The need for exploring off-road is a notion that we feel we can find across the entire United States. That’s the drive behind our column, Stateside Shop Tour. Come with us as we tour the nation looking at shops that build or support capable off-road machines of all shapes and sizes.
In our last installment, we went through the Hoosier State and found Branik Motorsports in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Custom machining was the name of the game, as the shop crafted axle shafts, suspension links, and other racing essentials with top-tier tooling and staff on hand. For this installment, we head north and find ourselves in Fenton, Michigan with Unlimited Offroad.
Our fans of the seven-slot SUVs will have a home at Unlimited Offroad, where the bread and butter is Jeeps. Speaking with owner and founder Adam Shoemaker, the Jeep love is real and thriving. “Jeeps make up about 85 to 90 percent of our business,” he said. “We are suspension specialists first and foremost, but we also do body armor, V8 swaps, and so on.”
Shoemaker, an aficionado of Jeeps and off-roading for the better part of 23 years, cut his teeth working on cars right out of high school, as he joined up with Penske and later opened his own homebrew shop. “I did that first shop for about a year, and then I started Unlimited Offroad in 2006,” he said.
Nowadays, Shoemaker enjoys healthy business week after week. The move to a more prominent location in October placed Unlimited Offroad in a far more noticeable spot along West Thompson Road. “We now have a 10,000 square foot shop with a 2,000 square foot showroom,” commented Shoemaker. Building relationships extends beyond just the shop’s premises, however.
Every year, Unlimited Offroad does its outreach in the form of several events. “We do about 16 to 18 events a year,” said Shoemaker. “We go all over the place, not just here in Michigan, but also out to California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states.” In March, 2016 will mark Unlimited Offroad’s ninth time at Moab for the Easter Jeep Safari, which is always a fantastic event to connect with Jeep fans and learn more about the market.
Currently, Unlimited Offroad is hard at work on several customer builds. “There are a couple of Hemi swaps going on right now, and then we’re doing a Vortec swap next week,” said Shoemaker. “We have a Gen Right Off Road kit and Dynatrac axles going on a 2007 JK, and a 2014 JK is getting one-ton axles and a Hemi, so that’s pretty cool.”
We tip our hats to Unlimited Offroad and the great work they’re doing up in Michigan. Check out its website and Facebook page when you get a chance, and stay here on Off Road Xtreme as we continue our Stateside Shop Tour. Next stop – Ohio.