Reader: I was just reading the Dec. '07 "Letters," and had to comment. One of the letters ("Rubber Three Ways") at the very end said something I've wanted to say for a long time: "Thank you. Finally, a magazine that does not have half-naked women on the cover." I have to wholeheartedly agree. It is nice to be able to read a magazine and feel OK about letting my son or daughter pick it up and read it as well. I am so tired of everything being about half-naked women. Everything you see on TV and magazines is nothing but that.
So again, thank you for a quality magazine we can be comfortable calling a "family" magazine.
Reader: I have proudly been a subscriber to this great magazine for a number of years and enjoy four-wheeling with my family. My son, daughters, and wife often look through the magazine when it comes in the mail. The recent trend of running ads featuring partially dressed women and "male enlargement pills" is unacceptable. Please don't tell me that the average IQ of Four Wheeler readers is low enough that they will buy a particular brand of bumper or tire based on the appearance of some scantily clad female in the ads. And please don't give me the "We don't have control over what ads run in the magazine" excuse. Someone must have some control, because there seem to be a lot of ads related to the sport of four-wheeling and not many for household appliances or minivans. Come on-keep this magazine clean enough that the next generation can look through it without parental guidance.
Reader: I am a senior in high school, and looking toward my future. I was thinking of going into automotive journalism. What should I study? Also, what college classes would be helpful for me to work for a 4x4 magazine? It would be my goal to work for a magazine like yours.
Crystal Lake, IL
Reader: I'm inquiring about the possibility of any available positions with Four Wheeler. I have a passion for four-wheeling and have always known I would be in the business. Four Wheeler is the leader in the business, and there is no one else I would love to offer my passion to than Four Wheeler.
Editor: Full-time editorial jobs don't open up here often-we have about one job vacancy every four years, on average. When we do have a job opening, we'll post it on our Web site, as well as on some of the bigger online job boards such as Monster.com. In the short term, however, your best bet would probably be to submit some freelance stories to us. These could be tech or how-to articles, or travel and trail-ride stories. Submit your best ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, and if we like your pitch, we just may assign an article to you.
What to study in school? Classes in English and/or journalism should be considered mandatory, some basic math and physics are also advisable, and a class or two in digital photography won't hurt you, either. Better yet, take some additional classes in mechanical engineering, or look to your local community college for some basic auto-tech instruction if you haven't gained enough wrenching experience in your own driveway.
Reader: Why can't I find any fullsize or midsize trucks with a standard transmission? I may be outdated, but I prefer to shift to maintain control of a vehicle (and aim to control a firearm). Yes, I know a five-speed is available, but only on the smaller trucks with four-cylinder engines-I can't get a five-speed with a V-8 4x4.
Editor: Sure you can. The new Chevy Silverado, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan don't offer a manual transmission with their V-8s, but there are plenty of other choices out there: for instance, you can still get an NV4500 five-speed with a Dodge Ram V-8 1/2-ton, or an NV5600 six-speed with either the Cummins- or Hemi-equipped 3/4-ton trucks. The M6OD six-speed manual is standard on V-8 Ford Super Dutys-and among the midsizes, Toyota's got a standard six-speed with the 4.0L Tacoma, and Nissan has a slick-shifting six-speed with the Frontier.