Dodge Ram SRT-10
Team Awarded Sport Truck Performance
Truck Of The Year Trophy

Even though NASCAR doesn't let 'em run Hemis, the Dodge boys are still fast. It took us a few months to catch up with Dan Knotts and the PVO team after we commissioned the first-ever Sport Truck Performance Truck of the Year trophy to the PVO team that developed the Dodge SRT-10.

The SRT-10 was such a huge leap forward in sport truck performance that we decided to establish a special award to acknowledge such a milestone. And since we were establishing a precedent for this special award, we wanted it to be unique to the vehicle and the team. That's where Greg Spradlin came in. Spradlin's specialty is, as he says, making "horsepower for your walls." His automotive art is influenced by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, and he brings that sensibility to his commissioned work. We had him turn an action shot of the SRT-10 smoking the tires with PVO's vehicle dynamic engineer Steve Lyman at the wheel in the red, white, and blue helmet, into a work of art. You can find Greg Spradlin on the Web at www.gregspradlin.com

We're Not Making This Up: Liquid Armor
Liquid armor for Kevlar vests is one of the newest technologies being developed at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to save soldiers' lives. It should also make them more effective as well as offer great consumer spin-off opportunities. Reportedly, this new technology produces body armor that's light and flexible, allowing soldiers to be more mobile and flexible so they can run and aim their weapons better.

Liquid armor is made with what is called a shear thickening fluid (STF). STF is composed of hard nano-particles of silica suspended in polyethylene glycol, which is the essential element of engine coolant that can withstand a wide range of temperatures.

"During normal handling, the STF is very deformable and flows like a liquid. However, once a bullet or frag hits the vest, it transitions to a rigid material, which prevents the projectile from penetrating the soldier's body," said Dr. Eric Wetzel, a mechanical engineer from the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate who heads the project team.

What's this got to do with sport trucks? Absolutely nothing. But the technology is so cool. Besides, there are other applications, since to make liquid armor, STF is soaked into all layers of the Kevlar vest. The Kevlar fabric holds the STF in place, and also helps to stop the bullet. The saturated fabric can be soaked, draped, and sewn just like any other fabric. So it seems to us this'd be a great product to protect race drivers and spectators at motorsports events. If they can also use the material for bomb blankets, to cover suspicious packages, and even apply it to jump boots, so that they would stiffen during impact to support soldiers' ankles, why not apply it to motorsports?

Spied: '06 Mercedes ML 55 AMG
Our spies caught the next-generation ML 55 AMG version with far less camouflage than ever before. The all-new Alabama-built performance sport ute should be arriving late next year as an '06 model. There's been no word yet on the performance capability of the new machine, but we anticipate the '06 AMG version should pack at least as much fire power as the earlier versions.

The 19th Annual Fabulous Fords Forever!
At Knott's Berry Farm

For the past 18 years, in April, the Ford faithful gather at Knott's Berry Farm to celebrate the brand. This year, Ford enthusiasts celebrated the Mustang's 40th anniversary, 45 years of the Galaxie, and 65 years of the Mercury marque. The show pulled entrants from all over the U.S., and we'd have to say it was the best celebration of 40 years of Mustang outside of Dearborn. We saw more than 2,000 rare Fords, including displays by Ford Racing, Ford SVT (Special Vehicle Team), Saleen, Shelby American, and others. The event ended with the traditional presentation of the Johnna Pepper and Bill Stroppe trophies as well as the new George Watts trophy.