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Ford F-Series Super Duty prototype reduced to smouldering mess of aluminum and steel [UPDATE]

2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty prototype on fire

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The most important bit of information you need to know after looking through our high-res gallery of images depicting a prototype 2016 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup truck burning to the ground is that nobody was hurt. There were two engineers inside the vehicle when it caught fire, and both exited to safety.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the truck, which appears to have been testing in Death Valley, appears to be a total loss, minus, of course, whatever information Ford can glean from the conflagration – particularly tracing it back to its root cause. Besides that, we’re also expecting the body of the next Super Duty to be hewn from aluminum, as is the case with its smaller brother, the brand-new F-150. Note the little aluminum droppings littering the roadway as apparent proof of that.

Our spy photographers report that it took just 21 minutes for the F-Series Super Duty to burn completely to the ground. The fire appears to have started in the driver-side front wheel well, spreading to engulf the entire front end in three minutes. We can’t confirm the source of the blaze, but we’re curious if the car’s black vinyl cladding, meant to obscure the secrets within, contributed to the fire.

Check out the complete gallery of images to see how a fully working prototype can be reduced to a smoldering mess of aluminum and steel in just 21 minutes flat. We’ll let you know if Ford can shed any light on the cause of the fire as soon as we hear back.

UPDATE: Ford has issued the following statement: “While testing an experimental vehicle in Death Valley, there was a fire. We are investigating.” That much is clear, and we’ll keep you informed of any new information we get.

Ford F-Series Super Duty prototype reduced to smouldering mess of aluminum and steel [UPDATE]

Ford F-Series Super Duty prototype reduced to smouldering mess of aluminum and steel [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The 11 most expensive American cars ever

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Here’s a Pro Tip for all you would-be classic car investors out there: buy Ferraris. With the Pebble Beach festivities kicking off this week, including any number high end car auctions, we thought it would be entertaining to compile a list of some to the most expensive cars ever sold with the bang of a gavel. Trouble is, once you get past the splendor of everyone’s favorite Italian sports car maker, that list is pretty boring.

Ferrari dominates the all-time auction sales list; seven of the top ten most expensive cars sold wear the Cavallino Rampante badge, as well as more than half of the top fifty. Sure, a nearly $30-million Mercedes-Benz W196 racecar might be the new top dog as of last year, but it’s even possible that Ferrari could take that title back in Monterey this weekend. Long story short: we think a list of the most expensive American cars ever sold at auction is a lot more entertaining to read. Hell, our list has a friggin’ Batmobile on it, how can it go wrong?

Follow on below for the top ten cars that are red, white, blue and a whole lot of green.

The 11 most expensive American cars ever

The 11 most expensive American cars ever originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Top 10 cheapest best-selling cars to insure in Canada

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If you have a car, you have car insurance, and we’re willing to bet that the cost of insurance has played a part in your car-buying process. The cost of insurance for a vehicle is not only determined by the overall cost of the vehicle (obviously, it plays a role) but by factors that also include rate of theft, vandalism, demographics of the buyers, and type of vehicle (sports car vs. econo-gas-miser vs. truck vs. SUV).

According to Kanetix.ca, the SmartForTwo is the cheapest car to insure in Canada. It’s very clear that the Smart car is not for everyone and is not a viable option as the primary vehicle for most folks in Canada.

So instead of bringing you a list of the outright cheapest cars to insure in Canada, we’re bringing you the list of the cheapest late-model top-selling cars (according to Insurance Hotline), as we feel that information is more applicable to our car-conscious readers. After all, most of you are no more likely to go out and buy a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix (which is one of the cheapest cars to insure in Canada right now) over a 2014 Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Fusion, Focus or Mazda’s fantastic Mazda3 than we are.

Interestingly enough, the cost difference in the list of 10 cheapest best-selling cars to insure from least expensive to the most expensive is less than $250 per-annum. So it’s up to you to decide if another 20 or so bucks a month is enough to sway your pick from of cars off of this list.

Check out the list above – in order, the least expensive of the bunch is the first slide. Happy shopping!

