Today, December 2nd, 2009 marks my sixth year with Four Wheeler magazine. As I reflect on the various accomplishments I've been able to achieve working here, I realize I'm just as giddy about my job as I was the day I started it...
Six years is the longest I've ever been with a company. Actually, when I started Four Wheeler was owned by Primedia. Then a few years later Source Interlink took over, so really, I should say it's the longest I've held a position within an organization.
Looking back, I think about how I got here, the amazing travel and adventure I've been fortunate enough to experience, and the wonderful vehicular toys I've been able to create through my writing and photography. But most important of all, I consider the friendships I've developed along the way. I really couldn't picture myself doing anything else, I love this job!
From dicing it up in the silt beds of Baja during the 1000, to snow tire testing in -14 below 0 in eastern Canada, to touring a tire plant in South Korea, to getting lost in the great Atacama Deserts of Northern Chile, I've done some pretty amazing things.
As for project vehicles, I'm the guy behind Teal Brute (AKA Teal J) a 1997 Jeep Wrangler. I can still remember the day in 2004 when then Tech Editor Craig Perronne handed me the keys, and said "She's all yours man, have fun." At the time Four Wheeler didn't even own the rig yet. I helped push the paper work through for Four Wheeler to purchase the Jeep from Chrysler for a dollar. It's funny, I remember reading about Teal J back in my Senior year of High School. At the time I never thought I'd eventually be in charge of it.
Then their was the Project Titan. This was the first rig that the company completely entrusted me to build from the start. Every aspect of this vehicle was my idea and or an idea brought up by someone I got involved with the project. Today we call it the Mega Titan and it is probably the most well-known Titan pickups in existence. I owe a huge debt of gradatude to Toby Lavender of Triple X Traction for dedicating over $100,000 in shop labor to the project.
The NISMO Frontier was next. I got it from Nissan in early 2005. By mid 2006 the rig was a sure hit with our readers. Comprised mainly of bolt-on parts, I wasn't all that excited about the build, but it really hit home with a majority of our readers, generating tons of fan mail and reader comments.
Looking into the future, I can only hope that the next six years holds as much fun, travel and adventure, and opportunity to express my passion for 4x4s through interesting editorial and project build-ups.
See you out on the trail...