New Date, Location For Southeastern Mini Truckin' and Sport Compact Car Nationals VIII
The Southeastern Mini Truckin' and Sport Compact Nationals moves to the Nashville Superspeedway this July 3-4. The show has a new title sponsor, with the bikini contest sponsored by Borla, the hydraulics competition sponsored by Cool Cars (CCE), the Lowest of the Low sponsored by DJM, the airbag competition sponsored by Firestone, and the burnout contest by Colorado Customs. For more information, contact: Charlie Cobble, (423) 623-4644, www.autoshows.cc.

Midnight Madness Street Show Just Added To State 2 State Cruise
The annual State 2 State Cruise kicks off at 7:00 a.m. at Dealer's Sport Truck in Los Alamitos, California, on April 2. We have all new stops this year and participants will get a map at Dealer's. The cruise will end on the Fremont Street Experience, where we'll draw the poker prize winner, the Van Demon paint prize, and the Vortex Bedliner prize. And check this out: We're sprayin' both the paintjob and the bedliner prizes that weekend at the show.

We're also raffling off a Smeding engine that participants can enter to win. We're saving the drawing for this prize until the end of the State 2 State charity cruise, but you can enter at any time during the show and you don't have to be present to win.

Midnight Madness On The Freemont Street ExperienceThis year, the Vegas Nationals takes over the Fremont Street Experience on April 3 for our first-ever Midnight Madness Experience. On Friday night, April 2, the vendor village will open up at 6:00 p.m., just when we're moving trucks onto Fremont, and will remain open until 10:00 p.m., when the destination party ends. On Saturday, the show opens at 10:00 a.m.; trucks move in at 6 a.m., with the party running until midnight. We'll have a concert on Saturday night, with a killer bikini contest preceding it, and awards will be presented immediately afterwards.

Registration And Ticket Info:
* Pre-registration ends 3/20/04
* $20/person for the State 2 State cruise
* If you enter both the cruise and the show 'n' shine, it's only $10 for the show 'n' shine
* Show 'n' shine: $20/car
* After March 20, the cruise is $25 per person and the show 'n' shine is $20; there is no combo deal available. You can sign up the day of the event.
* Lady Luck is our host hotel. Hotel rooms are $55 a night and you can book your reservation at (800) 634-6580

Show is presented by: Chevy Trucks. Sponsored by Truckin', Mini Truckin', Sport Truck, OFF-ROAD, Truckin's SUV, Custom Classic Trucks, Fremont Street Experience, AIM Industries, Dealer's Sport Truck, Gibson Exhaust, Vortex, advanced Flow engineering, Kaik products, Pro Car Parts, Smeding Performance, Alfa Otto, and Maxo Auto Trends

For any and all questions, contact Amber Pierce at vegasnationals@primedia.com or (714) 939 2580.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Jeep Rescue Concept
With GM's Hummer brand busting a trail into Jeep's traditional leadership role of rough and tumble, go-anywhere machines, Chrysler Group Design responded to the challenge with what it claims is the ultimate execution of a Jeep: the Jeep Rescue concept. The first rule of rescue-hood is to not become a victim, so that means this Jeep concept is filled with almost all the tricks and tech you'd find in a Coast Guard helicopter in a slightly stretched four-door chassis (wheelbase: 123 inches) with a track width (80 inches) agile enough to wind through mountain trails. The design team also put it on 37-inch-tall run-flat tires.

The concept features exposed door hinges and removable doors, as well as a windshield that folds flat over the hood. A sunroof for the front passenger and a canvas roof for the rear-seat passengers give both seating positions the option to open up the cabin. The rear window retracts into the tailgate la a '60s station wagon. All the high-tech gear, including a monitor for the concept's ground clearance view camera and infrared sensors for finding victims in need of rescue, are packaged neatly inside. The concept is motivated by a Cummins Diesel powerplant.

GM Announces Prices For All-New '04 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra 1/2-Ton Crew Cab Pickups
The all-new '04 Chevrolet Silverado Fleetside and GMC Sierra Wideside 1/2-ton Crew Cab pickups will have Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs) starting at $31,145 for the base two-wheel-drive Silverado LS and $31,610 for the two-wheel-drive Sierra SLE. Prices include a destination charge of $850.

The 1/2-ton Crew Cabs give Chevy and GMC new entries in one of the fastest-growing segments of the truck market. Teamed with GM's HD Crew Cabs and the innovative Chevrolet Avalanche, they give GM the broadest lineup of fullsize crew cab pickups in the market. Silverado offers a specially equipped Z71 Off-Road model. The Z71 Off-Road suspension package itself is available on four-wheel-drive Sierra SLE and SLT models as a $300 option. A Z85 handling/trailering package, specially tuned for optimum ride and improved handling, is one of the truck's many standard features.

