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September 2012 Mailbag Letters to the Editor

Posted in Features on September 1, 2012
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Cover Critic
I received the June ’12 issue in the mail and am very disappointed with the rig on the cover. What a pile of junk. All the great looking rigs in the magazine, why would you put that train wreck on the cover? I see it has California plates. How would that make it through an inspection in that state with the tight regulations? It looks like they went to Tijuana for the weekend and it was stripped of everything and they put it back together with crap from that drainage ditch at the border to get it home. Seriously, that cover is terrible. I think you do this on purpose to get me going. The articles inside are good and I liked the Jeep Chix on the back page and the vintage article with the Corvette pulling the Jeep. The person driving that is the guy who breaks down on the trail and holds everybody up. The tech articles are great, but the cover looks the same as Hillbilly Monthly.
Mark Nelson
Via email

If you visit our web site, or facebook page,, or actually read the magazine you’d realize that cover photo was the winner in a “Get Your Jeep on the Cover” contest we held in our forums. Mike Gagos submitted the photo of his Jeep and we selected it as the winner. In short, it had a lot of attributes we look for in a cover even though you personally may not like a well-used, real-world 4x4.

There’s nothing unsafe about Mike’s XJ and there’s nothing to imply it’s unreliable or incapable off-road. It’s got some battle scars, doors that don’t match the rest of the Jeep, cut fenders for tire clearance, a home-built high-clearance front winch bumper, and cheap steelie wheels. None of that makes it unsafe. Just unpretty…which we here at Jp are fine with.

Okay With XJ
I don’t mean to keep the XJ Hater Hating going, but the cover of the June ’12 issue reminded me of the cover of September ’11 issue that drew a lot of flak. Did you purposely put another “piece of junk” Cherokee on the cover to spite the naysayers? It literally brought laughter out of me. Or how about the CJ-7 on the cover of May ’12 and the Scrambler on March ’12 covers? I wonder if the reader, Mark Nelson, who complained, was pleased by these bad boys. He did request that you put a CJ on the cover, but wait... Jp is about pleasing all Jeep lovers and inspiring us all to do what we can with the rigs we can afford. I am sorry to have read that he felt the red XJ on the September ’11 cover catered to the “trailer parks of America.” Last time I checked, @$$hole, half of the USAF in Bellevue, Nebraska, at Offutt AFB are driving them. Thank you, Jp, for helping us to dream.
Michael Menendez
Bellevue, NE

I don’t know why but we just like down and dirty rigs a bit better than a shiny Jeep with a multi-thousand dollar paint job. There’s nothing wrong with a pretty Jeep, but it just doesn’t push the dopamine button in our brains as much as something with a bit more mileage across the finish.

PhotosView Slideshow

If Ya Know What I Mean…
I must say that Alicia Trump got my attention in Jeep Chix in the June ’12 issue. How much hotter could an off-road chick get with the bikini top, a tattoo, and boots? Not to mention, she doesn’t mind working on a rig. She could work on my rig anytime.
Jerry Hinkie
Via email

I don’t understand why people are getting so angry about the Jeep Chix section. These women are clearly very proud of the way they look and of all the hard work they have put towards looking that way.

You ever notice how none of the Jeep Chix write in to say how much they hate it or how degrading and disrespectful the column is? It’s amazing how people always want to speak on the behalf of those who can already speak for themselves.

It’s not degrading at all. It’s complimenting! Keep them coming, ladies! You all look amazing!
Chris Levdahl
Winchester, VA

Second Opinion?
I have to say, as a relatively new reader and non-subscriber of your magazine, I have only disagreed with it one time. That was about three minutes ago, after a few cold ones, when in the June ’12 issue Dr. Vern claimed there are only two types of wheelers out there.

Being 22 years old, I in no way claim to be a veteran of Jeeps, but will admit that I am a second generation of Jeep owners. I currently own a ’10 Wrangler Rubicon and have spent the better part of a month fixing it from my most recent “Oh Sh!#” moment.

