About Wheels List
53 C600 FORD TRUCK READY FOR YOUR RESTORATION OR CONVERSION TO STREET ROD HAULER SHOW TRUCK Someone put a great running 302 in this, still […]
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The DeLorean DMC-12 managed to rise above the rubble and remains to this day as one of the most iconic vehicles of all time, despite its troubled past and low production numbers. While only 9,200 DeLoreans were made in its original run between 1981-1983, the surviving models have been displayed around the world in museums, theme parks, and in films, most notably the Back To The Future trilogy.
The issues surrounding the birth of the DeLorean were many – ranging from untested manufacturing technology to schedule pressures to bankruptcy as the owner of the DeLorean Motor Company was arrested and charged with drug trafficking (while he was found not guilty, the damage had already been done and the company went bankrupt). After production halted, it would take several years for someone to once again take a chance on the brushed steel beauty (Stephen Wynne began assembling the vehicles with remaining parts inventory in 1995, though the replica production has been slowed by legalities).
A unique vehicle due in part to its gull-wing doors (which use cryogenically preset torsion bars and gas-charged struts) and external brushed stainless steel body panels, it should also be noted that it is unique for its rear-mounted engine. These and other changes, such as a right-hand drive option, a “dead” pedal, and hood style re-working were made to the car’s design throughout production.
There are also a few extra-special DeLoreans, such as the three gold-plated vehicles completed as part of a promotion with American Express and Consolidated International (more commonly known as Big Lots).
While you may not be able to see a DeLorean in action, there are a few places where you can marvel at the majesty of these rare vehicles, such as the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, and several museums in California. There are also DeLoreans on display in Japan, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.
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Otherwise known as the Isuzu Bighorn, Acura SLX, Honda Horizon, and HSV Jackaroo, the Isuzu Trooper was produced in Japan, the Phillippines, and Malaysia from 1981-2002 (two generations) as a mid-size SUV with 3-door and 5-door vehicles available along with 4-speed manual and automatic and 5-speed manual options.
Though at the beginning the Trooper was somewhat underpowered for an off road vehicle (with only a four-cylinder motor option and part-time four-wheel drive), it gradually evolved into a more powerful, luxurious vehicle, with a V6 engine, optional two-wheel drive, and power windows.
In certain parts of the world such as Central America, the Isuzu Trooper could be bought as a hard top or with a removable roof. There was also an option for higher wheel clearance and a diesel engine.
The inconsistency in the name was due to marketing the vehicle around the world, where it was known by its various monikers such as the Korando Family (South Korea, Scandanavia, Southeast Asia and South America); the Holden Jackaroo (Australia and New Zealand); and the Opal/Vauxhall Monterey (Europe).
It was entered in motorsports in the early 90’s and won first place in both the 1992 and 1993 Australian Safari, the 1994 Paris-Dakar Rally, and the 1994 Pharaoh’s Rally.
Despite enjoying popularity worldwide, there were some hiccups in the Trooper’s history, such as the rollover controversy instigated by Consumer Reports between the years 1995-1997. Alleging that the Trooper had a tendency to roll, though this was later found to be false by the National Highway Traffic Administration. This caused a drop in sales, and ended with a lawsuit.
The Trooper would be made for a few more years, but its glory days were over. It was later replaced by the Isuzu Ascender and Axiom as well as the Chevrolet Captiva.
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Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1912, the Kenworth corporation produces both medium and heavy-duty class 8 trucks (which includes tractor trailers, dump trucks and semis), along with medium and heavy-duty cabovers which have become popular collector’s items and projects for restoration. The cabover consists of a tractor unit attached by a fifth wheel hitch to one or more semi-trailers to carry freight, with the majority of the weight being borne by the tractor, hence the between a simple truck-and-trailer arrangement.
Truck enthusiasts around the country have taken it upon themselves to restore these beautiful old rigs and share their results in shows and on the road. The beauty is that these vehicles are not reserved for the rich and powerful. These trucks can be useful and beautiful, used and enjoyed by truckers, enthusiasts, and collectors alike.
The most popular cabover models are the K100, K123, and the K200, but despite their popularity, they are a rare sighting on the streets and if you ever get the chance to see one up close, you should take the chance and savor this beautiful old rig.
