The history of the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs and the passion of Ed Dunkley are synonymous. Dunkley was one of the original members of the association, office administrator, and was the founder of the association’s Conservation & Education Foundation.
In addition, he was the organizer and trail boss for the Lassen-Applegate Emigrant Trail Ride, the Trip to the Diggins, the Mud Drags, Barrel Racing, and in 1967 he helped orchestrate the first Sierra Trek event that is now the largest all-volunteer four-wheel drive event in the country.
“When I talked to Ed about any subject, I quickly learned that he was so full of knowledge about four-wheeling and historical trails, that I simply had to let him unload that knowledge and then he was receptive to what I had to say,” said Larry Calkins, association president from 1983 through 1985.
Dunkley became fascinated with Jeeps and four-wheeling while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII. After his tour of duty ended, he accepted a civilian position at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento. He retired from civil service after 35 years of service and devoted his full-time efforts to the promotion of four-wheeling.
“I knew and admired Ed Dunkley for 43 years as a friend and as the most-dedicated and effective advocate of responsible four-wheel drive recreation in all the four-wheel drive world,” said Steve Morris.
Ed Dunkley was inducted into the prestigious Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Today, the Edward R. Dunkley Memorial Plaque is located at the Kyburz Flat Interpretive Area, approximately 15 miles north of Truckee, just off Highway 89.