Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 First Drive

Preventing The End of The World As We Know It
Source: by Rex Roy | AOL Autos
Posted: Apr, 17 2009

Ask anybody over 50 this question, "What's the coolest thing you've ever owned?" Without missing a beat, most people will mention a favorite car or truck. It's been this way for generations. Cars are cool. Americans love them, what they stand for, their technology, and the freedom they provide.

However, with the onset of Eco-Boomers coming of driving age, some are predicting the end of USA's love affair with the automobile. Trend watchers note that Eco-Boomers (those born between 1979 and 1994) identify more, and assign more social status to their cell phone or game consoles than the vehicle the already or may someday drive.

See Photos: Mustang Shelby GT500

To maintain The American Way, this trend must stop.

Reality vs. Fantasy

A potentially effective antidote is the 2010 Shelby GT500 from Ford Motor Company. This is the most powerful of all factory-produced Mustangs. The car was developed in association with the legendary Carroll Shelby, one of the world's most famous race drivers and car builders. The newest Shelby incorporates all of the modifications we wrote about when we previewed the new 2010 Mustang last fall, but goes further by adding more style and much more performance (225 more horsepower than the Mustang GT!).

Trend watchers and their Eco-Boomer study subjects may find their priorities rearranged with exposure to the GT500, coupe or convertible. While today's young adults have grown up in a world of virtual experiences, perhaps the reason for their ignorance about great cars stems from never hearing the primeval growl of a supercharged V-8. Once experienced, virtual YouTube video encounters over iPhones become sad substitutes.

Certainly nothing can replace the actual experience of rocketing from 0-120 mph in 12seconds; about the time it takes many vehicles to reach half that speed. No console can replicate the feeling 540 horsepower boosting you forward as if on a rocket sled.

Perhaps instead of mastering a driving game (emphasis on "game"), the Shelby GT500 will inspire Eco-Boomers to hone their skills behind a real steering wheel while mastering the shift pattern of a short-throw manual transmission. For those who never learned how to drive a stick, Ford doesn't offer an automatic transmission in the GT500.

Over exuberance with the GT500's throttle will send the Shelby's newly designed Goodyear Eagle F-1 Supercar tires up in smoke. Unless new gaming consoles include surround smell, nothing can prepare previously unassaulted nostrils for the acrid smell of molten rubber. Just like posting a high score in the virtual world, once you've developed the skill, hazing the tires becomes just as addictive in real life.

What’s Your Take?

Have you ever owned a muscle car?

GT500 Performance Hardware

The details of the 2010 Shelby GT500 are this: its 5.4-liter, double-overhead cam, 32-valve V-8 produces 540 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 510 lb-ft torque at 4,500 rpm. The supercharger is mounted in the valley of the V-8, and sends highly compressed air through an intercooler to further increase the engine's power potential.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox has taller gear ratios in 5th and 6th for more economical highway cruising, so the GT500 is a relatively green performance car... try naming another four-passenger car with 540 horsepower that gets 22 mpg on the highway.

Suspension components are tuned to deal with the Shelby's formidable power. The suspension is stiff but not punishing. It soaks up bumps and broken pavement better previous Mustangs with live rear axles.

The car's uniquely programmed Advance Trac electronic stability control shows how this car with so much history has easily made the transformation into the modern electronic era (the first Shelby Mustangs were produced in 1965). Advance Trac boosts the Shelby's handling capability while providing an extra margin of dynamic safety, working in concert with racing style Brembo front brakes.

Regarding style, the Ford Shelby GT500 carries over the lines of the re-drawn 2010 Mustang... mostly. The new grill and aluminum hood are simplified and beefed up. A functional air extractor on the hood's leading edge helps rid the engine compartment of heat. The Shelby also gets unique forged 19-inch wheels on the coupe (18-inchers on the convertible). Its bold stripes can't be missed, even from the inside. The exterior stripes carry through the center sections of the leather-covered front and rear seats. Even the ball topping the short-throw shifter is striped.

While console players who have access to a reset button aren't interested in real safety, the new Shelby GT500 delivers on safety with a standard ABS, traction control, and four airbags. The GT500 also includes the SYNC infotainment interface with SYNC's 911 Assist.

The doorsill plates include an SVT logo (Special Vehicle Team worked up the GT500 within Ford) that glows when the ambient lighting is operational. Sirius NAV system with Travel Link is optional.

