Four Wheeler Magazine’s Letters To The Editor
Here is a picture of my '75 IHC Scout II XLC. Original factory paint and arrow striping, original IHC 345ci V-8 with Stan's Headers, Dana 60 rear and 44 front, 3.73 gears, spring-over conversion with Rancho 2 1/2-inch suspension lift, 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws on American Racing directionals, Bushwacker flares, custom stainless steel rocker, quarter, and lower door panels I fabbed myself, Bestop soft top, padded rollbar, and push bar. Won First Place at the 25th annual Rocky Mountain International Harvester Rendezvous in Kremmling, Colorado!
I just got through reading my May issue of Four Wheeler and read that you were asking for pictures of Scouts. Here are pictures of mine. Ninety-nine percent of work all done by owner—which means I did not pay anyone to do the work. I bought components and then modified them to do what I wanted them to do. I did it all through blood, sweat, tears, time, and a lot of money. For example, I built the front axle using an HP 44 out of a Ford. I converted it from a driver drop to a passenger drop by retubing it, reclocked the Cs to improve caster, made the spring pads, and set up the gears. This truck is no trailer queen and no mall-crawler. It can very safely be driven on the highway at 70-plus mph and then crawl the trails. I have taken it on the Rubicon five times now and Moab once. I drive it to the trails and drive it back (yes, I drove it to Moab from Sacramento, wheeled it, and drove it back). I stayed faithful to the International engine, despite people trying to bash them all the time.
Monster Trucks Change Lives
I was just reading your article "Monster Truck Memory Lane" in the June '19 issue. When I was 13 years old, I had an opportunity to see the Excaliber monster truck do a car crush in Oregon, Ohio, at Dunn Chevrolet Buick's grand opening event in 1988. I felt the horsepower in my chest as the truck launched into the air, and I felt the ground shake under my feet as it landed on the cars. I was hooked. Know that I am 44 years old. I own 15 monster trucks and 4 monster tank trucks (most of which are of historical significance). I recently started a nonprofit corporation so that I can open a monster truck museum. I am currently seeking a location large enough to house all these trucks under one roof. This is how my first time seeing a monster truck has affected my life.
My brand loyalty has many facets. My first four-wheel drive was a '62 Willys CJ-5 bought in 1972. My latest is a '12 Chevy Suburban bought in April 2019. I have owned 7 Jeeps, 5 Suburbans, and 26 Subarus. My fleet now consists of the Suburban, '85 CJ-7, '88 Subaru Coupe, '02 Subaru RS, and '19 Subaru Crosstrek. I have been loyal to these brands for different reasons. The love for Jeeps never dies. Nothing compares to their durability, ease of repair, and affordability. The fun factor, coolness, and just being a part of the immense fraternity is what owning a Jeep is all about. I competed in the SCCA Pro Rally Series for 19 years with Subarus. My first tow vehicle was a '78 Suburban. I used two more over the years of rallying and still keep on buying them. Once you own a Suburban, you can never live without one. They are very reliable for me and I towed, hauled, and transported everything you can imagine. Lots of room, smooth, quiet cruiser, and tough. Subarus fill another niche. I live in the Northern mountains of Pennsylvania: snow, sleet, ice, hills, dirt roads, every possible bad road condition exists here. As a salesman for 40 years, driving about 1,000 miles a week, Subaru has served me well. Inexpensive, reliable, good gas mileage, cheap to repair. The 4WD/AWD systems perform flawlessly and far better than most people imagine. There is no perfect four-wheeler; I have settled into these three brands, all for different reasons. They fill my needs, each in a different way.
I enjoy your editorials. My loyalty is Jeep since I saw my first Jeep CJ-2A in the early 1950s. I've loved Jeeps, all models, since that day. I saved my money and bought a new '71 Jeep Universal V-6. Most don't know that the passenger seat was an option—$3,500. And my off-roading took off. The Jeep wave was started because back then Jeeps were not as common as they are today and we owners were very proud. At 67 and 20 Jeeps later, that's all I have owned. When off-roading, you don't care what others drive; it's the friendship and great tales you tell at the campfire. I could go on, but in my life Jeep is my family with my wife and two great children. I am blessed. Thanks, Jeep, and this great country.
Past Engines, Present
I just read your article "Four- and Six-Cylinder Engines in Fullsize Trucks—Yes or No?" I really enjoyed reading about your father-in-law's '79 Ford. It made me feel all kinds of nostalgia. I miss the day when trucks were built to be trucks. Unfortunately, I think we've lost much of that heritage in our modern offerings. Trucks are lifestyle vehicles more than a tool. It's unfortunate, but it's not all bad.
I will point out one thing I like about the '79 Ford you wrote about—a straight-six. At some point in the early 1990s, Americans fell in love with the V configuration. I'd like to see straight-six offerings—other than the Cummins offered in the Ram. It's odd that the straight-six was so popular—in more than just truck applications—and some of the best-loved engines of all time were straight-six, yet options are slim.
I'd also like to send out some love to a non-V-8, non-six, and non-four-cylinder engine, if I could: the Magnum V-10. I had one in high school in the early 2000s in a Dodge Ram 2500. It was a sweet motor. Lots of power. It ran forever. The transmission, while automatic and prone to breaking under heavy pulling, was incredibly "smart." It shifted when you wanted it to. While I love the 2UZ-FE in my current vehicle, that V-10 was awesome—and unfortunately doesn't get much love. I miss it. Thanks for the article. It made me smile.
More Six-Cylinder Throwback
Loved your article on six-cylinders in trucks, especially the parts that brought back history of our past days working and of your family. Thanks for the memories.