Friday, January 9, 2009
DUE TO STEVE"S HEALTH GROWS WORSE, TODAY IS THE LAST ISSUE OF THIS BLOG.
We like to thank all those who did contribute time and energy to the blog site.
Posted by The 'C' Team at 9:56 AM
Earlier this week General Motors announced the death of the G8 ST program because it wouldn't make money for them and the 'sport truck' didn't fit the Pontiac brand image. Today news has emerged that Chrysler is now considering building its own car-based pickup truck as a solution to its need for an efficient and profitable alternative to compact pickups.
Compact pickups have been slow-sellers even in good times, but of late they are particularly hard to move. Chrysler's prospective solution to that problem, voiced by Frank Klegon to The Detroit News, emphasizes low pricing and efficiency as the motivating factors. "What is needed is a lighter-duty, multipurpose vehicle from a lighter, more fuel-efficient car platform that allows the vehicle to be priced significantly different from what your full-size trucks are," said Klegon. It is expected to feature unibody construction, FWD as standard and AWD as an option, but beyond that the specification is kept secret.
The pricing factor may be the most attractive aspect of the idea for Chrysler, since cutting prices means opening the vehicle up to a wider market while at the same time allowing for more comfortable profit margins. The situation for small trucks was made all the worse when prices of full-size trucks began plummeting in the face of 2008's nose-diving sales.
Another aspect Chrysler is banking on is the different perceptions buyers would have of the car-truck as opposed to a compact pickup. Rather than seeing the vehicle as a miniature version of a full-size truck that should be able to haul, off-road and tow, it would be perceived as an urban utility vehicle, intended for light loads and paved roads. That difference in perception enables smaller, more efficient engines to be put to the task, making the cars both cheaper and less expensive to operate.
If Chrysler does choose to build the car-based urban utility vehicle, it would likely take the place of the Dakota compact pickup (pictured) in the Dodge lineup. It's not yet clear if it will take the design path of the El Camino-like G8 ST or other similar vehicles, or if it will veer nearer the unibody construction but pickup-like design of Honda's Ridgeline.
Posted by The 'C' Team at 7:07 AM
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
This Day in Auto History:
Thomas E. Rush succeeds Jacob Sulzbach as President of the MackBrothers Motor Car Company
"William K. Vanderbilt Jr., patron of automobile racing and the LongIsland Motor Parkway, dies in New York City at age 65"
"B. Frank Jones, retired Chief Engineer of the White Motor Company,dies at age 68"
Posted by The 'C' Team at 6:28 AM
SOURCE Chrysler LLC
Posted by The 'C' Team at 6:25 AM
Don Garlits Back Racing the “Drag Pak” Challenger
January 6, 2009 by pikesan
Story Submitted by John C. Hill or MoparMagic
Don Garlits to compete in 2009!
Don Garlits has planned a comeback to drag racing for 2009, his 60th anniversary competing on the nation’s drag strips. Is he going to run a new Top Fuel car? The answer is no. Neither his doctor nor his wife will ever let him run an NHRA competitive Top Fuel car again. After countless thousands of parachute stops at the end of 300mph runs, the retinas in Don’s eyes had become detached. Further racing of this type could have caused permanent blindness.
So, what is Don going to run this year? Well, as a long time Mopar representative, Mopar stepped up and has allowed Don to purchase the first Dodge Challenger equipped with the Drag Pak. For those of you thinking a factory backed “Drag Pak” was a dream, it ain’t! Based on the 6.1L equipped hot rod SRT8, the drag pak Challenger will be eligible to run in NHRA’s Super Stock, Stock, and Comp Eliminator.
Garlits will run his Drag Pak Challenger in NHRA Division 2, but right now, it is uncertain which class. Don’s excited to challenge some of the nations best sportsman drivers and is looking forward to tuming a car like this to become competitive against other muscle cars and specialty drag race vehicles.
Garlits ran the first promotional vehicle at Bandimere Speedway near Denver and recorded an 11.24 quarter mile which is quick considering Bandimere’s mile high track. At sea level tracks in Division 2, the car could dip into the 10’s right out of the box! Garlits also plans to attend and run at the U.S. Nationals this year to commemorate his 60th year in active drag racing.
I for one will follow this story very closely in the Division 2 race results pages of National Dragster. Can Garlits work his old magic? First, I will admit that I am a big Don Garlits fan. But, there will be a huge difference between running the unlimited class of Top Fuel versus the very restrictive class rules of Super Stock, Stock and Comp Eliminator. In Top Fuel, tuning knowledge is king and the almighty dollar can bring absolute victory. Garlits was fantastic at tuning and driving, but he didn’t always have the almighty dollar. It was his tuning skill and driving that made him stand out, so much so, that his Top Fueler is the ONLY drag race vehicle of any type enshrined at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
What really interests me is how well Garlits will do against the Southern Divisional racers who have raced their cars day in and day out for decades. Its going to be a tall order and it will be the ultimate test of Garlits as a tuner and driver. I mean, can a man in his mid-70’s still pull off .000 reaction times when needed? Can he win races without “bombing his index” or “breaking out”? After all this is class racing not Top Fuel! I’ll keep you posted as I find results from the races.
Posted by The 'C' Team at 6:25 AM
This Day in Auto History:
Edsel B. Ford II joins the Ford Motor Company as a product analyst
"International Trucks, the non-agricultural side of the defunctInternational Harvester Company, is reorganized as the NavistarInternational Corporation"
Posted by The 'C' Team at 6:14 AM