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March 2013 Mailbag Letters To The Editor

Posted in Features on March 1, 2013
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Photographers: Readers

History Lesson
I got my October ’12 issue in the mail yesterday and leafing through it to the Vintage Vault story saw several photos taken from the Hot Rod archives. The top two photos show a neat CJ-3B at the NHRA Drag races in Denver in 1955. The bottom two photos show a man standing next to a golf ball-battered flatfender with a cage on it. The caption reads in part: ”We are not sure who this guy is, and it does not really matter….” Yes it does!!

Shame on you guys! The man in the photographs is none other than Wally Parks, the founder of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Wally founded the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) in 1948 and founded the NHRA in 1951 after he wrote a letter to Hot Rod Magazine (HRM), whose 1948 founder, publisher, and editor was none other than Wally’s good friend, Robert Petersen (1926-2007), owner of Petersen Publishing Company and founder of the Robert Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. Wally Parks and Bob Petersen were close friends and associates for more years than anyone can remember. Wally Parks passed away at age 94 in 2007 and was as big an icon to the hot rodding world as Carroll Shelby was to motor racing and the Cobra legends and as big as Robert Petersen was to the automotive publication world. Wally Parks was the President of NHRA from 1951 until 1983, when he became its chairman until his death in 2007. He was instrumental in the formation of the NHRA Museum in Pomona.

The fact that the pictures on page 70 were taken by Tom Medley and Eric Rickman is no surprise either. Both were staff photographers for HRM for years and Tom Medley even did cartoons for HRM of a character named Stroker McGurk and his turtleneck T hot rod. Hot Rod magazine and its staff were tied directly to the NHRA and its functions in trying to prevent street racing and to encourage hot rodders to race safely in sanctioned events.

HRM did not shy away from Jeeps and Jeeping back in the ’50s and ’60s and often featured Brian Chuchua’s Jeeps and other members of what I think was the Chuckwalla Jeep Club. I have even seen photos taken by Eric Rickman in a recent copy HRM of Brian’s Jeep being towed by a ’56 or ’57 Corvette. (Editor’s note: That was actually Jp, Vintage Vault, June ’12)

I have read HRM since I was a young teenager in the mid-’50s and continue to subscribe to it to this day. While I don’t drag race anymore, I still enjoy opening all eight barrels of carburetion on my restored ’60 Corvette with 283 power and close-ratio four-speed, hearing the sound of the stock Hi-Po exhaust behind my ears, as well as reading all the stuff involved in the hot rodding world—just as I enjoy the content of your fine magazine in my later years.
Colin Peabody
Phoenix, AZ

For our readers, we named Colin’s wicked-cool ’48 VJ Jeepster with a Buick 225 V-6, close-ratio Muncie four-speed, and Ford 8-inch rear end one of our Top 10 Jeeps of 2007 in the January ’08 issue of Jp. Colin is always a wealth of good information, and as usual, we’re glad for his input. Thanks for setting us straight, Colin!

Dippy Hippy
So today I just got the latest Jp (Oct. ’12 issue) and I’m reading the Mailbag section where this hippie chick is badmouthing the military. As a veteran of the Iraq war and a person who has lost many friends to terrorists and is still serving our country, her hatred for the military disgusts me. She only has that freedom of speech thanks to the few who choose to defend it. And her last sentence, “The world will be a better place once people like you are gone,” really pissed me off. If you can’t stand behind the men and woman who defend this country, then stand in front of us! Just had to vent. Thanks for a great magazine and keep up the great work. We appreciate you guys.
Travis J. Barriga
94th Army Air Missile Defense Command

And we appreciate you, Travis. Thanks for your service!

I live in the middle of western Colorado in a small town named Paonia. We have a very high number of “tree huggers” and greenies living here like many other small mountain towns. However, all the Jeep roads I am seeing closed around western Colorado are being closed by ATVers to Jeeps, but not to ATVs. I feel deeply betrayed by this very large group of off-roaders.

