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January 2010 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on January 1, 2010
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Ultimate Adventure Is Crap
This year's Ultimate Adventure was crap! Half the trucks should not have been on public roads with full hydraulic steering, no fenders, tube bodies, fake windshields, big tire sizes, no bumper or mirrors, and many other things. You should have gone through Massachusetts. I did with my buggy and got 15 tickets-almost $5,000-and a night in jail.

All trucks should have been DOT-approved and had safety stickers. That's how Ultimate Adventure started, with street-legal trucks. I have been wheeling for over 10 year and would love to do a UA trip, but I always thought I had too much truck for the street. I guess not. So all I have to do is get a sponsorship from some big-time off-road manufacturer and I can go next year? Sorry for being a #*%^, but that's just what I see and read. Please get back to me, a longtime reader.
Eric Christiansen
Islip, NY

At first we thought you were crazy. The background belongs with that truck, and we sure didn't see anything that could remotely relate to what you saw-until closer scrutiny! Yep, that was an artifact of sorts that was duplicated where it shouldn't have been. We never had a clue. All we can say is that you have darn sharp eyes!

We didn't go through Massachusetts for a reason, which you found out. All the vehicles on the UA are licensed in their own state; Massachusetts wasn't one of them. Many states don't have safety stickers, and the DOT regulates many aspects of vehicles but not what you and I can do to our own vehicles.

Our rules indicate that you are responsible for yourself, your vehicle, and any tickets you may get. Our job is not to be the inspector general or state police. We welcome you to apply for the UA this year, or even try to get a sponsor. However, remember the first rule of the Ultimate Adventure: No whiners!

Where's MY hat?
I have been getting your mag for years, since the mid '80s. I am an avid Jeep lover and got my first one when I was 8 years old. I really enjoy your mag. The question I have is do you guys ever give your longtime customers any freebies for loyalty? I see where you're giving your new customers a hat. Thanks for a great mag.
Matthew Carver
Canton, NC

The hat offer is from the subscription department, which we don't have any control over. We can't even get those hats ourselves, just new subscribers. We hope that our loyal subscribers stay with us for the content of the magazine and the fact that they save big bucks over the $83.88 a year newsstand price. Subscribe at and it only costs a buck an issue-and you get a free hat!

Suzuki Equator Soldier
I am currently in the United States Army stationed at Fort Drum, New York. When I returned to the states from serving 12 months in South Korea, I purchased my first vehicle. I bought an '09 Suzuki Equator Quad Cab 4x4! I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Up here in the north country of New York State, having a truck capable of any kind of terrain is a plus, and my truck sure can handle it.

When I found out what you guys did to Project Super Equator I said to myself, "That's what I need done to my truck"! Only thing is that I don't know how to go about doing all that to mine. So I figured I would get in touch with you. You do amazing things with vehicles! I'm deploying to Iraq/Afghanistan in January 2010. I plan on "beefing up" my truck when I return in January 2011. If you guys could be any help I would deeply appreciate it. Thank you.
Gary Blake Jr.
Gloversville, NY

We covered the buildup in the Mar., Apr., May, and June '08 issues. You can check out those stories at or order your own copies to hold and cherish. Simply click on "Contact Us" at the bottom of the homepage, and you'll see a section under Online Services for ordering back issues.

Why We Wear Glasses
First of all, I would like to say that you have a great magazine. I am not a subscriber yet but have been looking into possible projects and will subscribe very soon. I do have one question about the cover picture of the October issue. On the right side of the cover picture the brushguard seems to be duplicated outside of the tire? Why? Is the truck photoshopped in the background?
Wayne Cawthon
Guyton, GA

Build My Truck!
I recently purchased a '78 Chevrolet 4x4 short-box. It's a great project truck. The body is straight, absolutely no rust (Arizona truck), and it has a nice 6-inch lift running 35s. It has a rebuilt 350 and basically just needs minor TLC and cosmetic work to be a really sweet ride. My dilemma is that I want to totally restore/rebuild it into a show-winning truck, but I don't want to have to wait years and years doing it all one step at a time. My idea is to see if you guys would be interested taking the project on, or if you knew a large parts manufacturer or magazine company that would like to build the truck and then use it to showcase their products and at conventions.

I'm sure there are a million other similar requests, but I thought it would at least be worth it to mention it to you guys first, as you've always been my favorite truck magazine. And yes, I know I need to resubscribe, which I will be doing soon.

Let me know your thoughts. I can forward some pics if you want to consider this idea, and if not, no biggie; but if you could steer me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.
Chase Albright
Scottsdale, AZ

We really would love to do a project like that, but then what about your neighbor that wants the same thing? In fairness we just don't participate in these types of builds. Instead, we opt for people to do it themselves and then we feature it if it turns out well. Reader-built trucks are what we want, and so do our subscribers. Hey, subscribe now at and get a free hat!

