Fond Memories Of Impending Death
I enjoyed Ken Brubaker's article driving the Black Bear Pass in Colorado ("Mineshafts & Axleshafts," Jan. '11). I remember standing in the exact same spot the two-page photo was taken overlooking Telluride some 25 years ago. The view looking to Telluride is magnificent. What can't been realized from the photo is the terror of the angle of descent on wet, slippery rocks, along with instant death should you slide off the road! Thanks for the memories.
Cottage Grove, MN
More Top Truck Suggestions
Great idea to have the Top Truck Challenge of Champions for 2012 (Limited Articulation, Jan. '11)! I look forward to seeing the old rigs again, or whatever those past champions are running now. Just for fun, have some new challenges with some orienteering, mechanical repairs, or extreme skills (Weighted teeter-totter? Drive thru a waterfall? Night "maze" runs?) to keep the competitors off guard.
For 2013 and beyond, I would like to offer a suggestion. With the debate over buggies versus trucks, I would like to see both. Make the Top Truck Challenge be buggies and custom creations, but have at the same time a Real Truck Challenge for the regular trucks. Skip the "club" part of the challenge (immaterial to me). I would like to see more night runs, too, for the buggies-just to mix things up. The camaraderie of all those competitors in Hollister at the same time would be astounding, and because it would be held all at once, the logistics of two separate events would be combined.
Good luck-sign me up for another three years!
This is in reference to "Top Trucks, Stock and Extremely Modified" (Limited Articulation, Dec. '10). I loved the idea of five trucks and five buggies divided into separate classes. Not to mention that the coverage was great. The Frame Twister and obstacle course looked brutal this year. Furthermore, it just isn't interesting to me at least, looking at 10 shop-engineered rigs going against each other. Kind of like how today's monster trucks aren't as cool as the originals. But if you guys do make it a "beat the best" competition, Real Truck Challenge better come back.
And just so you know, the "Border to Border" articles were awesome!
Thanks for the suggestions. Due to California noise-abatement regulations, however, we can't run Top Truck at night anymore, unless we were to find another venue besides Hollister Hills, which we don't think would be a good idea for an event like a Champions' Challenge. But obviously, if we decide to pull the trigger on this event, our judges will work overtime to construct the toughest Twister and the most radical Rubicon that Top Truck Challenge has ever seen. And we imagine there's a good chance of introducing some brand-new obstacle that nobody's seen before, which would make for a good "equalizer" between the competitors who've won in recent years and the guys who won 10 or more years ago.
You'll also be glad to know that our Border to Border series generated a ton of reader "love mail," and we'll be covering similar overland treks over the course of the coming year. The author, Chris Collard, is joining us on a monthly basis starting in this issue, with a brand-new column called Notes From the Road that's dedicated to Living the Backcountry Lifestyle. You can find his debut column on page 90.
Jeep Wranglers = Leather Interiors?
I am writing to you all before I write to Jeep, regarding the horribly inappropriate interior they have apparently designed for the new Wrangler, as pictured in the Dec. '10 issue (RPM). What the heck are they thinking? This is ridiculous! If I wanted an interior like that, I'd buy a Grand Cherokee. When I buy a Wrangler, I want the simplest vehicle possible-not another fancy-dancy, prissy-pants car!
We feel your pain, sort of. In the case of Jeep, we think it's simply a matter of expanding available options to meet consumer demand, i.e., the mass of prospective Wrangler owners who are never going to take their vehicles off-road. For what it's worth, all Sport models have cloth seats; leather is an option in Saharas and Rubicons, with cloth seats standard. So the choice is yours, and no matter what you get, they all still have hose-out interiors. Feel better now?