Top 10 cheapest best-selling cars to insure in Canada

Top 10 cheapest best-selling cars to insure in Canada originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford Fiesta becomes UK all-time best seller

Ford Fiesta in London

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We may regard Ford as a North American automaker, but ask a Brit and they may tell you otherwise. The Blue Oval has, after all, been selling cars in the UK since 1903, and started manufacturing there as far back as 1911 when it began local production of the Model T in Manchester. Last year Ford ended 100 years of vehicle manufacturing in the UK when the last Transit van rolled off the assembly line in Southampton, but it’s still the biggest-selling automotive marque in Britain.

Ford has led the British market for 34 out of the past 45 years, selling more Fiestas than any other company sells any other car in the UK since 2009… when it overtook the Focus. In fact the Fiesta has now become the best-selling car in British history, topping 4,115,000 units since its introduction in 1976. The previous record was held by – you guessed it – another Ford: the Escort sold 4,105,961 units over the course of its 32 years on the British market.

Although the Fiesta is no longer manufactured in the UK (previous versions having been built at Dagenham until 2002), engines are: the EcoBoost line was developed at the company’s R&D center in Essex and are built at the factory in Dunton, while its diesel engines were developed at Dagenham in East London. Even the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in the Fiesta ST is built in South Wales.

Ford Fiesta becomes UK all-time best seller

Ford Fiesta becomes UK all-time best seller originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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‘Blood Muscle’ auction to sell impressive collection of ill-begotten classic cars

Blood Muscle auction

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The old saying goes that if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. But being a criminal can involve more than just taking a trip to the big house; it can also mean losing possessions purchased from any ill-gotten gains. Still, one man’s loss is another’s gain, and if you’re in Lodi, NJ, on September 12, you stand the chance to buy some of the ultimate muscle cars from the US Marshals in what is being gruesomely nicknamed the Blood Muscle auction.

The grisly moniker was earned because all of the vehicles belonged to the president of a blood testing company who is facing prison time for alleged bribery, according to Hemmings. After all, they are muscle cars bought with actual blood money. The seven-vehicle collection includes some of the ultimate muscle cars ever made, and the original buyer clearly had an eye for rarity.

This cornucopia of V8 power includes a teal 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429, a 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang, an orange 1970 Plymouth Superbird, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS convertible and perhaps most prized of all – a trio of 1969 Yenko Chevys with a Chevelle, Nova and Camaro all represented. From the included photos, all of them look to be in fantastic condition.

A.J Willner Auctions, which is coordinating the sale, has authenticating documents for all seven vehicles on its website. “This is a live auction, all bidders will need to attend and bid in person with the required $10,000 cashier’s check as a deposit on them,” the company says about the event. If you can get past how the cars were purchased, there could be some bargains here.

‘Blood Muscle’ auction to sell impressive collection of ill-begotten classic cars

‘Blood Muscle’ auction to sell impressive collection of ill-begotten classic cars originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford car-camo artist works his craft on Australia’s new Falcon XR8

Ford Falcon camouflage

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Ford is among the kings of concealment when it comes to test cars. On one recent Mustang SVT mule, the automaker went to the extreme of putting baffles over the exhausts to hide how many there were. Sounds like a lot of work, right? In a new video, the Blue Oval has decided to take fans behind the scenes to show them what it takes to camouflage a prototype. In this case the subject was the recently unveiled 2014 Falcon XR8 for Australia.

Ford’s prototype build coordinator Down Under has the very appropriate name of Neil Trickey, and it’s his job to obfuscate the important bits of test cars to keep them out of spy shooters’ camera lenses. Trickey calls his job a “dark art,” and he shows off some of the tricks of his trade in the video. It turns out that the fabric we often see on mules is a type of lycra, but his team isn’t above getting out a can of spray paint to conceal parts, too.

Scroll down to watch a video about a man who you probably wish could be a little worse at his job.

Ford car-camo artist works his craft on Australia’s new Falcon XR8

Ford car-camo artist works his craft on Australia’s new Falcon XR8 originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang appears at EAA Oshkosh

Ford Mustang F-35 Lightning II Edition

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Ford is back at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, WI, on July 31 auctioning off its seventh Mustang for charity, and this is one seriously mean looking 2015 ‘Stang. All of the money from the sale goes to give free introductory flights to young people to get them interested in aviation.

