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 […]
2077 total views, 0 today
While Tesla may have cars that perform like they’re from the future, whenever I think about the look of a future car I think of the Audi R8. Audi Sport GmbH’s 2-door roadster sports car has sleek lines, a simple design, and plenty of power. The longitudinal mid-engine and quattro permanent all-wheel drive only add to the futuristic features of the Audi R8.
Manufactured since 2006, the Audi R8’s aluminum monocoque (or put more simply, the “skin” of the sports car) and space frame (meaning the truss-like structure, which is configured in a geometric pattern) also do splendid job of making the vehicle appear as if it has arrived from a time not yet realized. It is also the first production vehicle to utilize full LED headlamps.
The Audi R8 was announced in 2005, after the concept car, the Audi Les Mans quattro concept, made appearances at both the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show and the 2003 Geneva International Motor Show. This is not to be confused with the racing car, the R8 Le Mans Prototype.
To make an Audi R8, the factory in Neckarsulm relies on less than one hundred workers and ninety-five lasers, which together put out anywhere from eight to twenty-nine cars a day. After the final 5-second laser inspection okays the vehicle, it can be sent to dealerships in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the U.S.
There are several variations on the Audi R8, including but not limited to the R8 Spyder (which had the feature of a retractable cloth roof), the R8 e-tron (the electric version of the Audi R8 which is slightly smaller than the original), the R8 GT (this version weighed less than the original and had more engine power, meaning it could reach speeds of up to 199 mph), the R8 Grand-Am (a racecar version that debuted in Daytona in 2012), and a police car version.
Since the Audi R8 is a mid-engine vehicle, it comes with wider tires on the back axle, either 18 or 19 inches, and they come from either Continental or Pirelli. It is also interesting to note that the R8 uses LED lighting for the daytime running lamps, or DRLs. This dedication to using advanced technology, slick design, and quality materials have made it a popular car ever since it appeared in 2006.
It has won multiple awards, including “Best Handling Car” and “Fastest Car In The World” (Autocar, Fifth Gear) and “Car of the Year” (Autobild, Automobile Magazine, MSN, and European Car), in 2006, 2007, and 2008. It was even awarded the “Classic Car of the Future” prize by Motor Klassik.
If you have any remaining doubt as to the car’s future potential, the R8 e-tron was launched using a PS3 game called Vertical Run, in which players had to collect electric energy and avoid crashes to reach top speeds. In 2014, the Twitter campaign #WantAnR8 collected footage of virtual test drives to create an advertisement along with several recording artists. With the R8’s presence in game shows, video games, social media, and racing, its impact on the world will only become more marked as time goes on.
881 total views, 0 today
When you think of motorhomes and coaches, what do you think of? Do they all tend to run together, white or cream or brown motorhome one after the other, so similar in size, shape, and style that they’re more boring than bold? Well if you think all motorhomes are this way, you’re in for a surprise. The Renegade RV is meant to impress, to stun, to wow with its like-no-other presentation. Even one look at their website will start you on your way to dreaming about owning one.
What makes Renegade RVs different? It starts with the chassis. The Renegade RVs are all built using Class C chassis from the best, including the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and diesel chassis from companies like Navistar, Volvo, and Freightliner. Along with the highest quality chassis, the Renegade offers twin screw tandem axles on select RVs, which are rare enough in the industry to deserve a special mention. There are regular tag axles in some of the products, but the twin screw tandem axles make for added stability and traction.
Renegade also prides itself on offering luxury seating, like the air ride cab seats (also available for select models). You can adjust the seats to your liking, whether you want firmness or a more gentle ride. There is also lumbar support available, making this seating one of the most comfortable you’ll find in an RV. There’s also a heated seat option if you’re going to be traveling in cold weather.
Another unique feature of the Renegade RV is that it comes with two-piece caps, unlike other RVs that traditionally come with a one-cap piece. The two-piece caps enable an easier removal of the lower portion when replacements are needed. Renegade RV prides itself on its innovation, dedication to providing quality products, and its cutting edge construction procedures, and this feature, along with the aforementioned options, make this RV a strong contender.
