Unlimited Off Road Expo 2016
words & photos: Ryan Gerrish
This was the 3rd annual Unlimited Off Road Expo held at the massive Kentucky Exposition Center in Lousville. The show is dedicated off road parts and accessories, built trucks and buggies, and side-by-sides/ATV’s. Aside from the indoor booths, they set up an off road course across the street with organized racing featuring rock bouncers, Ultra 4 cars and side-by-sides. I was invited by Robert at SK Distribution to help run the R/C Crawling booth, along with Noel (formerly of RCP) and manage the masses as they tried their hands at driving an Axial SCX10 on our indoor crawling course. There were endless well-built trucks to oogle!
We arrived early Thursday to help the course builders that the organizers hired construct their crawling course. They hadnt arrived yet, so we unpacked the Axial demo trucks and set up our booth. We had some sharp Vanquish modified rigs, as well as new Axial units to show attendees.
After that we headed out to Louisville to see some sites. First stop was the Louisville Slugger museum and factory right on west main street downtown. Even if baseball isnt your thing it’s definitely worth a visit! We grabbed some fantastic burgers at Mussel & Burger Bar on 7th.
That night we trekked to 4th Street Live, a covered complex of restaurants and bars, to have dinner and see a bunch of the off road trucks from the show that parked down the streets.
Some excellent pulled pork, and bourbon beverages!
The next morning we got the the show early to see how the RC crawling course looked. To our dismay, the builders never showed up, nor did they contact us or the show! Thankfully the organizers managed to get us a couple tractor-loads of dirt and rock to quickly make something for people to drive on. We constructed an oval course right before opening and got things rolling.
Even considering the small course, people loved driving the SCX10′s, and we were solidly busy during all 3 days of the show. Kids and adults had a great time, and we undoubtedly planted the bug in more than a few people!
Ultimate Off Road Expo Axial Time-Lapse
2016 Expo in Louisville, KY
Constant course maintenance was required, and help was always appreciated!
The event itself was quite interesting. Endless Jeep JK builds and parts, Rock Bouncers, tricked out SXS’s, Ultra 4 rigs, and expedition trucks & gear filled out the building.
There was a live build by the folks at Xtreme Offroad, in which they converted a stock 2017 Jeep JKU into a Currie-axled crawler.
Some of the Mopar concept jeeps were on hand.
Saturday night after the show trucks were invited to convoy through the Lousiville “Mega Cavern,” which is a 4 million square foot former limestone mine not far from the Expo center, located under most of the Louisville zoo. I was blown away by the size of this 60′ tall endless series of tunnels and rooms. Hundreds of trucks funneled through it for hours!
Louisville Mega Cavern
2016 Ultimate Offroad Expo
The show ended Sunday, and we felt it was a success. We gave away tons of RC information, and had a great time introducing new people to our hobby. After the show we managed to catch the last horse race of the day at Churchhill Downs, the famous Kentucky Derby track.
Churchhill Downs Horse Race
Before I left Louisville Monday, I hit the Frasier History museum, 21C Hotel/Museum, and walked around downtown a bit more.
It also happened to be the weekend that Muhammad Ali passed away, so I went by his museum (which was close) to see the memorial.
I really enjoyed Louisville! Lots to do, great food, and we had acceptable weather. (Only low 80′s with high humidity!) Many thanks to Robert for the opportunity, Noel for the help, and Axial for their support! Perhaps we’ll be back next year? This new driver hopes so!