Salvation For Eco-Boomers

Powerful antidotes to awake Eco-Boomer's from their computer-induced comas should begin to reverse the generation's attachment to hand-held mobile devices and video games.

See Photos: Mustang Shelby GT500

Dodge fired the first salvo with their 2009 Challenger SRT8. Unfortunately, the muscle car's summer-2008 launch coincided with the bottom dropping out of the economy. Timing is everything, and not even the 425-horsepower HEMI engine could accelerate sales.

Chevrolet followed just last month with the re-introduction of the 2010 Camaro. When the high-performance Camaro SS hits the street, its 426-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 should work like nitro glycerin for buyers who have been waiting for a car to jumpstart their automotive passion.

Ford expects Mustang enthusiasts to snap up the first of the Shelby GT500s when the car goes on sale this spring, but production will continue all year. Given the size of the Eco-Boomer generation (estimated to be a large as the Baby Boomers) and the historic ability of Shelby to provide a thrilling driving experience, the combination may lead to a swell of demand from drivers looking for excitement on pavement instead of from pixels.

At an as-delivered price just over $48,000, the 2010 Shelby GT500 certainly delivers. And there is no virtual substitute.

Can Your Car Last 1 Million Miles?

Source: by Lauren DeAngelis |
Posted: May, 01 2009

2009 Car Rankings Best Cars for the Money More Cars That Could Be Killed This Year 6 Myths About GM, Ford, and Chrysler Americans are keeping their cars on the road longer than ever before. According to a March 2009 study released by R.L. Polk & Co., the median age of passenger cars in operation was 9.4 years in 2008 - a record high. That means that, assuming a car is bought new and driven 12,000 miles per year (which is about average), many Americans are logging 112,800 miles before selling or trading in their car.

Seems like a lot, right? In fact, according to J.D. Power and Associates, most Americans probably don't make it that long. They say the average length of time owners keep their cars before trading them in is 73 months -- about six years.

Million-Mile Masters

For a few very loyal car owners, however, six years isn't much. Take Irv Gordon, whose 1966 Volvo P1800 made the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 for its incredibly high mileage. Gordon, the car's original owner, has now logged more than 2.6 million miles on trips and in daily driving. In interviews, Gordon attributed his car's extreme longevity to regular maintenance and his use of genuine Volvo parts.

Then there's Wisconsinite Peter Gilbert, who has logged more than a million miles in his 1989 Saab 900 SPG. MSN reports the durable vehicle, now on display in a museum, still features its original engine and turbocharger.

And let's not forget that domestic cars hit the million-mile mark just as often as their foreign competitors. In 2008, Frank Oresnik (coincidentally, another Wisconsinite) was just short of hitting the million-mile mark in his 1991 Chevrolet Silverado truck. Left Lane News reports that the truck has gone though four radiators, three gas tanks, five transmissions and six water pumps, but never a new engine.

Dependability vs. Longevity

Surprisingly enough, Swedish brands, while traditionally known to rack up the miles, aren't exactly known for their dependability. According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study, Buick and Jaguar rank highest, while Saab and Volvo rank below average. The study measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2006 model year) vehicles and is based on more than 46,000 individual responses. So how can Volvos and Saabs last so long? The answer is that dependability and longevity aren't interchangeable.

"You could have a car that's structurally very sound and will last a long time but has problems along the way," explains David Sargent, J.D. Power's vice president of automotive research. "In that sense, reliability and durability are very different."

How to Go the Distance

If you love your car, you might dream of making it to the one-million-mile mark, too. But can it be done? The consensus seems to be that with regular maintenance and the necessary parts replacements over the years, most modern cars can go the distance.

According to Edmunds, the top five ways to make your car run "forever" are: Follow your service schedule, check fluids and tire pressure regularly, go easy during startup, use a single high-grade fuel, and drive smart. If you don't know much about maintenance basics, there are plenty of online resources available, as well as your car dealership or your favorite mechanic.

Most experts agree the best way to make your car last longer is to religiously follow the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual. In addition, make sure to check vital fluids every three months (especially engine oil and radiator coolant), pay attention to your car's gauges, regularly wash the car, and store it in a covered place. Even good driving habits can help minimize regular wear and tear.

Longevity or Bust

A few makes have had enough high-mileage success stories that they've created official clubs to commemorate them. Examples include the Honda Mile Makers and Volvo High Mileage clubs, which are open to owners who have logged 100,000 miles or more. There's even an online petition for a Ford high mileage club. As of April 2009, it had 671 online signatures.

