports, JeepSpeed is a good place to start. The place to start is to build a Cherokee for the stock category, race it and sort it out. If you want to move up; then you’ve got a platform to start with.

JeepSpeed entrants run in races  sanctioned by Mojave Desert, Racing,Best in the Desert and  SCORE. JeepSpeed is supported by B. F. Goodrich  Tires, Valvoline, and a host of other sponsors. Contingency awards plus the race organizers payout can take the financial sting out of desert racing. You might want to check out


Picture of Jeepspeed®


1002 W Collins Ave
Orange, CA 92867


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