With Facebook groups, YouTube channels, forums, and entire websites dedicated to the Kenworth cabovers, it seems these rigs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. There are even websites such as the Gillig Transit Coach / Pacific School Coach Online Museum and the American Truck Historical Society who are working to preserve several Kenworth public transit vehicles – and there are plenty of fans willing to dedicate the time and resources to preserve Kenworth’s other notable vehicles, such as the cabovers, both for historical value and for the acknowledgement of how Kenworth has shaped the industry for over 90 years.
The Kenworth brand has remained a name that connotes steady, high-quality products, as evidenced by their complete sweep of the 2007 J.D. Powers Award, specifically for Heavy Duty Truck Product Satisfaction.
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Classified as both a “pony” car and a “muscle” car, the Chevy Camaro’s flexibility has been explored over six generations, despite a few gaps (most notably from 2002-2009) in the production.
Its entrance into the industry in the late 1960’s was shrouded in mystery, including a code name (“panther”), intriguing, enigmatic telegrams, and a press conference that connected fourteen cities in real time via telephone, a feat which had never been done before.
The Camaro’s origin stemmed from the French language, the word “camarade” turning into “camaro”, as the designers wanted something that would call to mind the image of a partnership between driver and vehicle, while still keeping their tie to Chevrolet’s vehicle line which always started with the letter “C” – such as the Corvair (the Camaro’s predecessor), the Chevelle, and the Corvette.
While the Chevy Camaro is primarily known as a “pony” or “muscle” car, this hasn’t prevented it from being a popular choice in the racing world, especially in drag racing and road racing. There’s even a specific Camaro Cup (since the mid 1970’s) in Sweden, and in the U.S., all the Chevrolet NASCAR teams on the Xfinity Series circuit use the Camaro. The Camaro as driven by Bob Jane placed first in both the 1971 and 1972 Australia Touring Car Championship, and was used as a pace car for NASCAR in Indianapolis, Daytona, Watkins Glen, Mosport (Canada), and the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
While the Camaro may not be as flashy or iconic as some other vehicles, it has been part of product placement deals on several media platforms, along with its two most famous appearances, as the car “Bumblebee” in the Transformers film franchise from Michael Bay (both as a 1970’s model and a fifth generation), and on the popular TV show Hawaii 5-0, which is provided with most of their vehicles by Chevrolet.
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What do the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, Chrysler’s Plymouth Barracuda and the Dodge Challenger (specifically the second generation iteration) have in common? Besides all being sports-style coupes with long hoods and short rear decks, and belonging to the “pony” class of American-style cars, they were all inspired (along with the Toyota Celica and the Ford Capri, both imports) by the design of the Ford Mustang, the creator of the “pony” class of American vehicles.
In just six generations, the Ford Mustang has experienced plenty of ups and downs (the most obvious downturn happened after a reimagining of the Mustang as a larger, heavier version of itself during the early 1970’s), but has managed to remain one of the most iconic vehicles in history, as evidenced by its winning the Tiffany Gold Medal for Design in 1965 (making it the first vehicle to do so). The Mustang has also won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award twice, first in 1974 and again in 1994.
Unsurprisingly, the Mustang has been entered in and placed in several races, including the Tour de France (coming in both first and second in 1964), as well as different types of races, including drag racing (John Force became a 14-time champion driving a Mustang), sports car racing (Brandon Davis won the 2009 SCCA Challenge with a Mustang), stock car racing (Carl Edwards won in 2011 on the Texas Motor Speedway), and drifting.
In pop culture, the Mustang’s iconic look has long been a staple of the cool crowd such as James Bond in “Diamonds Are Forever” and Steve McQueen in “Bullitt” and the film “Need for Speed”. Outside of film, the vehicle has been featured in music (Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally”), television (the original “Batman” series), and a documentary (“A Faster Horse”).
If you want to learn more about Mustangs, you can watch “A Faster Horse” (the documentary details the building of the 2015 Mustang) or visit the National Mustang Museum, which was opened in Concord, North Carolina in the summer of 2017. You can also check out a list of the ten most expensive Mustangs sold at auction at Mustang 360.
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The Ford F-Series comes highly recommended – since 1977 it has been the best selling pickup in the U.S. and the overall best-selling vehicle in both the U.S. and Canada since the early 1980’s. With several iterations to choose from (150 to 750, spanning thirteen generations for the 150 type), this light and medium-duty truck has cornered the market and become the go-to vehicle for a myriad of jobs.
