Ralph Gilles, global design head for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, just loves the little Fiat Toro pickup. He can’t get enough of it.
Unfortunately for FCA, and especially the Fiat brand, Americans certainly can say “no” to FCA models adorned with a classic Italian badge. Fiat, which returned to these shores just six short years ago, is floundering in North America, so ears perked up in Chicago yesterday when Gilles seemed to imply the brand might introduce a life-saving model into the U.S. market.
Alas, the company appears to have no intention of trying something desperate to stop the sales bleeding.
Most ’60s and ’70s Detroit cars I see in big pull-yer-own-parts wrecking yards show signs of having spent a decade or more sitting in a yard or driveway. This is not the case with pickups, because just about any pickup that can be made to work at not-too-great expense will be kept on the road. A 45-year-old long-wheelbase Jeep pickup with a snowplow will earn its keep pushing the white stuff around until something really expensive fails.
Here is such a truck, spotted in a Denver yard.
We knew it would happen, but now it’s official.
Ford, in two very short paragraphs bookended by more spilled corporate ink over mobility and futurethink, has given me a reason to save my nickels and dimes for 2020.
The Bronco, like the Terminator, will be back.
(Oh, and the Ranger is coming back too.)
The Dodge D-series trucks were getting embarrassingly dated by the late 1960s, with their solid-axle front suspensions and archaic styling, so Chrysler created the third-generation D-series pickups for the 1972 model year.
Here’s a reasonably solid three-quarter-ton from the first year of that generation, spotted in a Denver self-service yard.
There are a few reasons why I and others choose to freelance for TTAC. One of those reasons is the opportunity to write under the
oppressive regime helpful tutelage of our Managing Editor. Another reason is the conversation and feedback provided by you, the B&B. The comments section of many other auto sites can often be described as incomprehensible at best or downright hostile at worst.
Since this series’ inception, I’ve asked for suggestions of base wheels that check all the right boxes for you. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I laugh heartily at your suggestions on TTAC’s Slack channel. When Principal Dan mentioned the F-150 as a potential Ace of Base candidate, it got me thinking: What exactly constitutes a base F-150 these days? Certainly they’re not the hose-’em-out trucks of my youth, featuring face-eating metal dashboards, searing hot vinyl seats, and no headliner.
Since FoMoCo saw fit to bin the Ranger in 2011, what can buyers expect from an entry-level F-150?
The plenitude of vehicles based on the Chrysler K Platform helped the company bounce back from its humiliating 1979 near-bankruptcy and government bailout, and the modern overhead-cam four-cylinder engine Chrysler developed for the K was a big part of that success. We think of that 2.2/2.5 as a transverse-front-wheel-drive-only engine, but Chrysler made a longitudinal version for the rear-wheel-drive Dakota pickup.
Here’s a very rare 2.5/5-speed example I saw in a Denver-area yard recently.
Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that is — all things considered — the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.
For years, there’s been a chorus cry from the internet: “Buyers can’t get a simple pickup truck anymore!” Well into the ‘90s, customers could waltz into many a dealer and drive off in a Spartan, four-cylinder, stick shift, rear-wheel-drive pickup with the footprint of a Twinkie.
Have you ever sat in a Ford Transit Connect and said to yourself, “Gosh, I like this, but it’s just so darn big!“? Well, if Ford’s latest trademark filings are any indication, the Blue Oval might soon have exactly what you’re looking for.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Ford filed trademark applications for two names — “Transit Courier” and “Courier” — on July 22, 2016, hinting at possible Fiesta-based, B-segment vans for North America.
The buttress is back, baby!
Chevrolet fans still in mourning over the loss of their beloved Avalanche get an early Christmas gift this year. A new Silverado package arrives this fall with all the goodies a ‘lanche aficionado could want, minus the acres of grey bodyside cladding.
With the exception of intercepting tornadoes (and maybe mudding), this is about as much fun as you can have with a mid-1990s Dodge Ram pickup.
