February 2013 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
Can you believe it’s 2013? It sounds like something from a science fiction film rather than today’s date. It is correct that as you get older, the years get shorter, and when you actually spot a policeman on the beat, you feel you ought to report them for playing truant from school. Time marches on, and I have another year of editing under my belt, which if you’ll permit me, is a good time for a little calm reflection on what has happened over the last 12 months.
There’s certainly a professional satisfaction from managing to get 13 issues to the printers on time, and being able to publish what I consider to have been some great 4×4 features. Although I’ve been doing this for a lot of years now, I have certainly never produced the ‘ideal’ issue and that’s what drives you on, I guess. Driving is something that I don’t do as much of as you might think, however, when I have managed to get from behind the keyboard to behind the wheel, there have been a marvellous miscellany of memorable moments. It’s not all ‘cor blimey’ moments either. Driving the Chinese Great Wall Steed pick-up was not the most exciting thing I’ve ever done, but probably one of the most significant. For pure adrenalin fuelled off-road fun, my drive of the Can-Am Commander ATV vehicle has to come close to the top for the year. You felt so secure, belted into this minimalist machine, the engine roared and the grin within my full-face crash helmet broadened as confidence helped me push harder with the right foot. The thing seemed to catapult itself across the field; special moments indeed.
Special visits make the year memorable and my trip to Russia to go tyre testing with Pirelli has to be a highlight. Weird and wonderful place that St Petersburg is, being allowed to drive a Range Rover Evoque up a ski slope has to rate as a ‘lucky bastard’ episode in anyone’s language. Of course, it wasn’t all driving, for example the reaction of the Defender replacement Land Rover DC100 concept was amusing, and somewhat predictable. It’s not likely to be produced, but whatever the replacement for the Defender turns out to be, you can believe it will be a significant new off-roader. Traditionalists will just have to get over it – and accept that times have changed; it’s 2013, remember!
However, this self-indulgent waffle is irrelevant if we haven’t managed to transmit this enthusiasm to you, the reader. If we haven’t been able to inform, explain and entertain, then we have failed. For me, the most important part of the magazine is Your 4×4 Life. This is where we report on your 4x4s. How great they have been – from an immaculate original Panda 4×4, outrageous Navara pick-up, home-built overlanding Pajero, to this month’s wonderful Kenyan Land Cruiser. We really want more of these and we want to hear from you, so send in details of Your 4×4 Life to the usual email 4×[email protected]
All that’s left is to wish you all the very best for 2013. Still sounds odd to me…
Nigel Fryatt, Editor
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