The days are getting a little shorter, and football season is right around the corner. And just like watching a game on the gridiron, you're beginning to need a program to keep things straight in the world of trucks. Here's what's happening.

Nissan & Suzuki
Beginning this fall, you'll be able to buy a midsize pickup from your local Suzuki dealer. The new truck, called the Equator, may look vaguely familiar-especially if you own a Nissan Frontier. With the exception of a different grille and some other minor styling touches, they're the same truck (the images show a slightly modified concept vehicle).

When it comes out later this year, the Suzuki Equator will be available with rear- and four-wheel drive, with extended and crew cabs, and with four- and six-cylinder engines (2.5L and 4.0L). The Equator will be built alongside Frontiers in Tennessee.

If you already own a Suzuki motorcycle or ATV, now you can haul or tow them in a truck with the same name!

Chrysler & Nissan
Seems like Nissan knows how to share and share alike. Chrysler and Nissan recently announced that Dodge would build the next-generation replacement for the fullsize Nissan Titan. The 2011 Nissan truck (yet to be named) will be based on the new Ram 1500, but the exterior and interior design will come from Nissan.

Nissan and Chrysler may also codevelop engines, but it's too early to know if the Nissan will get the Hemi. Anybody know how to say Hemi in Japanese?

Toyota Mini-Truck
We've just heard from Toyota, and the official word is that the company is "encouraged" about the great reception people have given the A-BAT concept truck.

If you didn't see the A-BAT in person at one of this season's auto shows or in print in the May '08 issue of Sport Truck, what you missed looks like a small Honda Ridgeline or a tiny Chevy Avalanche. The A-BAT incorporates clever features from both the Honda and Chevy, including built-in bed storage and a folding midgate.

Beyond its Swiss Army knife-like utility, this truck has two more important things going for it: It's small like the compact trucks from the 1970s, plus the concept uses the hybrid powertrain from the Toyota Prius so it gets great gas mileage.

While the company hasn't promised production, at least the idea is not dead, and that's a good thing.

Two New Hummers
Hummer has been downsizing its trucks since the giant H1 blasted across Middle Eastern deserts and into a showroom near you.

10 mostly worthless facts
1.Sometime in the late eighteenth century, a British judge allegedley proclaimed that a man is allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. That's how we got the term "rule of thumb." Pretty lame, huh?

2.Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel broke 40 different bones in his body during his crash-filled stunt career.

3.Calin's goatee is now 5 3/4 inches long, although it looks much longer and more menacing without the ruler underneath it.

4.The '08 Ford Super Duty's front towhooks measure 27 mm in diameter.

5.Mike Cotten was the first black man on the cover of Sport Truck (Dec. '07). He's like the Tiger Woods of redneck truck fabrication.

6.Fred and Wilma Flintstone were the first TV husband and wife to be seen together in bed on the boob tube. Go Freddy, go Freddy!

7.In 1987, Ford had to recall the new Bigfoot Cruiser Edition Ford Ranger built by Scherer Truck Equipment because the company installed the wrong lug nuts on the axles. The lug nuts had a different taper than the seats in the wheels, causing them to come loose and fall off. But more importantly, the Bigfoot Cruiser had a power limo rear window!

8.It's a bad idea to break in your new engine with synthetic oil in the crankcase. We've never gotten a straight answer from any oil company why it's a bad idea. They just tell us something like synthetic oil is too slippery for the rings to seat properly in the bores.

9.A throttle-position sensor is used to aid a computer-controlled transmission in shifting at the appropriate time.

10.The Ford Courier nameplate was not originally bestowed on the mini-truck produced from '72 to '82. Ford build the Courier Sedan Delivery in 1952, which was based on the Ranch Wagon car line, which eventually became the Falcon in 1960. Yeah, we feel dumb now too.

Say What?
The staff speaks and you listen. It's that simple. This month's question is:
The price of gas passed the 4-dollars-a-gallon mark, and it's likely that it will get even more expensive during the summer driving season. Since you are all broke-ass magazine editors, will the price of fuel force any lifestyle changes?

Kevin: Because my daily commute to the Sport Truck headquarters is less than two miles, my wallet hasn't been affected too much. On the other hand, my wife and I have already made some changes to combat what extra money we have spent on fuel. This includes carpooling in our Chevy Crew Cab when going out with friends. The truck fits six, which means everyone can pitch in for gas instead of wasting it in several different vehicles. Other than those few times out, we try spending as much time as possible at home and use the trucks to mostly run quick errands. It's definitely made us aware of what is more important in our everyday lives.

Calin: I don't know if it's going to force a lifestyle change, but it has made me pull a little more maintenance on my truck. I just recently changed the oil, plugs, and air filter on my S-10 just to keep it in tiptop shape. I also made sure my tires were at the right pressure. I did these things to squeak out as many mpg as I can from the V-6. I guess the one lifestyle change I have made is controlling my heavy right foot. I've put it on a diet until gas prices become more reasonable. I have also looked into purchasing a motorcycle, but those are still pretty expensive. Knowing my budget, I'll end up on a scooter!

Mike: Like Kevin, my commute is a short one. But the wife and I take a bunch of road trips, so to save on gas we've been beating on her Honda Civic like a rented mule until it cries for mercy rather than driving the truck. I can replace the front brakes on her ricer cheaper than I can fill a fullsize truck's gas tank.

Andy: Aside from Calin, I think I have the longest commute to work, and with the gas prices being so high right now I have definitely had to make some lifestyle changes. Take this weekend for instance. I wanted a keg of Guinness, so I told our butler, Frahnk, that he must fly business class instead of taking the private jet to Dublin to pick it up for me. With gas prices so high, we just can't afford the extra things like that. I also had to stop tipping when we go out to eat. I mean come on, a $100 meal doesn't mean I need to spend an extra five bucks just for some sap to pour my wine.

Sport Truck Slang Term O' The Month
#6,969: Fab (fa?b) n., v.
As in fabrication or to fabricate something. This doesn't mean to lie about how fast your truck is or when the last time you had sex was. To fab something means to build it from scratch, like a cool new part for your truck. Try this on for size the next time some foo' asks you for lunch money when you're out and about: "Man, I'd give you that buck but I just used it to buy a new cartridge roll for my die grinder. I'm gonna fab some new shock mounts after work, and I'm using the cartridge roll to clean up the edges of my gussets."

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