I just read a great article asking what the greatest accomplishments of the last few decades would be (Trail’s End, May ’17). I would say hands down it would be the Internet. We now have access to search engines that help us locate parts suppliers, blogs and forums to improve or diagnose our rigs, pictures to motivate us, our beloved 4x4 mags, etc. Yes, we have made some big steps in terms of LED lightbars, engine swap combos, etc, but I feel KNOWLEDGE has been our greatest leap forward. I can plan an easy upgrade on my truck knowing I have done all my homework on some great forums, found the companies that make fabricator parts, watch YouTube videos to teach myself how to weld, and found the obscure, specialized vendor that can modify a stock wiring harness for my vehicle and a 5.3 LS motor. None of this was possible in the ’80s (and most of the ’90s). I remember in the ’80s, the thought of converting a 2WD vehicle to 4WD was considered stupid, but now with computers and IFS….it is sometimes better to start with 2WD rigs since we literally have all the knowledge in the world available at our fingertips. Just my two cents worth, I don’t expect change!
I’m old, but remember the ’80s well, so the May 2017 Trail’s End story “Dec ’89: Accomplishments of the ’80s” pulled my attention away from my sore back. Man, the ’80s sucked for suspensions. Height was the only thing people seemed interested in and the resulting rough ride and a scary high center of gravity was the result. And why did we think four shocks per wheel was a good idea? I say “we” because I did it too. I lived with a truck that had little wheel travel and rode terrible. It looked badass, but maybe it’s one of the reasons I have sore back nowadays.
You missed the obvious. Most noteworthy accomplishment since the ’80s has been a greater choice in beer. Back in ’80s you had Bud, Miller Lite, Heinie, Fosters, Lowenbrau made in the USA and a few German beers. Today when you go the store to get beer you have at least a dozen microbrews to choose from. After a tough day on the trail or in the garage fixing the ride nothing is better than a cold beer from your favorite local microbrewery. Best part is you are also supporting the local economy and not some big multinational corporation.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in to weigh in on how much has changed in the wheeling world over the last few decades. There have certainly been an influx of new and improved 4WD components that make our rigs function better on-road and off. Improvements in things like tire and suspension technology has resulted in 4x4s that are extremely capable and able to bridge the gap between daily commuters and weekend warriors. There are a lot more cupholders too.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the bringing back of the King. I read his articles in your magazine 30 years ago. I worked on the Canadian border in eastern Washington at the time loading lumber on the Burlington Northern Railroad. I was in my 20s and my wife and I lived on 120 acres in a small cabin with no radio reception and one television channel. I would look forward to our 50-mile trips to town once or twice a month. I knew when the new Four Wheeler magazine would hit the rack at the grocery store and would plan our trips accordingly. Once a month before we would go to sleep I would read the Granville tale of the month to my young bride and we would marvel at his ability to spin a yarn and talked about some of the stories for years. I still have a “Git Back Box” because of him.
I am not in the country in that little cabin anymore and have been “citified” as Granville would say. I don't have to drive 50 miles to go to the store to get my issue anymore because the postman brings it every month. Things have changed so much since his passing with technology and society that it would be great to read his take on all of it. One thing for me hasn't changed. I just got the issue in the mail and with all its glory and later tonight I am proud to say that I will once again read the great Granville King to that very same girl. Keep up the great work.
Really enjoyed the Granville Salute! Hope you continue the article.
We’re thrilled that so many readers are enjoying the reprints of Granville King’s “From The Back Country” columns. We’re going to keep publishing them, space permitting, for months to come.
And This Sorry to interrupt you, can I be your friend for supplying intercooler and turbo kits?