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Report: Classic SUVs next big thing for car collectors

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1967 International Scout 800 Sport Top

Hagerty Insurance seems to think vintage SUVs are going to be the next big trend in car collecting. The agency has already seen prices begin to tick upward at auction, with the number of classic SUVs insured by the company growing some 65 percent since 2008. That’s about twice the pace of the overall market. All told, Toyota Land Cruisers have seen the largest jump with a swell of 202 percent, though 1970s and 1980s Jeep models are up by a more than respectable 93 percent as well. Likewise, Ford Bronco and International Scout SUVs are up by 86 and 85 percent, respectively.

Hagerty attributes the increase with the overall rise in the popularity of the SUV in general. As modern machines become more in vogue, so do their predecessors by extension. While these old bruisers haven’t spent much time in the lime light at classic car auctions, Hagerty says recent events in Scottsdale featured 11 vintage Toyota Land Cruiser models, one of which sold for $88,000. That’s quite a price for a 1981 FJ-40. You can read the full press release below.

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Classic SUVs next big thing for car collectors originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Apr 2013 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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April 18th, 2013

Opinion: US truck fleets turning towards CNG, LPG

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International Transtar big rig with trailer - front three-quarter view

Fleets can save well over $150,000 in fuel costs over the six-year life of a truck.

The electric vehicle market is turning into a financial nightmare for many of the automakers and suppliers that invested in the technology. Hybrids only comprise three percent of total new car sales, despite there being over 40 different models. And fuel cells are still more science lab experiment than mass-production reality.

But in a different part of the market, the green revolution looks a lot more promising. Commercial truck fleets in the United States are now keenly interested in converting their trucks to nun on natural gas or propane.

Thanks to the precipitous drop in prices for compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid propane (LPG), fleets can save a fortune by switching over to these fuels. OEMs such as Freightliner and Thomas Built Bus have jumped into the market. International now offers the Transtar Class 8 semi (above) that runs on CNG. A cost calculator on the truck maker’s website shows that a fleet can save well over $150,000 in fuel costs over the six-year life of a truck. For fleets that run their per-mile operating costs to the penny, this is a financial windfall.

Continue reading US truck fleets turning towards CNG, LPG

US truck fleets turning towards CNG, LPG originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 21st, 2013

Video: Another crazy custom Jeep Wrangler spotted in Morocco

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Jeep Wrangler International custom

What in the world is the vehicle you see above? Well, um… yeah. We have no idea. According to the video description from YouTube, however, it’s a modified Jeep Wrangler, and it comes from the same person who created the equally insane side-by-side merged Wrangler you saw here.

We can clearly make out the Wrangler-shaped passenger compartment up top, but as for the other bits and pieces that make up this rather amazing machine, your guess is as good as ours. At the very least, it seems to us that the car’s wheelbase has been given a significant stretch, and the grille may have come from an International LoneStar Harley-Davidson Special Edition semi truck.

What other components are sourced from the massive International hauler? No idea. We suggest you check out the video below and draw your own conclusions. Oh, and if you’ve got any other ideas, feel free to let us know in the Comments.

Continue reading Another crazy custom Jeep Wrangler spotted in Morocco

Another crazy custom Jeep Wrangler spotted in Morocco originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 03 Mar 2013 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 3rd, 2013

New Chevrolet and GMC Trucks Continue to Impress

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2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ

2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ

The all-new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 are at the top of the class. The two trucks were revealed at the North American International Auto Show in December and have been making fierce impressions on truck enthusiasts ever since.

2014 GMC Sierra

2014 GMC Sierra

By far, the biggest asset of the trucks is the EcoTec3 engines where engineers worked to find a perfect combination of three technologies—direct injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing. These technologies allow for maximum torque while maintaining fuel economy. Both the Silverado and Sierra 1500 come in a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8 and 6.2L V8.

2014 4.3L V-6 EcoTec3 AFM VVT DI (LV3) for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra

2014 4.3L V-6 EcoTec3 AFM VVT DI (LV3) for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra

“This is technology no other truck maker can match, and we offer it in every one of our EcoTec3 engines, for every one of our customers,” said Jordan Lee, Small Block chief engineer and program manager. “It is not an extra cost feature. You get our best and most sophisticated technology regardless of trim level.”

Not only did GM engineers take careful consideration while designing, but put the trucks through a series of rigorous durability testing to ensure the Silverado and Sierra 1500 are equipped and ready for any off road driving or heavy towing needs. At the same time, engineers ensured the passenger is comfortable by producing a quiet and smooth ride unlike any other truck.

2014 GMC Sierra Interior

2014 GMC Sierra Interior

“If the exterior and running gear didn’t sell you on the all-new 2014 GM trucks, the interior just might. These trucks look like a truck but ride like a luxury automobile. The interior is loaded with features to provide a quieter ride, like triple door seals, use of sound-absorbing materials and on the 6.2L V-8 active noise cancellation technology,” said Mark Polk, owner of RV Education 101® and RV Consumer, after checking out the new trucks at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. “The door pillars were moved forward to allow for more leg room in the back seating area and the truck is quieter, roomier and more comfortable than ever before.”

Behind the scenes, safety was something the engineers took very seriously. The Silverado and Sierra 1500 have a variety of advanced safety features.

“We have late departure warnings, forward collision protection and active seat awareness,” Maria Rohrer, Director of marketing for Chevrolet trucks, in an interview with Mark Polk.

With all of these new features, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 will be able to fit the needs of many consumers, and will be available for purchase this summer.

 

February 6th, 2013

The World’s Worst Car Is For Sale On Craigslist [Found On Craigslist]

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Someone in East Kentucky has grafted the cab and hood of a 1962 truck onto a 1990s Pontiac Grand Am and has put it up for sale online. Jesus, Craigslist, this is more disturbing than your missed connections listings. More »

June 22nd, 2012

This Is What A Rust-Free International Scout Looks Like [Found On EBay]

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Although the condition of most remaining examples would suggest International Scouts left the factory already in the process of rusting, this 1963 Scout 80 currently listed on Ebay is proof these early utilitarian SUVs once existed with clean sheet metal. More »

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June 10th, 2012
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