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6420 Wilshire Blvd.
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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 www.fourwheeler.com. Due to the volume of mail, electronic and otherwise, we cannot respond to every reader, but we do read everything.
Reader: Man, I tell you, I was very unhappy with the Sept. '05 issue. I've been a reader for five years or more and a subscriber for the last two. "Something for everyone" is what you strive for, I'm sure, but you certainly are not doing anything for me. I get so sick of reading about new trucks. Four Wheeler of the Year. Pickup Truck of the Year. Ten Best Buys in Four-Wheel Drive. To me, this is lazy journalism. If I'm in the market for a new truck or SUV, I'll pick up Car and Driver or Consumer Reports. I don't care how you slice it or explain it-people who read Four Wheeler shouldn't care about Lexus, VW, or all that other crap. People who read Four Wheeler should care about Dana 60s, small-block Chevys, and flatfenders.
I see you finally brought "Readers' Rigs" back after a few months. Thanks for that. Where did "Cheap Tricks" go? I sent in a couple, so I know you didn't run out. Also, this "Low Rage" guy has got to go. Some people can bitch and make you see their point. This guy just makes me mad. Whatever happened to the "Back 40" guy?
I read all my back issues and love that stuff like "Five in Five" (Feb. '04, where you install the Super Duty suspension in your driveway). This is good stuff we want to read about. Project "Fiery Redhead" is great, but this month, you didn't even show us what the front bumper looks like on it. I've also enjoyed the Teal-J project.
Maybe you won't even read this, but it feels good to get it off my chest. I think when my subscription comes up for renewal, I'll give my money to Jp and 4-Wheel & Off-Road and forget about Four Wheeler. You've got three months to change my mind.
Editor: One of the things that has always distinguished Four Wheeler from the competition has been our comprehensive road-test curriculum. It's been part and parcel of our four-wheel coverage since our very first issue, and we have found that readers generally appreciate our analysis of the newest 4x4 trends and tech, which they typically won't see much of in the other four-by magazines. Don't believe it? Read the next letter.
But we do aim to please as many readers as possible, so if you want more "Readers' Rigs"-and we mean a lot more-check out next month's issue. And if you want more "Cheap Tricks," just wait a few more issues-you'll see more Tricks in these pages than you can shake a (twin)stick at. We've got plans for all of this, and more, in the very-near future.
And if we told you that the "Low Rage" guy is a billionaire beer baron with a built nympho daughter that he's looking to marry off, would you like him any better?
Reader: You and your staff must have been reading minds when you put together your September issue of Four Wheeler. This issue contained exactly what I expect to get when your magazine arrives in my mailbox each month.
Your "Best Buys in Four-Wheel Drive and other Controversies" set the stage for your "10 Best Buys" article. From your Rubicon as the "Best," and only, compact SUV to your "Editors' Best Overall," you took a solid stand on vehicles that regular people want to own-good for you. You recognized that, although the Lexus is a nice cushy $54,000 vehicle, many of your subscribers feel left out when you picked a $65,000 vehicle like the Touareg as Four Wheeler of the Year. I, for one, think the Dodge Power Wagon, your hands-down pick for best 3/4-ton pickup, is about all the luxury that most of us want in a vehicle that will actually see off-pavement terrain.
I couldn't wait to read the rest of the issue, and to call my nephew who just bought an '05 Nismo Frontier. After trying the competition, he will agree with your selection of "Best Midsize Pickup." You were right on the money this month. You are the authority!
Reader: About your Hummer H3 road test (Sept. '05): Great article, but I don't understand why anyone would want a larger engine, what with 520 lb-ft of torque as your spec box claims. Is this correct?
Editor: Almost. That figure should be, uh, 225 lb-ft. (Dohhh!!) The offending party has been sentenced to write a Trailblazer/Envoy/Ascender/Rainier/Saab 9-7x comparo test for an upcoming issue of Truckin's SUV. Sorry for the slip-up.
Reader: I've never written a letter to a magazine before, but after reading Dennis Pierce's "Low Rage" ("No Dogs Allowed," Sept. '05), I felt compelled. First off, why lie? I worked in publishing for a few years. I know what it pays, and I know you have absolutely no business at either a bank or a broker's office without a gun and a mask.
Also, you might want to tell your contractor buddies that a top cause of vehicle-involved pet deaths is dogs falling out of pickup truck beds. I live and wheel in Colorado, and I also own three pet-related businesses in Denver; I can tell you firsthand that if you want to go on the trails or anywhere else in this state, you better get a new attitude towards dogs. This is the most dog-friendly place in the world, they are everywhere, and it is wonderful. I've never seen anything like what you describe, not even close. Most people's dogs are just great and add fun to the trip.
In your case, it sounds like you need two simple things-a leash and a plastic bag. Maybe some discipline for the dogs? That's what the rest of us do, with stellar success. Nice to know that it is OK, however, when you do it the right way with Molly. It must be great to be so superior.
My dogs Willy (who passed away last year) and Lucia have done Imogene Pass, Black Bear, and some others, with no problems, no dead marmots, all poo accounted for, and no traces left. My wife and I have such wonderful memories of wheeling, hiking and camping with Willy and the joy he brought to and got out of it that I can't imagine your intolerance, especially knowing that you are a dog owner yourself. I bet your strictly structured trail rides are a real hoot.
Paul, Lucia & Willy