News and Views
Car (Truck?) of the Century
It's pretty much
a hands-down decision by an international panel to name the Ford
Model T as the car of the century (COTC). Shoring up that gesture of
automotive gratitude was the nod to give Henry Ford the Automotive
Entrepreneur of the century award. The Model T was configured into
such a versatile utility vehicle that by 1921 they accounted for
more than 55 percent of the global automotive production. A portion
of that initial piece of the market share pie went to the pickup
truck version of the Model T. Individual and small business owners
could pick up and deliver their wares with a touch of class and a
payload capacity that didn't depend on a bucket of oats and blinders
to be motivated.
Introduced on October 1, 1908, the Model T
soon gained a reputation for being dependable and reliable. Those
qualities helped push sales up to 10,660 vehicles in the first year
of production. So, even though Ford produced up to 19 different
models of vehicles between 1903 and 1908, a portion of those
vehicles were predecessors to our modern day pickup trucks. New
technology is costly, and the first vehicles off the assembly line
ran about $850 dollars until refinements and efficiencies in
production eventually dropped the price down to a cool
Raising the Bar on SUV's
Ultimately it will
be up to the individual states, but the sweeping automotive
emissions rules being proposed by the environmental protection
agency EPA present a challenge to auto makers. The new plan will
mandate that most pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles meet the
same pollution standards as cars. Lending some teeth to the plan
will be new rules requiring oil refineries to produce gasoline with
lower sulfur content. The sulfur content tends to back up in the
tailpipes of cars and trucks.
Some states, however, are
considering adopting the California emissions model for their state
rather than operate under the Federal automotive emissions
standards. Advocates for the EPA emissions rules say the air will
get cleaner quicker. Others, such as Texas may lean toward the
California model because, amongst other advantages, compel
automakers to sell a certain amount of zero-emission and/or ultra
Vehicles equipped with diesel power
will have a tougher time meeting the stringent requirements of the
new Federal standards, but they will enjoy a grace period for a
couple years to get up to speed. We'll try to keep you posted on
The Electric Horseman
Budget EV Rentals
is now renting electric Ford Ranger trucks for $19.95 a day at
selected locations around Los Angeles International Airport and
Sacramento Airport. The low rental price will be in effect for one
year and is designed to get people to try out the Ranger
The Ranger EV is based on Ford's best-selling compact
truck and is the leading electric-powered vehicle in production. The
Ranger EV, like all Rangers, is built "Ford Tough," with all the
same safety, reliability, durability and comfort features built into
the gas powered versions.
Budget EV Rentals currently offers
10 Ranger EV's for rent throughout California and will have 20 more
in the rental fleet by January 2000.
Toyota is doing so well in America that plans are
underway to expand production capacity in the United States. The
growth is being fueled by the overwhelming popularity (and high
sales figures) of the new-for-2000 Tundra pickup.
add another assembly line to their already enormous Princeton,
Indiana plant, which produces Tundra's exclusively or possibly
expand the car plant in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.
addition to the Tundra, Toyota will be beginning production of a
Tundra-based SUV that will fall into the Toyota line-up between the
4Runner and LandCrusier SUV's. The new SUV will be built at the
Indiana facility as well.
Denali Does Dallas
has announced it is becoming the exclusive automotive partner of the
Dallas Cowboys for the next five years. Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones
and Larry Hice, GM general manager, South Central Region, made the
announcement during the Cowboy's 40th training camp at the start of
"This partnership is an excellent showcase of two
of America's greatest success stories," Says Jones. " Both GM and
the Cowboys have achieved greatness through hard work, a desire for
excellence, and teamwork. Together, we'll create the ultimate team
for our fans."
According to Hice "this new team of GM and the
Cowboys will be identified by instant recognition and prestige. This
partnership will also translate into some very interesting
opportunities for out customers, fans, and employees. Thanks to more
than 1,500 GM dealers within the Cowboys territory, we'll be able to
take the dynamics of the on-field action to the fans."
first such opportunity will be the newly developed Official Dallas
Cowboys Limited Edition Design package to be offered on select new
GM vehicles. The first vehicle, a GMC Denali SUV, was unveiled at
the press conference.
Dakota Quad Cab Accolades
soon-to-be-released Dodge Dakota Quad Cab (due to dealers February
2000) is winning heaps of praise from the automotive press. The Quad
Cab, with four, forward opening doors, has won such titles as Sport
Truck Magazine's "Sport Truck of the Year" and Petersen's 4Wheel and
Off-Road magazine named it their "4x4 Of The Year."
seating for up to six adults, a new, more powerful V-6, and two new
V-8's (4.7L & 5.9L) it's a fast, fun, and practical pickup for
people that need more than an extended cab pickup truck, but aren't
ready to buy an SUV.
The Quad cab is based on a Club Cab
chassis which dictated that the bed be shortened to 63 inches in
length. Although the bed is shorter, cargo carrying capacity remains
1,450 pounds, the highest in its class. The interior appointment
features several class-leading items including adjustable,
ratcheting cupholders, flip up rear seats with inertia latches, and
a full complement of gauges and options that keep occupants in
comfort not normally reserved for pick-up trucks.
Customer Truck Spotlight
When the winds of change blow ragged through the
headstones of graves from some forgotten past, they occasionally
remove the dirt from buried treasure. It was one of those rare
moments when Dana Nevins spotted this 1970 Ford Bronco Wagon running
around his stomping grounds of Blissfield, Michigan…for sale.
Mercy. For $1,500 Dana was floating with the vision he had
been working on for years. The Bronco was in great shape, but it was
stock. In order for this Bronco to be ready for the trails of
Michigan and 'wheeling adventures at Silver Lake sand dunes it would
undergo a transformation of sorts. This truck was completely gutted
and rebuilt from the ground up with the help of Jeff Trapp in South
The Ford 5.0-liter high output motor is kept in check by Autometer Pro Comp gauges. Mildly built but potent, the small-block
mill runs through a B&M
C-4 transmission controlled in the cockpit by a B&M
Pro Ratchet shifter. All this links to a 1977 Banjo
style Ford 9-inch rear differential loaded with Currie Enterprises
31-spline axles and a Detroit Locker and 4.56 gears.
e-mail us pictures (3-4 max) of your vehicle with a description of
what you've done using parts from CarParts.com and we could put you
in our new Customer Truck Spotlight.