May 2011 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
The clocks have gone forward and those long bright evenings are just around the corner. It also signals the beginning of the off-road events season and time to start organising those trips away in your 4×4.
To help you think about what you can do, this month we have an expedition round-up (p40) in which we bring all the latest and best ideas from the companies that run overland travel adventures in the UK and abroad. There are plenty of exotic overseas trips available – especially for 2012, but there are still lots of free places for this year – and there are numerous UK adventures for you to join. Check out the feature and our events calendars as there’s definitely something there that will appeal, whatever your level of off-roading skill or desire for adventure.
I have just come back from an excellent UK greenlane day with a great bunch of guys on the North York Moors. You will read about this in the June issue, but it just goes to prove that there are still plenty of good trails available for sensible, environmentally-conscious 4×4 owners who want some non-damaging fun that is perfectly legal. We met a few walkers en route, who were extremely pleasant and friendly and waved happily to us as we trundled on our way.
A bigger and more adventurous trundle can be found on p28 in this month’s adventure, where we feature the incredible Gibb River Road in Australia, driven in a rented Mitsubishi Pajero. It is a remote and challenging drive that requires some mettle and staying power, plus a lot of patience, and an easy-going manner that will blend in with the lovable Aussies who inhabit the Outback – where they do things rather differently.
And, talking of those who do things rather differently from us here in the UK, we have the magnificent ‘Hump ‘n’ Bump’ extravaganza from the red dusty rocks of the environs of Las Vegas, where standard Jeeps and highly-modified bespoke 4x4s bump and grind over the unforgiving rocks at incredible angles that seem to defy the laws of mechanics.
And so to some news on a personal front: this is my last column as your editor as I am relinquishing the day-to-day reigns to become ‘editor at large’. This means I will be able to get out and about a lot more and bring more top features from the world of 4x4s. So if you have an interesting vehicle or a superb overland trip that needs bringing to the attention of our readers, then let me know.
I have had a great time at the helm for the last two years and thank everybody for their commitment to 4×4 and all the encouraging comments. The magazine is in excellent health and enjoying great support, so thank you to all my readers, advertisers and contributors.
Your new editor is Nigel Fryatt, whom regular readers will know as a monthly contributor to our Nostalgia pages and Our 4x4s. They will also know that Nigel is a previous editor of this magazine when it went under the name of Off Road & 4Wheel Drive, so his credentials are impeccable – he also gave me my first job as staff writer on the mag. So we know he has great taste also!
I wish him luck on the magazine and I’m sure we will make a great team.
And finally, but by no means least, I am sending my deepest condolences to all our friends in the press and PR departments at the UK offices of the Japanese car companies. They have had a tremendous shock and are still dealing with the aftermath of the dreadful earthquake and resulting Tsunami in north east Japan. Some manufacturers in Japan have been forced to close down some manufacturing plants temporarily and are still trying to locate colleagues and dealing with the humanitarian disaster that has been caused.
We sincerely hope all our UK friends’ colleagues are safe and well and send them our very best wishes for a bright future and that the people of Japan can resume some kind of normality in the not-too-distant future. Anyone who wants to donate to the Red Cross crisis fund please log onto www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Japan-Tsunami-Appeal – many of the manufacturers are donating funds.
It was unbelievable watching the footage on TV of large vehicles being hurled around by the rapidly rising water. We can only imagine what the Japanese people are going through; and how it will affect the Far Eastern car market in the long run is anyone’s guess at the moment. Although 4×4 sales are looking reasonably healthy, this latest natural disaster can only spell continued difficult times.
If your new 4×4 is taking longer for delivery than normal, please be patient; they are working hard to keep production flowing.
In the meantime, drive safely and considerately and thank you again for all your support.
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