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A Half-Century Of Four Wheeler

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A Half-Century Of Four Wheeler

Fifty is old, unless you’re age 50 and a homo sapien, then it still seems young. But in the publishing world? That’s truly an eternity, and few magazines ever reach that age. In celebration of Four Wheeler hitting the quinquagenarian milestone, we’re taking an in-depth look back at the world of four-wheeling and how it evolved from a casual sport to a way of life, right within the pages of this magazine.

The first year alone featured the phrase “cars to be tested,” a reference to “Masai warrior hitchhikers having left their seven foot spears protruding from the hatch of the bogged down vehicle,” the cover blurb “VW’s Back Country Sports Cars,” articles on trail scooters, a product write-up on “Gas-Powered Tools” like a chainsaw, and words of wisdom on parenting: “If everyone looked out for their own youngsters, there wouldn’t be so many for the social workers to look out for,” and “Most women thrive on outdoor activity and nothing could please the kids better.” Vol. 1, No. 1 cost just fifty cents, and an annual subscription would set you back $4.50.

What you’ll find here are old-timey photos, vintage covers, actual quotes from stories and editorials, advertisements, and more from the 50 years we’ve been covering—and creating—this industry, including the people, the vehicles, the products, and the events. Thanks for being along for the ride all these years, and cheers to 50 more!

How Did Four Wheeler Last 50 Years?!
“The first issue of a new magazine is really difficult to put together. There are so many things you want to include—and so many more facts about the stories you do include that the whole project is discouraging.” —Feb. ’62, “Our First Year”

“This issue marks the close of our first year… Our first issue had only 16 pages as opposed to the 52 we are currently printing. And our February issue went to 250 paid subscribers—by the time you receive this copy there will be well over 11,000.” —Mar. ’63, “Editor’s Report”

Apr. ’63, “Sand Buggy Hill Climb”

“As those who are regular readers of the Four Wheeler are already aware, the March issue was delivered to them several weeks late.... The print shop went out of business without any prior notice.” —Apr. ’64, “Editor’s Report”

“Any small magazine with an overworked and underpaid staff of too few is bound to make errors.”— June ’65, “Editor’s Report”

“Four Wheeler got started at a meeting of the California State Association of 4wd clubs in the fall of 1963 when I made a brief announcement of my idea. I sent out a subscription advertisement and our first subscriber, a confident man in Utah, sent in in [sic] his money for twelve issues.”—Nov. ’65, “Editor’s Report”

Feb. ’65, “Afton Canyon 1964”

“This issue marks another milestone in Four Wheeler’s history with 16 additional pages.”—Feb. ’67, “Editor’s Report”

“Regular readers of Four Wheeler by now realize that there were no July or August issues. Dropping these two issues was made necessary by a change in our news stand distribution.” —Oct. ’67, “Editor’s Report”

“As our readers will immediately realize, it has been some months since they have received a copy of their magazine.” —July ’71, “Editor’s Report”

June ’69, “Turn On! In Colorado”

“For our many thousands of loyal readers who purchase Four Wheeler at their local newsstand each month, a word of explanation is in order as to why our cover price has increased from 75 cents to one dollar.” —Jan. ’74, “Four Wheelin’”

“Unfortunately, the Four Wheeler magazine library has no record of the August 1970 issue. If any of our readers have an old August ’70 issue, let us know what was happening at that time. Thanks.”— Aug. ’80, “Retrospect”

“This is our best shot at apologizing to all the people who came to our advertised Four Wheeler EXPO ’81 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl, and found nothing but locked gates, and no Expo.”—Feb ’81, “Four Wheelin’”

“Four Wheeler is 30. In that time, the magazine has been up and been down, been saved and been lost, bought, and sold.” —Mar. ’92, “Random Input”

“The jury is still out on Four Wheeler as a product of the ’90s. Financial security has been achieved through a favorable change of ownership, meaning that there will be a Four Wheeler, in some form or other, for a long time to come.”—Mar. ’94, “Random Input”

“Over 2,000 magazines are started each year, and after 12 months, only a handful are still in print. Starting a magazine is risky. It’s a suicide mission. Four Wheeler survived.” —Sept. ’96, “Random Input”

View Slideshow

Four Wheeler Firsts
“Next month will mark the beginning of a series of technical articles that will be of interest to anyone who drives over the back country in any section of the country. For some time the staff has been assembling information on the common problems and techniques of driving and rebuilding fwd rigs….”—Apr. ’63, “Editor’s Report”

July ’72

“Consistent driving, a little help from Lady Luck, and the Four Wheeler Land Cruiser took first in class.” —Feb. ’74, “Baja 1000, Four Wheeler Wins!”

