Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. You might feel like you are sitting at a blackjack or poker table in Vegas with all the changes. The end goal actually looks really cool. We are going to end up with more integration between print and web than ever before. That means I’ll be able to bring you up-to-the-second stories on the web, and you won’t have to wait two or three months to see what the nutjobs at Jp think of something. I’ll also be able to get a little more in-depth in the magazine with some stories too. We can still kick extra content that didn’t fit in print over to the web or bring more in-depth stuff from the web to these pages. Now, this won’t all happen yesterday, or even immediately, but it is something you have to look forward to.
Speaking of nutjobs, it is with heavy heart that we no longer have Dr. Vern spouting off in these pages. However, expect to see more in these pages from Ali Mansour. He has run 4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility and written for 4-Wheel & Off-Road, as well as Four Wheeler. He’s had some stories in these pages before too. It works out well because he brings some east-coast flavor to the magazine where Verne and I are both west-coast based. He also brings eight years of magazine experience to the table, as well as a low-slung ’97 Wrangler with a 5.9L V-8 (“More Mopar” in Jp magazine, July ’11). Not only that, but he’s got a ’98 Grand in the stable as well, and I hear he’s on the hunt now for an older Jeep of some kind to play with.
We also did pick up “Average Joe,” aka Josh Biggs. He’s been messing with Jeeps since he could drive, and he’s more like you or I than the guys that write for many of the other magazines. That is, he’s Jeep broke—You know, Jeep broke, where you put all your money into your Jeep or Jeeps. It often goes like this: On payday you find a smoking deal on a Jeep or a part, and you just have to jump on it right then and there. Check the wallet. Yep, got the cash, so you run and grab it. Then, six days later, there are only cobwebs in the wallet and not even peanut butter or Ramen noodles in the cabinet. Time to sell some parts or do some side work for food. And repeat. So anyway, Josh is like that, and he builds his Jeeps to try and keep inside the budget, has more than one Jeep, and is still able to eat without selling his body—none of us want to see that. So, Average Joe will range across all kinds of Jeep topics, keeping the price down and the ingenuity level way up. We still haven’t decided if it will be a monthly column, but he’s trying to make it happen. It just depends on how much stuff he can get himself into and still take pictures and write the articles. He’s a freelancer, so he’s got a life outside the magazine too.
In addition to all of our normal cool columns, we’ve also got a ‘wheeling event from Virginia and a really clean TJ converted into a pickup. There is also Part 1 of a two-part story on how to drive the Rubicon, complete with GPS coordinates and some helpful spotting advice. I know it isn’t something we normally do, but I also know I wish I had something like that the first time I hit the ‘Con. Let me know what you guys think. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my drivel. Until next time, keep on Jeeping! You know I will.