Satisfying the Masses
I was going through some old magazines today and I stumbled across a submission by Erik Charle in the Mar. '09 issue ("Ultimate Adventure Sidekicks," In Box). He proposed that you guys build a project Tracker. I think that is a wonderful idea, because I have a '93 Geo Tracker and I am starting to modify it to be a capable street-legal mud and trail rig. I would really appreciate some tips/ideas from your professional opinion. Building one would satisfy both Erik and me and I'm sure at least two or three other guys that read your magazine. Plus, it would show some of the low-horsepower skeptics that you don't have to have a V-8 to have a capable rig.
I think you answered your own question, Dillon. While we love the Tracker and agree that one doesn't need a V-8 to have fun, all five of our readers that want that story will have to be satisfied with another, more common and popular type of rig for the example. Unless of course you want to give me your Tracker for me to play with.
Price Your Parts!
Regarding the Mar. '10 letter from Kenny Jans concerning printed pricing ("Why No Real Prices?" In Box), I must agree with him. I can also point to an alternate solution to your response. For many years my second-favorite magazine has been your sister publication Car Craft (shh, don't tell them they aren't number one). Several years back they chose to begin including price data for all their projects at the end of each article, and I have personally found that information very useful. Their solution to readers finding issue with estimated price data was to offer a straightforward list of the actual costs they incurred, rather than trying to estimate the cost a typical reader could expect to pay.
If they trade for a part, receive a discount or help from a friend, strike a great deal on eBay, or get a discount due to their status as a nationally known publication, they simply make a note of it. As a reader, this gives me an estimate with the right number of zeroes, but allows me to make a quick individual assessment of my own likely cost, depending on what I have to trade or my own network of friends and contacts. As a reader, I've found this very valuable.
Either way, thanks for all the hard work from your staff to put out this publication. I've been a subscriber for years, and unlike some of the whiners I've seen in the letters lately, I won't demand a refund if you think my idea is total bunk.
Your ideas are good, Chuck. However, we will stick with giving the price of some stuff and "about" estimates for the most part. Check out our "27 Hot New Products" on page 34 for an example.
More Toys Wanted
I have noticed that the majority of your magazine articles are steered toward Jeeps. I understand that there may be more Jeep enthusiast out there than any other 4x4 enthusiast, but I was wondering if you could make a magazine more toward Toyota. I have an '89 4Runner and I'm not looking for any article in particular, but I would just like to do a little more Toyota reading. Thank you.
Goose Creek, SC
Well, Kenny, just keep reading, as we have a whole new project build going on about Squishy, the little Toyota that could. Old, cheap, and easy is what Squishy is, but it's right up there with the tech of any good trail machine. Next month our executive editor, Kevin McNulty, will delve into the beast a bit further and reveal some good stuff for your reading enjoyment.
Where Are My Dodges?
I am an avid reader of what I used to think was the greatest magazine in print. But as of my most recent issue, Feb. '10, in which you did a readers' rides section, I was dismayed. I saw Fords, Chevys, corn binders, Jeeps, one Dodge that really isn't a Dodge but a Chevy in Dodge clothing, and some really weird wheelers. But no Dodge section. Why? No Dodge entries? So what's the deal? I love this magazine and usually it is very helpful. Thanks for the good work.
Dave "Mopar" Caudill
Sorry, Dave, we really wish there could have been more balance in what we showed, but the Dodge community didn't send any photos we could use. We need high-resolution digital photos or quality photographic prints, and without objectionable material. Where was your entry, Dave?