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August 2002 Letters To The Editor

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 2002
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Where To Write
Address your correspondence to:
Four Wheeler
6420 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515.

All letters become the property of Four Wheeler, and we reserve the right to edit them for length, accuracy, and clarity. The editorial department also can be reached through the Web site at Due to the volume of mail, electronic or otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.

A Family Magazine
Reader: Just a note to say thank you for not succumbing to the completely obnoxious, out-of-context ads that other truck and car mags do. I am a female truck owner and reader of your magazine and I thoroughly enjoy reading it-without the bikini-clad ad models. Thank you!

Editor: You're welcome. We'd like to believe that we're all adult enough-readers and editors alike-to consume, and to produce, magazines that are filled with enthusiast subject matter that is valuable for its own sake. We're not terribly interested in the salacious, the cheap, or the sensational. But once again, we have no control at all over the ads that do show up in Four Wheeler.

An Unhappy Comparison
Reader: This letter is coming to you from Spain, where I am serving a two-year mission for my church. Every month I make the trip to downtown Madrid to purchase a copy of Four Wheeler. It costs $7 here, and it's worth it. I read each issue three or four times before passing it on to the other missionaries here, who also are hardcore 'wheelers. Here's a suggestion: Use a thicker grade of paper for your covers. You produce a great magazine and I'd like to see it last as long as my rig's Dana 44 axle.
Jason Miller
Madrid, Spain

Editor: You only want each issue to last as long as a Dana 44? You don't want your issues to last as long as, say, a Dana 60?

Top Truck Challenge, the Game?
Reader: I think that you guys should make a game based on the Top Truck Challenge for Playstation 2. I think that it would be a really cool game. Players could build their own 4x4s and compete in the Top Truck Challenge without ever leaving home or spending thousands of dollars. I know if you made the game I would sure buy it. I have a lot of friends who think that my idea is pretty good, too. I'm not trying to run your business and tell you guys what to do, I was just thinking that this game was a good idea.
Cody Strube

Editor: For sure, the Top Truck Challenge is about the coolest thing around, and it probably would work well as a Playstation game. Thanks for the idea, Cody.

Faint Praise
Reader: OK, you usually have a great magazine (a little more tech and project vehicles, and fewer million-dollar trucks would help), but my two long-term peeves with Four Wheeler are:

1)Testing mud tires in dirt. If you can't afford to send someone to where the mud is, don't test them. I know mud is rare out West, but it is not in the rest of the world.

2) Assuming that nobody would be interested in compact diesels. Many of us would like the same benefits, gas mileage, and torque that the big guys get in a smaller rig. Many people tow or perform similar functions with a truck/Jeep/SUV that is smaller and more maneuverable, not to mention one that won't sink as fast in mud.
Tim Smith

Editor: We promise to find as much mud as we can next time we test a set of tires. But as you've noted, California doesn't get much mud. In fact it's probably illegal here. On the second point, we reject your assertion that we assume that nobody is interested in compact diesels. We know a few of you are. We also know, however, that the pool of probable buyers of such vehicles most likely is not large enough to encourage a manufacturer to produce them-especially given the R&D costs mandated by ever more stringent diesel emissions requirements. That's a different thing entirely. Who knows, as gas prices get crazier, that could change.

Top Truck Challenge Idea
Reader: Four Wheeler's 2001 Top Truck Challenge was awesome, but I've got some ideas for an even better show. You need more beat-up, crash-and-burn trucks, with drivers to match. This way there would be no worries about dented metal, and the drivers could just hold their engines to the red line. You could have events like mud drags, tree bending, puddle hopping, and you'd attract crazy rednecks from all over the country.
Ben Peabody
Northport, Maine

Editor: What? No! In the first place, we here at Four Wheeler World Headquarters have very little influence over the rigs that are selected for Top Truck Challenge. We allow the readers to do that. So it isn't a matter of us selecting one type of rig or another. Second, bashed sheetmetal and broken parts never have been the point of Top Truck Challenge. Rather, what we're looking to do is discover the current state of the art with respect to four-wheel-drive equipment. And as always, we're looking to explore the balance of capabilities between Jeeps and fullsize trucks. Finally, photos of "treebending," whatever that is, and the like would only annoy people and would provide further ammunition to those who believe we're all a bunch of crazed, environment-ripping bozos. So, thanks, but no can do.

