Four wheeler motor trend

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Four Wheeler

The June issue of Four Wheelermagazine

Four Wheeler is the oldest magazine for 4x4 and off-road truck and SUV enthusiasts. The first issue was published in February , and in , the internationally read magazine celebrated its 50th anniversary. Four Wheeler focuses on new-vehicle evaluations, project vehicles, the technical aspects of building a vehicle (such as how to install aftermarket accessories and do complete engine swaps), product tests, outdoor equipment and machines, 4x4 shows and competitions, and travel and adventure.

Four Wheeler is published monthly by Motor Trend Group and headquartered in El Segundo, California.[1]

Top Truck Challenge[edit]

The first Four Wheeler Top Truck Challenge took place in , and the event, also called TTC, was held annually at the Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area near Hollister, California. The last Top Truck Challenge was held in June, The original concept was to test the engineering capabilities of 4x4 vehicles, and it remained that way through its year history, inviting readers "who own ‘the world’s best four wheeler’ to put up or shut up: Take us up on our Top Truck Challenge—the search for the best truck—and send in an entry," as the February issue stated.

Although competitors were selected by Four Wheeler readers, that process didn’t actually begin until Competition vehicles no longer needed to also be street legal starting with the Top Truck Challenge. Over the years, the challenges have included an obstacle course, a mini Rubicon trail, and the Tank Trap. In , Four Wheeler held the first-ever Top Truck Champions’ Challenge, pitting past Top Truck Challenge Grand Champions against one another for ultimate bragging rights. Segments from Top Truck Challenge have been broadcast on the Outdoor Channel.

Granville King[edit]

One of the most popular Four Wheeler writers was Granville King. He was Four Wheeler’s Baja correspondent from until the time of his death in He wrote a variety of stories for Four Wheeler, including his "From the Backcountry" series, which was an account of a life devoid of many modern trappings, but filled with backcountry adventures and mechanical tips.

Four Wheeler of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year[edit]

Annually, Four Wheeler hands out two prestigious awards to automakers of new 4x4s, Four Wheeler of the Year[2] and Pickup Truck of the Year. As voted on by the editors, it is a rigorous competition that began in with the Four Wheeler Achievement Award, given to the Jeep Cherokee. In , pickup trucks were separated into their own contest. In , Motor Trend included a behind the scenes look at the Four Wheeler of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year competitions in an episode of "The Downshift" on the Motor Trend channel. In , Four Wheeler of the Year was renamed SUV of the Year to more accurately describe the vehicles. Vehicles are evaluated in categories such as off-road performance, highway performance, mechanical and empirical data, interior, and exterior. The competition typically takes place in Southern California, covers about 1, miles on- and off-road, and vehicles are scored by experienced judges.

Until , when Jeep won both SUV of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year, no manufacturer had won both SUV of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year in the same year.

Recipients of the awards are:

Four Wheeler/SUV of the Year

  • GMC Yukon AT4
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
  • Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Jeep Wrangler Moab JK
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JK
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland WK2
  • Toyota 4Runner Trail
  • Nissan Xterra Off-Road
  • Hummer H3 Alpha
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JK
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Volkswagen Touareg V TDI
  • Lexus GX (w/Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System)
  • Lexus GX
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland WJ
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ
  • Dodge Durango
  • Jeep Cherokee XJ
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Land Rover Defender 90
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ
  • Chevrolet K Blazer
  • Ford Explorer two-door
  • Ford Explorer
  • Range Rover
  • Chevrolet K
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Jeep Comanche
  • Toyota SR5
  • Jeep Cherokee XJ
  • Chevrolet S-Blazer
  • Dodge Power Ram 50
  • Toyota SR5
  • Ford Bronco
  • Chevrolet LUV
  • Ford Bronco
  • Dodge Macho Power Wagon
  • International Harvester Traveler
  • Chevrolet Blazer
  • Jeep Cherokee

Pickup Truck of the Year

  • Ram TRX
  • Jeep Gladiator
  • Ram Rebel
  • Chevy Colorado ZR2
  • Ford F Raptor
  • Ram Rebel
  • Ram Power Wagon
  • Chevrolet Silverado Z71
  • Ram Outdoorsman
  • Ram Power Wagon
  • Ford F SVT Raptor L
  • Ram Power Wagon
  • Hummer H3T
  • Ford Super Duty FX4
  • Chevrolet Avalanche Z71
  • Dodge Ram TRX4
  • Dodge Ram Power Wagon
  • Nissan Titan
  • GMC Sierra Quadrasteer
  • Dodge Ram Quad Cab
  • Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD
  • Dodge Dakota Quad Cab
  • Chevrolet Silverado Z71
  • Toyota Tacoma XtraCab TRD
  • Dodge Dakota Club Cab
  • Toyota Tacoma XtraCab
  • Ford F SuperCab Power Stroke
  • Chevrolet S ZR2
  • Ford Ranger SuperCab
  • Dodge Dakota Club Cab
  • GMC K HD
  • Mitsubishi Mighty Max