MSRPs For The New Models By Trim Series Are:
Chevrolet Silverado 2WD Crew Cab LS = $31,145
Chevrolet Silverado 2WD Crew Cab LT = $35,148
Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Crew Cab LS = $34,525
Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Crew Cab LT = $38,528
Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Crew Cab Z71 = $35,040

GMC Sierra 2WD Crew Cab SLE = $31,610
GMC Sierra 2WD Crew Cab SLT = $35,473
GMC Sierra 4WD Crew Cab SLE = $34,990
GMC Sierra 4WD Crew Cab SLT = $38,853

The Silverado and Sierra 1/2-ton Crew Cabs provide four fullsize doors; roomy, comfortable six-passenger seating; and a new 5-foot-8-inch cargo space. The vehicles are powered by GM's Vortec 5300 V-8, with 295 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque backed by a Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed automatic transmission.

Base Silverado LS or Sierra SLE are well equipped with standard items such as power windows and door locks; individual dual-zone (driver and passenger) manual climate control; cruise control; up-level, custom cloth split bench seats; remote keyless entry; AM/FM stereo with CD; heated, folding outdoor mirrors; deep tinted glass; electric rear window defogger; electrochromic inside rearview mirror; leather-wrapped steering wheel; full carpeting; painted cast-aluminum 16-inch wheels on two-wheel-drive models; 17-inch polished cast-aluminum on four-wheel-drive models; and four-wheel ABS disc brakes. The 1/2-ton Crew Cabs went into production at General Motors' Oshawa, Ontario, Canada plant in January 2004 and should be ready to rock at your local dealer.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Nissan Actic Concept
The Nissan Actic concept crossover was designed by NDA, a Nissan design studio in California. The Actic changes the human machine interface focus from hardware to software. Actic's designers proposed that the software that controls the vehicle controls, instrumentation, and so on, could be personalized, refined, and constantly updated by using a key fob, hand-portable IT system. The system, we presume, would load when you drive the Actic.

The Actic's interior layout is a two-by-three seating arrangement. The exterior styling is smooth and flowing, accented only by the grille. The concept's 19-inch wheels feature a highly stylized tread pattern glued to the wheel rim to create a super-low profile look that magnifies the apparent size of the wheels. Nissan showed the concept with a small trailer with slide-out room expander developed by NDA in conjunction with Airstream, a first for an RV manufacturer.

GM's Vortec 4200 I-6.
Named 2004 Ward's 10 Best Engine
For the third consecutive year, General Motors' Vortec 4200 inline-six engine has been recognized as a Ward's Communications 10 Best Engine.

When it was introduced in '02 vehicles, the Vortec 4200 was the first inline-six engine in GM Powertrain's engine portfolio in almost 20 years. Recognized by Ward's at that time, the engine has continued to garner praise, earning the 10 Best recognition in 2003.

The Vortec 4200 is a 4.2L inline-six-cylinder, all-aluminum, dual-overhead-cam, four-valves-per-cylinder engine. Using a range of advanced engine technologies, such as variable valve timing, electronic throttle control, and coil-on-plug ignition, the engine delivers 275 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, providing customers the power of a V-8 with the efficiency of a six-cylinder. It is the standard powerplant in the '04 Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT, GMC Envoy, Envoy XL, and Envoy XUV.

2k4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Ford Bronco Concept
It looks like Ford is thinking very hard about bringing an early Bronco-inspired SUV to market. The boxiness of the concept brings back the rugged, utilitarian aesthetic of the early Bronco with its exposed door hinges and cleat-like door handles. An aggressive billet-style grille with strong, broad elements frame the front-mounted winch. The concept's industrial-strength exterior is softened slightly and given the millennial treatment with mica silver paint. A torquey 2.0L turbodiesel drives the concept, and inside, the machined aesthetic softens somewhat with the use of suede on the seats and door trim.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Toyota FTX Concept: Is This A Texas-Sized Pickup?
Jim Press, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., unveiled the FTX concept pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show. The vehicle hints at the styling and size of the next-generation Tundra pickup, which will be built at the current Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana, as well as a new plant under construction in San Antonio. The FTX concept features a large-displacement V-8 hybrid gas-electric engine that is being considered for the next-generation fullsize pickup.

New RWD Six-Speed Transmission For TrucksFord will introduce an all-new rear-wheel-drive family of six-speed automatic transmissions beginning in 2005. The new six-speeds, featuring multiple variants for Ford Motor Company cars and trucks, will provide fuel economy improvements in the range of 4 to 8 percent.

These six-speed transmissions use a very efficient architecture with reduced part complexity, low parasitic losses with comparable weight to many four-speed automatics. This transmission will also have the ability to automatically shift into Neutral during extended idle conditions to reduce drag on the engine. When the driver presses the accelerator to launch, the transmission will reengage smoothly and automatically.

Sophisticated electronic control of the new transmission will offer several new features, including shift points that better adjust to specific driving conditions, and grade braking similar to that on the new TorqShift.