“Four Wheeler’s First Annual Achievement Award has been won by the Jeep Cherokee for 1974.”—Feb. ’74, “1974 Jeep Cherokee”

“For 1981, Toyota has been awarded the Import Four Wheeler of the Year award. This is a new award starting in 1981 and we hope will become as prestigious as our ‘Four Wheeler of the Year’ award started back in 1973.”—Feb. ’81, “Toyota…Import Four Wheeler of the Year”

“For the first time our Four Wheeler of the Year test pits sport/utility vehicles directly against each other in one class, with pickups competing against each other in another class.”—Feb. ’88, “Random Input”

“It is vehicles such as this that we celebrate with this issue. Ugly 4x4s that work hard, that have no chrome, and that aren’t festooned with plastic parts and brightly colored urethane shock boots.”—Sept. ’89, “Random Input”

“This issue will mark the last episode of Granville King’s column, ‘From the Backcountry.’ Granville was killed on a highway near San Felipe, Mexico, October 25, 1989.”—Mar. ’90, “Random Input”

“Late last summer, we invited those readers who own “the world’s best four wheeler” to put up or shut up: Take us up on our Top Truck Challenge—the search for the best truck—and send in an entry.”—Feb. ’94, “The Challengers, the Inaugural Entrants

“This year’s test yielded the largest field of new or substantially revised 4x4s ever, with nine sport-utilities of all shapes, sizes and prices vying for the title.”—Feb. ’96, “Four Wheeler of the Year”

Feb. ’99, “1999 Four Wheeler of the Year”

“Who says we won’t publish pictures of black trucks?”—Aug. ’03, “Black Truck Blowout”

“Welcome to the first-ever Real Truck Challenge….”—Mar. ’04, “Real Truck Challenge 2003”

“Four Wheeler’s First Annual T-Shirt Contest.” —May ’84

Chicks and Four Wheeling
“Regular readers will recall that we had a letter asking for advice on what to buy in a used four wheeler for a young, single gal…a good eighty percent of those that replied prefer the Chevrolet Blazer.”—June ’72, “The Broad View”

July ’64, “The 4 Wheeled Hunter

“A well dressed young lady with white gloves shows the world how easy it is to operate the new Husky Selectro Hub.”—July ’72, “Easy Does It”

“It is an understatement to say that men have always been impressed by women. They kind of appreciate the way they look and the way they are built. They were even more impressed after the great job the damsels performed in conquering rough terrain and all obstacles in the first ‘All Women’s Four Wheel Drive Run’ ever held in the sport of four wheeling in California.”—Oct. ’72, “Women’s Lib in the Desert”

“Many readers, however, probably don’t know about Jean’s (Four Wheeler women’s columnist Calvin) off-road racing, or her career in automotive writing. And even fewer know that she was a professional ice skater for 10 years!”—May ’74, “To Write or Race?”

Apr. ’72, “Brubaker: A Micro-Mini Van”

“Just as it happened for the male species a while back, it is happening now for the female species. Once hooked, you cannot get enough! And contrary to what some people think about tough four wheeling, any woman can!”—Nov. ’74, “Tough Four Wheeling…Any Woman Can!”

