Tag: Motortrend

The History of the Ford Bronco: 1965-2021 @Motortrend

The History of the Ford Bronco: 1965-2021 @Motortrend

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They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Equally true when it comes to the automotive world is “what’s old is new again.” When it comes to how an automaker powers, positions, and even updates any given model, it’s is often determined by what was done in the past. That’s bound to be especially true with the new 2021 Ford Bronco—a vehicle that already leans heavily on the heritage of the original with similar styling and a shared mission. So what can we expect from future versions of the sixth-generation Bronco? Taking a look at the history of the Ford Bronco line could reveal some secrets.

1965-1977: The Original Ford Bronco

The original Ford Bronco only stuck around for 12 years, but it’s presence undoubtably overshadows the succeeding generations. In a lot of ways the indirect successor to the World War II-era Ford GPW—the Blue Oval’s license-built version of the Willys MB Jeep—the 1965 Ford Bronco was designed to complement the then-new Ford Mustang as a fun, youth-friendly off-roader.

Ford also had Jeep square in its sights in designing and engineering the Bronco. Like the Jeep CJ-5 of the time, the Bronco was small—its wheelbase is about the same length as a modern Mini Cooper Hardtop—and designed with simple flat surfaces that were both cheap to manufacture and easy to keep protected from rocks. The Bronco was offered up in three body styles: the “Wagon,” which was a two-door with a removable hardtop (a feature we expect the 2021 Bronco to have), a “Roadster,” which came roofless and with inserts instead of doors (much like the contemporary CJ-5), and as a “Sports Utility Pickup”, better known as the “half-cab,” which did away with the two-person rear bench seat of the roadster and hardtop in favor of a mini pickup bed. The Roadster would last until just 1968, making it a particularly rare vehicle. The Bronco half-cab would stick around until 1973, leaving the popular wagon as the only body style for the remainder of the first-gen Bronco’s life.

At launch, the Bronco was powered by Ford’s venerable 105-hp 2.8-liter I-6, paired with a three-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive. A 4.7-liter V-8 producing 200 hp found its way under the Bronco’s stubby little hood in 1966 before being replaced by a bigger 4.9-liter V-8 in 1968. In 1973, the base I-6 was replaced by a 3.3-liter I-6, and a three-speed automatic joined the fold.

According to FourWheeler, a total of 225,585 first-generation Broncos were built between 1965 and 1977 when production ended. Of those, 203,544 were Wagons, 17,262 Sports-Utility Pickups, and 5,000 Roadster

1978-1979 Ford Bronco: Short And Sweet

The ’70s were all about saving money for America’s automakers. After watching GM print money with its new Chevrolet K5 Blazer—essentially a shortened Chevrolet C/K pickup with a removable hardtop—Ford looked at its F-100 and decided that it’d be far easier to cut it down to size than engineer a unique platform for the second-gen Bronco. Although the Arab oil embargo curtailed Ford’s plans to offer up a four-door Bronco (and reportedly delayed the Bronco launch from 1974 to 1978), the upsized two-door Bronco with its removable hardtop would prove to be pretty popular during its two-year life cycle.

To close out the ’70s, the second-gen Bronco had a V-8-only engine lineup. Its base engine was a big 5.8-liter V-8 wheezing out 135 hp, while the upgrade option was a 6.6-liter V-8 with 149 hp. I know it’s easy to pick on Malaise era vehicles, but that is an impressively low amount of horsepower to get from such a remarkably large engine. It’s apples to Skittles, but a modern base Ford EcoSport makes 123 hp from its 1.0-liter turbocharged I-3.

Ford offered two transmission options on the ’78 and ’79 Broncos—a four-speed manual and an optional four-speed auto. A full-time four-wheel drive system was available with the automatic transmission.

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Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation – The Dale “A Car to Die For”

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The fascinating story of the Twentieth Century Motor Corporation, Liz Carmichael and the Dale three wheeled car.

The Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation was an automobile company started by con artist Geraldine Elizabeth “Liz” Carmichael,[1] in 1974, incorporated in Nevada.[2][3] The company’s flagship vehicle was the Dale, a prototype three-wheeled two-seater automobile designed and built by Dale Clifft. It was touted as being powered by an 850 cc air-cooled engine and featuring 70 mpg‑US (3.4 L/100 km; 84 mpg‑imp) fuel economy and a $2,000 (in 1974 US dollars) price, which were popular specifications during the mid 1970s US fuel crisis.[4]

Liz Carmichael, a trans woman, appeared to be of an imposing size—estimated to be at least 6 ft (1.8 m)[2] tall and 175 to 225 lb (79 to 102 kg).[5] She claimed to be the widow of a NASA structural engineer; a farmer’s daughter from Indiana; and a mother of five.[6] In reality, she had been wanted by the police since 1961 for alleged involvement in a counterfeiting operation. She had changed her name and identity from Jerry Dean Michael (born c. 1917).[3][7] She often introduced Vivian Barrett Michael—the mother of their five children—as her secretary.[8] The company would ultimately prove to be fraudulent when Carmichael went into hiding with investors’ money.[9]

