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May 2009 Mail Bag - Letters to the Editor

Posted in Project Vehicles on May 1, 2009
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Not A Jeep
I am a long time subscriber and really enjoy your magazine. I do have a question regarding "Military Brats" (Jan. '09). One military vehicle missing was the M422A1. It was also called a Mighty Mite. As I recall it was built by American Motors in the early '60s for use in Viet Nam. As I remember it featured an all-aluminum V-4 engine. In stock form it could out-climb any other Jeep I have ever driven. Actually it was this Jeep that got me into four-wheeling 36 years ago.Jerry ScottVia e-mail

I don't really consider the Mighty Mite a Jeep. It's true American Motors Corporation built the Mighty Mite. However this was long before AMC bought Jeep. It is Jeep-like though.

Real Jeeps Please
I enjoy Jp magazine a lot. It's a refreshing change from the typical "Parking Lot" show type 4X4 magazine. My opinion is based on 47 years of owning real Jeeps.

It seems that often sight is lost where this all started. How many of these fancy vehicles of today that they call Jeeps have carried thousands of soldiers, fed hungry cattle in blizzards, pumped water for wild horses dieing of thirst and performed countless other tasks without all the horsepower, oversized tires and useless crap people think they need on vehicles today? Please let's not forget the Jeep heritage, the little 38 horsepower flatfender Willys with 6.00X16 tires that we owe all this to.Buzz StambaughMaple Valley, Washington

Forgot The Ladies
In your January '09 story ("Off-Road Archetypes"), you forgot a category which I believe should be at the top of the list because of the increasing popularity:

1-The Jeep Girl
These are women who did not want to be in the passenger seat. Our boyfriends or husbands were either not interested in wheeling or would not let us drive so we went out and invested in our own Jeep. We are continually learning how to keep our Jeeps working (with help from Jp magazine) and gaining mechanical skills that greatly impress the men in our life. Our Jeeps are diversified in styles to meet our requirements. You will see us out on the trail having a great time and we are part of the few who will take advice on how to improve.Cat NylundVia e-mail

I am a Jeep addict. I've kept quiet up until now. "Off-Road Archetypes" (Jan. '09) has brought me out of the garage. You left us out; the Jeep addicts! Oh, you know my type. My dream is to own enough Jeeps that I can walk across the hoods from my backyard to Toledo without touching the ground. I spent my week vacation in the garage building a Jeep. I would rather go wheeling than take an expense-paid trip to Disneyland. I would rather drive a soft top CJ with no heat through the winter than own a new pick-up. I would rather seek out a new project Jeep than the company of beautiful women like Bree-Whoa! Back-up there. I said I was an addict, but I'm not that sick. Thank you for asking. My daily driver is an '81 Scrambler, but my newer-squeeze is a '79 CJ-7 plow Jeep named Patches. Yes I name them. I've included a picture.Tim CrawfordVia e-mail

Cappa Slam
This is the method I use read Jp ragazine in a couple of easy steps. 1.Go directly to the back and look at the Sideways page. Good stuff there.

2. Go a page or so west to the Pajamagram ad. Nice jammys!

3. A few more pages west and it time to read the wisdom of the good Dr. Vern.

4. I don't mean to make the good Dr. Vern feel bad but he is way back there. Randy's Electrical Corner has good info. I am rebuilding a '48 CJ-2A and I am going with the marine battery cable ends. Good idea.

5. And finally after exhausting the pros in the rest of the zine I read Trail Head. I'm not saying it's bad. No, no, no, it's just at the front. Yeah that's it.

If you read the zine in this direction it puts the good Dr. Vern before Randy. (Sorry Randy.) But it puts Cappa where he should be. Eric Bell Arvada, Colorado

Hate Us

I must apologize to my family and friends who I persuaded to subscribe to Jp magazine. We don't subscribe to other four-wheel-drive magazines because we want nothing but Jeeps.

I'm amazed that you don't know if you should write an article about your hot rod Jeep for a Jeep only magazine (Trail Head, Jan. '09). Or that you informed Mr.Brausen that his Jeep Commander doesn't really measure up to a Jeep enthusiast's good read (Mailbag). But somehow you think 12 full pages of RC models in a magazine dedicated to Jeep is what we all want to read about.

The sad thing is that if you take off the 8 full-page RC model advertisements, you have a 4-page article on RC models ("Remote Blowout"). That's longer than most of your Jeep articles. Incredible!

If you're out of ideas for quality Jeep articles, might I suggest that instead of 12 full pages of RC models in a Jeep magazine you put in 12 pages of readers' Jeeps.

It's a Jeep thing, you may not understand, we are all proud of our Jeeps and if we aren't playing with or working on our Jeeps we enjoy looking at other Jeeps. The Jp magazine Web site is loaded with photos of cool rides owned by subscribers.

I know of at least five subscriptions that won't be renewed next year. We are going to subscribe to RC Model magazine; they probably have more Jeep articles. Mike Read Via e-mail

Another Flatrod
I saw the picture of your Willys hot rod (Trail Head, Jan. '09). I think it's pretty cool! I started working on mine 2 years ago. Gabor Toth West Palm Beach, Florida

RC And Diesel
Love the magazine, I have received it forever. Loved the RC shoot out ("Remote Blowout" Jan. '09). It was just in time for Christmas. I'm sure someone will cry about it though.