“You had a story that women were getting more into four wheelin’; I think I was born with four wheelin’ in my blood. If any of you guys out there are Mopar lovers, unattached, and love to have fun, write and maybe we’ll get together. Jill”—June ’84, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”

Nov. ’64, “Girls Girls Girls”

“There has been a surprising number of women voting (for TTC). We also notice husbands and wives voting separately, with different picks.”—July ’96, “Random Input”

“But what’s unusual is that seated at the controls of these jeeps is not the usual array of burly men. Rather, what I see gripping all those steering wheels are women.”—Mar. ’02, “Women on the Rocks”

July ’72, “Easy Does It”

“You see them at love-ins and cookouts; in church; in movies and commercials; at the grocery store, but have you ever seen women perform in the sport of four wheeling, out in the wide open desert?”—Oct. ’75, “Ladies Day”

View Slideshow

New Vehicles That Broke Ground
“One of the first four-wheel drive cars to be chosen for thorough road testing by the Four Wheeler is Toyota’s Land Cruiser.”—Feb. ’62, “Our First Year”

Dec. ’82

“The biggest news this spring for four wheelers everywhere was the introduction of a V-8 engine by Jeep. This announcement, long awaited by Jeep enthusiasts, marks the first eight-cylinder engine ever to e offered in the Jeep lineup of back country rigs.”—June ’65, “Jeep’s New V-8”

“Toyota Motor Company, second in world truck imports, also has its interest in passenger imports, rating sixth in passenger car imports in the United States. Between the two lies the Toyota Land Cruiser, a hybrid truck/passenger vehicle...”—Apr. ’70, “Toyota L/C”

“The Hurst/Jeepster Special will feature a performance and dress-up package aimed at the younger segment, as well as those who feel young, in the four wheel drive market.”—July ’70, “Jeepster”

“Although the Bronco hasn’t changed visually, it does have optional power steering and an automatic transmission for the first time in history.”—Sept. ’72, “Four Wheelin’”

“For pickups, one of the most important changes in ’73 is the removal of the fuel tank from the cab interior.” —Oct. ’72, “Chevrolet Preview: See the U.S.A…”

Dec. ’65, “Way…Way…Way off the Road”

“If you aren’t familiar with those names…you soon will be.”—Mar. ’74, “What’s a Ramcharger? What’s a Trail Duster?”

“The big news at International is in their engine changes, new standard electronic ignition and snazzy brand-new exterior color schemes.” —Jan. ’75, “International ’75: Great New Features”

July ’72, “Fetching Four Wheelers from Foreign Shores”

“When we first picked up the little CJ-5 we experienced a bit of culture shock—suddenly it was 1944!”—June ’77, “’Plain Jane’ CJ-5”

“Gas prices and the EPA just might make the Sinpar Renault a 4x4 dream in the 1980s!”—Jan. ’79, “French 4x4 Connection”

“One of the big introductions at Ford for 1979 was the full one-ton pickup, the F 350.” —Jan. ’79, “1979 Ford F 350 Pickup”

“What if you could have the reliability of a Mercedes-Benz engine, the styling of a Land Rover and a unique 100% differential lock on either axle, all in one truck?”—July ’79, “Mercedes-Benz 4x4”

Feb. ’74, “4x4 Dune Bus”

“A new market is emerging—the family four wheel drive market.”—Sept. ’79, “The Eagles Have Landed”

“Now, before we have Toyota, Datsun and every mini truck buyer in the country down our editorial throat, there is something to be said about the import trucks. They are great!...They have also forced domestic manufacturers to change direction and start producing what America needs to meet the future.”—Apr. ’80, “Four Wheelin’”

“The long awaited Datsun four wheelers are here! Well, almost—after nearly a year of anticipation, Four Wheeler Magazine managed an exclusive preliminary preview and road test on the first Datsun 4x4 to enter the country.”—May ’80, “Exclusive Preview Datsun’s 1980 Four Wheel Drive Pickups”

“Almost one year ago, to the day, we were sitting around the art department here at Four Wheeler…wondering if the idea of a 4WD passenger car would ever really catch on with the public.”—Sept. ’80, “Preview: AMC’s New Eagle SX/4 & Kammback”

“But what about trucks? IH came back with a super efficient Nissan tubodiesel in ’79-80 models that averaged 21 mpg. And Chevrolet is hard at work for an ’82 model year introduction of an all new 6.2 liter diesel mill for light duty trucks.”—Apr. ’81, “Four Wheelin’”

“This is the story of a vehicle who’s time has come.”—Aug. ’81, “Subaru Hatchback”

“The old Dodge Power Wagon never reached the same fame as other trucks that fought in WWII, and it seems as if the latest generation of Dodges is just as overlooked.”—June ’84, “1984 Dodge W250”

“Suzuki pioneered a whole new class of vehicle when it introduced the Samurai, the micromini-4x4.”—Jan. ’87, “So What Happened?”

