The Truth About Cars » AM General http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 22:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » AM General http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Back Home Again In Indiana: Mercedes-Benz To Move R-Class Production To Its Old U. S. Hometown http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/back-home-indiana-mercedes-benz-move-r-class-production-old-u-s-hometown/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/back-home-indiana-mercedes-benz-move-r-class-production-old-u-s-hometown/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:13:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=989242 As a tyke growing up in South Bend, Indiana, my father and I would often stake out the lots behind the Studebaker factories with hopes of spotting the next generation Avanti or Lark. Too often all we spied were rows of Mercedes-Benz automobiles due to the fact that Studebaker was the U.S. distributor for the German brand up […]

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mercedes-benz-r-class-courtesy carnewschina.com

As a tyke growing up in South Bend, Indiana, my father and I would often stake out the lots behind the Studebaker factories with hopes of spotting the next generation Avanti or Lark. Too often all we spied were rows of Mercedes-Benz automobiles due to the fact that Studebaker was the U.S. distributor for the German brand up until shortly before the closure of their South Bend operations in 1963.

Yesterday it was announced that Mercedes-Benz was returning to South Bend to build the R-Class crossover at the AM General plant, producer of the military Humvee and the late GM Hummer. Mercedes-Benz once moved their headquarters from South Bend to New Jersey and soon to the South (Atlanta) and now R-Class production is moving from the South (Alabama) to South Bend. Got it?

Slow sales of the R-Class in the U.S caused Mercedes-Benz to stop offering it here in 2012 but they continued to assemble the crossover in their Vance, Alabama plant for export to China. The cavernous R-Class is naturally a great fit for chauffeur-driven Chinese consumers.

Demand for Mercedes SUVs has put a strain on their Alabama factory so the automaker chose the AM General plant to build up to 10,000 R-Classes annually beginning this summer. The facility is also located a few miles from Elkhart, Indiana and its dozens of recreational vehicle factories so an experienced assembly-line talent pool is readily available. It took the UAW about 20 seconds after the Benz press release to announce that the AM General plant is already under their control, leaving the Alabama facility as the only non-union Mercedes-Benz factory in the world.

The only remaining question is: if Benz brings back the high-performance R63, will its AMG tag now stand now for AM General?

 

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US Army Makes $744K In First-Ever Public Humvee Auction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/us-army-makes-744k-first-ever-public-humvee-auction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/us-army-makes-744k-first-ever-public-humvee-auction/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=962818 Forget Panthers: Humvees are the new hotness, as so demonstrated when the United States Army held its first-ever public auction for a surplus of the iconic military vehicle. Military.com reports a total of 25 vehicles were auctioned on behalf of the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, with $744,000 brought in for the trouble. Bidding for each […]

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Humvee

Forget Panthers: Humvees are the new hotness, as so demonstrated when the United States Army held its first-ever public auction for a surplus of the iconic military vehicle.

Military.com reports a total of 25 vehicles were auctioned on behalf of the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, with $744,000 brought in for the trouble.

Bidding for each vehicle began at $10,000, but it didn’t last long at that level; the average winning bid came in at $30,000. The lowest bid was $21,500 for a 1989 model, while the highest was $41,000 for one made in 1994.

That said, the vehicles won’t be hitting the highway any time soon, as the vehicles were sold with the caveat that they would be limited to off-road purposes. Another auction is expected in January, with more likely to follow; the DLA has 4,000 Humvees gathering dust at present.

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Junkyard Find: 1974 AM General FJ-8A Ice Cream Truck http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1974-am-general-fj-8a-ice-cream-truck/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1974-am-general-fj-8a-ice-cream-truck/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=706234 We see quite a few AM General DJ-5 mail Jeeps in this series, but what about all the big FJ-series mail trucks built by AMC with help from its Overland-Willys-Kaiser ancestry? For that, I had to venture to Southern California. Most of those 1970s FJ-8s seem to have become more or less sketchy ice cream […]

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21 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWe see quite a few AM General DJ-5 mail Jeeps in this series, but what about all the big FJ-series mail trucks built by AMC with help from its Overland-Willys-Kaiser ancestry? For that, I had to venture to Southern California. Most of those 1970s FJ-8s seem to have become more or less sketchy ice cream trucks, and it’s hard to find a creepier Junkyard Find than a dead ice cream truck.
BoogieManIceCream-1280px-4The ice cream trucks that aren’t in the junkyard yet can also be pretty scary. Here’s the “Boogie Man Ice Cream” truck, which I spotted on San Leandro Street in East Oakland a few years back. For the full effect, you’ll need to download some authentic ice cream truck music files.
18 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s hard to beat this seat for simplicity.
05 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinJust a big steel box with an engine, a seat… and ptomaine.
14 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI’m sure this truck distributed many a stale Choco Taco in its day.
11 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe newest Long Beach food-vendor license seems to be 2005.
02 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinAm I looking at this wrong, or is this AMC six installed backwards?