If you’re not as interested in the outside as what’s on the inside, Renegade RV also promises quality materials are installed inside the RV, including noise-isolating floors, an attic space without compromising roof heights (allowing for a solid top, which is also the industry’s tallest interior), and one-piece sidewalls reinforced with wood and filled with insulation. This allows for the ultimate in floor-plan customization, as windows and cabinets can be placed anywhere. If that doesn’t convince you, their hardwood cabinetry and doors with articulating door hinges might help seal the deal.
The Renegade IKON is the largest model available, but there are several others that combine both luxury and exceptional quality, such as the XL, Verona and Verona LE, Valencia, Vienna, and Villagio, all of which range in price between $118,000 to $735,000. If you’re in the market for a stacker trailer, Renegade RV also has several models available, each created to meet a client’s individual needs. Whether you need one constructed for your antique roadster, race car, or other, smaller vehicles, you can customize your stacker trailer by choosing aluminum or steel, tag, v-nose, or gooseneck configurations, a lift gate or a hydraulic ramp door, and the exact length you need. Whether you want an attachable trailer or an RV that meets your specifications precisely, you’ll want to visit Renegade RVs and see what they can offer you.
1596 total views, 1 today
If you’re interested in the future, concerned about the environment, or look forward to new technology, you’ve probably heard of Elon Musk and Tesla. The electric car company’s Tesla S, introduced in 2012, is still on the cutting edge of electric vehicle technology, with the added bonus of earning the highest score possible for automobile safety (a 5.0 from the NHTSA).
The Tesla S 100D also has the distinction of attaining the highest EPA range of any electric car, averaging 341 miles between charges. It also became the first electric vehicle to reach the top of the charts in new car sales, doing so in Norway and Denmark. Though the U.S. makes up 57% of its market, the Tesla S, Asia, Europe, and Canada have all contributed to the growing popularity of this model.
After the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla S is the most sold electric car in history, and is the recipient of such awards as the 2012 Time Magazine’s 25 Inventions of the Year and Consumer Reports’ Road Testing, the 2013 World Green Car of the Year, Automobile’s Car of the Year, Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, and the 2015 Car & Driver’s Car of the Century Award.
So what’s all the fuss about? What does the Tesla S have that other electric cars lack? Perhaps its full-sized status as a five-door luxury liftback, rear-motor, rear-wheel drive, and various version (based on battery size, motor size, and equipment), and its electric powertrain (designed specifically as an electric powertrain, not merely switched with an internal combustion engine) make it an excellent investment.
With Supercharger stations popping up in the U.S. and Europe, the car is able to drive longer distances without causing the driver anxiety about being able to get home without a charge. In 2016, most American states have Supercharger stations, and it is expected that this will continue until they are plentiful enough to supply more drivers with the capability of driving an electric car.
There is also the controversial, limited autopilot feature (installed in the Tesla S since 2014), which includes a camera, radar, and ultrasonic acoustic location sensors, all of which provide a complete buffer around the entire vehicle. The wireless technology allows for limited self-driving and parking capabilities, and paris with the adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning to reduce car crashes by 40%.
Though the first fatal crash instigated a lot of talk about autopilot technology, it was determined that the driver was at fault, not the technology. Although the technology has not advanced to the point of a completely self-driving car (which Elon Musk states is because of software limitations and requires a narrow, advanced AI to be developed), the Tesla S is about as far into the future as we can go at this point.
With as much pollution and environmental health hazards as we are faced with today, the purchase of a Tesla S begins to make a lot of sense. The kinks are being worked out, so to speak, and the price will continue to lower, making it more and more affordable to those of us who do not make six figures a year. Of course, if Elon Musk has anything to do with the future of Tesla, we can look forward to even more radical vehicles in the future.
345 total views, 1 today
Over 100 years ago, two companies called Vabis and Scania joined forces to become a European powerhouse, delivering trucks, special vehicles, and buses to Europe. With production facilities in South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, and over 40,000 employees, Scania AB is widely recognized as the premier European distributor of class 8 vehicles.
What began as two separate companies (one was involved in railroads while the other was in the bicycle industry) merged into one in 1911, and quickly became involved in the luxury car business, including a 1920 model that included a top hat holder. Sports cars were also a popular project, though as interest waned, the company feared they were on the brink of disaster.
During the First World War, Scania AB became focused on providing the Swedish Army with vehicles, revamping its facilities in order to do so. This led to the decision to solely produce large vehicles, which almost caused the disaster they had so feared previously. With some help from a banking family and a subsidiary in Denmark, however, Scania AB began to rise.
