Reader: I just received the February issue and read the letter about your November Top Truck cover image ("No Helmet or Goggles?"). This letter is an excellent example of the Nanny State Mentality that has become so prevalent lately. The participants in these events are all adults who are capable of making their own choices, and they don't need Big Brother making choices for them. Sponsors of events, and especially the government, need to limit themselves to giving advice and making recommendations, not issuing mandates. Thank you for listening to my rant.
I just purchased the new Top Truck Challenge DVD and must say I am very disappointed. This event should be called "No-Skill Driver Challenge" or "Monster Truck Challenge." These drivers are way too dependent on making their vehicles bigger than their neighbors', and not building for practicality or usefulness. Whatever happened to the days of all the vehicles having to be street-legal? When passing the inspection by the Highway Patrol was one of the events? Bigger is better, but only to a point. When you're running a fullsize truck on tires that are only 12 inches smaller than what monster trucks use, you are very limited on what you can actually do.
Reader: I like the magazine, and I used to like the events. Bring back the days when TTC was about practical off-road vehicles and superior driver skill as opposed to how much money you can spend.
Reader: Wow! Just read your Top Truck coverage (Dec. '07), and the picture of the red TJ laying on its side in the Tank Trap was one of the best photos I've ever seen. Can that face describe the event any better?
Also, there was a letter in Techline with questions about the Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system in fullsize Jeeps. The best source I have found for FSJ info is The International Full Size Jeep Association at www.ifsja.org. If they don't have the information, it isn't available.
Editor: We eliminated the street-legality requirement at Top Truck three years ago pretty much out of necessity. We simply don't receive many TTC submissions that are even remotely street-legal anymore-nearly all of them are trail-only rigs-so we figured there was no point in continuing what had become a purely academic exercise. Plus, it wasn't exactly the most riveting thing to watch on video. ("No mud flaps? That's a ticket, young man" ... zzzzzzzzz.)
As for the photo of the submerged red TJ on its side, our intrepid Robin Stover gets credit for wandering deep into the Tank Trap to snap the pic. He's still applying calamine lotion all over his poison-oak scratches to this day. Thanks to all who wrote in about last year's TTC coverage.
Reader: Where can I find the past DVDs for the Top Truck Challenge competitions?
Editor: Top Truck DVDs are sold via mail order by our friends at 4-Wheel Parts Wholesalers. Whatever they've got in stock, you'll find it at www.4wheelparts.com.