The Dale

Before meeting Carmichael, Clifft hand-built a car made of Aluminum tubing and covered in naugahyde.[10] The Dale prototype was designed and built by Clifft, and the project was subsequently marketed by Carmichael. Much of the interest in the Dale was a result of the 1973 oil crisis: higher economy automobiles like the Dale were viewed as a solution to the oil crunch.[6] Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times in November 1974, Carmichael said she was on the way to taking on General Motors or any other car manufacturer for that matter.[6] She said she had millions of dollars in backing “from private parties” and also talked of a 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2) corporate office in Encino, CA. The prototypes were built in Canoga Park, CA, and an aircraft hangar in Burbank, CA, was supposedly leased for the assembly plant, with more than 100 employees on the payroll.[6]

The Dale was also marketed as being high-tech, lightweight, yet safer than any existing car at the time.[4] “By eliminating a wheel in the rear, we saved 300 pounds and knocked more than $300 from the car’s price. The Dale is 190 inches long, 51 inches high and weighs less than 1,000 pounds,” said Carmichael. She maintained that the car’s lightness did not affect its stability or safety. The low center of gravity always remained inside the triangle of the three wheels, making it nearly impossible for it to tip over.[6] She also went on record to say that she drove it into a wall at 30 mph (48 km/h) and there was no structural damage to the car (or her). She said the Dale was powered by a thoroughly revamped BMW two-cylinder motorcycle engine, which generated 40 hp (30 kW) and would allow the car to reach 85 mph (137 km/h). She expected sales of 88,000 cars in the first year and 250,000 in the second year.[6] The vehicle’s wheelbase was 114 in (2.90 m).[3]

A non-running model of the Dale was displayed at the 1975 Los Angeles Auto Show.[7] The car was also shown on the television game show The Price Is Right.[7]

The Petersen Automotive Museum-The strange case of the Dale from the Vault

Fraud

The company had already encountered legal troubles when California’s Corporations Department ordered it to stop offering stock for public sale because it had no permit.[2]

Rumors of fraud began to emerge, followed by investigations by a TV reporter and some newspapers[3] as well as the California Corporation Commission began an investigation.[11] Although Clifft said he still believed in the project and said that he was promised $3 million in royalties once the Dale went into production, he only received $1,001, plus a $2,000 check, which bounced.[3] Carmichael went into hiding and was featured in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries (S1 E22 which aired on April 26, 1989), which detailed the fraud behind the Dale as well as the fact that Carmichael was wanted.[5] She was eventually found working in Dale, Texas, under the alias Katherine Elizabeth Johnson,[7] at a flower shop. She was arrested, extradited to California,[3] tried and sent to prison for ten years.[7][12]

Carmichael eventually died of cancer in 2004.[12] Clifft, never shown to have been involved in the fraud, later formed The Dale Development Co., and developed and received several patents;[10] he died in 1981.

Source – Wikipedia

Watch the documentary – Seduced by Speed “A Car to Die For”

What Is a Belly Tank Racer? Drop Tank Cars and Lakesters Explained – David Fetherston @Motortrend

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Variously known as belly tank, tanker, or drop tank race cars, they’re associated with vintage dry lakes racing.

Little lozenges with wheels and a view port zip along a dry lake bed. They show up in drawings and logos. They pop up at local car shows and land speed events. People call them belly tanks, tankers, or drop tanks, and they are associated with vintage dry lakes racing. But where did they come from, and why do they look the way they do? Belly tank racers are a mix of WWII aircraft leftovers and hot-rodding ingenuity. They’re part of the early days of hot-rodding but are still in use today. Let’s start with where they came from. Answer: the sky.

What Is A Drop Tank Car?

The drop tank was designed to extend flying time by acting as a portable fuel cell that could be dropped once empty. That way, the pilot could more nimbly engage the enemy. They’re also known as belly tanks or wing tanks depending on where they were attached to the plane. During WWII, they were available for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, North American P51 Mustang, Northrop P-61 Black Widow, and other combat aircraft.

After the conflicts ended, thousands of the tanks languished in military surplus yards, and racers soon noticed. They snapped up the slickest shapes that would work the best as race machines. They were, and are, fast little suckers. Before WWII, streamliners ran just over 100 mph—today, more than 360 mph!

In early dry lakes racing, the Southern California Timing Association only recognized roadsters and coupes. They soon accepted streamliners because racers wanted to test new theories of aerodynamics. This morphed into many classes, and lakesters got their own game when they split from the streamliner class.

The attraction was that exposed-wheel lakesters were much easier to build than enclosed-wheel streamliners. The tank gave you the whole body, you could stuff bits of a Model T frame and a flathead motor inside and add Ford axles on both ends, and you were nearly done. That’s what the builder of the first recognized postwar tank, Bill Burke, did.

