Good Oil: Our favourite SEMA Bro dozer
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Bro dozer is SEMA shorthand for the gargantuan modified pick-up trucks that, increasingly, are playing a bigger part at the annual car customiser and accessories show in Las Vegas; more so than performance and muscle cars.
Every year more hot rod houses and performance tuning specialists seem to be turning to the XL-sized American pick-up truck as the template for some good ol’ body kit bad-assery.
You’ll still find more than your fair share of Hemi-engined monsters and tricked-out Japanese sports coupes but the bigger the Bro doze, the better. And while there is always plenty to marvel (and shake one’s head in disgust) at inside the SEMA show, this year a modified 1966 Ford Bronco caught our eye as perhaps the perfect SEMA show car. Well, truck ...
Built by Wisconsin-headquartered Maxlider Brothers Customs, the stretched truck chassis employs the sort of huge heavy-duty piping that Baja Trophy trucks rely on to not buckle in half somewhere to the south of Santa Catalina.
Under the hood is a Roush Performance-tickled 5.0-litre supercharged Coyote V8, good for 447kW, so say the builders.
Other good stuff onboard the dedicated six-seater includes custom Fox Racing suspension, BF Goodrich 37x12.5/20 mud-terrain tyres, 20-inch alloys (a small rim where SEMA is concerned) and disc brakes all round.
The 1966 steering box was, naturally, replaced with an EPAS electric power steering module to help haul it over boulders. Theoretically speaking.
Because you couldn’t drive a rig like this and not want to party, dude, there is attention to detail inside the Bronco, including custom-made seats and trim, as well as six Wetsounds sound bars and subwoofers, so your frat-boy rock will sound as crystalline as possible with the volume turned up to eleventy-stupid.
No word on whether the custom Bronco features a dedicated roof, canvas or otherwise. But then, that’s probably not a problem for your SoCal and/or Miami-based owner, brah.
Fancy a used Chiron?
In the market for something sporty to enjoyduring summer? Have we got a deal for you ... well, assuming of course you’re an oil tycoon or some other captain of industry ...
A British auction house is listing one of the first second-hand Bugatti Chirons offered.
As you might expect, with only 1330 miles (2140km) on the clock and a not-inconsiderable reputation as the ultimate hypercar, this particular used vehicle isn’t cheap. It hasn’t even depreciated.
Originally offered for around £2.5 million when new, Romans International has advertised the Chiron for sale at £3.6 million ($5.2m).
That represents a substantial seven-figure profit for the seller.
Because Bugatti is so achingly slow (on purpose) at hand-building the Chiron, it is anticipated only around 50 a year will be built.
Unlike your common or garden-variety Porsche 911, the laws of supply and demand deem that the Chiron will probably only ever accumulate value.
The wait time for a brand-new Bug is apparently up to four years, so — assuming discretion is assured — a slightly-used version available right now, will probably prove a rather attractive proposition to those with enough backbone in their wallet.
Incidentally, Romans International states that the Chiron for sale puts the “extra” in “extravagant”, with a whopping £73,000 ($139,000) of optional extras fitted, including more carbonfibre than the entire F1 grid.
That the options list alone equates to more than the price of a BMW M2 gives you an indication of the sort of conversation you would need to have with your financial adviser in order to turn up, or phone in, on auction day.
European carmakers embrace the truck
Five or so years ago, the thought of a Volkswagen logo on the grille of a light commercial ute was a strange prospect for all of 10 minutes.
Lately, a Mercedes-Benz logo on a similarly shaped vehicle has been actively looked forward to. So, clearly, the appetite for workhorses from more premium carmakers has grown over time.
And now, Peugeot wants in.
Well, sort of. Peugeot’s parent company, PSA Groupe, is looking to develop a new one-tonne truck with Chinese carmaker Changan Automobile. Changan is considered one of the “big four” Chinese carmakers and, in return for a €500m ($846m) manufacturing investment, it will help PSA Groupe push the DS sub-brand to wealthy young buyers in the Chinese market. We’re unlikely to see any potential Peugeot ute in our part of the world anytime soon.
It possibly wouldn’t even wear a Peugeot badge. But actually, one already exists — a Peugeot pick-up was developed with another Chinese carmaker, Dongfeng, exclusively for the African market.
And to confuse things further, that truck uses a Renault-Nissan Alliance engine, rather than anything from the PSA Groupe parts bin.
And anyway, aside from the Chinese tie-up, Peugeot has been in this territory before. Peugeot released the 404 as a ute in the mid-1960s, which did good business in Africa and, to a lesser extent, Australia.