Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R race truck, based on the production version of the upcoming 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, survived the grueling 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, finishing the 631-mile race in 25:28:10. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R race truck that participated in the Baja 1000 was a collaboration between the Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT), Ford Racing, and Foutz Motorsports Inc. The pickup was entered into the race to test the durability and performance of the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, which goes on sale in the summer of 2009.

"We engineered the F-150 SVT Raptor to be the best high-speed off-road performance truck available right off the showroom floor, and finishing the Baja 1000 proves this," stated Jamal Hameedi, SVT's Chief Nameplate Engineer. "Now we need to analyze all the engineering data from the race and apply lessons learned to the production truck, ensuring that the truck delivered to customers exceeds their expectations."

Prepared for racing in long distance off-road endurance events, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R uses stock components of the F-150 SVT Raptor, including the transmission, brakes, and axles. The frame-the part of the truck that will take the most stress-is the same proven fully boxed frame that delivers class-leading towing and hauling in the all-new 2009 Ford F-150 that went on sale in October. The Raptor race truck is powered by a specially calibrated version of the available 6.2-liter V-8 engine, making 500 horsepower. Even if the typical Ford customer will not be putting his truck through the punishing paces of the Baja 1000, the point is he could. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000 also served as a test bed for the development of a lineup of race-proven, desert-tested, off-road performance parts that will be available through the Ford Racing catalog.

"This was very exciting for all involved," said Jamie Allison, sales and marketing manager for Ford Racing. "Even with the extreme capability of the F-150 SVT Raptor right out of the box, we know our customers will want to take its performance to an even higher level. This race truck will be invaluable to Ford Racing as we examine what performance parts we'll be able to offer customers for the production Raptor."

Ford brought some of the best Stock class off-road truck drivers together to drive the F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000. Drivers of record were Steve Olliges, Randy Merritt, Greg Foutz, Bud Brutsman, and SVT Vehicle Development Engineer, Gene Martindale.

And the award goes to...
Vic Edelbrock, President and CEO of the Edelbrock Corporation, recently awarded the Vic Edelbrock Sr. Memorial Scholarship award at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now in its fifth year, this scholarship is endowed by Vic Edelbrock and the Edelbrock Corporation in support of continued automotive education through the WTI Foundation and WyoTech. This scholarship is based on an essay submission and is awarded annually to a WyoTech student who exemplifies hard work, dedication to the automotive industry, and outstanding citizenship. The 2008 recipient of this $5,500 scholarship award is Barry Derheim of Sioux Falls, Iowa.

10 Mostly Worthless Facts
1. Factory GM accessory brackets won't allow you to mount a GM A/C compressor on an iron-block LS1 in a '73-'87 GM truck. The A/C compressor hits the passenger-side framerail.

2. Guns N' Roses aka "Axl Rose and his friends today" finally put out a new album.

3. By 1936, Ford had already produced 3 million trucks.

4. From 1967 to 1971, the third digit in a General Motors VIN number indicated whether the vehicle had a six- or eight-cylinder engine and standard or deluxe interior.

5. The width of a rim is measured between the tire mounting flanges or beads.

6. Vanilla Ice doesn't rock a sport truck. Then again, did Vanilla Ice really ever rock anything?

7. Spraying liquid nitrous onto your skin will cause it to fall off. Seriously.

8. In the movie, Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds' truck driving cohort, The Snowman, was played by country singer Jerry Reed. Reed also sang the theme song to all three movies.

9. The gauntlet has been thrown down by past cover-truck owner, Mike Cotten. He's showing up to the Sport Truck Challenge in '09 with his Chevy and plans on running into the 9s with LS engine power in order to take a shot at William Lerner's title.

10. The 6.4-liter PowerStroke diesel engine makes 350 hp at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.

Hall-Of-FamerThe Automotive Hall of Fame, the highest place of honor in the International Motor Vehicle Industry, has selected Gale Banks to receive one of their 2009 Distinguished Service Citations.

Sema Lawyers At Work For You!
The SEMA Action Network defeated California legislation to require annual (rather than biennial) smog-check inspections for vehicles 15 years old and older. The bill would also have required that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account, which could then be used to scrap older cars. In an effort to sneak the bill through in the closing days of the legislative session, California Assemblyman Dave Jones amended a completely unrelated bill with the annual smog-check inspection language.

While pre-'76 motor vehicles would have remained exempt under existing California law, this proposal ignored the fact that vehicles 15 years old and older still constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reductions. This latest action represents the second time the SAN was able to defeat this legislation.

Say What?
The Scenario: We're talkin' serious talk for a change of pace. The Big Three-General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler-are asking the federal government for a multi-billion dollar handout because they don't want to or can't claim bankruptcy to keep their respective businesses running in the current economic recession.

As taxpaying citizens of the US of A, do you think the government should bail out three of our country's largest industrial giants like it just did for banking institutions, or should we let them go down in flames?

Kevin: First of all, who is gonna save us? Aren't we already in a multi-trillion dollar deficit? Also, isn't our economic system based on capitalism where only the strongest businesses survive? In that sense, I think we should let them fall. If they can't make it on their own they should fold and let the real Americans take over. I'm talking about the mom and pop repair shops, mechanic shops, and even hot rod shops. Instead of putting our money toward new cars, we should restore and keep our old jewels alive. Also, by giving our money to these small businesses we will support real people who spend money and create a better cash flow throughout our economy.

Calin: I absolutely think the government should help. If these companies go under there will be a lot of American people out of work. With Americans out of work, they won't really be buying anything and the problem will just get worse. These companies can't file for bankruptcy because if they do all of the vehicles still in stock will become devalued. As we all know, it's not how much you pay for a truck it's how much can you sell it for when you are done. If the parent company is gone, there will be no security for the next guy who wants to buy it.

Mike: As much as I dislike the idea of rewarding companies for screwing up, the ripple effect of losing the Big Three will devastate this country. From the corner diner whose patrons come from the new truck dealership next door, that will likely close down, to the company that makes the knobs for the A/C controls that will likely fold when it loses those huge contracts, to the charities that rely on the Big Three's donations, the amount of people who will face financial hardship will be beyond any scale I can imagine. However, giving a financial bailout to domestic auto manufacturers isn't going to fix the real problem and that is the union labor that drives up the price of building trucks in America. Unless the manufacturers can start paying smaller wages to the workers who build our trucks, then a bailout isn't going to keep the inevitable from happening. Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler simply can't compete economically with foreign companies that can produce trucks at a lower cost. The business model just doesn't work.

Andy: It's a sad state of affairs when companies get so huge that their very welfare is depended upon by so many other people. This is one of those grin-and-bear-it situations where we will have to bailout the automotive industry. Let's hope that their future production line will be able to compete with the quality of vehicles being turned out by the European and Japanese giants and gain worldwide support to keep this from happening again.

Sport Truck Slang Term O' The Month#143:
multiplexing (mu?l'ti-ple?ks-ing) n.
It's not just a place to buy twelve-dollar nachos and eight-dollar popcorn while some kid kicks the back of your seat for two hours straight during a cheesy chick movie that your girlfriend made you watch even though you wanted to see The Bourne Supremacy. Multiplexing is a type of vehicle wiring system that doesn't use a fuse box to distribute power to the headlights, stereo, and other accessories. Instead, it uses a microprocessor to distribute the power. The cool thing is you can program the microprocessor to move power any way you want, no matter how many aftermarket accessories you add to your truck. Find out more by visiting www.isispower.com.