No Driveways
Reader: What's happening to Readers' Rigs? I'm used to seeing ugly rigs on torn-up trails, or at least, from the wimps, their rigs in their backyards. Lately it's been pretty trucks and SUVs shot on the only driving surface they see-the road. What happened to the "no driveway" rule? This is important! It concerns the reputation of our magazine. Oh, and one more thing: Rage on, Ted.
Mike Toro
Allen Park, Michigan

Editor: Oh, the temptation to allow Ted to compose this response! But we'll behave, really we will, and we'll do it ourselves. Besides, Ted bills us for every word he writes for us. So: You're right. We've sinned, and will seek absolution. In the meantime, let it be known that this directive has been promulgated: No more Readers' Rigs on pavement. Unless that's all we can find. And this, too: It's up to you, out there in readerland. Don't be sendin' us your rigs parked in your driveways. Do that, and we'll ask Ted to write about your trucks. You don't want that; it could get ugly. Take your photos out on the trail, where you and your trucks belong. Send them to us, along with brief descriptions of your rigs. If we like what we see, we'll maybe use it. If not, well, maybe we'll put Ted on the case after all.

Joy In Ted
Reader: I read Ted's column with great joy. I own a modified S-10 Blazer, which has been the butt of all my friends' (with Jeeps) jokes. At every trail run I go to, I hear the same "Are you gonna take THAT out?" And yet, at the end of the day, I made it to the top of the same hills, and over the same rocks. Sure, it takes me longer, and I take a different line than every vehicle out there, but dammit, I MAKE IT! And I love my truck, baby. One of my favorite moments ever was at last year's Molina Ghost run. As I came to the bottom of one nasty-looking, rutted-out hill, I heard the safety safari guy on the top call out on the common channel, "Hold all traffic for this position, we got an S-10 coming that's gonna take all day." Well, one shot and I was up, to his slack-jawed amazement. Yeah, I got an S-10. And its locked, all that OEM vacuum crap is gone (What the hell were they thinking?) and the 4.3L V-6 is nicely modified. So sneer all you $50,000 snobs want-I'll still be on top with you. And frankly, I think I had a way better time getting there. Keep it up, Ted-you da man!
Dean Karengin

Editor: Guys, guys! This will never do. Reese is going to read all this. He's going to believe it, even. If you think he's difficult to live with now, just wait and see what he'll be like when he realizes he's become a star.

Four Wheeler's "Letter of the Month" is the most interesting or informative letter we receive each month. The letter's author will be sent one of Four Wheeler's highly prized Four Wheeler license plates. So be sure to include your full name and address when you write Four Wheeler.

Letter Of The Month
Teen Rant
Reader: Reading Ted Reese's rant, "Teenage Driver," in the May, 2002 edition of Four Wheeler, I couldn't agree with him more

I'm a responsible 19-year-old. I bought and maintain my own ride. I and other responsible teens out there have to deal every day with the kinds of teen drivers Ted ranted about. We also have to deal with the repercussions of the accidents that those drivers cause and have. I believe that those kinds of accidents happen for a couple of good reasons. For starters, this generation only knows the movie, The Fast and the Furious. Having your parents buy you a brand-new import sports-coupe means you'll have absolutely no respect for the vehicle. If you wreck it, mommy and daddy will just buy you a new one. It might be different if you had to buy a junker with your own money and start it by jumping the starter solenoid, or keep it running by jamming a screwdriver down the carburetor throat to make sure the choke isn't jammed shut. Do that, and you learn that there is more to a vehicle than just the gas pedal, brake pedal, and audio system.

It's a respect thing, and some of these kids have not been taught this. Life is always harder when you don't always have somebody holding your hand and wiping your butt all the time.

Ted, it's good that you're instilling in your son the right way to drive. Lessons are hard-learned, and if people can learn from the mistakes of others, it will help make the world a better place.

Thanks for the time, and keep printing the good word.
Jake I. Hoff
Fort Davis, Texas

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