“Introduced in 1979, the Toyota 4x4 pickup helped alter the state of recreational four wheeling.”—May ’89, “Joy Toys”

“In 1979, the biggest Wrangler Radial you could get was 32.4 inches tall. A brand-new GMC Jimmy cost $6,870; a CJ -5 cost $5,582 with lots of options, and a Ford F-150 Flareside shortbed cost $6,470 with a 351 V-8, CB radio, automatic trans, air conditioning, and Trac-Lok.”—Dec. ’89, “Random Input”

“Little did we know that he Explorer would turn into the most successful new vehicle of the nineties.”— Jan. ’92, “100% Over, 50% Gone”

Feb. ’94, “No Two the Same”

“Based on what we saw, the Mercedes approach will be quite gratifying to those who demand multiple capabilities from their sport-utility—which is another way of saying that people who really do use their 4x4s for the purpose they were intended will appreciate the Mercedes.”—May ’97, “Mercedes M-Class”

“Several testers commented that it couldn’t be a diesel because there seemed to be no black smoke trail or horrible stink emanating from the tailpipe.”—Sept. ’97, “1997 Chevy Suburban 6.5 TD”

“GM engineers have dipped deep into the Hummer styling well, deep into General Motors parts bins, and finally, deep into their own imagination and commitment as engineers and enthusiasts…”—Sept. ’02, “2003 Hummer H2”

View Slideshow

The Political, Legal, and National Climate
“One of these concerns is recut or regrooved tires. As of September, this type of tire will become illegal for use on passenger cars. This will affect both 4wd rigs and dune buggies which are licensed for street use.”—Mar. ’66, “Editor’s Report”

Jan. ’75, “CJ-5 Economy Run”

“American Motors Jeep agree with the Mile Hi Jeep Club that the general public needed information about the true purposes and activities of four wheeling….Jeep Corporation agreed that a film about the nature of this recreational sport would help eliminate these misconceptions.” —Jan. ’75, “Four Wheel World”

“There is a continuing controversy regarding catalytic converters on 4WD vehicles and the possibility they may be fire hazards.”—Dec. ’75, “Catalytic Converters: Emission Stoppers or Fire Starters?”

“The use of a driver’s license as identification for everything and anything has been reviewed and criticized many times in the editorial pages of automotive magazines.”—Aug. ’76, “Four Wheelin’”

“Now a new group, called the ‘Committee For Common Sense Speed Laws,’ has been formed in California. The purpose of this committee is to gather enough signatures on a petition to put the 55 mph speed limit to a referendum vote of the people in the November election.”—Sept. ’76, “Four Wheelin’”

“…that by imposing minimum mpg limits of 15.8 for 4x4s and 17.2 for 2WD pickups, panel trucks, vans, and utility vehicle…”—Aug. ’77, “Will Strict New MPG Standards Dictate Future 4x4 Designs?”

“American Motors has a new theme for Jeep Corporation for 1979. Called “Leave No Tracks,” this new idea bears watching for all its implications and ramifications.”—Feb. ’79, “Leave No Tracks”

“Shades of 1973-74! Everywhere you go these days you see long lines of cars spilling out into the street from service stations. Long lines of cars waiting for gas. Gas stations are only open limited hours; closed on weekends. There is, we are told, a gasoline shortage.”—July ’79, “Four Wheelin’”

“At the time this is being written, debate is over and the measure has passed both houses in Washington. Chrysler will get its loan guarantees, with some stiff concessions by the UAW.”—Mar. ’80, “Four Wheelin’”

“On Sunday evening, December 21, 1980, The CBS Television Network’s popular news magazine show, 60 Minutes, presented a devastating attack on the handling and stability of the Jeep CJ-5.”—May ’82, “Jeep’s Turn at the J-Turn”

“Four-wheel-drive owners may be subjected to slightly more grief than the average two-wheel-drive motorist should they try to be tested at a facility using a dyno.”—July ’84, “Investigative Report: The Olympics of Smog Control”

“Be aware, there is a growing trend to eliminate all tall trucks throughout the nation. Tricked-out trucks built to capture attention have succeeded, with disastrous side effects.” —Nov. ’84, “Looks Can Kill”

Nov. ’84, “Hail to the Jeep”

“This year the White House formed the President’s Commission on American Outdoors to review outdoor recreation policies, programs, and needs.”—July ’86, “Letters”

“Vehicles equipped with suspension lifts and body lifts came under increasingly savage attack by safety-minded legislators in 1986.”—Jan. ’87, “So What Happened?”