The Second World War provided another opportunity for the production of military vehicles, but after the war was over, Scania was able to hold on to their experience without losing finances. They instead became competitive with Volvo, branching out into jeeps and trucks. Exporting became a more serious business at this juncture, about half of Scania’s sales.
Throughout the years, Scania has been sought after by several other companies, including Volvo and MAN, but Volkswagen was the eventual winner, holding 100% of the company’s shares by 2015. In September 2017, Scania was fined over 800 million euros for participating in fixing prices with other members of the automotive industry (including Volvo/Renault, Daimler, MAN, DAF and Iveco) for the last 14 years.
Despite this scandal, Scania’s long history stands in good stead, and it continues to produce and sell trucks, special vehicles, and buses commercially. Their line of trucks include the P-Series (construction, distribution, and transportation uses), the G-Series (construction and long haul applications), the R-Series (Which won both the 2005 and 2010 International Truck of the Year award and is available for long haul use), and the S-Series (which is notable for being the highest cab ever constructed by the company).
Chassis production is also a large part of Scania’s work, mostly for coaches and buses used in cities, though there are complete buses put together for use in Scandinavia, including the Citywide, Interlink, Metrolink, OmniExpress, and Touring buses. Scania also produces engines for marine use as well as industrial jobs, such as moving large amounts of dirt and agricultural tasks. Branching out from engines, chassis, buses, trucks, and coaches, Scania has also produced a line of clothing specifically for truckers who utilize their vehicles, called Scania Truck Gear.
If you’re ever in Sweden, you can see some of the Scania vehicles in the Marcus Wallenberg-hallen. Scania also has a concept car named the Scania Torped, which sports an environmentally-friendly eco-diesel V8 engine. Designed by Louise Temin, the Torped is a two-seat roadster with some similarities to the Dodge Viper. Whether Scania decides to explore more car production in the future, it will most likely continue to largely manufacture class 8 vehicles that will be used worldwide.
5558 total views, 6 today
Is there another vehicle that can go from blue-collar work to white-collar work and maintain its credibility as a working vehicle? Maybe, maybe not. But the Chevrolet Kodiak has and will continue to serve in multiple capacities as a medium duty truck, whether it’s used as a crew transport, a school bus, or carrying the President of the United States.
The Cadillac One, an armored vehicle which carried President Barack Obama to and from events starting in 2009, is not strictly a Cadillac. A combination of several vehicles (the exact plans of which are classified information), the Cadillac One rests on a Chevrolet Kodiak chassis, which was then covered by a Cadillac Escalade and other various and sundry vehicle parts.
Carrying the President of the United States is an enormous responsibility, as is another of the Chevrolet Kodiak’s jobs, as a schoolbus. Notably, the Chevrolet Kodiak was one of the last few medium-duty trucks to retain a gasoline engine. While the schoolbus venture was ended in 2002, the Chevrolet Kodiak became a popular choice for another industry as a conversion pick-up, the Ultimate Class IV TopKick Pickup, which was chosen to star in a film, as Ironhide’s alternate mode in the first three films in the Transformers franchise.
The Chevrolet Kodiak, also known as the GMC TopKick, arrived on the scene in 1980 as a front-engine, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, medium duty truck. It was manufactured in Canada (Quebec), the U.S. (Michigan and Wisconsin), Mexico (Toluca), Colombia (Bogota), Venezuela (Tejerias), and Brazil (Sao Jose dos Campos). They were sold primarily as cargo haulers, dump trucks, and work trucks, all of which required a large towing capacity as well as medium duty torque.
Available as a two-door or a four-door, the first generation of the Chevrolet Kodiak had a mid-range diesel engine, a larger hood than the C/K, a heavier GVWR, and a larger grille. Though it was not as large as the Chevrolet Bruin/GMC Brigadier, it still managed to be put in the 5-7 class. Like its counterparts the Bison and Bruin, the Chevrolet Kodiak was named after a large beast (a bear in this case), and given a military slang nickname (the Topkick, like the Brigadier). It was available as a gasoline or diesel vehicle.
In 2003, a variant of the Chevrolet Kodiak was sold primarily as a vocational truck under the Isuzu brand. The Isuzu H-Series, as it was called, came equipped with a 7.8L inline-six, was was largely used outside of North America. It should be noted that this was the first conventional vehicle to be sold by Isuzu.
