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New Tech.

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
#1
A lot of you guys are pioneering a whole new area of truck design. There have been several (a majority?) of questions here regarding adaptation of racing technology to dual purpose applications. This has been done for years. But it's different now in that these concepts are being applied to vehicles with the intention of working in perfect harmony with OEM components, design, and use. Another difference is that they are often being applied to brand new vehicles! You are talking about suspensions with travels all the way up to 25" inches or so, street legal and safe! Also of replacement of steering systems, front and rear suspensions, and the designing of roll cages which don't cause rattles, cracks, or a rough ride, and a whole lot more. It's truly amazing what is being attempted.

Perhaps the Japanese (maybe that’s what Bob is up to...) will step in and do it for us like they did with motorcycles. Until then it looks like a good opportunity for the fab. shops and accessory people, who are willing to DO THEIR HOMEWORK, to provide well designed, quality products.
 

Bob_Sheaves

Well-Known Member
#2
Hi Fabricator,

If you remember back to last November-there was a series of posts from a product planning engineer at GM talking about the possibility of building a version of the GMT360 as a pre-runner and the question was asked "What do you want". While I cannot and will not comment on GM plans I know of or do not have direct knowledge of, the fab shops should be worried. Many companies are looking at this market as a viable way of extending the "SUV craze".. As has been said here before (albeit in a different context) "Them that can-DO, them that can't- TEACH" and I believe that Ford and GM have been apt students.

Best as always,

Bob Sheaves
 

Chris

Well-Known Member
#3
I agree 100% with the thoughts that a major manufacterer will move into this niche' market that is exploding right now. In december of 2000 I was involved with a research study by one of the major auto manufacterers that tried to determine what people were looking for in a "production prerunner". The discusion was not based upon asthetics but what would perform under real world use. They were ultra hush-hush about which auto manufacterer the study was being done for, but it was interesting non the same.
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
#4
Happy Quatro de Julio!

When should I plan on getting in line to order my new factory “Pre-Runner”??? I am one of the last to put any kind of negative comments here. But why would there be such enthusiasm on the part of any of the auto makers to get into this market other than with a facsimile? GM would probably add around 2" to wheel travel and come blazing out with the ever popular “Bold New Graphics!” They have known that the Corvette needed a mid-engine since the sixties to really shine. I would guess that it took an incredible amount of convincing and arguing just to get the transmission moved to the rear. Toyota got pretty darn serious with their race truck and advertising for a while too. You could have seen an ad anywhere. They also know that any type of special SUV needs some serious re-arranging of major components. They have'nt jumped in at all. (actually, judging from past bravado and capabilities, Toyota seems like the most likely, but still unlikely, choice).

If we can’t get ESPN’s, or now, even Speedvision’s attention, how can we get one of the Big Boys? And last but not least, the enviro-whackos already hate SUV’s for what they can do and the mileage they get. Wait till they see one in the showroom designed to drive across the unpaved dezert. And in their pockets are a host of politicians who would dish out some heavy criticism.

To my recollection, none of the auto makers have even put a real roll bar on any truck. The new vehicle might have to come with a release form about 150 pages long. Anyone who doubts that GM, Ford, or one of the others could do it in a flash is mistaken. As I have mentioned here before, they had the 4 link over a quarter of a century before we knew how good it was. But would they do it is a question of monumental proportions. If I had a choice to buy stock in Ford or GM's pre-runner divisions or some of the better accessory outfits, it would be a no-brainer for now. I would like to be wrong about all this, but I think we need to slap ourselves (or maybe each other LOL) and make sure that we are not day dreaming.
 
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