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January 2013 RPM - Editorial

Posted in News on January 1, 2013
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That’s Interesting
The Lincoln brand is going to China. Only took 100 years. Literally.

New taglines: Toyota’s: “Let’s Go Places.” Chrysler Town & Country: “Test of Ownership.” We think the minivan’s is probably most accurate.

Cappa is a fan of the SRT Viper. Can anyone loan him $97,395 for the regular ’13 or $120,395 for the Viper GTS? Bueller?

Union Pacific Railroad is trying out an experimental train that will test three emissions-reducing technologies: exhaust gas recirculation, diesel oxidation catalysts, and diesel particulate filters. It’s a $20 mil experiment.

23 percent of U.S. car owners surveyed via a Harris Poll said they’re more interested in a hybrid now versus how they felt a year ago.

Gee, that Press Release Sounds Naughty:
“Small is good for auto rental, says California Rent-A-Car”

2013 Range Rover
Generation four. All-aluminum body. New suspension. 5.0L V-8. Eight-speed auto. Terrain Response version 2.0. Starting price: $83,500. Sorry, were you actually interested in more than that?

Is It True?
AM General is going to sell a HUMVEE called C-Series, which is a kit true to government specs, sans an engine?

Will the ’15 Ford F-150 be heavy aluminum? And by that do we mean lightweight because of heavy usage of aluminum?

In which state can you now go faster than anywhere else? If you didn’t say Texas with its new 85 mph law, do you think maybe you better slow down right now?

Despite what you just read, is it actually South Carolina that has the deadliest highways in the nation? says so?

There will be no more discounts for auto insurance depending on what gender you are? And which gender was getting the discount—and why?

Is Mercedes-Benz adding more diesel power to its SUV lineup?

Also M-B related: Is its new inflatable seatbelt strap airbag thingy going to be called Beltbag? What, “fanny pack” was trademarked?

The famous Nürburgring track in Germany won’t end up on eBay after all, thanks to a sort of government bailout?

Your Government At Work
The U.S. Forest Service and the United Four Wheel Drive Associations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which “indicates strongly the desire of both the Forest Service and UFWDA to express our common support for four-wheel-drive motor vehicle use recreationally on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.”

Technically, this is another government at work: a judge and police were among those behind a project in Brazil that has inmates pedaling stationary bikes to generate electricity to power the lights in the local community, according to Euronews.

Want a Jeep for $3?
Buy a raffle ticket for $3 and you could win this very Jeep. Every year the California Association of 4WD Clubs (Cal4Wheel) builds a new Jeep, and this year they started with a four-door JK Unlimited Sport and added parts from companies such as MetalCloak (suspension) and 6Pak (shocks), Advance Adapters (Atlas II transfer case), Currie Enterprises (steering), and Poison Spyder Customs (fenders and sliders). Other longtime supporters of Cal4Wheel that contributed to the Jeep include BFGoodrich, Warn, Yukon Gear, Tuffy, and Tom Woods. It will be raffled off at the annual Cal4Wheel convention in Rancho Cordova on February 16. You don’t need to be present to win, and tickets can be purchased online at —Harry Wagner

Random Quote:
“Despite the efforts of a small few who are apparently opposed to steps that will protect Americans at the pump and reduce our reliance on foreign oil, the administration will continue to take steps to support this unprecedented agreement and ensure these savings for consumers are realized and the cars and trucks of the future are built here in America.”
—White House spokesman Clark Stevens regarding the 54.5-mpg requirement by 2025, according to Detroit News

What’s Happening In The Industry
Hobart Welding Products has added an EZ Selector to, which tailors the best Hobart product to your needs based upon a few things you easy-select.

Goodyear is fooling around with soybean oil to replace some of the petroleum-based oil in its tires; the oil could increase tread life. Is that kind of like how vegetarians manage to live extra years?

Speaking of tires, Toyo’s got the new Open Country A/T II available; longer tread life is being touted. Probably the tofu.

Follow ARB on Twitter (@arb_usa) and Facebook. The company’s been giving away things like Fridge Freezers and a camera system.

GM is investing in the NanoSteel Company—the automaker wanted to jump on board the company’s new steel alloy technology.

Random Quote:
“That’s why God invented four-wheelers— so I don’t ever have to ride a motorcycle.”
— Blake Shelton, that country dude on “The Voice”

How’d You Learn To Wheel?
How did you learn to four-wheel? This month’s “Are You a Real Man?” story puts a newbie through a beginner’s off-road driving class and a driving lesson from Ivan Stewart. What about you? Take a class? Dad teach you? Go out with buddies and get stupid? Try it on your own? Come on over to Four Wheeler’s Facebook page ( and tell us! These are ours:

Brubaker: Some of my colleagues may point out that I obviously never really learned how to four-wheel because I run into rocks and trees all the time. But anyway, my first wheeling experience was also where I learned the basics of wheeling. It was the early ’70s and I was about 10 years old. I was with my uncle in his K5 Blazer on trails near Oscoda, Michigan. He was stationed there in the Air Force. The wheeling basics I learned during that trip stuck and were bolstered a few years later with hands-on experience winter wheeling, snow plowing, and aimlessly driving around in my in-laws’ farm pastures here in the Midwest.

Cappa: I actually learned how to drive off-road in a VW camper in the early ’80s. I’d sit on my dad’s lap and man the steering wheel while he worked the pedals. I was way too short at the time to reach. Later that decade, my buddies introduced me to how much fun jumping, bogging, and generally just destroying our 4x4s off-road was. I also remember thinking I didn’t need to air down, since my tires and wheels already provided a huge footprint (33/14.50-15 tires on 15x12 wheels). Boy, was I an idiot. A single side-hilling sand dune incident cured me of that stupidity pretty quick.

Mansour: I grew up riding dirt bikes and ATVs, but I didn’t make the transition to driving a vehicle off-road until I was around 12 years old. I wasn’t very tall (still am not), but I somehow managed to reach the pedals on my dad’s old K5 Blazer. It was a 6.2L diesel with an automatic transmission. My dad had taken me to the beach to teach me how to drive in the sand. At the time I thought I was really wheeling and doing something cool. I still drive on that same stretch of beach today. It wasn’t until years later when I made the transition into real off-roading (mudding!) and those key principles of momentum and line choice really came in handy.

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