Though there was talk in 2007 of Navistar International taking over the production of the Chevrolet Kodiak, an agreement was never reached and instead the vehicle was discontinued in 2009, after almost 30 years on the road. However, this year, it was revealed that the Kodiak (under the new name of the Silverado 4500 and 5500) will re-enter the workforce in 2018, after nearly 10 years in retirement. They will all come equipped with diesel engines and Allison transmissions. We’re glad to have you back, Kodiak.
16491 total views, 20 today
Can you name another vehicle that has been embroiled in politics for over fifty years? The Volkswagen Bus, also called the “minibus”, the “hippie van”, and the “VW Bus”, has, oddly enough, been part of The Chicken War since 1964. You think I’m joking? Keep reading.
The Chicken War began in 1964, when President Lyndon B. Johnson imposed a 25% tax on various models of the Volkswagen Bus. Why? At first it appeared that France and Germany’s tariff on chicken imported from the U.S. was to blame, but it was later revealed that instead of retaliating against Europe’s tariffs, President Johnson wanted to prevent the United Auto Workers from striking. The UAW pressed the President to do something about the large amount of automobiles arriving in the United States via Germany.
The Chicken Tax came into effect shortly after, and is still, in 2017, going strong. After 1971, the market appeared to dry up and light trucks and vans were no longer imported from Germany to the U.S. If you manage to find a Volkswagen that arrived pre-1971, it most likely has all its legal documents in order and has had a tariff paid.
Of course, people still love the VW Bus, and it is known all around the world by a variety of nicknames, including Bulli (Germany), Combi (Mexico), Breadloaf (Portugal), Rye Bread (Denmark), and the Volksie Bus (South Africa). With fans on nearly every continent, the Volkswagen Bus has maintained its loyal following because of its unique look, its varied uses (tour buses in the Alps, taxis in Peru, family camper vans in the U.S. and Australia, etc.), and now, its nostalgic credentials.
When the Volkswagen first arrived on the market, it was a light commercial vehicle with an RR layout. It was available as a pick-up, van, commercial vehicle, and camper, and later ambulances, hearses, fire engines, police vans, rail-going draisines, and even ice cream vans. It was produced in Germany, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia, competing with several American, European, and Japanese vehicles, such as the Ford Econoline, Citroen H, and the Nissan Caravan.
Though the Volkswagen Type 2 was used as a commercial vehicle, most people have seen it utilized as a family camper van, such as the Westfalia conversion, but what you may not know is that there were deluxe versions of the Type 2, such as the Sunroof Deluxe, which sports a total of 23 windows, several of which were on the roof, hence its title of “Sunroof Deluxe”. The two-tone luxury camper vehicle had two pivoting doors and was painted in a two-tone scheme. Though the original purpose was as a touring bus in the Alps, it was used in a myriad of settings in the U.S. and Europe, though its run was tragically short-lived.
The Volkswagen Bus (Type 2) was discontinued in 2013, after heightened safety regulations made it impossible for the Brazilian factories to stay open. It was truly the end of an era, but not the end of the Volkswagen Bus, which was succeeded by the T3. With many people returning to the past, reliving the glory days and indulging in nostalgia, I would not be surprised if there were a reintroduction to the design at some point in the near future.
4991 total views, 2 today
What do the Chevrolet Kodiack/GMC Topkick, the Ford E-Series and F-Series, the GMC 4500 and 5500 and the Ram 4500 and 5500 all have in common? They’re super trucks — a range of medium-duty trucks that comprise classes 4-6 of the US GWVR.
GWVR stands for Gross Weight Vehicle Rating and is a scale of 1-8. The duty rating is provided by the Department of Transportations Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA. As the size of trucks have increased, these ratings are less accurate and used more as comparison numbers. In Canada and UK, however, other ratings systems are used in various provinces to provide more accuracy.
While there are numerous other super trucks around the world, this article will focus on the American versions and what each of them has to offer the North American market. There are specific models, such as the Ford F-650, and then there are lines of trucks, such as the Chevrolet Kodiak/GMC Topkick.
