Speaking of Altered Reality
You guys need to get back to reality. The 4x4 of the year doesn't have an average price of $55K and an average 12.5 mpg. What year are you in? The fact that you never recognized the greatest four-wheeler ever, the Jeep TJ Rubicon, and continue to test leather-covered luxo land yachts is not part of my year or world. Scratch one of these little soccer mom trucklets and it will cost more than a set of tires to fix.
As for the Raptor, you only put it in to lose, and to add some off-road credibility to the article. No way would you have a two-year winner. Wouldn't help the ad revenue for the mag, even if it is the best by a long mile.
As for your Ultimate Adventures, dang, I wish someone would build me an $80K toy to thrash. You guys got a great job thrashing a field that costs more than most readers' houses for your annual tests. The point is, why should anyone else care?
Sorry, Steve, the reality is vehicles cost that much now. Are you stuck in the '90s? And you say we never recognized the Jeep TJ Rubicon. Where were you in 2007 when we tested it? You actually have to read the articles we print, not just look at the pretty pictures and read part of the captions.
And your comment on ad revenue? Oh, come on, I beg you to go back through the years and look at the winners of each year and figure out how the advertisers all changed their ad schedule because we did or did not pick them as a winner. I dare you. Let me know what you find, as I already know.
As for the Ultimate Adventure trucks, you must realize that those trucks are dream machines, a dream truck for our readers to imagine what could be done on a beyond-normal budget, a dream truck that maybe you don't copy completely but hopefully you take something away from, whether it's how we mount the winch, how to put rear steer in a fullsize truck, or just a funky paintjob. As magazine writers we don't rake in big bucks either. Like you, we mostly rent homes and clip coupons, but we can dream of amazing trucks to build for our off-road trip and hopefully you like them. Unrealistic, yes, but so is the model in Playboy, but that doesn't mean you don't like looking at her. If you had the chance to build something crazy and over-the-top and then see what it does off-road, wouldn't you? That is why we balance those buildups with low-budget projects throughout the year.
More No Whining!
Rick, don't let them beat you up. I showed up to a welding show after work that had an oxy-acetylene cutting contest. "Who could cut a 10x10 H-beam the fastest?" I blew off the best time by 18 seconds. That's not a big deal, but what pissed off the other welders was that I was dressed in flip-flops, shorts, and a tank top! The moral is that a good, intelligent welder knows not to stand under his or her spray. That goes for outhouses too!
I've retired from national defense and over the years have welded everything from lawnmowers to M1 Abram tanks in every position you could get in with every type of safety equipment there is. Experience is number one, and all I have to say to the finger-pointers is, "My cow died and I don't need your bull!"
Thanks for your continuing contribution to four-wheeling, your staff, magazine, and devotion to safe, responsible off-roading.
Keith R. Bankston
Paso Robles, CA
Thanks, and I'm still laughing about your dead cow!
Péwé My Ride
I have been reading your magazine since I was 15 years old, and I am 32 now. I love what you guys do, and I even don't mind all Jeeps in every issue. I have a cool idea for you guys. Pick a reader and Péwé his ride (like "pimp my ride"), only make it a cool off-roader. It would be neat to see some average Joe's ride get some help. I don't mean a nice paintjob but rather some cool mods a lot of us can't afford. Thanks for keeping the mag cool over the years.