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RPM Automotive News - November 2013

Posted in News on September 26, 2013 Comment (0)
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RPM Automotive News - November 2013
Photographers: Four Wheeler Staff

That’s Interesting
Your F-250 Crew Cab four-by is about to be stolen. Or maybe it already was while you were reading this. You see, the Highway Loss Data Institute did some number crunching and discovered that the F-250 replaced the Cadillac Escalade as the most popular vehicle to steal in the ’10-’12 bracket. The F-350 4x4 ranked fifth. The least stolen? The Jeep Compass ranked 10th. Yeah, can’t give those away.

Speaking of that vehicle that became less popular to steal: the Xplore Cadillac Escalade is from Aria Group and XPLORE Great Outdoors. The Adventure Series Cadillac Escalade has custom suspensions available, as well as a Warn winch, stainless steel exhaust, snorkel, and BFG rubber, among its offerings. There’s also an “ownership experience package” with an annual pass to national parks and monuments, and more.

Cargurus.com studied which U.S. cities had the most and least level of consumer interest in buying American-brand cars. Number one in the category of most? Detroit, with random cities in the top 10, including Cleveland, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh. Among those in the bottom 10? Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. San Francisco was number one for least.

Mopar Drag N Brag is a free game app that can be had through the iTunes store or at www.mopar.com/dragnbrag. You’ll basically head to the dragstrip in a Mopar rig and do burnouts and compete while enjoying the use of in-car cameras and 3D graphics about the vehicle’s performance.

Garmin has introduced a heads-up display, or HUD as the kids are calling it. The portable HUD for smartphone nav apps is the first of its kind for the company; info displays at a glance within the windshield.

Hertz is now offering Dream Cars, which gives you access to vehicles you’d never ever likely have access to. You can rent a Ferrari, Lamborghini, SRT Viper, Bentley, and others. Cities with the Dream Cars collection include Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Boston. Learn more at www.hertzdreamcars.com.

What Tires Were on the Top Truck Challenge Winners?
Two thousand thirteen marked the 21st annual Top Truck Challenge, which was sponsored by Mickey Thompson, which was the rubber on both the First and Second Place finishers. Winner John Retzloff’s’77 GMC K15 sported Baja Claw tires (size 19.5/46-20LT, if you’re playing the TTC Home Edition), while Matt Huit, who came in Second, had the Baja Claw TTC-edition 19.5/54-20LT on his ’81 VW Rabbit. Check out the December ’13 issue of Four Wheeler for the TTC 2013 blow by blow, individual event rankings, and full finishing order.

Fourwheeler.com Just Got More Awesome
If you haven’t been to www.fourwheeler.com yet—or have and are wondering what’s up over there—here’s the skinny: It has become part of a network of sites dedicated to the off-road community and experience. Now will you not only find content from Four Wheeler, but you’ll get 4-Wheel & Off-Road, Jp, Mud Life, 4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility, and Off-Road. And overall, you’ll find the site even easier to navigate and photos will be bigger than ever! Soon, you’ll also be able to create your own profile, upload photos and video, and more—and you might even be showcased. Upload maps to favorite trails, have a personalized feed, message others, get notifications, and, well, that’s enough with the spoiler alerts. This is the first and only time we’ll ever say this to you: Put down the magazine and go check it out.

“We are really opposed to stereotypes. It would have been nice for them to have consulted us at the very least.”
——Amanda Clinton, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, to The New York Times. The paper did a piece on what happens when vehicles have ethnic identities, such as the Jeep Cherokee, and the fact that the Cherokee name has returned to the lineup

Is It True?
By 2040, 75 percent of the vehicles on the road will be self-driving says www.autoinsurance.us via other sources? And that 43.9 percent felt more at risk riding in an autonomous car? And that women in every age bracket said safety was why they wouldn’t buy one?

Chevy hit a global record when it sold 2.5 million vehicles in the first six months of 2013?

And speaking of Chevy, are more people convinced the new Canyon/GMC Colorado will get a wee diesel? And a wee four-banger gas mill?

The new ’14 Jeep Cherokee will start at $24,995 for the Sport 4x4?

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor
Party like it’s 1989! This truck screams ’80s, so when you hear Ford is calling it a “sport truck,” you’ll probably understand that appearance. The Ford F-150 Tremor has the 3.5L EcoBoost, 4.10 rear axle ratio (for mega-launch, and also the shortest final drive ratio on an EcoBoost-equipped light-duty Ford), and FX Appearance Package, which as you can tell makes the truck more legwarmers-centric. This package includes 20-inch rims and bodyside graphics. Rumor has it a 4x4 version is coming.