Still, just because these automakers have clubs doesn't mean other makes won't last just as long. There's no scientific way to predict which cars or makes will last the longest. Maybe the only way to know is to see for yourself. Keep an open mind, do your research, and maintain, maintain, maintain - and your million-mile ride just might make the news next.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Motor Muster at Greenfield Village

Source: Jenny King / Special to The Detroit News

Al Scholten of Holland, Mich. Plucked the remains of this rare 1942 Chrysler Town & Country wagon from behind a filling station and spent about five years having it restored.

Motor Muster draws expected and surprise vehicles
By Jenny King / Special to The Detroit News

June 22, 2009

DEARBORN, Mich. -- The annual Motor Muster at The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village is like a big family reunion, mixing familiar faces with some very rare "relatives."

Show visitors were a spectrum of ages, and, except for the very young, they likely remembered or owned many of the hundreds of invited vehicles that lined the village streets and greens.

In a central location, volunteers were proudly showing a GMC Futurliner, one of 12 created to bring new ideas in technology to people from coast to coast.

"They were built by GMC and Fisher Body; this one was number 10," explained spokesman Del Carpenter. "The idea came from technology displays at the Century of Progress 1933-34 World Fair in Chicago.

"The buses toured in the Parade of Progress until the attack on Pearl Harbor," he said. They were then put in storage and re-discovered in the early 1950s, he said. Today only eight Futurliners are known to exist, and five are in total disrepair.

The one here was the work of some 30 volunteers over a seven-year period, under the direction of Don Mayton of Beaverdam, Mich.

The state of disrepair of Al Scholton's 1942 Chrysler narrow-back Town & Country wagon, by most guesses, would also have been described as "total." But the Holland, Mich. resident knew when he spotted it behind a filling station that the wood-sided wagon was very rare: 849 were originally made, he said.

"This depot wagon was introduced in 1941 as a plainer vehicle," Scholton said. "The next year Chrysler added things like chrome trim and luggage rack to make it more attractive."

With its Bakelite interior trim, fluid drive transmission, barn door-style rear doors and search light, Scholton's wagon is one of only a handful still registered. He started its renovation in 1993; it was complete six years later.

The one-step-up-from base model 1952 Ford Mainline shown by longtime owner William Bachmann of Erie, Pa. may not have carpeting or even interior handles for closing its doors, but it does have overdrive available at 27 miles per hour.

"There's a switch under the accelerator -- this was the first year for suspended pedals -- that turns on overdrive," Bachmann said.

Bachmann has owned his no-frills -- one inside sunvisor, 16-inch wheels left over from 1951 Fords -- Mainline for 40 years. He paid $150 for it, he said.

Davison, Mich. resident Henry McQueen bought his 1941 Ford Super Deluxe four-door sedan 12 years ago from a man who was restoring it. McQueen said the three-piece front fenders on the car are unusual. They marked the end of Ford's inability to stamp a single steel piece in that size and shape.

A supercharger makes this 1948 MG TC roadster rare. Restored in 1986, the multi-award winner now belongs to Bob Leinen of Dearborn, Mich.

The sober, black sedan does have what McQueen called a "playboy-style sunvisor. Its flathead V-8 has 61,000 miles on it. At the McQueen home, the car goes by "Nadine."

The supercharging on Bob Leinen's 1948 MG TC roadster sets it apart from other '48 models.

"The car has won a total of 55 awards," said Leinen of Dearborn, Mich. "I've owned it five years; it was completely restored in 1986."

Leinen loves the early, traditional styling of the roadster, with its right-hand steering and elegant two racing screens. He also likes the fact that he can get parts for it.

Volkswagen enthusiasts Gregory and Ryan Sanchez of Melvindale, Mich. were busy polishing their Sumatra green 1973 VW TYP3 1600 fastback - one of a three-body-style series the German automaker thought would work as a replacement for the beloved Beetle.

"I bought this out of Florida a couple of years ago and it was in good, solid condition," said Sanchez. "These never sold very well here, though 51 of them showed up a year ago for a meet in Ypsilanti (Mich.)."

The Sanchezes has earlier been showing some bicycles from the 1950s. Bikes, scooters, motorcycles, commercial trucks and military vehicles were included in the vast display at Greenfield Village.

