Where Are the Diesels?
I've been subscribing to your magazine for a good amount of years now and finally started to notice a trend. How come there aren't that many diesels among the vehicles that Top Truck Challenge voters pick? I only counted two this year out of 50. I also don't see too many diesel pickups off-roading in general. Is it because they don't have the immediate response of a gas engine down low?
Far from it-it simply depends on your definition of "response." Nothing beats a diesel engine for stump-pulling torque at super-low rpm levels, which makes it ideal for slow-speed trail duty as well as for towing. Naturally aspirated versions do tend to have a narrower powerband than most gas engines, which can affect their ability to rev freely, and hence accelerate smoothly and quickly (that's why Freightliners run 18-speed trannies), though improvements in turbocharger technology over the years as well as the addition of multi-stage "piezo"-type injectors have improved diesels' go-fast characteristics. Diesel truck enthusiasts nowadays can build fullsize rigs that'll log 13-second quarter-miles at the dragstrip. Do a little math, and you'll figure out how fast that is.
We hate to say it, but "two out of 50" is fairly representative of the diesel-truck public at large. While consumer demand for diesel-powered vehicles has risen appreciably in recent years, it's mostly been on the small-car side (e.g., VW's Jetta TDI), and diesel trucks still only account for some five percent of annual light-truck sales. That number is expected to rise over the next decade, but diesel guys will still be a minority on the trail for some years to come.
Wants to Write for Four Wheeler
I have read Four Wheeler for awhile now, and it is truly one of my favorite car magazines out there.
I wrote an article about Honda's new CRZ that I'd be more than happy to show you if you provide me with an email address to send it to.
Is there any way to get hired as a freelance writer for Four Wheeler? Cars and writing are two of my greatest passions in life, and I am so excited about the possibility of combining the two into a career.
I would be more than happy to provide you with a free sample article (to prove myself) if you give me an assignment.
Santa Monica, CA
Well, we'd probably take a pass on the CRZ review-it's not really relevant to our readership-but freelance submissions are always welcome. It's best to start with a query (i.e., a story idea) first, followed by a written sample of your work, either in print or online. If you're also handy with a digital camera, that improves your chances greatly, as our freelance contributors, like our staff members, are generally expected to pull "double duty" as writers and photographers. You can send email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to Four Wheeler, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245.
Looking for Old Cover Truck
I was wondering if I can get a picture of a truck in a previous issue-I believe it was also on the cover. (I don't know the month or year of the issue.) I need this for the design of my tube bed. The pictures were taken in Moab, but the truck was from Arizona. It was a red Ford Power Stroke, I think a 2002, with a red prerunner-style bumper, 44-inch Mickey Thompsons on what look like 589-series Eagle alloys, and a Dynatrac Dana 60 in front. The tube bed was painted red with polished diamond plate and a few cubbies for tools and whatnot. If there is any way I can get the pictures and the article, it would be fantastic. If not, the pictures would be fine.
Generally, we stop reading letters like this at "I don't know the month or the year," (if you don't remember, we probably won't either), but your detailed description rang a bell, and because of that, we're fairly certain you're referring to the truck pictured here, which appeared on the cover of our August 2004 issue. Contact Wright's Reprints at 877/652-5295 to purchase reprints or e-prints, or you can try logging onto www.simbackissues.com to order a back issue of the magazine; there may still be a few copies left over. And sorry to say, we can't provide original copyrighted images free of charge.