Off-Road Industry News
Is It True?
An AAA survey found that 51 percent of drivers with an electronic maintenance reminder system rely on only this for knowing when to get the vehicle serviced?
Ford has made a prototype carbon-fiber hood to test out reducing vehicle weight and upping fuel economy? Does it weigh 50 percent less than steel?
The ’13 Nissan Pathfinder four-by will start at $29,870? And if you go Platinum model, you’re looking at upward of $40,000?
Was it 50 years ago that a GE scientist, Dr. Nick Holonyak, invented the LED?
Was white really the number one automotive color of choice again, based on 2012 build data? Is PPG’s annual survey of global color popularity really saying natural beat out blue and green? And does anyone know what natural looks like?
“Love is most definitely in the alpine-freshened air with 1.9 million UK motorists being proposed to behind the wheel. Despite this romanticism, it’s not all about happy endings on the nation’s highways, with 2.3 million motorists having the brakes put on their relationships and being dumped in the car.”
—Press release from Allianz Your Cover Insurance
What Do the Pope and Harley-Davidson Have in Common?
Here’s one from the strange-bedfellows file: Pope Benedict XVI got the crowds amped up for Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary by blessing two commemorative gas tanks. He also signed them, because that’s what popes do. One will return to Milwaukee and go on display in the Harley-Davidson Museum, while the other will go on display in the Vatican. Or maybe it’s being auctioned off. Go to www.h-d.com/110 for answers.
Thirsty? You may want to try the new 2012 SCORE Baja 1000 Sal Fish Signature Edition tequila. Or you may not if you think like Editor Cappa: “Tequila with the word ‘fish’ on it doesn’t sound appealing.” Go to www.baja1000tequila.com and decide for yourself.
Toyota introduced its new hybrid on HSN. That’s the Home Shopping Network. Guess a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling and the next cute-ute from Jeep is in our future.
Toyota again: An unmodified Tundra towed the 300,000-pound Endeavor space shuttle on its final stretch of wide-open road (whatever that means in Los Angeles) to the California Science Center, where it will live.
Our owner, Source Interlink Media, has created a virtual garage with Augmented Reality programs. You’ll be able to click to build the workspace, including the flooring, toolboxes, and more, as well as be able to customize the vehicle inside the garage. More to come on this cool technology.
The annual Neiman Marcus catalog, er, sorry, “Christmas Book,” always features some pricey vehicle, and the winner this year is the ’13 Neiman Marcus Edition McLaren 12C Spider. Only 12 of the 616hp cars were made. It goes for $354,000. Hey, quit your whining—that includes a set of luggage. And dinner. In England.
Wheelers for the Wounded Rubicon Super Event
For the fourth year in a row, Wheelers for the Wounded hosted combat-disabled veterans for a weekend of camping at Crystal Basin Mountain Resort and rockcrawling on the famous Rubicon Trail. Two dozen veterans spanning wars from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan were paired up with hand-selected drivers for the adventure. “The drivers get the opportunity to show their appreciation to our nation’s heroes,” event co-organizer Dan Hiney explained, “while the veterans get to see this beautiful scenery and challenging terrain. Everyone wins.” Plans are already under way for the fifth annual event to take place next September. Do you know a veteran who would benefit from being involved in this program? Contact Dan at 530/518-2101.
Brits Will Give Up Smokes to Drive
Research from www.moneysupermarket.com showed that with costs of having a car on the rise big time in the UK, 70 percent of drivers surveyed are considering cutbacks to keep their car. In fact, the most common money-saving ways highlighted included spending less on shoes (34 percent), buying less booze and cigarettes (28 percent), and going to the pub less often (26 percent). Those drastic measures are because 33 percent said they could not live without their vehicle, while 31 percent “would find life tricky” without. You want a tricky life? Try no shoes, smokes, or pub.
Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty:
“Moving Heaven and Earth.”
–ad campaign for technologies on the new Ram 1500
Your Government At Work
National Public Lands Day started in 1994 and is the largest volunteer event for public lands in the U.S. Haven’t heard of it before that sentence? Now you’ll know for 2013. For the fifth year in a row, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi hooked up with the local community to plant, clean up trash, install new fire pits, and more at Howard Stafford Park.
California for the win: The state’s Legacy License Plate Program has been signed into law, meaning the DMV will be forced to issue a series of specialized license plates that are a repeat of the past. We’re talking black lettering on yellow background and vice versa and yellow on blue. There needs to be at least 7,500 applications for any one of those plates in the DMV’s hands on or before January 1, 2015. So, get ’er done.
Who Dozes Off More While Driving, Men or Women? (Men)
Car insurance company AAMI did some research and number punching to discover that nearly 30 percent of the male drivers surveyed have gone lights out momentarily while behind the wheel. That’s compared to 14 percent of the ladies. And 39 percent of drivers tried to beat the fatigue with loud music or a caffeinated beverage. The AAMI spokesperson said doing either of those makes you a stupid ninnie (not in so many words); he suggested taking a break to stretch, getting a breath of fresh air, or power napping. We assume he didn’t mean that last one should happen while behind the wheel or we wouldn’t be having this conversation to begin with.
What’s Happening In The Industry
BFGoodrich is putting together its ’13 Outstanding Trails program, with off-road clubs in both the U.S. and Canada able to submit the trails in their area via Facebook and Twitter. So far, the BFG deal has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to 30 trails. Head to www.facebook.com/bfgoodrichtires or @bfgoodrichtires between now and January 31.
As we went to press, eBay Motors was in the midst of its third annual People’s Picks sweepstakes. It’s sort of like our Four Wheeler of the Year competition, but the peoples don’t get to drive and the peoples don’t get to keep a judging book, and the peoples don’t have all their work pile up while on the road determining a winner. Come to think of it, maybe the peoples have it right. Anyway, the Ford F-150 was very much at the lead in the trucks category. They also ranked the Dodge Warlock third in all-time best classic truck. That name so should make it so kick arse it beats the leading Chevy 3100. We’ll tell you next month what the peoples decided.
Yamaha is helping to restore the Cactus Flats staging area in the San Bernardino National Forest by planting 250 native shrubs. Yamaha is big on supporting OHV areas—it has spent more than $2 mil since 2008 on the cause, as well as immeasurable volunteer hours.
Mahindra has opened a tech center in Troy, Michigan.
Toyota also opened something—or at least will be. It broke ground on a training center in Aurora, Illinois. Should be done by summer and will train employees for the 112 dealers in the area.
GM continues to dig through its archives to celebrate Chevy’s anniversary, so we’ll just keep on soaking up the fact-finding missions. For example, the 1⁄2-ton ’18 Four-Ninety “cowl chassis” was the first venture in to the truck market in the 1918 model year. It cost $595. However, some earlier versions may have been ambulanced and sent to France in 1914.
The ’30 pickup had the new inline-six, which was first made in 1928, and had the nicknames “Cast Iron Wonder” and the familiar “Stovebolt.” The Task Force trucks arrived in the mid-1950s and had an optional new small-block V-8 but standard design elements from the ’55 Bel Air. The same period brought the Cameo Carrier, which GM called a “high-styled gentleman’s pickup.” It lasted only until 1958; referencing it as such probably is what killed it. What killed the Corvair, which launched in 1961, was possibly the forward control-ness. It was RIP in 1964 with only 851 sold as its legacy.
When the S-10 debuted in 1982, it had a four-banger worth just 82 horses. Staffer Brubaker can fill in everything else about it. Ask him; we dare you. And the first official Silverado pickup was 1999. You know how that history book ends. Or begins.