Our new look

Just got the July issue… not too sure about the new format, but I'll give it a chance before casting my final opinion.

One thing, however, is painfully obvious: The headlines are WAAAAAYYYYYYY too BIG! Kinda gives me the same feeling as when I'm sitting too close to the TV. Please fix it… now. Don't wait!

You'll thank me later.
Kenneth A. Klingel
Supervisor - Test Engineering Support Services
Eaton Corp - Engine Air Mgmt Ops.

Chart for art's sake?

The chart showing the U.S. sales share of midsize SUVs (see WAW — July '02, p.52) is the most misrepresentative and distorted chart I've ever seen. On what scale is 16.4 greater than 83.6? At least it gave my office a good laugh.
Rebecca Trempel
Statistician
Oak Park, IL

Editor's Note: Clearly a case of not taking the data literally enough. The “chart” was intended more as a graphic than a literal representation of the facts. Sorry for the confusion. Here's what the numbers really say:

Honest photo captions

I split a gut laughing at your starkly honest photo captions about the new Honda Pilot SUV (see “Honda Attacks Another Key Market Segment,” WAW — July '02, p.50). The two photo captions I like the best are the Pilot's dashboard photo: “The Pilot's no-nonsense interior fits and is finished to a standard only in GM and Ford's wildest fantasies” and the Pilot's rear cargo photo: “Don't try this in an Explorer: A standard 4×8 sheet of plywood will lie flat when Pilot's two rear seat rows are dropped.”

Amazingly honest article for a Detroit- based auto magazine. Shots this honest keep me reading and may help make GM and Ford better.
Phil Young
San Diego, CA

Three little cubes: Hemi 429 or 426?

Mr. Visnic, I enjoyed your article “Hemi's Back for DC's Heavies.” (see WAW — July '02, p.36)

I was confused, though, by your reference to the discontinuation of the “429 Hemi” in 1971. That should've read “426 Hemi,” right?
Paul W. Erlandson
Vehicle/Transmission Interface Dept.
Ford Motor Co.

Editor's Note: Paul, you're absolutely right, and the first and only person — including those on our staff — to notice the numerical gaffe. A 429-cube engine would have been more in line with your company, by the way.

GM goes retro

Mr. Corbett, your article “GM Goes Retro(gression)” (see WAW — July '02, p.29) fails to acknowledge the person who developed retrogression heat treatment and successfully applied it to automobiles well in advance of GM's application.

Dr. Joe Benedyk (formerly of Alumax Aluminum, currently at the Illinois Institute of Technology) invented the process, published numerous articles on the subject and applied it to the Panos roadster five years before GM.
Matthew J. Zaluzec
Ford GT40 Mfg.
Mfg. and Vehicle Design Research Lab

Editor's Note: We never alleged that GM invented retrogression, or that it was the first auto maker to use it. The article notes retrogression has been used by other industries for years. And we had no intention of belittling or ignoring Mr. Benedyk's achievements. Retrogression is new to GM, and we thought it worth noting because the auto maker developed the technology for more than just limited low-production use.