The pickup also has a range of special models for those wanting a more unique look or extra features – from the unibody (similar to the Ranchero) to the special edition F-150 Nite, Eddie Bauer and Harley Davidson, to the SVT Lightning, Raptor and F-150 Tremor (high performance versions of the pickup), to the F-150 Platinum (a luxury version), there are plenty of trucks to fit every buyer’s needs and wants, whether they’re looking for a truck in which to go camping, or simply want a sleek looking vehicle with hauling capabilities.
Despite its main designation as a work truck, it has been entered in and won several races, including the San Felipe 250 (winning a total of eight races in the late 90’s to mid 2000’s), the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and the Primm 300 (three times).
Outside the U.S. and Canada, the Ford F-Series (particularly the special editions) enjoy a following in Europe, Australia and China, where they are often added to car enthusiasts’ collections. The pickup is also sold in certain parts of Central and South America, Africa, and several territories and island chains around the world.
Though the Ford F-Series has been reimagined and retooled throughout its generations, it still remains one of the most popular pickup trucks, able to perform a wide variety of jobs due to its rugged durability, while still retaining its image as a powerful, sleek pickup.
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Perhaps one of the most commonly driven cars in the U.S., the Nissan Altima has remained a component of U.S. highways since its conception in 1992, due to its competitive pricing and safety awards. Along with the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, it is one of the most popular mainstream mid-size sedans.
Arriving on the heels of its predecessor, the Nissan Stanza, the Nissan Altima is a U.S.-built vehicle (with production plants in Smyrna, Tennessee as well as Canton, Mississippi) based on the Nissan Bluebird model design. It measures 180 1/2 inches long, about 67 inches wide, and is almost 56 inches tall. It has a 2.4L engine as well as a 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic.
While most of the Nissan Altima’s changes over the years have been various facelifts (including new front grilles, re-designed interiors, and electronic stability control), there have been one or two mechanical issues, specifically for the 2002-2003 Nissan Altima, which experienced problems with catastrophic engine failures due to excessive oil consumption, sometimes in part because of a failed catalytic converter. This, however, was fixed on later models when the real problem became apparent: raising the front mudguards and re-designing the floorboards to protect the metal plates underneath the vehicle.
There are also a few variations on the Nissan Altima, including a Coupe version and a Hybrid option. The hybrid was even used in New York City by the police department for its entire run (2007-2011), while the coupe was revealed at the LA Auto Show in 2006 and began selling in 2008, adding luxuries such as a Bose audio system, a navigation system, and NASA-inspired “zero gravity” front row seating in order to reduce the driver’s muscle fatigue.
You wouldn’t necessarily think of a Nissan Altima when racing or motorsports is mentioned, but the Altima has in fact taken part in several races, including two where it has one, the 2013 and 2016 International V8 Supercars Championship. It has also taken numerous podium finishes in, among other races, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
It also has the distinction of winning the 2002 North American Car of the Year, the 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Highest Front-Impact Crash Safety Rating, and placed as one of the Top Safety Picks of 2017 by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
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The Chevy Impala may not be on many impressive lists concerning unique design, economical considerations, or racetrack records, but it does have a few claims to fame: it’s the best-selling vehicle in the United States, and it’s the car made famous by the longest running science fiction television series in America, “Supernatural”. (Amy Ratcliffe at Nerdist has a fun rundown of her visit to set and seeing the car in person, which you can read about here)
Impalas started rolling off the production line in 1957, and apart from a few hiccups here and there, has maintained a steady output, and in 2014, it was ranked as the most affordable large car in the U.S.
While the Chevy Impala has gone through several changes over the years (both redesigns and parts), ten generations later it still manages to garner recognition, like in 2012 when it became the first American sedan in twenty years to earn a top score (95/100) from Consumer Reports.
Despite its main use as a full-size car for the average consumer, the Chevy Impala has worn plenty of different hats during its entire career, including a brief time on the NASCAR track (mid-2000’s), several appearances on the small screen (most notably on “Supernatural” of course but it can also be seen on “The Following”, “X-Men: Apocalypse”, “Imperium”, “Longmire”, and “Psych”), and as a staple in government fleets.
In 2015, the Chevy Impala became the only full-sized vehicle manufactured in North America that runs on CNG and gasoline, and one of two such bi-fuel vehicles (with the Honda Civic) to be offered to both fleet and retail consumers by a major automaker. It placed as one of the top five finalists in the 2015 Green Car of the Year Awards at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
By Kaitlin Cone
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