  • Ken Brubaker: present
  • Christian Hazel:
  • John Cappa: –
  • Douglas McColloch:
  • Jon Thompson:
  • Mark Williams:
  • John Stewart:
  • David M. Cohen:
  • Rich Johnson (Senior Editor):
  • Dianne Jacob (Executive Editor):
  • Julian G. Schmidt:
  • Dennis Adler:
  • Bill Sanders: and –
  • Lou Kjose:
  • Robert Leif:
  • Robert Ames:


External links[edit]



Meet Four Wheeler Host, Ian Johnson, at Adventure Expo!

The Adventure Expo Main Stage will host Ian Johnson for a Q&A and autograph session, Sunday, March 8th

Four Wheeler Adventure Expo will host celebrity meet and greets all weekend, March at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California.

Meet Ian Johnson, host of the all-new MotorTrend OnDemand show, Four Wheeler. Adventure Expo will host Ian Johnson for a question and answer session and autographs for fans at the event's main stage, Sunday, March 8th at p.m.

Check out the full schedule of events including additional celebrity meet & greets here.

Four Wheeler, filmed in Johnson's Tennessee shop, will take viewers through the enjoyment of building project vehicles and learning about how to make your off-road machine even better. From frame-up Jeep builds and interesting technical subjects, to the ultimate UTV upgrades, Four Wheeler will show you the build and bring you along for the post-build adventure.


Save $5 with an advance ticket purchase. Tickets are also available at the door. Purchase advance tickets here.


Register your ride to be on display in the Adventure Ride Show N Shine! All makes & models of adventure vehicles and motorcycles are accepted. Registration includes weekend pass for vehicle, driver and one passenger. Register your ride here.



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Four Wheeler Print Magazine

International Addresses: Magazine subscriptions offered at can only be shipped within the 50 United States, APO/FPO address and U.S. Protectorates. We are unable to process magazines to other destinations at this time. Please contact the magazine's publisher for further assistance.

When to Expect Your First Issue: Magazine subscriptions ordered at are shipped to you by the magazine's publisher. The first issue of a weekly magazine should arrive within weeks of your order. The first issue of a monthly magazine should arrive within weeks, unless otherwise noted.

Once you've placed an order at, it can take one to two weeks for your subscription to be received and scheduled by the publisher. Your subscription is then added to the publisher's next production cycle and shipped via standard mail. For example, if your monthly subscription was ordered and received by the publisher in November, and the December issue has already shipped, your order may be added to the January mailing. You can find out more information, including how to contact the publisher about your subscription, in Amazon's Magazine Subscription Manager.

Renewing Your Subscription: If you are ordering as a renewal to the same name and address as the current subscription, the publisher will add the Amazon order to your current subscription. For example, if you have 5 issues left and you add 12 through Amazon, you will now have 17 issues left on your subscription. Please note that the expiration date in the Magazine Subscription Manager will not reflect if you were already on file with the publisher. We will work with the publisher to ensure that you still receive all of the issues left on your subscription.

Publication Frequency: Magazines which show "irregular" availability are those which are not published according to a regular schedule. If you place an order for such a magazine, you will receive new issues as soon as they are available.


Four Wheeler, Hosted by Ian Johnson, Returns to the Small Screen

New Video Project Comes to MotorTrend

Set your DVRs and download the MotorTrend App, because Four Wheeler is coming to the small screen wherever you are! Four Wheeler has partnered with everyone's favorite how-to host on a new video project dubbed Four Wheeler. Hosted by Ian Johnson, the new show will complement other favorites—including Roadkill and Dirt Every Day—and will be airing on the MotorTrend Network, MotorTrend OnDemand, and of course on our own MotorTrend App.

Four Wheeler, filmed in Johnson's Tennessee shop, will take viewers through the enjoyment of building project vehicles and learning about how to make your off-road machine even better. From frame-up Jeep builds and interesting technical subjects to the ultimate UTV upgrades, Four Wheeler will show you the build and bring you along for the post-build adventure.

Johnson, a former high school auto shop instructor, has been a mainstay in the automotive aftermarket community for 20 years, parlaying his love of teaching in a classroom environment to teaching an entire off-road enthusiast base. Johnson is most known for co-hosting the popular Xtreme 4x4.