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Watch Big 1970s Cars Decimate Their Smaller Siblings in Vintage Crash Test Footage – Alex Kierstein @Mototrend

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You might remember that a while back, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashed a few modern cars into their vintage counterparts to show, in part, how far crash safety had progressed. But what stuck in our minds wasn’t how intact the passenger cells of the modern cars remained, but rather how mangled the old cars were. We’re thinking in particular of the ’59 Bel Air slamming into a 2009 Malibu, and the Nissan Tsuru (an early 1990s Sentra sold in Mexico until 2017) crashing into a modern Sentra. Yowzers.

How about two 1970s-vintage cars crashing into each other? And make one of them full-sized in the 1970s sense of the term—aircraft carriers, basically—and the other the relevant company’s compact. We’re talking about the Ford Pinto, Chevrolet Vega, and AMC Gremlin here—three vehicles without much of a reputation for safety. In the video below, each compact smacks into its bigger stablemate: A Ford GalaxieChevrolet Impala, and AMC Ambassador, respectively.

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The History of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer – Benjamin Hunting @Motortrend

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How the 1984–1991 Grand Wagoneer cast the luxury SUV mould for today’s model.

Although luxury trucks are a key profit center for modern automotive manufacturers, there was a time when only a single brand on the American market was brave enough to make the leap from ski station to valet station. It was the early ’80s when AMC decided to go all-in on an aging platform by transforming its already decades-old Wagoneer into the Grand Wagoneer and open up an entirely new segment for U.S. buyers. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer beat the (still Spartan but nevertheless high-priced) Range Rover to the American market by a handful of years, and while Land Rover was able to outlast its underfunded rival in the long run, as contemporaries there was no question who was first, and in the minds of many sport-utility fans, who also did it better.

Ancient Roots

A bit of backstory first. The original Wagoneer, internally known as the Full-Size Jeep, FSJ, or SJ, debuted in 1963, and would soldier on for decades with only minor mechanical tweaks. The first hints that the truck had the potential to woo an upscale clientele came with the Super Wagoneer, which then Jeep owner Kaiser released in 1966. Packed with luxury gear completely foreign to anything trucklike at the time (power brakes, a high-end radio, tilt steering, power steering), it wasn’t long before the model was commanding nearly three times the average transaction price of an entry-level automobile.

Once AMC purchased Jeep in 1970, the product line coalesced around the more basic Cherokee and its more family-friendly Wagoneer variant. Despite repeated urging from AMC dealers to increase the price point on the latter—due to the surprisingly high household incomes of buyers attracted to the truck’s blend of on-pavement comfort and rugged go-anywhere image—each truck would stay in its lane for the next several year

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Nevada Train Derailment Claims Dozens of Jeep Gladiators, GM Trucks – Ed Tahaney @MotorTrend

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Here’s a literal trainwreck for truck and off-roader fans: A train carrying a load of brand-new Jeeps, Chevys, and GMCs derailed near Caliente, Nevada, on July 10. The rural town is about 30 miles west of the Utah border. Fortunately, no one was hurt on the Union Pacific train, but dozens of factory-fresh vehicles were destroyed. Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee told local reporters it was the most spectacular mess he’s ever seen. The majority of the damaged vehicles were new Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators; a number of Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras were also involved.

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Barn Find Bonanza: This Auction Includes Some 200 Collector Cars – Alex Leanse @MotorTrend

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Think about your ideal car collection—how many vehicles could you reasonably live with? It’s probably fewer than this automotive armada of some 200 collector cars in rural Minnesota. Blessed with plentiful acreage and productive crops, a farmer by the name of James Graham amassed a huge number of cars and trucks over his lifetime. Graham has passed on to the great highway in the sky, and now VanDerBrink Auctions is taking on the task of liquidating his estate. Could your dream car be one of the classics in this epic barn find?

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Ford Mustang – 6.1-Liter Mustang Cobra Jet R – David Freers @MotorTrend

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Ford’s Ultrasecret 350-Horsepower Ponycar

Six tasty alternatives to help satisfy your never-Ending appetite for acceleration

Everyone knows that there are plenty of ways to arrive ultimately at the same end point. For any true performance enthusiast, the real test involves getting there first.

In this special section, we’ve brought together some of our favorite high-velocity haulers, all of which are powered by engines designed to start your adrenaline flowing with a turn of the ignition key. Superchargers, turbochargers, multicams, multivalves, and last, but certainly not least, a plethora of plain old cubic inches-all are critical ingredients in the many possible recipes for speed. Topping off this cornucopia of motivational componentry, we offer a brief tech overview that details the specific manners by which these marvelous mechanicals work their go-fast magic. So, buckle up, hang on, and savor the tasty flavors of fast.

The Cobra Jet R is a secret, high-caliber weapon cocked and ready for firing

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HOMECOMING: A MOTORTREND ICON JOINS THE FAMILY

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The story of the 1949 Kurtis Sport Car, MT’s first-ever cover car

I climb in, twist the key, and press the starter. The Ford flathead V-8 fires up instantly and quickly settles down to a growling idle. I pull the shifter across to the left and back, engaging first gear in the three-speed transmission. Ease out the clutch, and the low, broad-shouldered convertible oozes forward, vintage whitewall tires squirming on the concrete.

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