Air bag: Front Side Air Bag
Disability Equipped: Yes
Sub Model: XLT PREMIUM
Warranty: Vehicle has an existing warranty
Model: Transit Connect
Exterior Color: White
Glendale, Arizona, United States
Cool comes in multiple flavors. One one hand, we have the sophisticated attraction of svelte design and the efficient use of power. Of course, on the other hand there is the allure of being the bad boy and going against the grain. That is part of the appeal of rat rods. Ideally, they are built without rules to an owner's specific tastes, and this widened and heavily modified 1947 Chevrolet pickup rod is a perfect example of that spirit.
Coming down the highway with a bent grille, rusted body and pouring smoke, it looks like the pickup from hell. It backs up the looks with some very impressive mechanicals too. Owner Troy Gubser says that the truck packs a Ford Power Stroke diesel with to 42 pounds of boost that runs out of 8-inch exhaust stacks at the back. He claims it managed 505 horsepower and 885 pound-feet of torque on the dyno. To harness all that power, this hot rod has a ZF five-speed manual gearbox with a ceramic clutch and short-throw shifter. Plus, it has cool little features like a doorbell on the tailgate that operates an air horn.
You might not expect a truck like this to actually be useful, but it has a fifth wheel coupling to haul an RV around drag races and car shows. The air suspension also probably keeps the ride fairly comfy when Gubser wants it to be. Scroll down to check out this beastly rat rod pickup and watch it engage in some diesel drag racing. Warning, there is some NSFW language.
Back in July, a mid-year study from YouGov found Ford to have higher brand perception than any other company in the US. While Ford failed to top the year-end study, it still has plenty to brag about. The final BrandIndex report shows that online retail giant Amazon edged out Ford for the top ranking, while Subway, the History Channel and Lowe's rounded out the top five spots.
For Ford, it's still an improvement from sixth place in the 2012 study, and, more importantly, it dominated other automakers in terms of brand perception with a clear advantage over Toyota, Honda, Chevy and Volkswagen. To determine how well - or not so well - a brand is perceived, YouGov uses a Buzz score that asks respondents whether they've "heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth" and whether it was positive or negative. While it isn't clear how many respondents were included, YouGov does point out that Ford had a strong presence in social media, advertising and newsworthy toward the end of the year.
For more details about the study and the top companies, check out the press release posted below.
We record Autoblog Podcast #310 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #310
Buick GN and GNX will return