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February 2010 InBox - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on February 1, 2010
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Breaker One-Nine
While reading my Dec. '09 issue I noticed the "Foxxhunt" truck on page 19 in Drivelines and recognized it from somewhere. One of these trucks is in the first Smokey and the Bandit film. It's toward the end of the movie, on the last leg of the run to the fairgrounds in Georgia, when Bandit CBs to his friends at the drive-in and they go for the "big Smokey red 22" (whatever that is). I just always thought it was a movie extra's truck and never knew it was a dealer-customized truck. I just thought I would add a little input to this tidbit of truck history. By the way, great mag. I've been a subscriber since the '80s.
Chad Daniels
Quitman, MS

You have a far better memory than I have. All I remember is the girl wearing the hot pants who jumped into the same truck. If you search the web, it's the same truck or a porn star with a similar name. Your choice!

Subscriber Blues
I enjoy your magazine and have read it for years. However, I have subscribed only for a short time. I received an invoice dated August 25, 2009. The envelope reads "collection center" and "final notice." I guess my mail carrier thinks I'm a deadbeat now. Inside the invoice, it reads "last chance" and tells me they will be turning my account over to the "collection center" and I will be penalized if I do not send payment by September 24. To top it all off, my magazine mail label reads April 12.

My point is that no matter how good your articles are, the pukes at Subscription Services are pissing all over your hard work with crap like this. They will be costing you subscribers. I hope you can address this, but if you need help, tell me who to call.
Carl Simpson

We've gotten these notices ourselves. Talk about a bunch of crap! Sorry, Carl, we have no control over these guys. Half the time those mailings are just an effort to get you to renew your sub through guilt. We've sent your email to the proper department twice since we got it. If you don't get any satisfaction by the time you read this, try contacting them directly at Look at the bottom of the homepage for the link to Subscriber Services.

Needs A Reprint
I worked at the Madras Les Schwab Tire Center in 2001 when you came through town on your Ultimate Adventure 2001 trip. Your magazine took a picture of the crew and all the off-road vehicles. The picture is listed as No. 9 on your website, but it is hard to see the people in the picture. I was wondering if I could get a hardcopy of the picture for me. That is, if it's not too much trouble. Thank you.
Jesse Pollock

It's not too much trouble, Jesse, but we aren't allowed to do that. The rights to the photo belong to the company, and we have a deal with Wrights Reprints for copyrighted editorial content. You can contact Wrights off our website, Just go to the bottom of the homepage and click on Reprints.

Missing Fingers
I was just reading through the Nov. '09 issue and noticed something that has probably already been brought to your attention. On page 77, picture 6, Mr. Raczynski is holding onto his rock slider, and I feel that is extreme safety because if something were to happen, he could easily lose his fingers. I think with a magazine of such great stature there are probably many young readers, and I want to make sure they know the safety issues that accompany a sport like ours.

I love the mag. Keep up the great work, and maybe one day I will have a rig nice enough to apply for the Ultimate Adventure.
Matt Parker

Right you are, Matt. Holding onto any exterior structure is dangerous, even just a doorjamb or windshield. In a sudden accident your first reaction is to grab tighter, and that can be the end of digits. Two hands on a steering wheel, seatbelt, or grab bar are far more sensible and safe, regardless of what you see in the real world. We are assuming that Mr. Raczynski was safely parked and posing for that photo and would never do that during actual driving.

Tongue In Cheek
I'm not sure if I am sending this to the right people, but I will send it anyway. I just wanted to write and tell you what a great magazine you have. I grabbed my brother's subscription off his table and stole it from him. I read it front to back and back to front.

I did notice in your "Turtle Fun, Turtle Done" article (Dec. '09) it said your FJ pulled a 35-million-ton truck. Seems a little high, isn't it? 35 tons would put it at about a fully loaded semi, which it looks like it is pulling, at 70,000 pounds. 35 million tons, though, would put it at...well, a lot. Anyway, great job on the mag.
Tony Bourne
Stansbury Park, UT

Yes, it seems a bit high, but when you see a semi truck hooked up behind your 4x4 and your job is to tow it up the hill, it really doesn't matter if it weighs 35 tons or 35 million tons. It ain't gonna happen.

Ultimate Adventure 2010 Idea
I have an idea for the UA second generation. My idea is to make it an event that the blue-collar builder can do! By that I mean make it cheap and simple. No more than 35-inch tires, no more than $3,000 for a complete build, and it must be a daily driver (plates, insurance, working lights, and even carry a car seat). Also you might look into traveling to the state of Colorado. We have some great trails! Rangeley, Sidewinder, Holy Cross, and Carnage Canyon, just to name a few. Thanks for the great mag! Look forward to seeing you on the trails!
Leslie More
Hayden, CO

Good ideas, although more slanted to our upcoming Cheap Truck Challenge than to the UA. Are you interested?

Another UA Idea
First of all, keep up the awesome work! I love everything about your magazine! Have you guys ever thought about doing something like the Hot Rod Power Tour? You could travel Route 66 or some other major route that would take you across the U.S. and give people the option to take the whole trip or just trailride when you are in their area. This way you could still have all your cronies go for the long haul and the people who can't afford that could trailride when you are in their area. I would go if you came to Missouri. Oh yeah, I live in Rolla, which is about 45 minutes away from Flat and Nasty or a couple hours away from Hannibal. Hint, hint!
Brandon Black
Rolla, MO

I think that idea has merit. We'll see what happens. One more idea:

And Finally...
I would love to see the UA10 be realistic for the masses. I own an '80 CJ-5 daily driver with 33-inch tires and an '04 Rubicon Jeep with 33-inch tires as well. Seeing daily drivers being put to the test would appeal to more people, I think, because so many of us fall into that category. Make some rules and absolutes with the eligible rigs so it'll push these daily drivers to the limit. Most people think you need big tires, V-8 power ,and big lift kits to go hard lines. I know and you know that's BS. You need good skill with a somewhat capable rig and you can go most places, and let's use those winches!

I'd love to have a chance to be in it for 2010.
Matt Claxton
Dallas, GA

We'll print more ideas as they come in and give the readers a clue on what's happening with the UA!

Reader Rant
Start 'em young!
My Name is Blaine and I am 15 years of age. This is my story. I own an '86 Military K5 Blazer (M1009). It all started when I was a little boy. My dad had an old Jeep with a 360 in it, and there wasn't a place that ol' thing couldn't go. It just amazed me. Ever since then I've been hooked on 4x4s. It took me years to find the right truck for the right amount, but finally I did, and with the help of my dad, a few sanding disks, some wrenches, and a very understanding mother, it's finally near completion. It's my dream truck in every way, shape, and form.

From the time I started grade school I have been reading your mag, and what I'm trying to say is keep up the good work. Every time I read it I learn something new to do-and some things you shouldn't do :)

Thanks to all the staff at Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road.
Blaine Fauth
Dover, PA

You're welcome, Blaine! Next time send us a photo so we can put it in Readers' Rides. We hope you are with us for many years!

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, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245, fax 323.782.2704. Email to:

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