It's Showtime In Kentucky
Bluegrass Productions will be producing the May Madness Nationals Top 100 in Mayfield, Kentucky, the weekend of May 28 (Memorial Day weekend). If you're into classics, old cars, and a great down-home experience, this is for you. For more information, contact: Billie, Caroline, or Christie Peal, (270) 382-2139, (270) 382-3995.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Mitsubishi Sport Truck Concept
Mitsubishi's ambitious (and ambitiously styled) Sport Truck Concept springs from the Japanese automaker's longtime alliance with DaimlerChrysler. Mitsubishi is taking this design process seriously as the firm is planning to launch a pickup truck in the North American market, an action that marks the company's entry into an important market segment.

As such, the Sport Truck Concept was developed with the North American market in mind. Its low-slung lines, wide cabin, and 22-inch wheels give the Sport Truck Concept a powerful and sporty image. The straightforward design and precise cosmetics of the dashboard and seats gives the interior a modern look. The instruments and primary controls are arranged toward the driver, putting the controls comfortably in hand with easy-to-read gauge faces.

The rear seats have generous fore/aft tilt angles and can slide sideways, allowing for separate or bench seating. The seats may also be moved up and back into the cargo bed, enabling rear passengers to enjoy the exhilaration of an open-air experience. Besides operating in a conventional manner, the tailgate slides up or down to facilitate carrying skis, surfboards, or other long items.

A 4.7L V-8 engine mates to a five-speed automatic transmission to deliver generous output for this midsize truck.

Union 76 Leaves Racing Fuel Market, VP Racing Fuels Fills In
VP Racing Fuels announced the signing of C.L. Bryant Inc. as its newest bulk master distributor. VP's fuels will now be available at Laguna Seca Raceway, Irwindale Speedway, Buttonwillow, Thunder Hill, and Mesa Marin, among other West Coast tracks. For more information, contact: Mitch Hart, (209) 537-7600; VP Racing fuels, vpracingfuels.com.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Land Rover Unveils First Concept In Detroit
Land Rover made corporate history at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit by unveiling its first-ever concept show car, the Range Stormer.

The Range Stormer is a high-performance, sports-tourer SUV concept that also serves as a preview of a new production model. The supercharged V-8 Range Stormer gives a taste of Land Rover's forthcoming new entrant in the booming high-performance SUV segment. The production vehicle that follows the concept's lead will reportedly share many of its styling and technical innovations. It is very much conceived to be an on-road performance machine and like all Land Rovers, class-leading off-road. Further information on the Range Stormer is available at www.rangestormer.com.

MagnaFlow Open House
MagnaFlow is holding its annual Open House and Car Show on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will include Mario Andretti, and possibly Ivan Stewart, signing autographs, monster trucks, a car show, installation demonstrations, dyno runs, manufacturer vendor booths, music, food, and more. The company's new, revamped "club style" tech center will be in use for the installs and dyno runs, and will provide a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for those observing. For more information, contact: Magnaflow Performance Exhaust, Dept. ST, 22961 Arroyo Vista, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688, (949) 858-5900, www.magnaflow.com.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Six-Wheeled Wonders
Tandem axles seem to show up on light trucks, concept cars, and even race cars every quarter century or so. Sure, tandem axles are good for spreading the load, and to some extent even make sense as a styling statement on a custom such as this mini-truck pulled from a '93 issue of our sister publication, Mini Truckin', but we haven't seen a front-axle version of the tandem concept since the '77 Tyrrell P34 F1 car. When we first saw the images of the Fab-1, we thought J. Mays went a little mental on us.

Fortunately this is only a movie prop. Ford is supporting the production of Thunderbirds, a big-budget live-action family movie based on the cult Thunderbirds TV show and due for global release through Universal Pictures this summer. The car pictured is Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward's FAB1 limousine - a stunning pink, 27-foot, six-wheel/bubble canopy vehicle, which can transform from car jet plane to hydrofoil and features clear Ford Thunderbird design cues. For those with kids at home, or those addicted to Tech TV, you can find more on the film at www.workingtitlefilms.com and www.uip.com.

2K4 Auto Show Sport Truck Concept Round Up: Honda SUT Concept
Even as Honda debuted the company's SUT Concept truck in Detroit, Honda announced plans for the launch of an all-new sport-utility truck slated for introduction in 2005. The all-new model will be based on Honda's Global Light Truck Platform and will be produced by Honda Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario.

Honda says the Honda SUT Concept combines a roomy and practical SUV-style interior and a pickup-style cargo bed with traditional Honda strengths, including refined styling, superior ergonomics, innovative design, and world-class build quality. It also takes advantage of unibody construction with good packaging efficiency, ride comfort, and handling dynamics versus body-on-frame construction.

The concept vehicle is powered by a high-performance, high-torque all-aluminum VTEC V-6 engine coupled with an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system for outstanding all-weather handling performance and medium-duty towing and off-road capabilities, along with ultra-low emissions and high fuel efficiency.

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