Your Government At Work
The East Bay Regional Park District Board in California is trying to ban OHV use at the Carnegie SVRA.

As we went to press, the California Department of Parks and Recreation had yet to respond to a lawsuit that would prevent off-road open riding at Ocotillo Wells in California.

The legislation in Oregon that would have eliminated the requirement that ethanol be blended in gasoline died. The law is that it contains 10 percent ethanol by volume. The issue is the inability to get unblended fuel for engines that shouldn’t have ethanol.

What’s Happening In The Industry
Miller is holding the We Build campaign through December 31. Go to www.millerwelds.com and take part in the Build & Win deal, which allows you to share your projects and possibly win prizes and a big ol’ trip to NYC.

BFGoodrich did a survey in order to create its Adrenaline Index and discovered the most thrill-seeking city in the U.S. Did yours win? Well, did you thrill today? If not, then yours probably didn’t. The Adrenaline Index ranked based on adventurous outings or activities with an adrenaline edge, like bungee jumping and four-wheeling. Chicago ranked first. The top five also featured New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Orlando.

Go to www.discounthydraulichose.com. You’ll not only find hose crimpers, but also video to see how easily they work to crimp a hose, and you can also buy hoses—by the foot or the reel. The site also has a thread ID guide so that you can sort out crimped fittings, and there are reference charts for troubleshooting problems.

Headline we can’t un-see, headline we don’t understand, headline that’s mighty embarrassing: “Nickelodeon and Toyota create SpongeBob Squarepants-inspired 2014 Toyota Highlander.”

See that black Ram 1500 over there? It might be the new Black Express if it has an all-black exterior, complete with 20-inch black wheels, black fascia, no body badging…and pricing that starts at $26,955.

What Has Been Your Least Favorite Building/Design/Engineering/ Whatever Trend in TTC History?
What Top Truck Challenge trend have you always hated and hope never comes back? Come on over to Four Wheeler’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fourwheelermag) and tell us! Here’s our worst:

Brubaker: Tractor tires. Look, I know they work well in many off-road situations. I live in a farming area and we have ’em on all our tractors. But seeing tractor tires on a 4x4 always confuses me. I’d be just as confused if my father-in-law or brother-in-law put a set of 54-inch Boggers or Baja Claw TTCs on his tractor.

Cappa: That’s easy, the trend that moved toward a straight-tube buggy with no body panels. The first buggies that entered TTC in the ’90s had well-thought-out body panels. Then as time went on more people didn’t see a need to add body panels, or if they added them the workmanship was poor. I like to see a recognizable vehicle brand and I think most readers do, too. Although, I think tire size has gotten a bit out of hand as well. The 54-inch tires really help in some TTC events, but they put a lot of stress on drivetrain parts. I think you could win TTC with a good winch-monkey/spotter and 40-inch tires. I hope someone tries it next year.

Mansour: It’s difficult for me to point to one least favorite trend, as some vehicles or setups which I might not care for often work well at TTC. I’ve never been a big tube-buggy enthusiast, but some of the craftsmanship in the custom jungle gyms is downright impressive. I firmly believe that we should have incorporated the rule set that we have now much sooner. This is not to say that the progression of TTC hasn’t been fun to watch and the rigs involved haven’t been top notch, but more so, I think the event strayed too far away from its roots. I grew up wheeling fullsize trucks and full-bodied rigs. Long before I was a professional wordsmith, I was an enthusiast and Four Wheeler reader. I used to look forward to watching the TTC VHS and DVDs, as many of the rigs were something I could relate to. I believe we have TTC back on track and the progression is still there. This year shook things up and the next few years will likely create new trends as people will push and bend the rules as much as they can to participate in one of the nation’s oldest and most well-known 4x4 competitions.

Free Dickies!
We know project vehicles rarely look the same way they did at the start of the build. After all, a huge part of our hobby is modifying our rigs to make them work better for our needs. Heck, sometimes the rigs are nearly unrecognizable, as years of use (and abuse) can turn a car-show-condition four-wheel drive into a battered war wagon. And how about those barn-find beaters that begin as a rusty relic and evolve in to an ultra-clean machine? We know that many of you have great before and after shots of your rides and we want to see them! To give you a little incentive for sending in your before and after photos, we have teamed up with Dickies for a giveaway!

First, Second, and Third Place will all receive some Dickies gear, along with a little swag from the crew at Four Wheeler. To submit your ride, simply send a high-resolution before and after photo (at least 1600x1200 or 2MB) to ali.mansour@sorc.com with the title Before After Contest. Be sure to include as much information as possible about the vehicle and a little history on how and why the transition took place. Don’t worry if your beater still looks like a beater, this isn’t a beauty contest.

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