4-Wheel & Off-Road welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must include an address or a telephone number so the sender can be verified. Once verified, your name may be withheld at your request. Letters published in this magazine reflect the opinions of the writers, and we reserve the right to edit letters for clarity, brevity, or other purposes. Due to the large volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot reply to unpublished letters or return photos. Digital photos must measure no less than 1600 x 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.
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Reader: I have been noticing the recent FJ Cruiser articles, advertisements, writeups and buildups. I can't believe that Petersen's was that desperate to give into Toyota's deep financial pockets. The advertising was pushed way overboard and is starting to get a little irritating now. I am tired of seeing the same heavy gauge paper with black and white photos of a Toyota FJ that is trying to wedge its way into the American market. Please try to stick to the magazine's heritage of offering technical information, events, parts, advice, and pictures and not become a mainstream magazine that is solely sponsored by a Japanese company. I would enjoy hearing a truthful response from you. Enclosed is a photo of my American truck.
Editor: Wow, you make a good point from the superficial view, but you are indeed all wet. We won't now, nor will we ever (as long as I'm the editor) sell edit or be controlled by our advertisers. It's as simple as that. Yes, Toyota bought a lot of ads which made it look like our edit and position was compromised, but it just ain't so. Check out the 4xForward this month on page 8 for a deeper explanation of editorial integrity, and the difference between ad and edit. And by the way, your truck looks pretty nice, but are the Nissans and Toyota trucks built in the U.S. any less "American"?
Reader: Rick Pw, you crazy old coot. How did your article "The Best 4x4s Ever" (Sept. '06) take such an ugly turn? I'm not much of a fan for some of the rigs on your list, but did you throw some of your selections in there just to tick some of your readers off? I understand that your rig of choice is the flatfender, and I understand your reason for choosing the Samurai. I even understand that the Rubicon is probably the best out-of-the-box 4WD. I understand the pure beefiness of the Power Wagon, I understand the FJ40, and I understand your choice of the innovative Scorpion. But come on; a Scout, Wagoneer, F-350, and Crew Cab all on your list? What were you thinking, my confused little friend? What happened to the '66-'77 Bronco (and I'm not being biased because I wouldn't be caught dead driving one but I do recognize their capabilities)? And what happened to the one rig that I am biased for, the K5? More precisely the '69-'72 Blazer! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think anyone of your staff picked this rig. Blazer's are rad, can easily be converted to 1-tons, motor/tranny/transfer case swapability possibilities are practically endless, and they're fullsizes. You guys go on and on about how great it is to see a fullsize out on the trail, so what's going on with that? C'mon, Mr. Pw, along with the rest of your staff, stop being a bunch of crazy coots. Maybe I'm just kidding, but I just think First Generation Blazer's should have made at least one person's list. How about having Reader's Choice for the Best 4x4s Ever? Maybe post up a small writeup by different people to give their point of view. Then again, we'd have thousands of crazy coots writing in, including myself. Great magazine and hope to wheel with you guys one day. Thanks for your time.
San Benito, TX
Editor: You make some good points, but if I picked all my favorites, it would be more than just 10! I felt that the vehicles I picked were more important advances at the time of introduction, not just because they were good platforms to start with. For instance, the First Gen Blazers and Broncos were simply improved versions of other manufacturer's vehicles, no matter that they were far and above better and more popular in the long run. I really regret missing out on including the Jeep Cherokee XJ, which more than any other vehicle started the small SUV revolution, and continues to be a great vehicle in stock form.
Reader: Thank you for including the FJ80 model Toyota Land Cruiser in your selection of "Best 4x4s Ever" (June '06). Many of my friends criticize me for owning and wheelin' one. They claim it to be a grocery-getter/soccer-mom SUV. I wouldn't trade it for the world! Three lockers, matching offset diffs, full-time 4WD (yeah the mileage sucks, but hey, it's a 4x4), coil springs, four-link rear and radius-arm front suspensions, a 24-valve EFI I-6, four-speed auto with OD and a mechanical lockup converter, full-float axles with 9 1/2-inch ring gears and 4.11 ratios, 33-inch tires...wait, am I talking about a factory 4x4, or a heavily modified off-road buggy? Thanks, Toyota, for helping me to get some of my wheelin' friends out of trouble, and thank you, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, for acknowledging a venerable yet often overlooked 4x4.
Editor: It's true, this is one great vehicle. Not one reader wrote in to dis this pick, and we sure wish Toyota would make this rig for local consumption nowadays. But on the whole, we got more mail saying thank you for picking my rig than any other type of reply.