Power Stroke Goes Off-Road Racing
Having served diligently in more than a million Ford work and sport trucks, the Power Stroke Diesel is getting into a new game. Teamed with International Truck and Engine Corporation, the manufacturer of the 7.3L diesel engine, Ford Motor Company has built the Power Stroke Diesel Excursion desert racer. The Excursion's engine is an experimental version of the standard Power Stroke Diesel built for Ford pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs. Offering as much as 400 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, the 137-inch wheelbase, 6,000-pound desert racer carries a 60-gallon fuel cell and has more than 16 inches of rear wheel travel and 11 inches of front wheel travel. With features such as these, the Power Stroke Excursion should have no trouble conquering the scheduled events for the 2001 race season. By the time you read this, the Excursion will have competed in the SCORE Baja 500 and will be gearing up for the Best in the Desert Las Vegas to Reno race in September and the SCORE Baja 1000 in November.
The concept Excursion desert racer was built in five months by a group of industry gurus, including John Marking of Fox Shocks, Ron Norton of National Springs, Bill Varnes of Mirage Racing, and lead by Bob Rath and Mark Wildman, both of International. Matt Scaroni and Tom Watson will pilot the hefty race truck. Bob Rath commented on the venture, "This is just one example of how we are working closely with Ford to develop high-performance diesel trucks and SUVs capable of meeting the toughest endurance needs.
Oshkosh Truck Ships MTVR to Marines
Known nationwide as a manufacturer of specialized industrial, fire and emergency, snow removal, and severe-duty defense vehicles, Oshkosh Truck has shipped the first group of its newest tactical vehicle, the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR), to the U.S. Marine Corps for testing. The MTVR, which is said to be more technologically advanced than any other medium-sized military truck, was produced to replace military trucks based on a '49-'50 design. Able to run with any ground-based military vehicle, including the M1 tank, the MTVR is built for 70 percent off-road use with a 7-ton payload capability, and 30 percent on-road use with a 15-ton payload capability. One of its key features is Oshkosh's own TAK-4 (R) independent suspension system, which offers as much as 16 inches of vertical wheel travel. The MTVR can also ford 5 feet of water, climb a 60 percent grade, handle a 30 percent side slope (with its maximum off-road payload), travel at 65 mph, cruise over bumps 12 inches high at 20 mph, and travel for 300 miles on a single tank of fuel. Though you can't pick up one of these babies at your local dealership, it is nice to know that the Few and the Proud will be in good hands.
Trucks Invade NASCAR's World Center of RacingNormally, when the word Daytona is mentioned, it conjures up visions of Winston Cup stock car racing on the high banks of one of NASCAR's premier palaces of speed. But in early October, well before Speed Weeks and long after the Firecracker 400, Daytona International Speedway played host to the fourth stop on the Truxpo Truck Tour.
Nearly 600 custom trucks, including lifted 4x4s, ground-pounding minis, Jeeps, SUVs, and street cruisers invaded Daytona's 8-acre Superstretch Hospitality Village area for two full days of truck show excitement. The event featured the usual Show-'n'-Shine competition and awards for more than 52 classes and attracted some of the hottest trucks in the Southeast. Participants were treated to a huge 600-foot Manufacturers' Midway - packed with all the latest in truck accessories - as well as monster truck rides and a children's play zone.
The Daytona Truxpo Truck Tour, sponsored by Herculiner, Ford, Weld Wheels, and Hot Wheels, featured plenty of action on the Superstretch with side-by-side monster truck competition both Saturday and Sunday, with a special Saturday evening event complete with fireworks. Eric Tack, driver of the Tonka monster truck, captured the distinct honor of being the first pro monster truck driver to win an event at Daytona International Speedway. He swept all three competitions, defeating crowd favorite Bigfoot in the finals.
Also kickin' up some dirt on the back stretch was the Tough Truck competition, which saw participants grab plenty of air over the tight course. Other action on the straightaway included a wild, tire-smoking burnout contest on Sunday and an IASCA-sanctioned sound competition.
Entering its second year, the Truxpo Truck Tour is looking for a lot of hot 4x4s. Coming to a IASCA-owned speedway near you, the 2001 tour will make stops at four tracks, including one new venue. Truxpo events are open to all types of trucks and SUVs, and each show includes a parade lap around the speedway for participants. For more information on the series, contact Truxpo at (904) 255-TRUK (8785) or on the Web at www.truxpotrucktour.com.
2001 Truxpo Truck Tour
Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas - July 21-22Nazareth Speedway, Nazareth, Pennsylvania - Sept. 15-16Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Florida - Oct. 5-7Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina - Oct. 27-28
Lincoln's Neiman Marcus Edition Blackwood Sells Out
Designed to exemplify the versatility in design of the '02 Lincoln Blackwood, available early fall 2001, all fifty of the Neiman Marcus Edition Blackwoods sold out in less than eight hours. The Neiman Marcus Edition is essentially the same vehicle as the standard model available in the fall with the addition of a Neiman Marcus logo stitched into the headrests and an assortment of interior amenities, such as the leather-wrapped rear console lid, featuring a 7-inch Panasonic LCD Wide Screen DVD/Video-CD/CD player with game center hookup and two wireless headphones.
Offered with a $58,800 window sticker price, the '02 Lincoln Blackwood uses a 5.4L DOHC 32-valve InTech V-8 mated to a four-speed electronic automatic Overdrive transmission with an Overdrive lockout. A limited-slip rear diff with 3.73:1 gearing puts power to the ground via P275/55R18SL BSW all-season tires wrapped around 18-inch aluminum wheels. An independent short- and long-arm front suspension design with a stabilizer bar and coil springs handles the bumps up front, while a five-link load-leveling setup with leaf and air springs smooth out the rear. Innovative steering improvements derived from the Blackwood effort will also grace '01 Lincoln Navigators. The Blackwood will also feature every interior and exterior enhancement indicative of luxury cars along with a payload capacity of 1,200 pounds.
Land Rover Newbies
Marking its first all-new model for North America since 1994, the Land Rover Freelander will roll into U.S. showrooms in December 2001. The Freelander will feature a permanent all-wheel-drive system and four-wheel, viscous-coupling electronic traction control, all in a more compact package based on the same British lineage of the Range Rover and Discovery. With its 2.5L 24-valve DOHC V-6 engine, capable of producing 175 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, and its five-speed automatic transmission, the Freelander is well positioned in the small SUV segment. Long wheel travel is achieved through the use of an independent suspension and MacPherson struts, offering excellent articulation off the road and European-style handling on the road.
The other new kid on the block is the '02 Land Rover Discovery Series II Kalahari. It's the first in a series of limited-edition Land Rovers featuring heavier-duty components and an extreme look. Only 150 Kalahari models will be produced for the '02 model-year, however, so coming across one might prove to be rather difficult. For the whole deal, check out the Land Rover Web sites at www.best4x4.landrover. com and www.freelander.com.