With its air-cooled 1600 engine in the rear, the TYP3 fastback provided a good-size trunk up front, which the Sanchezes had carefully packed with hardy Samsonite luggage.

Eddie Morris of Wyandotte, Mich. said he has owned his 1936 Ford 68 with over 100,000miles on it for 35 years.

"It's all original except for paint and tires," said Morris, who works on this and his other old cars himself.

The 1969 Cadillac combination ambulance-hearse belonging to Michael Granzeier of Wyandotte, Mich., now has a different function. The family takes it camping, said the attorney, showing how the two rear jump seats for ambulance personnel fold down to provide a flat bed for a coffin. Or in the present tense, a high and dry spot for sleeping bags.

"We'll sleep in it here in the Village tonight," he said.

This GMC Futurliner was one of 12 built between 1939 and 1940. This is number 10. It was restored over seven years by over 30 volunteers.

This 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe sedan belongs to Jerry Clause of Sterling Heights, Mich. They're waiting in line at the Motor Muster parade Saturday.

1965 Ford Thunderbird convertible belongs to James D. Brucker of Brighton, Mich.

1964 Lincoln Continental convertible belongs to ennis Mozdzen of Dearborn Heights, Mich.

This 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible belongs to Ted and Lynne Porter of Northville, Mich.

This 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible four-door belongs to Kenneth Martin of Dearborn, Mich.

1955 Mercury Monterey hardtop belongs to Robert Anderson of Kalamazoo, Mich.

1955 Ford Thunderbird convertible belongs to Dr. Beverly Paurazas of Rochester Hills, Mich.

1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible belongs to Erika Knopf of Shelby Township, Mich.

This 1936 Lincoln LaBaron coupe belongs to John Forster of Royal Oak, Mich.

1964 Ford Galaxie 500 belongs to Mick Laskey of Taylor, Mich.

1936 Stout-Scarabwas brought to the Motor Muster by Ronald Schneider of Milwakee, Wis.

This 1964 Ford Falcon belongs to racing fan Al Marani of Southgate, Mich.

1948 Allard K1 roadster belongs to Robert Grandy of Linden, Mich.

This 1933 Parson-Ford Sprint racer belongs to Roy Nacewice of Carleton, Mich.

1933 Ford Express towtruck belongs to Gene Bertami of Dearborn, Mich.

Ben Harwood was having problems with his 1941 Packard 6, which attracted an antique Ford wrecker and some help from interested onlookers.

The modest 1952 Ford Mainline has been the proud possession of William Bachmann of Erie, Pa. for some 40 years. He paid $150 for the car with overhead-valve straight six and oil bath air filter. A dash-mounted prism helps the driver see a traffic light if the outside sunvisor is up.

An unusual 1951 Kaiser Dragon came to Motor Muster courtesy of owners Daniel and Laura Trczinski of Temperance, Mich.

Henry McQueen of Davison, Mich. named his 1941 Ford Super Deluxe four-door sedan with nifty sunvisor Nadine.

This shimmering green 1949 Mercury M74 sedan belongs to Troy Beverley of Garden City, Mich.

Wyandotte, Mich. resident Eddie Morris has owned his 1936 Ford 68 with over 100,000 miles on it for the last 35 years.

A first in production cars with its fiberglass body, this 1954 Kaiser Darrin with sliding pocket doors was a show stopped at Motor Muster.

Looking almost fragile, this sleek 1948 Salsbury Model 85 Standard motor scooter belongs to Jerry Ellis of Dublin, Ohio.

1500hp TT Ford GT walks 1000 hp Supercharged C6 Corvette

Source: YouTube

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Best Selling Trucks and SUVs

10. Ford Edge
June 2009 Sales: 7,729
Change vs. June 2008: -22.7%
MSRP: $26,920 - $35,770

The Ford Edge is a five-passenger crossover sport utility that answers the call for a roomy vehicle with utility and style. It isn't a truck. Nor is it a minivan. Yet it's more than a car. All Ford Edge models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 265 horsepower, and a six-speed automatic transmission.

Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. For 2010, a new Limited Interior appearance package will be available.

9. Honda Pilot
Honda June 2009 Sales: 8,171
Change vs. June 2008: 12.2%
MSRP: $27,895 - $38,645

The Honda Pilot is a powerful crossover SUV, engineered for quality and durability, as well as high levels of functionality and comfort.

It features unit body construction and a fully independent suspension, providing a more car-like driving experience with crisp, predictable handling and a smooth ride.