“It’s possible some of you may have heard of a show called Dateline. Dateline is the NBC tabloid TV show known for rigging an explosive in a Chevy pickup truck to generate footage that would support the premise that the truck had an unusual propensity to burn in an accident… In a February episode, Dateline aired a segment in which lifted trucks were portrayed as accidents waiting to happen.”—June ’96, “Random Input”

“Some months ago, Consumer Reports declared the Isuzu Trooper…unsafe in a series of side-by-side maneuvers.”—Dec. ’96, “Random Input”

“Some of you may have seen a recent ABC 20/20 segment, in which the trend toward sport-utility use was highlighted. The thrust of the segment was to reveal the life-saving information that SUVs do not handle like cars, and that drivers who don’t appreciate that fact are capable of hurting themselves.”—Dec. ’97, “Random Input”

“Citing concerns about impact on soils, vegetation, cultural resources, and scenic quality, as well as threats to the recreational value of travel routes, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)…is placing interim travel restriction on off-highway vehicles and mountain bikes.” —June ’01, “RPM”

“For those of you in the eastern U.S., where public lands are scarce, an increasingly popular option is to pool your resources, purchase some undeveloped real estate, carve out a network of trails, and start up your own OHV park.”—May ’07, “Limited Articulation”

“The one, BIG problem that hides behind the veil of a new year…is the subject of land closures.”
—Jan. ’77, “Four Wheelin”’

Trends
“One of the hottest hot-stove arguments currently being debated by four wheelers is the roll bar-safety belt question. We here at Four Wheeler are of the opinion that roll bars and quick opening safety belts are necessary and often vital equipment for any back country rig.”—June ’63, “A Case for Roll Bars”

Aug. ’92

“Unless it is a slip, future issues will not use the initials fwd but instead substitute the term “4wd.” This designation has already won much favor in the names of many clubs across the country and sounds good to us.”—Feb. ’65, “Editor’s Report”

“1965 will be the biggest single year of growth in four wheeling.”—Feb. ’65, “The Challenge of 1965”

“Last month in this column I discussed the explosion in dune buggies here in the far west.”—Nov./Dec. ’67, “Editor’s Report”

“Competition…competition…competition! That’s all I hear any more! For an old trail nut, it is hard to take but this is the word for 1969.” —Oct. ’68, “Editor’s Report”

“In recent months it seems our pages have been pre-occupied with competition. In this we are only reflecting the current interest of off-road driving—competition is today the most important segment as a newsworthy item. But look closely at this issue…we are starting to bring you the trips again!”—Dec. ’68, “Editor’s Report”

“Almost every four wheel drive club worth its salt holds some sort of off-road race over a marked course at least once a year.”—Mar. ’72, “Four Wheelin’”

Sept. ’72, “Not Rain, Nor Fog, Nor Dark of Night…”

“One of the latest trends to develop in the off-road field is the current interest in four wheel drive vans.”—Jan. ’73, “Technically Speaking”

“Engine swaps seem to be more popular than ever.”—Nov. ’73, “Technically Speaking”

“I intend to buy a 4WD type vehicle…I was wondering if there is any 4WD vehicle that can be bought with a diesel engine instead of gas.”—Dec. ’75, “Letters”

“Did you know that since 1966 truck sales have increased 89 percent, while car sales are up 17 percent?”—Nov. ’76, “Four Wheeler Profile: Ford’s Bill Benton”

“Some of the Japanese manufacturers are already looking at 4x4 mini trucks as a possible production item.”—Oct. ’77, “Four Wheelin’”

