Drive Type: C4 automatic
Model: Model A
Trim: 1931 Slant Windshield Model A Ford
Hawkins, Texas, United States
Even as fuel prices creep back up, trucks are still a hot item among new-vehicle shoppers. To see how popular pickup trucks still are, you don't have to look any further than how much effort automakers put into the continual one-upmanship of their trucks. Backing this fact up, USA Today is reporting that the segment could top two million sales this year - a total not matched since 2007, though still far from the pre-recession, three-million-unit levels.
Through August, the Ford F-Series continues to be the segment leader with almost 500,000 units sold, but the Chevy Silverado (328,269), Ram 1500 (234,642), GMC Sierra (122,232) and Toyota Tacoma (110,293) are all seeing at least 20-percent sales increases, helping to account for around 1.44 million truck sales so far this year - not including possible outliers like the Suzuki Equator and Chevy Avalanche.
This year alone, General Motors has completely redesigned its fullsize trucks, Ram and Toyota have significantly updated their offerings, the next-gen Ford F-150 will be out next year and Nissan is promising an all-new Titan around the same time with an eventual Cummins diesel under the hood. It would seem, then, that truck sales are poised to continue their upward trend.
Shelby American unveiled its all-new Shelby Raptor at the New York Auto Show last month, saying that it would build just 100 examples of its off-road bad boy, a pickup priced at $17,995 over the cost of the donor Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. But the Las Vegas outfit apparently underestimated just how popular the supercharged 575-horsepower 4x4 would actually be.
Strong early demand reportedly has Shelby singing a whole new tune, as the company is now saying it will build upwards of 500 units annually. While the increased production will likely make for at least 400 more happy owners, those who were on the original short list - possibly speculating on future values - might not be grinning as much. Needless to say, the company has assured everyone that each and every one of the modified Raptors will still be listed in the official Shelby registry.
Keep in mind that Ford isn't sitting idle on its trophy-truck-for-the-street, either. The company will reveal its own 2014 F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition this month.
The arrival of a new Ford Mustang means many things to many people, but not least of them is drag racers. The pony car has always been a mainstay of the drag strip, and the Ford Racing team aims to carry that reputation forward with this latest generation. So it cooked up a few basic modifications on three new 'Stangs and headed to the strips at US 131 and Milan Dragway to see what they could coax out of 'em.
Impressively, the 5.0-liter V8 Mustang GT with a few modifications (but no forced induction) managed to clock a quarter-mile time of 11.77 seconds. Another Mustang GT fitted with a supercharger clocked a blistering 10.97 seconds. But just as intriguing was the modified EcoBoost model that, with only four cylinders and 2.3 liters of displacement, still passed the gates in just 12.56 seconds - nearly half a second better than expected. This with modification limited to a new subframe, half-shaft, drive shaft loops, exhaust, engine calibration, slicks, roll cage and bucket seat. Well done, boys.