8. GMC Sierra
June 2009 Sales: 9,014
Change vs. June 2008: -27.4%
MSRP: $19,375 - $44,020

The Sierra is a full-size pickup truck that is nearly identical to the Silverado but features more mature styling. There are four engine sizes: 4.3-liter V-6, 4.8-liter V-8, 5.3-liter V-8 and 6.0-liter V-8; all are controlled by a four-speed automatic.

Like all Sierra's, the 1500 is available in a wide array of bed sizes, wheelbases, drive types and cab sizes, as well as a variety of trim levels. Safety features include driver and passenger front air bags, tire pressure monitoring system and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.

7. Toyota Tacoma
May 2009 Sales: 10,162
Change vs. May 2008: -41.4%
MSRP: $15,170 - $27,075

The Tacoma is a compact pick up that offers a comfortable cab, a refined ride, responsive handling, proven off-road capability, and quality construction. It's available in Regular Cab, Access Cab and Double Cab body styles, in either two or four wheel drive.

For 2009, the Toyota Tacoma adds traction control, stability control, side impact and curtain airbags, LED taillamps, auxiliary audio input, and mp3 player as standard equipment.

6. Toyota RAV4
June 2009 Sales: 10,054
Change vs. June 2008: 4.8%
MSRP: $21,500 - $27,810

The Toyota RAV4 seats five and has an available third-row seat (that folds flat into the cargo floor) that increases its capacity to seven. The RAV4 is a four-door, compact sport utility vehicle, available in three trim levels: Base, Sport and Limited.

The Toyota RAV4 is one of the compact SUVs that created this class. It has become bigger in recent years and provides more outstanding features that allow it to be an even more useful family vehicle.

5. Honda CRV
June 2009 Sales: 13,720
Change vs. June 2008: -13.1%
MSRP: $21,245 - $27,245

The CR-V is a compact crossover SUV that delivers a balance of style, versatility and comfort, along with a high level of safety technology. It's available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive each with a choice of three trim levels: LX, EX and EX-L.

All trim levels are powered by a 166-hp 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The LX is equipped with 17-inch styled steel wheels, a CD player with MP3 capability and air conditioning.

4. Dodge Ram
June 2009 Sales: 14,478
Change vs. June 2008: -10.3%
MSRP: $21,520 - $43,490

The Dodge Ram 1500 offers bold styling, big power and many creature comforts, making it ideal for work and play. It provides something for everyone with the choice of three engines, three cab styles and three wheelbases.

Standard safety features include side curtain airbags, stability control, traction control and trailer sway control. Heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors, rear backup camera are available.

3. Ford Escape
June 2009 Sales: 15,385
Change vs. June 2008: 1.9%
MSRP: $20,435 - $27,670

The 2009 Escape breaks onto the scene with improved power, improved safety and added content to entice buyers into this gracefully aging platform. Out is the old 2.3-liter four, in is a new 2.5-liter that produces a respectable 171-hp. A V6 is also available.

Standard safety features include front airbags, front seat mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags for front and rear passengers. AdvanceTrac stability control with anti-rollover technology is now standard across the board. Four-wheel ABS and tire pressure monitoring round-out the impressive list.

2. Chevrolet Silverado
June 2009 Sales: 24,766
Change vs. June 2008: -27.8%
MSRP: $19,375 - $41,355

The Chevrolet Silverado works hard to live up to its reputation as the'strongest, most dependable and longest lasting truck on the road'. The 1500 is the 'half-ton', model in Chevrolet's full-size pickup line-up.

There are five engine sizes to choose from: 4.3-liter V6, 4.8-liter V8, 5.3-liter V8, 6.0-liter V8 and 6.2-liter V8; and two transmissions: a four-speed automatic and a six-speed automatic.

1. Ford F-150
June 2009 Sales: 35,915
Change vs. June 2008: -7.4%
MSRP: $21,565 - $36,100

The Ford F-150 pickup truck delivers outstanding performance with its distinct trim levels, equipment packages and its broad range of cab styles and pickup box configurations. It comes in five trims: XL, STX, XLT, FX4 and the luxurious Lariat.

The F-150 can be ordered in millions of combinations to suit specific needs and individual tastes. The King Ranch, the Harley-Davidson and the Platinum Edition packages add to the refinement and distinctiveness of this pickup truck.

Source: Autos AOL