“Full Pull—The Sled—Weights and Weight Transfer—it is an all new vernacular of competition terms pertaining to the newest weekend exercise for your 4 x 4—pulling a weighted sled with your rig.”—Sept. ’78, “Grinding Goes West”

“We know from the Clements and similar studies that 70.8 percent of our readers are between the ages of 18 and 34, that 71.4 percent earn over $15,000 per year, and 45.8 percent earn over $20,000 per year.”—July ’79, “Ad Talk”

“We have seen and become a part of the changes in the recreational vehicle field, and witnessed the first full cycle of 4x4 vehicles—from the old small engines, manual transmissions and free wheeling hubs to the powerful V8s, automatic transmissions and full-time 4WD, and back again (in the name of progress?) to the small engines, manual transmissions and free wheeling hubs.”—Aug. ’80, “Four Wheelin’”

“A subtle touch of chrome here and there—hinge, door handle, grab bar—can make all the difference in the world…”—May ’82, “Shine On!”

“There’s a population explosion in the land of monster trucks.”—May ’84, “Giving Birth to Bigfoot”

May ’84, “Giving Birth to Bigfoot”

“Take a moment to appraise the aesthetic qualities of your rig. If it’s still in stock configuration, that probably means the interior is matched to the exterior and can be summed up simply as “conservative.’”—Dec. ’84, “Color Coordinating Cosmetics”

“The day of the muscle-trucks has arrived!”—July ’86, “Keep on Truckin’”

“Specialists estimate that 10 percent of the early (1966-77) Broncos still on the road today are reincarnated rollovers.”—June ’88, “Trick Ponies”

Dec. ’87, “Packpony”

“Today’s enthusiasts can watch an “off-road racing” circus, bogfest, or monster crush in the Astrodome, the Metrodome, the Silver dome, or whatever dome in air-conditioned comfort without getting dusty, bruised, or wet. There is no need to go to Baja for racing in this day and age.”—Feb. ’89, “Doing the Decade”

“We notice that new-for-1991 4x4s have bigger engines and more power than ever before.”—Jan. ’91, “Random Input”

“Alternating colors really grab attention. Especially when the colors are red and white.” —July ’93, “Paint Schemes”

July ’93, “Rear View”

“These days, pickup trucks are America’s largest automotive commodity.”—Jan. ’95, “Random Input”

“Having tested two pickups with third doors, we now know that soon it will be hard to sell a pickup without them.”—Jan. ’96, “Random Input”

“We’ve had extreme super-flex suspension coverage in almost every issue lately, and we’ll continue.”—July ’97, “Random Input”

“This month we’ve highlighted two areas we think will be commanding more and more attention: steering setups and diesel technology.”—Dec. ’99, “Limited Articulation”

““In the last few years, we’ve noticed that the popularity of rockcrawling seems to be growing at an exponential rate.”—Feb. ’00, “Competition ’Crawlin’”

“Make no mistake about it—if a manufacturer does not have an SUV in its fleet, it is losing big money.”—Dec. ’00, “Flogging the Acura MDX”

“Nasty trails also make stout axles mandatory, so the introduction of high-clearance Dana 60s was a natural evolution of things.”—Sept. ’01, “High Clearance Dana 60s”

Mar. ’02, “The ARCA Finals”

“Side-by-sides, UTVs—whatever you call them—have become one of the hottest tickets in four-wheeling in the past couple of years...” —Aug. ’08, “Limited Articulation”

“…you probably know about the grassroots movement associated with fueling diesel-powered vehicles with recycled vegetable oil.” —Nov. ’08, “The Lowdown on SVO Conversions”

“In recent years, we have seen more and more vehicles attempt to fit larger tires with little or no lift.” —Dec. ’08, “Top Trends for 2008”

“Another subject that comes up all the time is tire size: specifically, the things you need to do to fit 40-, 44-, or even 49-inch tires beneath your truck.”—Aug. ’09, “Limited Articulation

July ’02, “The All American”

“We often receive letters asking about converting a two-wheel-drive vehicle to four-wheel drive.”—Nov. ’09, “Willie’s Workbench”