On a much lighter note, I have seen more and more articles about retro vehicles and several mentions of how cool the ’89 to ’92 Islander was. I am real pleased with and would like you to see a picture of my ’06 “Rubilander,” which I have attached.
Don MacKenzie
Paonia, CO

Whether actual or just perceived, this kind of “blue on blue” land access bickering is almost always harmful to any group wanting to use off-highway trails and lands. Once land closures take hold on any level it’s hard to stop the process from spreading and is all but impossible to reverse. The best course of action is to get involved with one of the many groups that work to fight off-highway vehicle land closures from happening in the first place. A quick Google search can lead you to smaller groups in your area (in your case the Colorado OHV Coalition,, but when in doubt the BlueRibbon Coalition,, is a nationwide organization that works to keep and restore our rightful access to public lands.

Hook, Line, and Jeeper
I am a 16-year-old Jeep fanatic and bought my own ’79 CJ-7 last year. With every Jp I read I learn more about Jeeps. My family has always had Jeeps and I’m enjoying working on mine. I will never stop loving Jeeps, and I probably won’t ever stop driving them.
Mike White
Toronto, ON

And another one is hooked for life! There’s just something special about a Jeep. To me, they meld all the automotive elements into one super-cool, utilitarian, beautiful package. I can’t really think of any other vehicle platform that has the cult-like loyalty of the Harley Davidson crowd, the multi-function Swiss Army knife-like versatility, hot rod-inspired, run-what-ya-brung acceptance of other-brand drivetrain components, tractor-like capability, and the fun of a moped without any of the shameful guilt! They’re just the best damn vehicles ever.

The Dingo Ate Your Issue
My wife bought me a 20-issue subscription to Jp for my birthday last year. I just received the October ’12 issue and was looking through it and noticed on page 10 there was a July ’12 issue. I never received an issue of the July issue. I just thought it was one of the months you don’t get one, as Jp only does 10 issues per year. What I am asking is, is it possible to get one sent out to me since I didn’t receive one?
Daniel Martincic
Aubin Grove, Western Australia

Jp doesn’t do a February or December issue. Unfortunately, we here on the editorial side of things have absolutely no say in what happens in the subscription side of the company. It could be anything from an internal glitch to your mail carrier misplacing or (if you wear tinfoil hats) stealing your issue. Regardless, if you’ve missed one issue for whatever reason, you can contact Reader Services, 800/678-8012 (USA) or 386/447-6385 (international), or email

Put Down
I live in Stockholm, Sweden, and since I have a similar photo as you ran in the Sept. ’12 Trail Head, I thought that I would share it. I have a friend who is a blacksmith and he made the revolver for a friend. Since I have the WWII-era cartoon of the sergeant that has to shoot and put down his old Jeep, I wanted to make a similar photo using my ’44 Willys MB. It served somewhere in Germany during WWII, and I use it more or less like a daily driver all year round and go off-road with it, too.
Christer Beckman
Stockholm, Sweden

PhotosView Slideshow

Good Goods
About a year ago I restored a ’45 WWII-era GPW. When doing this, I found the company Beachwood Canvas while searching for a new canvas top. I discovered that it carried all of the parts needed for my restoration: suspension, gears, body parts, nuts and bolts, and anything that you could think of to restore this make and model of jeep. The canvas had excellent craftsmanship and I could not have asked for a better product. It was a refreshing experience working with the owner of this company, Dan Janquitto. When you called the company, you talked directly to him and he was incredibly knowledgeable when it came to all aspects of his products.

When I was younger, my father had a ’43 jeep. I enjoyed the experience of restoring my father’s jeep with him when I was younger and I love that I can now share the same experience with my son. The love of jeeps runs deep in our family’s blood and it is something that I hope we will all share with generations to come.
Mike Lamprecht
Saratoga, WY

Restoring a vintage Jeep is something that’s hard to beat, especially if you’re making it a family project. Thankfully, places like Beachwood, ATV Manufacturing, Crown, Omix, and others are still offering the parts that make these projects possible.

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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