Maj. Lonny Handwork, who serves with the Royal Canadian Air Force, gets to drive the very low-tech testbed for the RCAF’s newest ejection seat. He pulled rank to get behind the wheel, and he’s just tickled by the whole thing.
Would Buick consider producing a pickup truck? Now that the brand’s lineup has been fleshed out to include sedans, SUVs, and a convertible, what’s stopping General Motors from adding a Buick-badged variant to either its midsize or large-truck portfolio?
According to Ed Welburn, who oversees global design for GM, there’s a simple answer.
“No, I don’t see it,” Welburn said, wincing. “Wow. I haven’t gotten that question from anyone.”
At that point we expected silence, as it’s not if anyone is clamoring for a Buick pickup truck, despite a market that’s moving toward softer pickups that err on the side of comfort and convenience — but Welburn went on.
The Chevrolet El Camino reached its largest size in the 1973-1977 fourth-generation version, while engine power decreased at about the same rate as its bumper size increased. Still, these cartrucks are somewhat sought-after today, more so than the later, smaller G-body-based ones.
Since you won’t see many of these vehicles in self-service wrecking yards, I thought this California example was worth including in this series.
In anticipation of the 50th Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, Jeep turned its best and brightest designers loose and created seven concept vehicles you’ll probably never drive.
But you can gaze, and you can dream.
These rolling showcases for Jeep and Mopar performance parts crop up annually in advance of the off-road love-in (March 19 – 27), but this year Jeep delved deep into the history file to celebrate its 75th birthday.
We’ll highlight the standouts after the break.
Ask people in the know which full-size pickup is arguably the worst new purchase you can make today and you’ll receive a resounding answer: the Titan.
Nissan’s foray into full-size pickups was a breath of fresh air when it debuted for the 2004 model year. But like all merchandise that sits stagnant on retail shelves, it quickly went out of style, became unrefined in comparison to ever-improving competitors, and could only be had with a thirsty V8 during the doldrums of the Great Recession.
It’s this languishing at the low end of the totem pole that must have cajoled Nissan engineers to seriously analyze its truck strategy going forward. Surely, if Nissan was to compete in the pickup game, it would need to update its model at the same pace as everyone else — or, the very least, at the same pace as Toyota. That’s an expensive undertaking considering an all-new model’s development is now priced well into the billions of dollars. And it’s a risky bet to invest that much cash in a segment known for ownership loyalty and domestic domination.
So, Nissan had an idea: hit ’em where they ain’t, and steal a seasoned truck guy to push the new-“class” pickup.
After 67 years, production of the iconic Land Rover Defender ends today. It’s an amazing feat that the Defender has lasted this long. It was a utilitarian vehicle developed at a time when going off-roading meant just going. It helped Europe rebuild after World War II. And it explored Africa, where often the Land Rover was the first automobile ever seen by locals. It continued that way for years, undergoing constant but slow evolution, rather than complete revolution.
Rather than boring everyone with interesting quasi-factual trivia about Land Rover’s most iconic model, I’ll bore you with my own personal experiences.
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- MaintenanceCosts So I'm not the only TTAC reader who follows LPL.His channel basically teaches you that with the right knowledge there are very few security products that can't be defeated in a short amount of time.
- Analoggrotto Musta spent that solution development money on that fancy styling department aye Posky?
- Fred I like racing, especially F1 and IMSA where Cadilac races or will. I just wonder if most buyers of that car really care? For me it's that they don't race their sedans like BMW, Acura and others do. Even then the IMSA program could be branded with any GM model and has. What their F1 drivetrain will be I don't know.
- Wolfwagen I love the Ramcharger. I had two - 1986 2-tone grey over Red and 1993 Blue and Silver like this (but 4WD) over grey. I loved them both. I traded the 86 for the 93. I would have kept the 93 had I had the space.I have a screen background of a photoshopped version based on the current-generation RAM pickup. If Stellantis built a new version, I would sell my kidney, left arm & leg and firstborn to get one.
- Pig_Iron The Australian StarterStopper can be combined with a keyed switch the that makes stealing the vehicle more hassle than it's worth.