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April 2013 Letters To The Editor

Military Rig
John Cappa | Writer
Posted April 1, 2013
Photographers: Four Wheeler Staff

Our Readers Write back

Not So Obvious
You missed two obvious picks for your article about post-apocalyptic 4x4 options (“Mobile Fortress,” Dec. ’12). How about the Mercedes G-Wagon and the Pinzgauer? Both are readily available in the United States with plenty of options for spare parts sources. The Pinzgauers that you would commonly come across in the U.S. usually date from the 1972 to 1976 with the G-Wagons being a bit more current. Of course you can go to a Mercedes dealer and score a new one but it will be at or about $100,000 and it probably won’t be seeing much off-road action as a result, fun article otherwise.
David Smith
Via Email

I don’t know about you but when I’m driving down the post-apocalyptic highway I want to be behind the wheel of something that is super easy to find parts for. Let’s say the water pump in my G-Wagon goes out, or I roast a wheel bearing in my Pinzgauer, I’m pretty sure I can’t just roll right into any Johnny’s Auto Parts store and find a spare on the shelf. Maybe I could special order it from the zombie behind the counter?

New TTC Rules Fan
First off, great magazine. I have been reading on and off for years. Sure, a few things you guys have said and done has angered me, but I always continue to read. I just read the new Top Truck Challenge rules ( and I had to write in for the first time and say great idea! I have nothing against buggies, but I couldn’t care less to read about them. I just love to see what people can create from a base model 4x4. I also love the idea of adding some agility sections to the course. I too believe that the best all-around rig should win, not the highest horsepower with the biggest tires. Anyway, I know you guys are going to get flamed, but know that people like me really appreciate the change of view!
Gabe Morgan
Via email

Low Buck Fanatic
Despite what anyone tells us, we have been suffering from a recession since 2008. I keep hoping the four-wheel drive mags would change their articles to reflect our hard times. I certainly don’t want to spend months reading about someone installing a Viper motor in a Durango! Nothing personal against a Durango but how often do you ever even see one on the trail?! Even reading about putting a V-10 in something as popular as a Jeep or a buggy doesn’t interest me because of the cost involved. In the December ’12 issue you ran a feature about a zombie-ready Jeep (“Recon Wrangler”), which had an estimated value of $250,000. Are you guys insane? And you go on to write about a Ram truck (“Doomsday Ram”) with an estimated value of $100,000. I don’t even waste brain cells to dream about this stuff.

Now let’s move on to the lighting article (“High Output Lights”). It was informative and interesting until I looked at the MSRP. Almost $1,000 for a set of headlights that could get destroyed the first time out on a trail. Okay, I haven’t busted a headlight (yet) on the trail but as soon as the thieves learn the value of these headlights they will be disappearing like Coronas after a long day on the trail. Hey, maybe I’m too old school but I just can’t believe there are that many people out there that can afford this type of stuff, especially during these hard times. I’d like to see you guys go back to the type of stuff they wrote about in the ’80s. Stuff like hitting the salvage yards for an old air-conditioning compressor and turning it into a cheap, great-working air compressor. Please bring back the idea of paying readers for great cheap fixes. How about a few issues dedicated to improvements that didn’t work out and what you would do differently?
Steve Roones
Clovis, CA

How To Buy TTCC Video
I have been trying to order the ’12 Top Truck Champions’ Challenge Video (and a few older DVDs) from 4 Wheel Parts, but the link is broken. I have emailed them to let them know the problem, but haven’t heard back and the link is still broken. I am not sure what you can do at Four Wheeler to repair it, but I thought I would ask anyway. I am looking forward to eventually purchasing the DVDs.
Derick Lucas
Parker, CO

The link should be working now. You can go to to purchase the ’12 Top Truck Champions’ Challenge video as well as older TTC DVDs.

Fact Checking
In “Mobile Fortress,” (Dec. ’12), you state “In the U.S. the Unimog was never available new from Mercedes-Benz.”

What about the ’05 U500 in my driveway with the Unicat camper that I bought new (the chassis) at a dealer two miles from my house in Anchorage, Alaska, for $125,000? Several hundred were sold new in North America from 2003 to 2006. You need to publish a retraction.
Charles Aarons
Anchorage, Alaska

Thanks for the note, but what we wrote is indeed accurate. You kind of misread the quote. No matter how badly you may want to, you can’t buy a Unimog from a Mercedes-Benz dealer. And if you do, you have pulled some magnificent strings and know people in high places. Unicat ( imports the Unimog chassis and converts them into high-dollar, capable motorhomes; however, Unicat is not a Mercedes-Benz dealership.

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