01 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1974 AM General FJ-81 Ice Cream Truck Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1971 AM General DJ-5B Mail Jeep http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1971-am-general-dj-5b-mail-jeep/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1971-am-general-dj-5b-mail-jeep/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=499578 Some say the huge US Postal Service contract to buy Jeep DJs saved AMC (well, postponed AMC’s final downward spiral by a decade or so), and everyone will agree that vast quantities of USPS-surplus Mail Jeeps gave cheapskate Americans low-cost steel boxes to drive for the last few decades. These things must have been extremely […]

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12 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSome say the huge US Postal Service contract to buy Jeep DJs saved AMC (well, postponed AMC’s final downward spiral by a decade or so), and everyone will agree that vast quantities of USPS-surplus Mail Jeeps gave cheapskate Americans low-cost steel boxes to drive for the last few decades. These things must have been extremely popular in Colorado, because I see them all the time in Denver-area wrecking yards; in this series, we’ve had this Chevy-powered ’68, this Audi-powered ’79, this AMC six-powered ’72, this GM Iron Duke-powered ’82, and now today’s AMC-powered ’71.
07 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere wasn’t much to go wrong with these things, which were rear-wheel-drive automatics with right-hand drive and enough bodywork to keep most of the rain off the mail.
01 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDid AM General use Dymo embossing label-makers for DJ-5 controls? Just about every one I’ve seen has these.
08 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe good old 232-cubic-inch AMC L6 got the job done.

01 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1979 AM General DJ-5G Jeep, With Factory Audi Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1979-am-general-dj-5g-with-factory-audi-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1979-am-general-dj-5g-with-factory-audi-power/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2013 14:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=474678 Even though the DJ Jeep was two-wheel-drive, Coloradans must really love them. I see DJ-5 “Mail Jeeps” in Denver-area wrecking yards all the time (for example, this ’82 and this ’72). I’ve mostly stopped photographing them for this series, because how much can anyone say about the steel box on wheels that delivered our mail […]

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Even though the DJ Jeep was two-wheel-drive, Coloradans must really love them. I see DJ-5 “Mail Jeeps” in Denver-area wrecking yards all the time (for example, this ’82 and this ’72). I’ve mostly stopped photographing them for this series, because how much can anyone say about the steel box on wheels that delivered our mail for much of the 1970s? However, a Jeep with a factory-installed Audi engine is interesting, so here we go.
You could also get AMC Gremlins and Concords with Audi 2.0 liter engines, which means that Gremlins and Porsche 924s had lots of interchangeable parts (I need to remember this true fact next time I’m yelling at a LeMons miscreant with PCA patches all over his race suit). The one-year-only Audi-engined Jeep may be the rarest of all the Audi-fied AMCS, though.
To go with the mighty 95 horses of the Audi engine, the DJ-5G came with a Chrysler Torqueflite 904 automatic transmission.
As iron became rust in this Jeep, the lost mass was replaced by rodent nests. The interior of Uncle Sam’s former mail sled is very hanta-riffic now!
This dash is probably what Audi Designer Hell looks like.

01 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1982 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1982-am-general-dj-5-mail-jeep/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1982-am-general-dj-5-mail-jeep/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2012 23:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=425211 AMC got a (brief) new lease on life in the early 1980s when the French government, via Renault, invested in the staggering Wisconsin car company. Meanwhile, huge purchases of DJ-5s by the US Postal Service also helped prop up the once-proud automaker. The Postal Jeep was a common sight on American roads (and junkyards) for […]

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AMC got a (brief) new lease on life in the early 1980s when the French government, via Renault, invested in the staggering Wisconsin car company. Meanwhile, huge purchases of DJ-5s by the US Postal Service also helped prop up the once-proud automaker. The Postal Jeep was a common sight on American roads (and junkyards) for a decade or so after the USPS phased it out, but its bouncy-box-on-wheels ride and two-wheel-drive configuration doomed most examples to The Crusher. Here’s one that I spotted in a Denver self-serve yard last week.
You couldn’t get much more spartan than this: a simple body to keep the rain off the mail, a sorting tray instead of a passenger seat, and sliding doors on both sides.
The pushrod Iron Duke engine ruined just about every vehicle it touched, but it’s perfect for the DJ-5. Who cares that it’s noisy and weak? Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could stay the Iron Duke from the swift completion of its appointed rounds!
This former Fedmobile appears to have spent years, or maybe decades, sitting in a field somewhere, and it still has almost all its USPS gear installed. Perhaps it was bought at auction during the late 1980s and then sat, awaiting the Hell Project upgrades that never came.

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