Join us in welcoming Ian Johnson to the Four Wheeler family by checking out the new show. The episode first season debuts this Saturday, September 21, , at 12pm Eastern on the MotorTrend Network, before joining your favorite MotorTrend shows on the MotorTrend App on September Additional episodes will continue to air and post weekly through the beginning of



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FourWheeler The Custom LJ Buggy Starts to Look Like a Jeep

Lines, Wires, and Rivets

FourWheeler Show Description: If it has wheels and goes off road, Ian Johnson will work on it! In FourWheeler we work on everything from upgrading your daily driving Jeep, to building a custom tube chassis rock crawler. Ian takes you along for the "do it yourself" ride as we tackle everything from simple "bolt-ons" to full on fabrication. Find it here!

Season 1, Episode 3: Custom LJ Buggy-Part 3 - The chassis on the Jeep LJ has been powder coated, so now it's time for final assembly. Ian will bolt everything in place and fabricate the body panels just in time to send it all to paint.

In the third episode of FourWheeler (Custom LJ Buggy-Part 3), the custom tube chassis LJ starts to look more like a Jeep. Thanks to some essential donor body parts off of a $ Jeep TJ—including the wiper cowl and the top of the door sills—and some aftermarket quarter panels, the off-road buggy starts to look more like a vehicle. A custom fiberglass hood designed to mate a TJ hood to a CJ front grille takes a little finesse to make fit within the framework of the tube chassis, but will add a nice touch when finished. All of this is easier said than done, of course, as the whole process takes tons of test fitting, cutting, tacking, and grinding to perfect. But boy does she look pretty clad in body panels and sitting on inch beadlocks wrapped in 42s.

Ian Johnson also tackles the steering setup, opting for a full hydraulic steering system. He assembles and plumbs the brake system. He addresses cooling options, which will be handled by some Derale products. Lastly, he installs a factory TJ gas tank.

Nothing has been a final draft so far, as it all has to come apart for more welding and powdercoating before final assembly begins.



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Obstacle Course and Coal Chute!! - Top Truck Challenge 2015

Four Wheeler Adventure Expo, a unique event for off-road, outdoor lifestyle and adventure travel enthusiasts, comes to the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California, March , Whether the journey takes you off-road into the backcountry or into high altitudes to hike, mountain bike and rock climb, the inaugural Four Wheeler Adventure Expo promises something for adventurers of all kinds.

The Four Wheeler Adventure Expo will host classes and seminars to prepare attendees for their next adventure with travel workshops hosted by the Four Wheeler team and top adventure experts. Fans will be inspired by films at the Travel Theater and watching expedition driving experts as they host seminars to showcase skills needed for extreme off-road driving conditions.  Attendees can gear up with the latest camping and travel, action sports and off-road equipment in the exhibitor midway.

The event caters to the off-road, overland, car camping and van life community while also showcasing the adventure sports industry including e-bikes, mountain bikes, surfing and skating, rock climbing, backpacking and more.

Event Features:

&#; Off-Road, Outdoor & Adventure Expert Presenter & Education Series: Learn tips from the pros and prepare for your next off-road or outdoor adventure in the Adventure Education seminar series. Learn adventure photography and videography skills, listen to stories of world travels and meet outdoor adventurers from all over the world.

&#; Camping, Off-Road & Outdoor Lifestyle Gear Vendors:Top manufacturers of camping, off-road, adventure travel and outdoor lifestyle gear and equipment. From camping kitchens and roof top tents to rock climbing equipment, e-bikes and backpacking gear, Adventure Expo will have the gear you need to outfit your next adventure.

&#; Adventure & Off-Road Film Series: Get inspired watching this compilation of films showcasing purposeful adventurers, overlanders and off-roaders explore and discover featuring the 5 Point Film Festival’s short adventure films &#; including climbing, biking, skiing, watersports and running. Watch the trailer now!

&#; Show-N-Shine: Hundreds of off-road kitted 4x4s on display. Register your ride and get your rig in the show.

&#; Adventure Rig Display: Special corral showcasing adventure-ready rigs &#; chosen by our panel of judges &#; outfitted with rooftop tents, camping kitchens, solar solutions, recovery gear and equipment and more. Send us details about your adventure-ready rig by Feb 15th to be considered for two free weekend passes and a spot to display your vehicle at the event.  Space is limited.

&#; Plus, check out rock wall climbing demos, the live music from the craft beer garden and Live Demos all weekend.

The Four Wheeler Adventure Expo will take place March , at the OC Fair & Event Center 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA Exhibitor space and sponsorship packages are available online now.

Fans can register their own off-road and adventure rigs to be a part of the event’s Show-N-Shine area. Pre-registration is $65 online through Friday, March 6th and includes vehicle, driver and passenger entry for the weekend. Day-of registration is available for $

Spectator tickets are also available online now for $15 in advance through Friday, March 6th and $20 the day of the show at the box office and online.  Kids 12 and under are free.

For more info, visit


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