Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Random Car Wednesday: 1993 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

Welcome to this week's RCW on Shifting Gears. For today, I thought I'd pick out one of my favorite Ford oddballs, the SVT Lightning. In the early 1990's, there were a limited number of American performance cars available. For a hefty price tag you could snag a first-generation Viper, or a well-optioned Corvette. The main contenders were GM's Camaro SS and Firebird Trans Am, as well as the Ford Mustang GT. The Fox-body platform was starting to show its age, so in 1993, the year before the next-generation Mustang was unveiled, Ford assembled a performance division to add a bit of spice to their lineup. The Special Vehicles Team, or SVT, was tasked with giving Ford's lineup an injection of high performance. In 1993 they released the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, and SVT Mustang variants showed up throughout most of the 1990's and 2000's. However, SVT also got their hands on the Ford F-150 pickup. SVT gave it a mild bodykit, better suspension and frame, and a 5.8 liter V8. Thus, the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning was born. It also took sales out of Chevy's sport truck, the 454 SS. SVT returned to the F-150 platform later, too. A second-generation Lightning debuted in 1999, and the modern-day SVT Raptor is proving to be a strong seller for Ford. There's something about a high-performance pickup that is distinctly American, and I, for one, love it.

1993 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Random Car Wednesday: 1983 Jeep CJ-7

Now that the site is back online, we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. Today's RCW is a retro off-roader, the Jeep CJ-7. The Jeep CJ line debuted shortly after the end of WWII, and the first model was the CJ-2A, which was essentially a civilian version of the Willys MB used by the military. Originally the CJ line was produced by Willys, but eventually the company went defunct and in 1963 Kaiser-Jeep was born. This lasted until 1970, when AMC became the new owners. Finally, in 1987, Jeep fell into the hands of Chrysler, who owns Jeep to this day. Despite being owned by so many different companies, the Jeep CJ line never experienced a large amount of change. This particular Jeep is a 1983 model, hailing from the AMC years. It's a CJ-7 Renegade, which was one of many trim levels available, and it's been modified a bit by the owner. The most notable change is that there is a slight lift kit, coupled with bigger wheels and tires for improved off-road performance. Custom seats and a bikini top roof add to the individuality of this formidable four-wheeler. I personally like the older Jeeps, and favor the CJ models to the later Wranglers, so this is a capable vehicle I would certainly not mind owning.

1983 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Car Show Roundup

There have been several car shows since my computer died, and I took plenty of pictures. Consider this a sampler platter or a highlight reel. Enjoy!

"Discreet" and "T-Bucket" do not really mix.

Not a lot of these still around. It's a 1930 Packard, by the way.

Fenders? No. Fun? Yes.

Blue Ford pickup. VERY blue.

Old Ford trucks are easy to find. Old Chevy pickups, however, are another story.

Some very subtle modifications on this Merc.

It's green, but not in the silly hybrid kind of way.

Nash-Healey LeMans. Rare doesn't even begin to cover it.

Yeah, I'd say that's orange enough.

Rear tires of that size are always a good sign.

Daily-driver worthy Ford F-100.

First year for the Ranchero, 1957.

This car is probably nicer now than when it left the showroom in 1963.

Thunderbird in immaculate shape. One of my favorite bodystyles.

Even the replica Daytona Coupes are tough to find. This one's suitably mean.

1966 Cadillac. Walking one lap around this car actually qualifies as exercise.

Lovely little drop-top Camaro.

Very nice example of what color a convertible Mustang should be.

You could tell how blue this Ford is from three counties over.

*Insert Bullitt theme music here*

Powered by a modern LS motor. Sporty.

One of few non-SS Chevelles left in existence.

One of the most unique hood scoops to come out of the 1960's.

SS 454, the ultimate Chevelle.

Street legal, somehow. That's a 548 Hemi in there...

Nice to see some classic Mopar muscle.

I love these things. One of the coolest wagons ever made.

Nice wheel choice.


Black and yellow, kill a fellow.

A different kind of air-cooled.

This would probably look good in any color.

The lack of engine noise is kind of spooky.

SRT8 Cherokee. A good kind of oddball.

Turbo Porsche. Not too shabby.

First 1M Coupe I've seen. Neat little car.

Small car, big attitude.

More spaceship than car, really.

Dear BMW: It's not a coupe if there are 4 doors.

These things are absolutely terrific.

Rolls Royce Wraith. Fastback + Suicide Doors = Awesome.

Redesigned Camaro in 1LE spec. Looks angry.

New Corvette. Looks great, sounds better.

Back in Action!

Goodness gracious, it's been a while. My computer had a severe hard drive failure, and the process of acquiring a new computer and transferring data from the old one was a longer process than I had anticipated. That said, I've got a brand new computer now, and so we're all systems go. It's been a long and unfortunate reprieve, but it's time to get the site up and running once more. I've got plenty of photos to post, so stay tuned.