Massive Reader Rant
The End Of Freedom?

Regarding "The End of Freedom?" 4xForward, Aug. '09. First, let me say that I have been a 4-Wheel & Off-Road reader for many years. When I read the August 4XForward, I smiled to myself wondering why a popular magazine (perhaps the best of its kind) would choose to publish an article based not only on ignorance but a complete lack of understanding and total disrespect for the law enforcement community. Then I read that the piece was written by your editor-in-chief! I was shocked.

In response, I not only have an opinion on the subject, but unlike that of Mr. Péwé, my opinion comes as a longtime wheeler and 16-year veteran of the Arizona Highway Patrol. To add some validity to my wheeler status, I currently own a Class 9 off-road car, quads, a '58 Jeep rockcrawler, '94 Jeep Wrangler, and an '03 F-350 I use to pull my stuff around. My 16 years of public service has all been in traffic/impaired driver enforcement.

Mr. Péwé's description of "misguided" Utah Highway Patrol Officers "stalking" him and his fellow off-roaders is simply ridiculous. I think that fishing would be a more accurate term than stalking. When you go fishing, do you expect to catch all the fish in the lake or just a few? If you catch and release, isn't it reasonable to expect that someone else might catch the same fish later in the day? Law enforcement uses that burned-out lamp, broken windshield, expired tag, or lack of splash guards not only to help ensure the legal status and proper working condition of a vehicle but also as tools to remove from the road the unlicensed or impaired driver.

If the traffic stop is simply just routine, the driver is advised of the violation and issued a warning, an equipment repair order, or possibly cited. Are there police officers out there that abuse their peace officer authority? Sure, there are, just as on a daily basis there are vast numbers of motorists that abuse their privilege to drive on public roadways. I personally believe that law enforcement agencies do a good job policing themselves.

It is clear to me that Mr. Péwé has never worked in any form of public service, choosing instead to pen articles on his opinions rather than doing an ounce of research. I am sure that he would be among the first and loudest to scream if the police were nowhere to be seen in the event he or one of his wheeler buddies needed help. Perhaps the magazine could apologize to the good men and women of law enforcement over the recent ill-informed article. Apologize to those people that work tirelessly each day so Mr. Péwé can drive his old flatfender down the continued on page 10 highway with its broken windshield, oversized tires, and expired tag? Wow! Is this another case of the police acting stupidly? Former reader,
Jim Congrove
Ewa Beach, HI

I'm glad I'm an ignorant, babbling SOB who doesn't take any personal offense at another person's lack of vision. There is nothing better than quality law enforcement officers, and I support them to the end. I, too, believe that they do a good job policing themselves. In my 40 years of driving on and off road all over the world in public and private service, I have never met a peace officer that wasn't on the right side of freedom. I have helped and been helped many times on both sides.

I take it that in all your years of wheeling you have never made it in a trail rig to Moab? Read the editorial again, as most people don't fish with binoculars. A random roadblock such as a DUI checkpoint would have been far better, more effective, and less intrusive than blocking a trail head.

More On The Same Subject
I just finished reading the "The End of Freedom?" in Aug. '09. As I read I could not believe that during your stay in Moab for the '09 Easter Jeep Safari, you would have had such a poor taste left in your mouth from the local law enforcement.

I had the exact opposite experience during my stay in Moab. While on the Fins-n-Things trail, a small group of us were out running the trail and a friend of mine was no longer behind us. I turned around to find him and his family starting out again after a quick trail repair. No sooner had I started to turn around when my steering shaft slipped out of the steering box. As I started to work on it, a couple local law enforcement officers came riding up behind me on four-wheelers. They stopped and asked if there was anything they could do for me, get a hold of my wheeling group, help wrench, anything. They were even polite enough to offer my wife and me a couple bottles of water. After a few minutes finding the correct tools, channel locks, a hammer, Allen wrenches, and a 1/2-inch open-ended wrench, along with a few laughs with the officers, we were back on our way playing catch-up to our group.

These two officers had left such a positive impression on me that while exiting the trail, I had to stop and visit with a small group of Moab's finest to thank them for stopping and to tell them how impressed we were with their hospitality. I explained how grateful we were that they would loosen up and let us drive our questionably street-legal rigs on the roads going to and from the trailheads.

Thank you for your efforts in putting such a great magazine together.
Rob Knoell

Rob, this is how it should be, and I thank you for writing.

Submission Information
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. Write to: Editor, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515, fax 323.782.2704. Email to:

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