Welcome aboard. Wait, that's your line. This month turns a page in 4-Wheel & Off-Road's history: Longtime personal friend and former editor David Freiburger is now busy lowering cars, discussing compression ratios, and attending drag races as the new editor of Car Craft magazine. He put together 45 issues of 4-Wheel during the last four years and he took the magazine to unprecedented heights. He also befriended quite a few readers through his sometimes heroic product testing and trail-ride manners. The 4-Wheel staff and I wish him the best at his new job and know that he'll do the same awesome job of bringing real-world vehicles, techniques, and modifications to Car Craft readers.
Dave's are some pretty big (and dirty) boots to fill, but my feet are larger (and dirtier) than average. His departure left the most influential seat in the off-roading magazine world wide open, and it hadn't even begun to cool before I opted to try it on for size. I've played in the dirt since I was seven years old, first with dirt bikes and eventually with four-wheel vehicles. I also read 4-Wheel & Off-Road nearly from its inception, which happened only a month shy of 20 years ago. I strayed from the dirt path for a few years to hit the pavement with drag race cars and started my career at Petersen Publishing 7 years ago on the staff of Hot Rod magazine. And the last year and a half I've spent intensely visiting every aspect of the off-road world as editor of 4x4 Power.
I'm also fortunate to join a staff rich in talent, off-road knowledge, and good-natured humor. They've brought you several of the best-selling issues 4-Wheel has ever produced, and, in my opinion, some of the best articles that have ever filled these pages.
Since this may be the first chance many of you have to hear me rant and rave-the editorial page is an open forum for me to state my opinions-here's a summary of many of my off-road biases.
Favorite truck brand: I don't have a major bias here. Presently, I own a Chevy and a Ford but am open to nearly anything that you can stuff a locker or two in.
Most admired truck buildup: One that displays an owner's ingenuity. I'm a low-buck type of guy, and I really appreciate when someone builds a truck himself and makes it function better than stock for his needs.
Favorite place to hang out: This is a toss up between on the trail and in the workshop. If I had to pick just one trail that I love, it would probably be Golden Spike in Moab, Utah.
Best part of editing 4-Wheel & Off-Road: There isn't just one, but the high-ranking elements include 'wheeling, talking to readers, testing parts, and taking photos.
This has been only a brief introduction, but we'll get to know each other much better during my tenure here. In the meantime, enjoy this issue-it's packed with the usual stuff: parts-breaking action, news on the newest products and trails, and technical information you can't live without.