The two gents are Dick Claxton (left) and John Cornelious (right) of 4-Wheelers Supply (We
Life is like a restaurant. So are wheeling and wrenching. Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you or you have decided I’m an idiot, let me explain. A restaurant is all about having a good experience, not just the food. The food is only part of it. If you don’t have a good experience, you don’t go back. Or if you do go back, at the very least you sit in a different section with a different server and try different food.
It’s that way with wheeling, wrenching, and life, since that is what life is all about in my world. Oh sure, you can throw in family, religion, politics, style, or anything else into the mix, but it still comes back to choices, which is what we have. That’s what makes us who we are. And hopefully, making good choices means good people and things, and the elimination of bad choices.
In wheeling this can be as simple as “My Ford is better than your Chevy” or vice versa. Or for that matter “My [fill in the blank] truck is better than yours.” For all anyone knows, it may be entirely true, but that’s where the choices matter of what you will wheel, wrench, or order at the restaurant.
Brand loyalty is a wonderful thing. I, for instance, like Diet Coke and cringe when the server asks if Diet Pepsi is OK. It’s not OK, but I have found that adding a shot of root beer makes Pepsi palatable to me, a choice I often have to make. And so it is with wheeling. A Toyota certainly isn’t a Jeep, and a Jeep certainly isn’t a Toyota. But that isn’t a bad thing.
Here is where the life/food/4x4 similarities and choices come into play, and why I chuckle when I think about people getting in an uproar about making the wrong choice. For our Cheap Truck Challenge in this issue I crossed some mystical line from Jeep to Toyota, and the fanatics on both sides have been shouting fire and brimstone. I am fairly well known as a Jeep guy, but now some whacko Jeepers hate me and some strange Toyo owners feel that I’m polluting the well.
But I really don’t care, as I learned a long time ago the words of wisdom from a former mentor. It was in my Jeep building days back at 4-Wheelers Supply in Phoenix. I asked him why he drove a Toyota Land Cruiser when he owned a Jeep shop. He just smiled as he slowly cut the cornbread someone had made him for lunch and remarked, “It’s all good. Some’s just better than others.” I always thought he was talking about the cornbread.