The Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country accounted for 49 percent of all minivans sold in America last month – and their year to date sales total isn’t that far off either.
Last weekend, I rode a boxcar to Joliet, Illinois, with the rest of the 24 Hours of LeMons hobos and helped put on the third annual American Irony race. Traditionally, the justices of the LeMons Supreme Court travel around race-track grounds in some sort of Judgemobile appropriate to our exalted station, and this time we had the use of what turned out to be one of the greatest motor vehicles in the entire world: a 2008 Piaggio Ape (pronounced “ah-peh”) 50 Europe with just 21 miles on the clock. (Read More…)
After yesterday’s 1972 Dodge Tradesman van, we might as well stick with Dodge trucks of the Nixon Era for another day. Big simple pickups remain relevant long after their car counterparts get discarded, but sooner or later every 11-miles-per-gallon old work truck develops some expensive problem and becomes worth more as scrap than as a vehicle. This Dodge held on for 41 years before washing up in this San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard. (Read More…)
Ford Ranger. Volkswagen Amarok. Toyota Hilux. Chevrolet…err…Holden Colorado. These are the mid-size pickups that are unavailable to us Americans, a once thriving segment now hollowed out by market economics and unfavorable CAFE regulations. But the crew at PickupTrucks.com managed to wrangle the four up in Australia, and pick a winner in the segment. Read all about it here. We won’t spoil the surprise.
Writing this series has made me start paying more attention to types of vehicles I’ve long overlooked. Say, the early Nissan 300ZX, or the Mazda-based Mercury Capri. Then we’ve got the beat-up work trucks that still roam the streets in large numbers but are finally dying out, e.g. the Dodge D-100 and the late-60s GM C-series. Today, it’s the turn of Ford’s workhorse from the darkest days of the Malaise Era. (Read More…)
I’ve been finding quite a few vintage D-Series Dodge pickups in Denver-area self-service junkyards lately, which reminds me that I’ve spent too long ignoring Detroit pickups of the 1960s and 1970s in this series. I see them, but (unless an old truck has a GMC V6 and a bunch of ancient Deadhead stickers) I usually don’t photograph them. So, the Dodges: I shared this ’74 D-200 Club Cab and this ’73 D-100 Adventurer last week, and now we’ve got a ’68 Adventurer that shares quite a few components with my ’66 A-100 van. (Read More…)
When you write about one Malaise Era Dodge pickup, you might as well follow it up with another on the very next day. These days, crew cabs are nearly ubiquitous on big pickups, but the idea of a truck with a back seat in the cab was still something of a novelty in the middle 1970s, so this truck is an interesting truck history lesson. (Read More…)
Dodge’s D-Series trucks of the 1970s are still on the roads in large numbers, since there’s always someone who needs a simple work truck and doesn’t care if that truck is 10 or 40 years old. Still, you can always find another sturdy (if thirsty) Detroit pickup if something expensive breaks, so this Adventurer is now Crusher-bound. (Read More…)
What would we do without the neverending saga of the Mahindra brothers entering the United States of America with a truck? The publishing of white pages again has been prevented by the news that the U.S.-bound truck by Mahindra & Mahindra has suffered yet another of its many setbacks. The Indian company has halted development work on a pickup truck aimed at the U.S. market after a failure to win certification, Reuters says. (Read More…)
Well America may be the overall volume leader for pickup truck sales, the per-capita title belongs to Thailand, and they prefer a different flavor of truck as well.
While the regular junkyard visitor might run across the occasional FJ60 Land Cruiser in a cheap self-service yard, especially here in 4WD-centric Colorado, there are some Toyota trucks you just don’t see in such junkyards. One is the 4Runner (I’ve found exactly one so far) and another is the FJ40 Land Cruiser. But wait— look what I just found! (Read More…)
It’s funny how a college professor goes from cool to angry in a split second. Case in point: my first transportation design class at CCS. People showed off their designs as per usual, but one day I opened my big mouth. I mentioned that a classmate’s rendering sported wheels that looked like the Star of David. He seemed completely clueless about what he did. But I just had to “keep it real.” Oh boy, was that ever a mistake!
A design school that caters to the big automakers, staffed with adjunct professors who work in the business…well, they know better than some punk design student. My wrist was (kinda) slapped, and everyone was warned to not include religious symbolism in their products. Because everyone in this business wants to sell their product to anyone with green money. Nobody gives a crap as long as you can “splash the cash.”
Stop reading if you believe TTAC has no business discussing religion.