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Auto blogFri, 15 Mar 2013 15:00:00 EST
I'm not normally a pickup kind of guy, but the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor won me over nearly instantly. The street-legal trophy truck - there is really no other way to accurately describe it - is big, brawny and incredibly capable. Let's just say it's every bit the monster it visually portrays. I spent a week pretending I was one of Ford's Baja 1000 drivers, but lacking desert sand, I headed into the local mountains where a mild winter storm had dropped a couple inches of fresh snow on my favorite off-road park. The Ford was, for the most part, practically unstoppable.
Ford offers its SVT Raptor package on Supercab and Supercrew platforms with the five-foot, five-inch bed. The Supercrew I tested rides on a 144-inch wheelbase (about a foot longer than the Supercab). In addition to its cosmetic differences when compared to the standard F-150 - there isn't a young boy on the planet who doesn't think the matte black Ford grille is cool - the Raptor has a 73.6-inch track - nearly seven inches wider than the track on the standard F-150.
After upgrading the F-150 SVT Raptor significantly for the 2012 model year, there are only a few changes for 2013. The list includes standard high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, Hill Descent Control, forged beadlock-capable wheels, and the new matte Terrain color (aka "Desert Storm") option seen on my test model.
Auto enthusiasts love a good debate, whether it's Mustang versus Camaro or Ferrari against Lamborghini. But how about a battle between two very different vintages of classic pickup trucks? In this case, the fight is between a 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express and a 1933 Ford Model 46 truck with a flathead V8.
The shootout comes courtesy of the internet series Generation Gap, and its concept is super-simple. One guy prefers classics, and the other likes newer rides. They choose a category, pick two vehicles and put them head to head. In this case, neither is exactly modern, though. The Ford is more than old enough to receive Social Security checks, and the Dodge is hardly a young whippersnapper.
Other than both being pickups, these two models were made to serve very different functions. The Li'l Red Express was basically the progenitor of today's muscle trucks, with a big V8 that made it one of the quickest new models in its day (admittedly, 1979 was a rough time for automotive performance). On the other hand, the '33 Ford was just meant to work, with little pretense for anything else. One of the hosts describes it as "the simplest, most difficult" vehicle he's driven because of the tricky double clutchwork necessary to shift gears. Scroll down to watch the video and try to decide which of these two American classics you would rather have in your garage.
With its influx of popular new products made in the US, Ford Motor Company has announced that it intends to hire 2,200 new salaried workers domestically this year. This is the biggest increase of salaried workers for Ford in the last 10 years, and it is all a part of Ford's contract commitment to the United Auto Workers union to bring 12,000 new jobs to the US by 2015.
There were no specifics as to where in the US these job openings will be, but Ford did reiterate that it will be spending $773 million on equipment upgrades and capacity expansion at six plants located in southeast Michigan; as a whole, Ford is investing a total of $6.2 billion to its US assembly plants over the next couple years. According to recently appointed president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs, the new jobs will be focused on areas such as engineering, manufacturing and computer software. Ford will post its job openings online at careers.ford.com, and it will also use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to recruit new workers, including military veterans.
Scroll down for more about Ford's planned job growth as well as how to go about applying for said openings.