Genuine M151A2 Military Surplus JeepHere's something you can't pass up-a kit for building a Growler UV100 series vehicle based on the M151 military 11/44-ton military truck. A company called Carolina Growler got its hands on a ton of surplus components, then combined them with a replacement body. Ta-da! The Growler UV100 series was born. The vehicles are ready for everything from rocky roads to slick streets. In fact, the Growler series originated for the international market, and the company says that it has sold about 1,000 kits to such countries as Poland, Algeria, and Pakistan.
The kit comes with a complete set of components, a new 12-gauge steel unitized frame/body packaged with all the nuts, bolts, and washers required to build your own M151A2. In fact, all of the mounting brackets are welded to the frame, so your work is bolt-on. Need even more info to be convinced? The Growler kit also includes a U.S. military-spec 2.3L inline-four engine, a 24-volt ignition system, a transmission, differentials, five unidirectional military tires and rims, lights, windshield wipers, a fuel tank, a new exhaust system and muffler, a complete brake system with shoes and drums, two new 12-volt batteries, a new electrical wiring harness, and gauges. Again, those are all part of the standard kit. Options include a new radiator, a fording kit, a heater, a 12-volt conversion kit, a new top, a rollbar, and a rear seat and upholstery. Need to know the maximum operating speeds? First Gear is 11 mph; Second is 21 mph; Third, 40 mph; Fourth, 65 mph; and Reverse is 9 mph.
The kit is said to be so easy to assemble, you can do it with regular old handtools, although the toughest task will be having to roll the body onto its side to mount the suspension, and installing the engine and the transmission will require about three other sets of hands or an engine hoist.
For more information, contact Carolina Growlers at 877/M151KIT (615-1548), www.carolinagrowler.com.
Campfire TalkCould a pickup be in Honda's future? Funny we should ask: We're hearing Tundra-sized and V-8'd. There's talk that Mercedes-Benz might offer a fullsize pickup with four doors and a V-8 for the '03 model year. Could it be that this untitled Benz and the concept Dodge Power Wagon will share a platform if they make it into production?
The redesigned Chevy S-10 will likely borrow styling cues from the all-new '01 Avalanche sport/ute and have three new engines, including a V-8 from the Silverado.
The return of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer is thought to be a dead idea. Instead, a fullsize SUV could come from DaimlerChrysler with Dodge badging, based on the next-gen Ram platform and with a V-10. There's a hot vehicle in Russia-the armored Lada from Bronto. Turns out most of us in the building were wrong: Home-run hero Hank Aaron is alive and well and president of the brand-new Hank Aaron BMW in Union City, Georgia. It's the first new BMW franchise to open in seven years, and the first one ever in south Atlanta. Forget road rage-parking rage is now, well, all the rage. Things are turning violent when it comes to parking spaces in such places as malls and grocery stores. Holley has purchased Flowtech Exhaust Systems. Detroit Diesel and Hyundai are getting it on-they'll collaborate on two new diesel engines. DaimlerChrysler is eyeballing Nissan Diesel, the Japanese truck maker. The Insurance Information Network of California is asking people who are brand-new owners of an SUV, and particularly ones making the leap from driving small cars, to spend a lot of time behind the wheel getting comfortable and familiar with their trucks before heading for the busy highways. Next year's GM cars will feature voice-activated Internet service.
Buick is rolling out a minivan-based sport/ute called Rendezvous. Hey, we never talk about motorhomes, so here goes: In 1999, Class A deliveries to dealers were up more than 15 percent from the previous year.