Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Ford is ending Australian production after 90 years in 2016, and with it may go perhaps the most iconic vehicles in its auto market - the ute. Car-based pickup trucks like the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino were always more of a curiosity than a true market force here, but in Australia, they have long proven hugely popular.
As the legend goes, Ford invented the niche after a farmer's wife had asked Ford Australia's managing director for a more utilitarian car. Her request was simple: "My husband and I can't afford a car and a truck but we need a car to go to church on Sunday and a truck to take the pigs to market on Monday. Can you help?"
Ford's design team came up with a two-passenger, enclosed, steel coupe body with glass windows and a steel-paneled, wooden-frame load area in the rear. The sides of the bed were blended into the body to make it look more unified, and to keep costs down, the front end and interior were based on the Ford Model 40 five-window coupe. Power came from a V8 with shifting chores handled by a three-speed manual. Within a year, the new vehicle was ready, and production began in 1934. Lead designer Lewis Bandt christened it the coupe-utility.
A weekend rental of a Ford Mustang GT Convertible sounds like a nice, relaxing way to burn some gas, but one Nova Scotia woman's two-day rental is turning into a months-long headache. In early October, Kristen Cockerill picked up the Mustang from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and she returned it the following day as stipulated by the rental contract. Unfortunately, she dropped the car off on a Sunday - a day on which the particular Enterprise office is closed - and the car ended up being stolen overnight.
Now, two months later, CBC reports that Cockerill received a bill from Enterprise for the full replacement of the car totaling $47,271 (a base 2014 Mustang GT Convertible currently costs $40,349 in Canada). As it turns out, the fine print in the contract says that the renter is responsible for cars dropped off after hours until it can be inspected the next business day - this is also reflected on the key drop seen in the news report video, which states "vehicles returned after hours are the responsibility of the renter until inspected on the next business day."
It's not clear how much, if any, of that amount Cockerhill will be responsible for once her insurance company gets involved, but if the insurance company refuses to pay, Enterprise will bill the amount to the credit card she provided during her rental. While this ordeal is far over for Cockerhill, it's a good reminder for the rest of us to always read the fine print.
"Now before you turn away, this is not another boring hybrid car thing..." Despite the slightly defensive introduction from Jay, the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage is actually pretty fascinating. The Ricardo HyBoost is a 2009 Ford Focus that has had a 1.1-liter engine swapped in for the stock 2.0-liter four. That might not get you performance enthusiasts out there fired up, until, that is, you hear that the 1.1L is also fed by both a turbocharger and an electrically driven supercharger for an instant-on "torque-fill" effect. Sounds about right, considering that Ricardo engineering is part of the genius behind the McLaren P1.
Perhaps most exciting of all, the Ricardo folks say that the package should run somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,100. A sort of performance-hybrid that makes sense for the frugal driver and the enthusiast one, then. There's a lot more to the HyBoost, all of which can be seen in the video below.