You could call us Alaskan wheelers a third group of enthusiasts—ones who enjoy the thrashing as much as the end result. These pictures were taken at a creek that decided to get deeper than usual. There were other ways around it, but I never shy away from a challenge. I love wheeling, and I love the breathtaking views of being at the end of the Earth. Appreciate the magazine!
Kelly Vannett
Electrician’s Mate Third Class

Unusual Idea
As an avid subscriber of your magazine who doesn’t own a Jeep (dammit) and live in prime Jeeping country, I get to see all kinds of radical rigs. And the thing that always strikes me is all the crap hanging down underneath. You know, transfer cases, drivelines, U-joints, and so forth. I’m a guy who likes to think out of the box, (or maybe out of the keg), so I thought, how can we solve this problem? I like really light, really agile buggy-type rigs and it suddenly occurred to me: twin engines.

My idea is to take two of the big adventure touring motorcycle engines, say a KTM 990, and connect them directly to some kind of lightweight axle. Replace the driveshaft with a sprocket and bolt the engine to the axle front and rear. Think about it. No transfer cases, no driveshafts, and no pinion angles to worry about. You could sling the driver low in the chassis, one radiator could cool both engines, and you would have a huge range of gearing selection. Let’s say the rear wheels were in mud and the fronts were on the rocks. You set the rear engine in a gear that lets her spin, and the fronts in one that will dig. It seems like it would be light, strong, and agile. What do you think?
Mike Counselman
Via email

Um, yeah. Okay. We’ll, in theory it seems kinda fun, but I’d worry about the torque of the motorcycle engines and don’t forget you’d need twin transmissions for each motorcycle engine, twin throttles, twin chain and sprocket setups, and so forth. I think a better idea would be to use twin electric motors with separate throttles and low-slung battery packs. This has already been done in the world of rockcrawling competition and it didn’t really take off because of charging complications. However, if you mounted a very small motorcycle engine (like a 50cc Honda unit) to a generator to keep the batteries charged, you’d have a long-range off-roader. Although I applaud original thinking, I think I’ll take a regular Jeep, thank you. If you build your creation, be sure to send us photos, but overall we’ll stick to plain old traditional platforms here at Jp.

Under Hood
All I wanted to do was beef-up the frame.
Lance Waldrop
Poway, CA

And another Jeep enthusiast is swallowed up by a project vehicle!

Self-Service Story
Inspired by your Self-Service Stories article the May ’12 issue, I have spent many years trolling the “yards.” When I moved to the Chicago area, there were numerous junkyards to wander. I was looking for a part for my old Lincoln and while waiting to purchase the part, I was listening to the stereotypical (now I will try to be politically correct) overweight, cigar-smoking, white sleeveless dirty t-shirt-wearing, foul-mouthed owner. A yuppie was trying to haggle for a tailight for his BMW. The owner glared at him and said, “You candy***ed b***h. You went to the dealership and they wanted to charge you over $300 for the part and I am giving it to you for $50 and you want to j** me down! You can’t have it!” Then he reaches over for a hammer (do you see it coming?) and smashes it to pieces. “Now none of you BMW p***ks can have it.” And then he politely asked him to leave and never come back. I kept a straight face, paid my $5, and left in time to see the BMW rip out of there broken taillight and all.
Dr. Rob Paczkowski
Downers Grove, Il

Write Us!
Got a question or comment about Jp magazine or the village idiots at the helm? Drop us a line. Don’t forget to include your full name and where you’re from or we’ll make fun of you. Actually, we may make fun of you anyway. Keep it short and to the point or we’ll hack and chop your letter as we please. We get a lot of mail, but we read every letter. Unfortunately, we can’t print or personally answer every request. We’re too busy surfing the Internet on the company dime. Digital images should be no less than 1,600x1,200 pixels (or 2 megapixels) and should be saved as a TIFF, an EPS, or a maximum-quality JPEG file.

Write to: Jp Magazine, Editor
831 S. Douglas St.
El Segundo, CA 90245

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