We recently saw this latest EAA Mustang as a sketch. However, it looks a whole lot more menacing in person. Dubbed the Ford F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang, it takes liberal inspiration from Lockheed Martin’s latest fighter jet, and the customization makes the pony car look ready for a role in Top Gun.

On the outside, the special Mustang wears titanium-color paint that’s offset by a black and yellow stripe running from hood to rear. Out back things get really wild with a mix of bright yellow and black that flows diagonally all the way to the rear spoiler. The design is based on the livery of early production F-35s. If the rousing color scheme isn’t enough to get you interested, the car also gets a carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, lowered suspension and a set of custom 21-inch wheels with yellow brake calipers.

Inside, the design continues to take inspiration from the fighter with gold-tinted windows to match the radar shielding from the plane’s cockpit. To keep the driver and co-pilot planted, there are two big Recaro sport seats with more yellow accents, and in case you forget what’s influencing the car, the door panels and floor mats show the F-35.

Ford’s work with the EAA has raised over $2.5 million for charity, and last year’s Air Force Thunderbirds-inspired car brought in nearly $400,000. With the 2015 Mustang being so highly desired, you might need some deep pockets to put this one in your garage. Scroll down to read more about this fighter-inspired coupe.

Ford F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang appears at EAA Oshkosh

Ford F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang appears at EAA Oshkosh originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke

2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty

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What weighs 30,000 pounds (13,600 kilograms)? Big Ben’s Westminster bell. A navy ship anchor. Or as we found out during our first drive program for the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty, seven pallets of cinder blocks loaded onto a dual-axle gooseneck trailer. The test was part of a raft of towing demonstrations that showcased the new Super Duty’s impressive tug capacity, which maxes out at 32,100 pounds (14,560 kilograms). That’s 1,200 (540 kg) more than its nearest rival, the Ram 3500, when equipped with its upgraded 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel V8. Such is the heavy-duty pickup truck business, a diesel-fueled game of one-upmanship with only three players: Ford, Chevrolet/GMC and Ram. And in this game, the one with the most torque wins.

Until 2014, Ford was the one to beat, with its 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel bringing 400 hp and a massive 800 lb-ft of torque to the table. Then last year, Ram did exactly that, serving Ford with a beefed-up Cummins turbodiesel inline-six in its freshened Ram Heavy Duty truck line with 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to tow up to 30,000 pounds (13,600 kilograms). But Ford claims it had designed its engine to be relatively easy to upgrade when the time called for it, so for 2015, Ford bolted a larger turbo to the Power Stroke, bringing output to an insane 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of twist, all without reducing fuel efficiency. Maximum tow capacity rises from 24,700 lbs to an incredible 31,200 lbs (11,200 kg) for the F-450 dually.

As for GM’s HDs? They lag behind the lot with their 6.6-litre Duramax V-8, producing 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, you know things are serious when the trucks with 765 lb-ft are the knock-kneed wimps of the lot.

Yet all this one-upmanship isn’t as crystal-clear as the spec sheets would have you believe. Ford and Ram are currently involved in a pissing match over how these tow ratings are calculated, and the solution might not be arrived at without legal intervention. We prefer firsthand drive impressions over spec-sheet bench racing (towing?), so we headed to West Virginia to saddle up and ride.

2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke

2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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‘Blood Muscle’ auction to sell impressive collection of ill-begotten classic cars

Blood Muscle auction

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The old saying goes that if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. But being a criminal can involve more than just taking a trip to the big house; it can also mean losing possessions purchased from any ill-gotten gains. Still, one man’s loss is another’s gain, and if you’re in Lodi, NJ, on September 12, you stand the chance to buy some of the ultimate muscle cars from the US Marshals in what is being gruesomely nicknamed the Blood Muscle auction.