You continue to ask for a diesel-powered Jeep and blame the manufacturers for not producing it. I have been a long-time diesel owner and currently own three. The huge problem is the cost of diesel and the added cost of the diesel engine up front. Unleaded is currently $1.54 and diesel is $2.64 (here in Colorado). Assuming a gas Jeep gets 20 mpg, a diesel would need to need to get 34 mpg to have the same 7.7 cents/mile fuel cost as the gas Jeep (not likely). Also, the Jeep would cost more up front (approx $5,000?). It does not seem that with diesel pricing the way it is, that it would make much sense to go diesel. It gets worse when you start adding more expensive oil changes and double the trips to emission stations. Diesels require yearly tests in Colorado. Seems you'd be better off pushing for turbo-charged four-cylinder gas engines than wasting your time looking for diesel Jeeps.

That said, I'd still love to own a J8. Tony Evergreen, Colorado

Baja Bomber
During the '80s and early '90s my parents owned the Rough Country Offroad centers in the San Diego area. In the time that I worked for them I got to see and work on almost every kind of 4X4 ever made. I was recently going through some of my old pictures and came across this old Jeep. I don't remember who owns it, or what we did to it, but it looks like we just put on some tires and maybe wheels. You just gotta love that retro-safari look. Makes me wish I had a four-door Randy Leazer Keokuk, Iowa

Word is that Jeep FC was rolled in Mexico some time ago. Good news is that it's being repaired!

Reader Responds
Yes Jim, I hate your Jeep (Mailbag, Jan. '09). Your Jeep needs sand, and not the kind at the dunes. I'm talking blasting media. Lose the paint. It has to go. You won't get trail respect as you are now. My stock F150 would get more respect on the trail, and it's a 5.4L V-8 2WD with a limited slip. I would recommend picking up a copy of the June '06 issue of Jp, and look to the feature on page 86, "Livin' in the Past" for some guidance.

For your Jeep's tub color, I would think an easy transition to a solid metallic garnet or deep red would suffice. Don't spend too much on the paint. If you're going to use your Jeep as designed, you will be giving it a Rust-Oleum spray repair very soon. Think Project Hatari! But with a bit less rust.

As of now you are not even Jeep Wave worthy, but by simply questioning your Jeep's ugliness, I think you are on your way to recovery. Send pics of the sandblasting. Your Jeep will thank you. And so will the entire Jeeping world. Do it. Why are you still reading? Call a paint shop now! Go!Brian PaoneSt. Augustine Beach, Florida

Military Addy
Love the mag. I was reading "Military Parts Guide" in the January '09 issue and just wanted to add a guy who I deal with. He's old school so he doesn't have a Web site. But I figured you can use it for personal reference: Nelsons Surplus Jeep Parts & Military Tires, 1024 East Park Ave., Columbiana, Ohio 44408, 330/482-5191. The best time to call is Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon (EST).Clint BochanVia e-mail

Cover Me
This is a picture of my low-budget '89 Wrangler build. This is what kind of Jeep most people can afford to build in these economic times. I think you should do a budget-build with my Jeep on the cover.Bob TrayerForce, Pennsylvania

More Vintage
I just wanted to say, give us some more stuff like "Vintage Iron, Vintage Trail" (Jan. '09). It wasn't so much the vintage part that I liked as it was that I was glad to see some Jeeps that were still basically Jeeps driving an interesting trail. There are plenty of rags about rock monsters and extreme stuff out there which is why I hope to see more articles like this one in Jp. I like the pastime that once was Jeepin' and this article brought that back. In my opinion, nothing beats taking a well-equipped Jeep on a long scenic trail with some challenging spots thrown in along the way. Keep doing stories like this and I will keep subscribing. Jordan JohnsonHowe, Texas

Baddest Jeep Ever
I found an old issue of your magazine with a write up about the M35A2 military truck (June '06, "Baddest Jeep Ever!") and I want to purchase one. Do you know a place where I can get one that is closer to New Jersey than Utah?Alex GrangerAndover, New Jersey

You're in luck; we just ran a story about how to buy a 21/2-ton military truck in the January '09 issue ("Buying Big"). You can see the story online at There are several different dealers listed across the U.S. that can put you in the driver seat.

Write Us!
Got a question or comment about Jp magazine or the village idiots at the helm? Drop us a line. Don't forget to include your full name and where you're from or we'll make fun of you. Actually, we may make fun of you anyway. Keep it short and to the point or we'll hack and chop your letter as we please. We get a lot of mail, but we read every letter. Unfortunately, we can't print or personally answer every request. We're too busy surfing the Internet on the company dime. Digital images should be no less than 1,600x1,200 pixels (or 2 megapixels) and should be saved as a .tiff, an .eps, or a maximum-quality .jpeg file.

Write to:JP Magazine Editor6420 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90048E-mail to:

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