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  • The Straggler - Garage Editorial

The Straggler - Garage Editorial

Oct 16, 2014
Need For Speed Horsepower. Torque. Speed. The never-ending quest for increased performance is a bug that has bitten many car and truck enthusiasts. Some say it’s like an addiction: The satisfaction of a small taste only breeds an unquenchable appetite for more, more, more. Some say it’s like a disease for which there is no cure.
As I spent many hours inside the cockpit of a 470hp 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT recently, I can totally condone this addiction, or disease, or whatever you want to call it. Maybe we can just make things simple and call it a really awesome hobby. This “need for speed” has, to some degree, infected even the most aesthetically inclined truck enthusiasts, so that almost all custom trucks sport some sort of aftermarket performance goodie. Because of the widespread nature of this phenomenon, we’re emphasizing power and performance in this issue of 8-Lug by diving into high-horsepower features and exploring the world of turbochargers. We apologize in advance (both to the wife and the pocketbook) for feeding the addiction.
In case you haven’t noticed, there is yet again another person at the helm of this magazine. Change is good. Change is bad. Change is the only constant. Whatever your outlook on change is, the bottom line is that change is just that -- change. (And we’re not talking pocket change for performance upgrades.)
The concept of change is very new for 8-Lug magazine -- in fact, only in the past half year -- as Bob Carpenter had competently held the reins since its inception. Having started on the digital side of the company in 2006, I was around during the launch of 8-Lug and was actually the online editor for 8-lug.com from the very beginning until 2012. When you think of 8-Lug, you think of Bob. To commemorate the good work Bob did, I’m going to reflect on two Bob-related memories. Go-fast memories, of course.
THE RED FERRARI On a few occasions during years past, a semitruck loaded with exotic cars came by the office. What the occasion was, I don’t know. It always seemed random. The cars were unloaded so that we could gawk at them, true, but also so that we could actually drive them. That’s right, we could sign our lives away and drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis, high-end Mercedes-Benzes (think SLR McLaren, which was what I drove), and other cars that fit into that “untouchable” category for us truck people.

Anyway, Bob had always wanted to drive a red Ferrari. I’m not sure he actually needed my persuasion that day, but I will never forget that he did indeed get to drive that red Ferrari. He claims to have driven it fast, an assertion that couldn’t be verified.
Photo 2/2   |   Suspected Speeder
BUSTED

It was October 2006, and I was only three months in to my fulltime stint with this magazine stuff, working on the digital side. Truckin magazine’s 2007 Truck and SUV of the Year trip was my first time out of the office. Drivers were needed, as this was the era when more than a dozen vehicles were tested. So I obliged. The first thing I learned was that if the lead truck had a tendency to be throttle-heavy, you could nearly guarantee the rest of the baker’s-dozen pack would be pedal-to-the-metal nearly the whole time just to have half a chance at keeping the group in sight.

Anyway, I’ll let the words from the opening paragraph of Truckin magazine’s write-up tell the story. A California Highway Patrol officer waved a suspected speeder to the side of the road, prompting a convoy of trucks and SUVs to stop on the shoulder of a dusty, two-lane highway. He generously let them go, but a straggler, rushing to catch up with the rest of the pack, immediately crossed the sights of the CHP’s radar gun and was picked off without mercy. The rest of the vehicles scampered away, sorry to have lost one of their own but grateful to be continuing on their journey.
Guess who the straggler was? Sigh. Yup. Cut off from the safety of the pack, nice guy Bob paid the penalty for a crime for which we were all guilty. I think it’s haunted me ever since. Do you have any speeding ticket confessions? Email me at: mgonderman@enthusiastnetwork.com.
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