If you've read our December issue, then you've seen our picks for best vehicles of the year. But what about other bests? If it's the end of the year, it must be time for our look back at the best memories. Editor Rick Péwé and Tech Editor David Kennedy reveal the magazine's finer moments:
What did you think would be the most controversial/talked-about story in 4-Wheel & Off-Road for 2002?
Rick: "The four-part buildup of the '02 Ford Super Duty F-250 with Power Stroke diesel for Ultimate Adventure ("The Ultimate Super Duty," August-November issues). "
David: "The shock shootout ("Shock Shootout: Real-World Test Fest," January). I really thought we'd be writing a piece that would change the way people thought about shocks. We changed a dozen shocks, did two straight days of testing to find out which was best. We even had suspension engineers do the evaluation work for us. I don't know if anyone even noticed...."
What was the most controversial/talked-about story in 4-Wheel & Off-Road for 2002?
The Ford Super Duty built for Ultimate Adventure.
Most difficult story of the year to execute?
Rick: "The Ultimate Super Duty. It was a logistical nightmare coordinating parts suppliers and fabricators. And that was even before the trip! "
David: "The Suburban race truck ("Project Excursion Killer," May-July issues). I didn't think this project would ever end, and the worst part is I don't think the final photos do the vehicle justice. Suck!"
Favorite trip of the year?
Rick: The December story "50th Jeepers Jamboree." Rick took his '43 Ford GPW Jeep through the Rubicon for a "real-wheeling, back-to-basics" trail ride.
David: "Moab was really good this year. We saw the most capable group of 4x4s ever, and I went to Proving Grounds for the first time."
Worst moment of the year?
Rick: "It had to have been when we were on the Upper Helldorado Trail in Moab during Ultimate Adventure and the Ultimate Super Duty's axleshaft broke, then next it lost its steering. We had to leave it out on the trail overnight so that we could get parts. "
David: "We were afraid to go into work on the anniversary of September 11."
Something learned that you didn't know before this year?
Rick: "David's aluminum vs. steel wheel" story ("Torture Testing: Welcome to Wheel Hell," March). I never thought that an aluminum wheel would last so long without a tire. Amazing."
David: "I learned about CAN-buss Multiplexing Technology."
Most memorable thing said to you by a reader this year?
Rick: "On the 50th Jeepers Jamboree, this guy looked at the old, stock Flatfender and said 'Sh-t, I spent $30,000 on my Jeep and you made it here easier than I did."
David: "You guys have the best job in the world." It doesn't always feel like it when you're living the job seven days a week with way more than 40 hours invested in it and not enough money to afford a place to live, but at the end of the day, I'd be jealous of anyone else who had this job."