The grisly moniker was earned because all of the vehicles belonged to the president of a blood testing company who is facing prison time for alleged bribery, according to Hemmings. After all, they are muscle cars bought with actual blood money. The seven-vehicle collection includes some of the ultimate muscle cars ever made, and the original buyer clearly had an eye for rarity.

This cornucopia of V8 power includes a teal 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429, a 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang, an orange 1970 Plymouth Superbird, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS convertible and perhaps most prized of all – a trio of 1969 Yenko Chevys with a Chevelle, Nova and Camaro all represented. From the included photos, all of them look to be in fantastic condition.

A.J Willner Auctions, which is coordinating the sale, has authenticating documents for all seven vehicles on its website. “This is a live auction, all bidders will need to attend and bid in person with the required $10,000 cashier’s check as a deposit on them,” the company says about the event. If you can get past how the cars were purchased, there could be some bargains here.

‘Blood Muscle’ auction to sell impressive collection of ill-begotten classic cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car

1988 Ford Mustang Saleen 21R General Tire racecar auction

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Saleen may be making headlines these days for working on the Tesla Model S, but its history and bread-and-butter is all about the Ford Mustang. The rear-wheel-drive Dearborn pony cars singlehandedly put the company on the map in the ’80s. Founder Steve Saleen was already a talented American racing driver when he started the venture, and like many auto industry businesses before him, Saleen went to the track to prove his vehicles’ worth. Now, there’s a chance to buy one of those early racers on eBay Motors.

Saleen Mustangs raced in the Sports Car Club of America Escort Endurance Championship – a series of multi-hour races meant to challenge man and machine. Ostensibly a showroom stock class, the cars had larger wheels, tuned suspensions and other upgrades that stretched the concept slightly. Saleen found major success though, taking the championship for its class in 1987 and winning the 24 Hours of Mosport consecutively from 1986 through 1988.

According to the seller, Saleen only built eight of these cars, and this one carries the #21R serial number. They all started life as new Mustangs from Ford dealers but were immediately stripped and prepped to go racing. Beyond obvious mods like a roll cage, they featured eight-inch wide wheels in front, an inch of additional track width, stiffer suspension bushings and much more.

Saleen #21R is still in its well-known “Bumblebee” livery and includes its SCCA logbook, original wheels, a Saleen title, Steve’s signature on the interior and many of the company’s ID tags still on the car, according to the auction. It carries a Buy It Now of US$65,000, and the auction ends on August 13. That’s not cheap, but it would likely be quite a conversation piece whenever it arrived for a day at the track.

eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car

eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car originally appeared on Autoblog Canada on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car

1988 Ford Mustang Saleen 21R General Tire racecar auction

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Saleen may be making headlines these days for working on the Tesla Model S, but its history and bread-and-butter is all about the Ford Mustang. The rear-wheel-drive Dearborn pony cars singlehandedly put the company on the map in the ’80s. Founder Steve Saleen was already a talented American racing driver when he started the venture, and like many auto industry businesses before him, Saleen went to the track to prove his vehicles’ worth. Now, there’s a chance to buy one of those early racers on eBay Motors.

Saleen Mustangs raced in the Sports Car Club of America Escort Endurance Championship – a series of multi-hour races meant to challenge man and machine. Ostensibly a showroom stock class, the cars had larger wheels, tuned suspensions and other upgrades that stretched the concept slightly. Saleen found major success though, taking the championship for its class in 1987 and winning the 24 Hours of Mosport consecutively from 1986 through 1988.

According to the seller, Saleen only built eight of these cars, and this one carries the #21R serial number. They all started life as new Mustangs from Ford dealers but were immediately stripped and prepped to go racing. Beyond obvious mods like a roll cage, they featured eight-inch wide wheels in front, an inch of additional track width, stiffer suspension bushings and much more.

Saleen #21R is still in its well-known “Bumblebee” livery and includes its SCCA logbook, original wheels, a Saleen title, Steve’s signature on the interior and many of the company’s ID tags still on the car, according to the auction. It carries a Buy It Now of $65,000, and the auction ends on August 13. That’s not cheap, but it would likely be quite a conversation piece whenever it arrived for a day at the track.

eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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