Car and clear tittle will be handed when funds clear.
Ford Thunderbird Base Convertible 2-door on 2040-cars
Duvall, Washington, United States
Ford Thunderbird for Sale
Auto Services in Washington
Xtreme Car Audio & Tint ★★★★★
Setina Manufacturing Co. ★★★★★
Salvage Yard Guru ★★★★★
Auto blogWed, 11 Jun 2014 11:58:00 EST
As a segment, fullsize vans are stealth-fighter invisible on most consumers' radar. Visit a dealership for any of the four brands that offer them and you'll be lucky to find even one on display. These are commercial vehicles primarily, even more so than pickup trucks. Vans are the shuttles for plumbers, caterers, carpenters, concrete layers, masons, electricians, florists and flooring, and a huge part of this country's productivity is accomplished using them. At the moment, Ford is the 800-pound gorilla in that room - fully 41 percent of commercial vehicles wear a Blue Oval. So when Ford announced three years ago it would be ditching its commercial bread-and-butter E-Series, it meant the Transit that would be replacing the Econoline had huge, 53-year-old shoes to fill.
We were still a bit nostalgic about Econoline vans going away until going directly from the Transit first drive in Kansas City to an E-350 airport shuttle. Climb up through the Econoline's tiny double doors and bang your head on the opening, crouch all the way to your seat then enjoy a loud, rattle-prone, creaky, harsh ride on beam-hard seats while struggling to see out the low windows. This is an experience nearly every traveler has had. By comparison, the Transits we'd just spent two days with were every bit of the four decades better they needed to be. It cannot be understated just how much better the Transit is in every single way. The load floor is barely more than knee high. There's a huge side door, and hitting your head on a door opening is nearly impossible. Stand up all the way if you're under six-foot, six-inches - no more half-hunching down the aisle. There are windows actually designed to be looked out of. The ride is buttery smooth, no booming vibration from un-restrained metal panels and no squeaks. Conversations can be held at normal levels rather than yelling over the roar of an ancient V8. The seats are comfortable. The AC is cold. There are cupholders.
Enough anecdote-laying, what's in a Transit? We're talking about a very fullsized unibody van that's enjoyed a 49-year history in Ye Olde Europe. This latest iteration is part of the "One Ford" initiative, so it was designed as a global offering from the get-go, eschewing the body-on-frame construction the E-Series has used since 1975. Instead, the Transit integrates a rigid ladder frame into an overall frame construction made of high-strength cold-rolled and boron steel. The suspension is a simple but well-tuned Macpherson strut array up front with a rear solid axle and leaf springs.
This year's annual Eyes on Design awards were presented at the end of press days for the Detroit Auto Show on Tuesday. Given out for the best production and concept car designs that debuted at the show, and voted on by an esteemed panel of actual car designers, this year's award for best production vehicle design went to the 2014 Cadillac ELR. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, which was the show favorite among Autoblog editors, apparently did not impress the Eyes on Design judges enough with its all-new vent-festooned design.
The award for best concept design was actually split as a tie among the Nissan Resonance and Ford Atlas concepts. Last year's winners were the 2013 Ford Fusion and the Lexus LF-LC concept.
The Eyes on Design organization also presented a new honor this year called the Catalyst Award to Bob Lutz, former Vice Chairman of General Motors. Lutz is reported to have given a defense of design in his acceptance speech, arguing that advancements in quality across the industry as a whole have made good design a key differentiator for buyers.
The mind behind the look of much of the modern Ford global range is retiring. Martin Smith, Head of Ford Design in Europe, will give up his position on July 1 and will leave the company altogether at the end of the year. He will be replaced by current Strategic Concepts Group leader Joel Piaskowski (pictured above).
Smith has led Ford of Europe design for the past 10 years, and he was partially responsible for the brand's Kinetic Design language with a large grille and swept-back headlights found on the Focus, Fiesta and C-Max, as well as several other vehicles abroad. After stepping down on July 1 until his retirement at the end of 2014, Smith will work on a project to decide the future direction of the company's look with Moray Callum, its vice president of design.
Piaskowski already has some impressive credentials in terms of automotive design as well. He joined Ford in 2010 as director of exterior design and led the teams responsible for the 2015 Ford Mustang and next-generation F-150. He was also previously design director at Ford Asia Pacific. Before working at the Blue Oval, Piaskowski held positions at Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and General Motors. Scroll down to read the complete announcement of this changing of the guard.