I am writing today to let you know of a little gem that I now have in my possession. Due to rather sad circumstances, I have inherited a very rare 4x4, from what I can tell. How rare is it, you ask? Well, I have been trying to source parts for some time and it is proving very difficult. The wheels look to have a very archaic six-bolt pattern and are rare enough that not too many folks offer them. I am having a tough time finding aftermarket bumpers. Again, rare. The thought of a real lift kit crossed my mind, but no one seems to have one readily available. I checked ads in magazines and online and my truck is never on any of the lists. I even tried the classifieds to no avail. The only thing I have no problem finding are the ball joints. It seems I can get my hands on these with very little effort. And that’s a good thing, let me tell you, because I need to replace them every year. Reluctantly I have decided to just keep the old truck in stock form and use it for trips to the hardware store. In time I may bring myself to sell this rare piece of 4x4 history. I am not sure what it’s worth, if anything.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you what it is! It is a ’97 Dodge Dakota SLT. I’m sure I must have the only one! Great magazine. I have been a reader for some time and I value and enjoy the content.
New Brunswick, Canada
Yeah, you had us going for a while! Good luck.
What About Ethics?
I’ve written you before and actually got a response, and I guess I’m still on it. I still think your magazine as well as others in this sport are missing the big picture, and that is teaching or showing ethics in our sport. In your Aug. ’12 issue, in the section on cheap vehicle builds, you show how a 16-year-old on a budget can build an off-road vehicle. You have shown this before, but what you never seem to show or talk about is ethics or the responsibility involved in wheeling, or speak out for safety, drug and alcohol usage on the trail, and just some pride in our sport.
Mr. Péwé, I’m not opinionated and I’ve been into four-wheeling my whole life—my father, both uncles, and the whole family are too—but I’m tired of seeing or reading about high-dollar lifts for fullsize 1-ton trucks that are too big to take on trails or the dumb yahoos who tear up private or public land, use drugs or alcohol on the trail, dig holes and cause closures, and don’t respect you, me, or our sport for the sake of being cool, tough, or whatever is in fashion today. Even your company is now publishing a magazine that’s solely devoted to that bad behavior (Mud Life). I know you’re not their mommy, but you’re an icon and legend in your field. Hundreds of thousands of people read your magazine. Is it possible to actually use your expertise to teach ethics and pride in our sport? Sir, I’m no inspirational speaker or preacher, but one of the things we all have is tools, and your tool is your publication. With it you can show how the average wheeler on a budget is going to get screwed by those who don’t understand that there are ethics and responsibilities in our sport.
I agree with you, and thanks for writing in. Teaching ethics and morals starts at home; we can only hope to help after that. One of the ideals we should teach, though, is respecting private land ownership and landowners’ right to “tear it up” if they wish. If they plowed their land under for crops or bulldozed it down for a suburb, isn’t it still their right as a private property landowner? However, we always attempt to stay on the high side and show wheeling in its best light. And please accept our apologies for that magazine that does glorify poor behavior, although we have nothing to do with it.
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