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September 2012 In Box Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on September 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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Why We Are Petersen’s
Please pass on to Drew Hardin my kudos on the article “Bob & Margie” about the Petersens [July ’12]. I’m so glad the question has finally been put to rest on where the name came from. While most of the stories in the first three issues of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine were mine from the Big Books’ 4WD book, the Hot Rod staff used the titles of the two ORV books of the time as a working title, and when it went monthly with the fourth issue they were really scrambling for a vetted title and did just what Drew related in the article. I still have a cover from Big Books’ Car Care manual with my daughter polishing a car in the same driveway that’s on page 88. Good article, great magazine. Keep up the good work, Rick!
Jim Brightly
Via 4wheeloffroad.com

Thanks! For you youngsters, Jim Brightly has been a valued contributor to the magazine for more years than I’ve been around. Also, Drew Hardin was the editor-in-chief of this magazine at one time as well as the editorial director of the truck group. We thank both of them as well as all the others who worked with Uncle Pete and the rest of us at the Petersen empire.

Nostalgic Wheeling?
To Mr. Péwé and the rest of the staff: I would like to say thanks for almost 15 years of entertainment. I have only ever written in for an opportunity to get in Readers’ Rides, but I have a wish list for a future Ultimate Adventure. I would like to see each of your participating staff repair his oldest (longest owned) wheeler to its former glory. Péwé, for example, would get his GPW back into action, perhaps rebuilding the motor and whatever else is keeping it out of trail rides.

The big catch is no major changes. If it only has a Dana 44 front axle, that is all it can have. Rebuilds are welcome, but not drastic upgrades in hardware unless the vehicle must have them to meet safety and equipment requirements. If you have never gotten around to putting on doublers or hydraulic steering, then leave them off. A large group of vehicles that show the time period they were built in seems like it would make for an interesting read.

Anyway, just mull this idea over and if you like it, use it. If not, consider using this message for backwoods toilet paper.
Chris Crowley
Via 4wheeloffroad.com

I like the idea of a “Vintage UA” and believe that there are a lot of readers out there who would like it too. Better yet, how about an event or trail ride that more vintage rides could attend, with the same rules? Other readers, do you have more ideas? This year we plan to have a flattie contingent on the Jeepers Jamboree, so why not somewhere else as well?

Cheap Truck … Challenge?
I’m a 17-year-old teenager that works at Publix. I own an ’87 Suzuki Samurai, and I currently have a 4.3L Chevy Vortec and a TH350 tranny in my garage waiting to go in. I need suggestions that are cheap but hardcore. Plus, I think it would be cool for your readers to see what a teenager can do with minimal wage and patience. Thank you for an awesome magazine.
Derrick Knight
Plant City, FL

This month we have your answer. It’s called our Cheap Truck Challenge, where we pit vehicles like yours against one another, but they’re built by the editors while acting like 17-year-olds on a cheap but hardcore budget. See what we came up with starting on page 28!

How to Drive, Not Build
I have only been a subscriber for a couple of years now, so forgive me if you have already explained this and I missed it. Why are the majority of your articles about the wrenching aspects of four-wheeling and very few are about driving? I am relatively new to the sport, and I would like to see some articles and pictures of the trails that show the obstacles encountered. You could show pictures with overlays of the different lines chosen, which type of rig chose which line, and what the results were. You could discuss when to use the throttle and when to crawl, how to choose the right gear, and so on. Along the way you can throw in explanations of what the spotter does, what anchor points came into play, how to recover vehicles when the driver chose poorly, and so on.

On another note, why are there not more articles about Idaho? I moved from an area where 4x4s were mostly for show to an area where most trucks are 4x4 and actually used off of the blacktop.
Patrick McReynolds
Meridian, ID

Good point. It has been a while since we had a build it/drive it series. Feature Editor Ali Mansour will start in October with a story on how to drive in mud and how to build for mud. We’ll go into other aspects in future issues. And as far as Idaho wheeling goes, well, Idahope we will have more soon. Stay tuned for the November and December issues.

Road Trip Memories
Thanks for such a great magazine. Your trip from California to Pennsylvania [Apr. ’12] and back [May ’12] in a CJ brought back great memories for me of when I drove a ’78 CJ-7 with a four-banger from Minneapolis to Red Lodge, Montana, in July 1995. I was driving my Jeep with my two daughters (ages 9 and 12) as passengers. We picked up my two nieces (ages 4 and 7) in Billings, Montana, to join us for a camping experience in Red Lodge, Montana. Yes, all five of us were in that Jeep with seatbelts for three in the back seat! We spent four days and five nights camping in the Red Lodge Mountains and four-wheeling up to 10,000 feet on July 4. I have photos of the girls standing in a snowbank in the mountains in Red Lodge on July 4 when it was 95 degrees in Billings. Our trip was a great experience and wonderful memory. To this day we still talk and laugh about our wonderful trip, the crowded vehicle, and the “heads bouncing around” in the ’78 CJ-7. You can only imagine the bathroom stories the four girls have—camping without a bathroom. Given the opportunity, I would do it all over again. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Thanks again for such a great magazine. I read it cover to cover every month. I will be renewing my subscription after reading this story and hope to see it in print, as will the four girls (all grown women now).
David Lind
Via email

Fred Williams’ CA to PA trip hit home for many people, including me. We will take more trips like this, and we hope more readers will do the same. In fact, where do you think Fred and Lemon Pie should head next? Canada? Baja? Alaska? Nebraska? Post your ideas on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/4wheeloffroad.

Reader Rant
It Does Matter
I understand that you can’t publish where every item is manufactured every time, but in regards to your reply to Mr. Proctor [“Where Are They Made?” In Box, July ’12] I feel that’s the attitude that has helped to land our economy in the state that it is in. You may not care where your underwear is made, but it sure bugs me to know mine weren’t made here. I own thousands of dollars in Snap-on tools, and nothing drives me crazier than to see a tool on the truck made overseas. The tool costs no less than it did when it was made here so to me it seems clear that only greed drives these decisions by big corporations. But I’ve digressed.

My point is all the other mechanics at my shop couldn’t care less where that $100 chisel set or that $80 file came from or if the tires they just spent hundreds of dollars on were made here, but some of us do. I’d spend twice as much for identical items simply because they’re made here. It seems to me if more people demanded products made here by American companies (your Toyota made here to avoid tariffs doesn’t count), more companies would sell American-made products; consumers drive the market, right?
Randy Bosworth
Via 4wheeloffroad.com

My deepest apologies to you and to everyone else who wrote in taking me to task for “not caring where tires are made.” I meant that when it comes to how tires are tested, how they perform, and how they are rated, where they were made did not matter, especially since many tires of identical types are made in local as well as foreign locations. For the record, I do care about “Made in America,” and when I have a choice of a purchase for the same or similar price, I choose the American item. And I agree that if we all banded together and only bought American, our economy would be different.

I do need to ask though: Would the economy be better? First off, all Americans would not buy only American—look at your own mechanics. If you don’t believe what you wrote, look at what you said you would do. Tell me you would pay $4 a gallon for American gas when you could buy imported gas all day long for two bucks a gallon. Would you? I wish all of us could pay twice as much for what we believe in and that there was no “corporate greed,” but it just isn’t so. The answer? If I had the answer I could probably afford $4 gas.

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 310.531.9368 Email to: 4wheeloffroad@sorc.com

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