Tag Archives: future

    • Guess Where They Found The "Back to the Future" Truck?

      The 1985 Toyota Xtra Cab 4X4 truck being driven by Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, in "Back to the Future". (Photo courtesy http://www.imcdb.org)

      If you saw the second and third "Back to the Future" movies, you likely remember the celebrated DeLorean car that was used in the pictures. But there were other vehicles in the films too. Michael J. Fox's character, Marty McFly, drove a 1985 Toyota Xtra Cab 4X4 truck in those movies, and it's that truck that will be undergoing a restoration soon.

      According to the Time Machine Restoration Company, the Toyota was stolen many years ago, and was recently recovered by the Mexican federal police. The car was auctioned off, and the company, already restoring the movie's iconic DeLorean, got the truck too.

      It's not clear what the vehicle was doing in Mexico, or why the Mexico federal police were involved, but there's no question that it's the actual car. There was a note written on the passenger-side sun visor that read, "Keith, Many thanks. See you on something else I'm sure—Michael J. Fox."

      http://www.chron.com

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    • Keep this in mind in 32 years- Ford To Make Aluminum F-150 Trucks

      In 2044, when you (or your child) is looking for an "antique" 2014 Ford F-150 pickup to restore, don't be surprised if the body panels are largely aluminum, not steel.

      But this is a Ford! This is a Truck! How can they do that? Well, thanks to Washington's latest fuel-economy regulations, Ford is working on switching from steel to aluminum to reduce the weight of its F-150 by about 700 lbs. (about 15% of its current weight). By cutting that weight, trucks can go farther on a gallon of gas, and it could also lead to smaller engines, further boosting fuel economy.

      But will you, a potential customer, go along with this drastic change? Will the most popular truck in the U.S. be as safe and durable as we expect from a Ford F-150 pickup? There's a lot at stake here, considering the F-150 is one of the most profitable vehicle lines in the world, and it's outsold every other vehicle in the U.S. since 1982.

      There are also a few interesting manufacturing problems that Ford has to deal with. Since aluminum is not magnetic, they'll need to invest in powerful, power-hungry vacuums to transfer the aluminum sheets within the factory, instead of the giant magnets they now use on steel. Aluminum is also "springier" than steel when pressed, is more likely to tear if pressed too quickly, and it scratches more easily.

      But Ford engineers continue to work on the first prototypes, so I think I'll reserve judgment on the 2014s until I can actually drive one. Sure hope their "Built Ford Tough" slogan will still apply!

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