Drive Type: 4x4
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Rock Crawler
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
It's not really a secret that the city of Detroit is in lots and lots of trouble. Even with an emergency manager working to guide it through bankruptcy, a number of the city's institutions remain in very serious danger. One of the most notable is the Detroit Institute of Arts, a 658,000-square-foot behemoth of art that counts works from Van Gogh, Picasso, Gauguin and Rembrandt (not to mention a version of Rodin's iconic "The Thinker," shown above) as part of its permanent collection.
Throughout the bankruptcy, the DIA has been under threat, with art enthusiasts, historians and fans of the museum concerned that its expansive collection - valued between $454 and $867 million by Christie's - could be sold by the city to help square its $18.5-billion debt.
Now, though, Detroit's hometown automakers could be set to step up and help save the renowned museum. According to a report from The Detroit News, the charitable arms of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler could be set to donate $25 million as part of a DIA-initiated campaign, called the "grand bargain." As part of the deal, the DIA would seek $100 million in corporate donations as part of a larger attempt at putting together an $816-million package that would be paid to city pension funds over 20 years. Such a move would protect the city's art collection from being sold off.
It's called "F3T," and that stands for Ford Free-form Fabrication Technology. The process that The Blue Oval has developed means being able to sidestep the weeks-long process of tool-and-die making when engineers want to construct a new part, allowing them to fabricate a three-dimensional part from a two-dimensional sheet of metal in just hours.
While F3T is being developed it is limited to "low-volume prototyping or even low-volume niche vehicles," but the next step is to evaluate it for use in Ford's global manufacturing facilities. You can find out more about it in the video and the press release below.
Rad Rides by Troy has unleashed upon the SEMA crowds this custom 1969 Ford Torino Talladega GT Special, and it's a beauty. The car calls to mind the classic Holman Moody stock cars that circled NASCAR tracks in the late 1960's, driven by the likes of Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and David Pearson, who won the Grand National title in both 1968 and '69 in a Ford Torino.
Even though it has plenty of stock-car influence, there's nothing retro about the car's design or powertrain, other than the fact that the engine is based on a Ford Boss 429 block. Fuel injection, aftermarket aluminum heads and a high-tech custom computer system combine to send 750 reliable ponies to the rear wheels through a Tremec five-speed manual transmission. Brakes measure 14-inches all around, with six-piston Wilwood calipers up front and four-piston units out back.
There's custom bodywork abound, painted in a two-tone Tennessee Whiskey Gold and Daytona Sand finish. Check out all the amazing details in the image gallery below, and scroll down to read all about it in designer Troy Trepanier's own words.