“It probably goes without saying that this is not exactly the optimal time for any automaker to be unveiling a new fullsize pickup truck to consumers.”—Feb. ’10, “2010 Dodge Ram 3500 HD and 2500 Power Wagon”

“One of these trends, which we have been following closely for a couple years now, is the overland camping movement.”—Apr. ’10, “SEMA 2009”

“One thing you’ll surely be seeing more of in the coming months in these pages: the ‘driveway upgrades’ that are the subject of this month’s magazine.”—May ’10, “Limited Articulation”

“One thing we noticed at this year’s Safari—continuing a trend we first observed last year—was the proliferation of street-legal, daily-drivable Jeeps on the trail in place of the more heavily modified, built-from-the-ground up rock rigs.”—Aug. ’11, “Firing Order”

“Now that the pickup truck is a status symbol we don’t have to park in the back of the lot anymore.”
—July ’77, “Ford F-150 4x4 Longbed”

View Slideshow

Technology— and Sometimes It Overwhelmed Us
“Now you don’t see it and now you do! The first V-8 production engine in a bobtailed four-wheel drive rig will be available through Ford dealers by the time you read this article.”—Apr. ’66, “V-8’s Are Here!”

Aug. ’02

“Scout enthusiasts have long wanted a V-8 powerplant in their rig and Four Wheeler’s test of Internationals’ all new V-266 engine model proved that the wait was well worth while.”—Sept. ’67, “About That Scout…V-8”

“In all of four wheeling there is one aid that could save you as efficiently as a winch, tow strap, shovel or hi-lift jack…if you haven’t guessed by now, both are born of the electronic age. The first is a CB radio, the second is an 8-track stereo tape deck and AM/FM radio.” —May ’75, “Project Sound”

“Finally. For years we have been carping about the lack of power windows and power door locks on the wide Chevy 4x4s. It appears that someone is listening.”—Mar. ’77, “Four Wheeler of the Year”

Nov. ’79, “The Jeep in WWII and Korea”

“While researching this article, Four Wheeler learned that research and development is proceeding rapidly in OEM circles to finalize so-called “smart” suspensions for four-wheel drives...suffice to say that the driver of a “smart” suspension will have total control of ride height and suspension stiffness.”—May ’84, “What’s New in 4WD Suspension”

“Many of us are afraid of computers. As a result, many of us are afraid of electronic fuel injection because it’s computer-controlled.”—Jan. ’88, “Reprogramming for Performance”

Sept. ’89, “Rear View”

“Again we have the Ford MPI system versus the Chevy TBI system. We like the Ford 302 better than the Chevy 305…”—May ’92, “What’s Under the Hood?”

“Four Wheeler’s Extraordinary Innovation Award, Honorable Mentions: Isuzu Trooper: But Isuzu has always pursued fundamental, proven virtues. That’s why we were surprised to see the Trooper had the first power folding mirrors available on a 4x4.”—Jan. ’93, “Four Wheeler of the Year”

“Held every two years, the Tokyo Motor Show is a window into the future. It was at the Tokyo Motor Shows in the past that we saw our first hand-held GPS system, the first electronically adjustable shocks, the original RAV4 concept, and…the Amigo…”—Mar. ’00, “4x4s of Tomorrow”

“In the following pages we’ll cover several points of contention—gas or diesel? carb or injection? leaf springs or coils?”—Sept. ’08, “Great Debates”

Dec. ’09, “Shaken & Stirred, Top Truck Challenge 2009

Um…??!!
“Ever been on an extended camping trip when you longed for the luxury of freshly ironed clothing?”—Dec. ’62/Jan. ’63, “Outdoor Camp Iron”

“Letting children get to know and respect ‘Daddy’ as a pal and a capable person able to care for his family in ‘out-back’ areas helps to strengthen their faith in his advice regarding other matters.”—Dec. ’62/Jan. ‘63, “Four Wheeling and the Fair Sex”

“Are you interested in making your four wheel drive rig pay off in real pay dirt? In relics and artifacts of the Old West; in antiques which will bring you huge sums from collectors; even in gold, silver and other valuables?”—June ’63, “There’s Gold and Ghosts in Them Thar Hills”