The Ford E-Series are full-size vans that have been around for over five decades. They’re second in popularity with Ford’s customers only to the Ford F-Series. The E-Series, or “Econline” was retired in 2014, but had the distinction of being the best-selling full-size van for over thirty years. A three-door van (with a few other options like a two-door truck or 4-door van) with a V8 engine and automatic transmission, the E-Series vehicle was the first full-size van to offer a driver’s side airbag.
The Ford F-Series, also known as the “Super Duty” line of vehicles, is a two-door or four-door truck with manual or automatic transmission and a gas or diesel engine. It’s still in production today, with manufacturing plants in Kentucky and Ohio. The F-Series is notable for its use as an armored car such as the Conquest Knight IV and the Didgori-2. The armored car versions are used by military and police as well as civilians.
Chevrolet and GMC have also produced their own medium-duty trucks (including the GMC 4500 and 5500) under the Kodiak/Topkick name. They were available as pickups, dump trucks, cargo haulers, and the like, for a range of businesses. Other companies provided conversion packages to amp up the already massive truck.
The Ram 4500 and 5500 are similar, a range of full-size trucks that has been available since the early 1980’s. They’re still in production in the U.S. and Mexico, available as a front-engine, rear-wheel drive vehicle. The Ram series has been awarded the Truck of the Year award from Motor Trends for five years between 1994 and 2014.
In 2014, super trucks also began racing street circuits as part of the Speed Energy Formula Off-Road presented by Traxxas started by NASCAR’s Robbie Gordon. All trucks must be fitted with Toyo Tires (approved by the Department of Transportation). While they are allowed to make small changes to the vehicles, they are made identical so as to prevent teams from being able to spend more money than their counterparts. If you’re interested in seeing the super trucks in action, you can watch clips on YouTube or watch events on NBC.
13 total views, 2 today
Between the years 1995 and 2005, the Chevy Astro Van (also called the GMC Safari) carried passengers and cargo all around the U.S., often competing for work against minivans like the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, as well as vehicles like the Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot, though it carries 8 passengers, placing it between the minivan and the full-size van.
Assembled in the Baltimore Assembly plant in Maryland for the entirety of its production run, the Chevy Astro Van was a 3-door, front engine, rear wheel/all wheel drive vehicle. It came with a 4-speed automatic, 4-speed manual, or 5-speed automatic transmission. In 1990, the Chevy Astro was the first mini-van in the United States to begin using all wheel drive, and though it provided better handling, there was a loss in fuel economy (17 mpg as opposed to 20 or 21 mpg that the rear-wheel drive option received).
Later on it was produced with multi-point fuel injection, a HydroBoost hydraulic assist brake booster, and anti-lock control. The Chevy Astros that came with fabric seats were also protected by Scotchguard, and the air conditioning system was made CFC-free. In addition to the original color choices, in 1994 three more options became available: Indigo Blue Metallic, Light Quasar Blue Metallic, and Medium Quasar Blue Metallic.
From 1985 to 1994, the first generation of the Chevy Astro Van had either a 2.5L Tech IV I4 engine (98 hp), or a 4.3L 4300 V6 engine (165 or 200 hp) with a wheelbase of 111 inches. It measured between 176.8 to 187.9 inches long. The second generation Chevy Astro had a 4.3L V6 engine (190 hp), with a wheelbase between 111 and 111.2. It measured 189.8 inches long.
With the size of the Chevy Astro, and its rear-wheel drive capabilities, it became a popular option, especially in the late 80’s, for families who wanted to tow their camper to a favorite weekend vacation spot. It was capable of towing around 5,000 lbs, which meant loading up with a camper, equipment, supplies, and a few extra people was easy. The all-wheel drive option meant it could be driven even in extreme weather conditions, although of course that meant more regular visits to the gas station. Families weren’t the only ones to flock to the Chevy Astro, as many companies purchased the commercial version for towing and toting large amounts of merchandise.
While the Chevy Astro did not perform well in the initial highway testing (the structural failure resulted in a broken leg for the crash dummy), it managed to dramatically improve its rating over the years until it received a 3-and-4 star (driver and passenger, respectively) rating. It received a 5-star rating every year for its side impact safety. In 2007, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety disclosed that between the years of 2002 and 2005, the Chevy Astro had the least amount of killed drivers in passenger vehicles in the United States.
After twenty years of being on the road, the Chevy Astro Van was retired and succeeded by the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and the Chevrolet City Express.
4596 total views, 2 today