“Handy Clothes Hanging Stand: Do you long for the opportunity of keeping at least a few of your clothes looking “go-to-town-fresh” on one of those extended four wheeler campouts?” —Dec. ’66, “Grub Box”

“If Dad is in agreement, a four wheel drive trip can prove especially valuable as a way of allowing the children to share his interests.” —Feb. ’67, “Grub Box”

“Included in the kit are a survival rifle and ammunition, a nine-foot tent, a rocket launcher and rocket flares, an assortment of hand tools, an official Air Force Survival Manual, a first aid pack, rations, water and other essential survival components.”—July ’68, “Survival in a Kit”

“Four wheeling alone is fun. When coupled with a goal of artifact hunting or treasure seeking, it becomes even more so.”—Nov. ’68, “Spanish Sword”

“Four Wheeler was intrigued with the idea that perhaps some of our readers might be interested in buying a second, or vacation, home…with that thought in mind we’ve decided to run a series of articles dealing with the fundamental aspects and complexities of building and owning a vacation home.”—May ’73, “Want to Really Get Away?”

“A 12-year-old shows how to install a Pair of ABC hi-back contour bucket seats in just two hours!”—Feb. ’74, “Rip Off Old—Slip on New”

“We know we need a short gear for the backcountry and yet a much taller rear end gear for the highway. It’s like needing black paint one place and white paint in another.”—Jan. ’76, “All About Differentials”

“The favorite topic of four wheelers everywhere seems to be the final yard a 4x4 can be forced upward before a) the wheels lose traction, or, b) the vehicle flips on its back and slides down on its roof. Just why this mania is so widespread remains a mystery.”—June ’76, “Travelin’ Light”

“How to Enjoy, not Cuss, Your 4WD...”
—Mar. ’77, Story Title

“The physical presence of a new 4x4 is something seen, smelled and fondled. One salesman, in fact, reported that one buyer leered at a new model so hotly, he was afraid he’d try making love to it!”—Mar. ’77, “4x4 Rides—Test Run or Milk Run?”

“The newest rip-off victims, for which four wheelers will probably receive a lion’s share of blame, are cacti.”—July ’77, “Four Wheelin’”

“In Search of the World’s Greatest Mexican Restaurant.”—July ’79, story title

“There seems to be no more exciting subject off road than precious metals.”—Jan. ’82, “Off Road Sportsman”

“Toyota is the Barbara Walters of vehicle chic, the prime time of hip motoring, the Top 40 and People magazine of fast living on four wheels.”—Oct. ’82, “Toyota’s New 4x4 Tercel Wagon”

Nov. ’81, “Toyota Trek!”

“Four Wheeler Gets Drunk.”—Apr. ’84, story title

“Jumping is exciting, no question about it. It’s exciting to do and it’s exciting to show. Look at all the pictures depicting jumping trucks in advertisements and on the covers of magazines. Jumping is exciting.”—Mar. ’88, “Jump Master”

“No, a “sport-ute” is not an American Indian in a track suit.”—July ’88, “Balance of Power”

“A Chevy engineer once described Four Wheeler as “a magazine that shows people how to fix what we do wrong.”—Nov. ’92, “Random Input”

“Project Wrangler: Part 48.”—Dec. ’96, story title

May. ’02, “Furious Ford”

The Editors
Robert Ames 1963-1971
Robert Leif 1969
Lou Kjose 1971
Bill Sanders 1971-1979
Dennis Adler 1980-1981
Bill Sanders 1981-1982
Julian G. Schmidt 1982
Dianne Jacob (Executive Editor) 1983-1984
Rich Johnson (Senior Editor) 1984-1985
David M. Cohen 1986
John Stewart 1986-1999
Mark Williams 1999-2000
Jon Thompson 2000-2005
Douglas McColloch 2005-2011
John Cappa 2011-present

Four Wheeler Taglines Through the Years
The Magazine of Back Country Driving & Camping The Magazine of Back Country Cars The Magazine of Four-Wheel Drive Cars America’s Leading Off Road Magazine The World’s Leading Four Wheel Drive Magazine The Magazine of Off Road Vehicles Combined with Sport Buggies Everyone’s Off Road Magazine The Original Since 1962 The World’s Leading 4x4 Authority

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