Cliches are something that motoring journalists are very good at spouting, even if completely inadvertently.
“Corners like it is on rails” for something that handles well, “looks like a Hot Wheels car” for something with big wheels and lots of big wings, “just like a real-life Tonka toy” for something chunky and truck-like — that sort of nonsense.
Except now, that last one is actually a reality, thanks to the good people at Ford and Tonka.
The Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka (yes, that is its actual name) was recently revealed at the NTEA Work Truck Show and it is as cool as the name makes it sound. Proudly painted like a proper Tonka dump truck, the Ford F-750 looks like it would be perfectly at home in any self-respecting sandpit. Except it is over 3m tall and powered by a beefy 6.7-litre diesel V8.
“From Generation Z to the Greatest Generation, Ford and Tonka continue to set the standards for tough trucks,” said John Ruppert, general manager, Ford Commercial Vehicle Sales and Marketing.
“People of all ages have been counting on Ford F-Series and Tonka trucks to get the job done — from construction site to sandbox — for more than 60 years.” Sadly, there are no plans to actually put the Tonka version of the F-750 into production.
Back to the future for fans
The DeLorean.Picture / Terabass / Wikimedia Commons
The Back To The Future movies made a huge impact on popular culture, and this year the franchise will be back on our radar when the second movie (set in 2015) is celebrated. Nike are determined to have their self-lacing shoes on sale this year, hoverboards are almost a thing and now the Volo Auto Museum in Illinois is giving away a 1981 DeLorean, complete with a flux capacitor, as a prize in a raffle if the Chicago Cubs win baseball’s 2015 World Series, as predicted in the movie.
Unfortunately, this is considered to be unlikely as the Cubs haven’t played in the World Series since 1945 and haven’t won it since two back-to-back wins in 1907 and 1908. In fact, things are so bad for the Chicago team that last year they finished dead last in their league and are considered “cursed” by their fans.
Fortunately, the museum has a back-up prize for the raffle winner if the Cubs don’t win — a replica hoverboard prop.
We are the world
* A police officer in Doncaster, England, recently thought he was on to something when he checked the number plate of a car and it turned out to be an unmarked police car that had just been reported stolen! Unfortunately for the officer, it turned out to be the car he had driven there in and forgotten to sign out of the motor pool. The Doncaster Free Press reported the “incident” and reminded readers that “it’s highly embarrassing, but policemen are only human and make mistakes”. But that is one spectacular mistake to make.
* A Russian was somewhat surprised to get up in the morning and find his Lada completely frozen in a block of solid ice up to the middle of the doors. It seems that Vlad Porkrovski parked his Lada Priora in a small ditch on the side of the road that filled up that night, then was frozen solid. “We tried pouring hot water over it but that just froze and made it worse,” Vlad said. “We then tried hacking the ice away with spades and knives, but it is so hard some of them broke.”
Help bring this dinosaur to life again
The custom-built Fleetwood RV.Picture / JPRV Restoration Team
Although Jurassic Park: The Lost World wasn’t the best movie in the franchise, it did boast the best vehicles including the cool Fleetwood RV that took the brunt of a Tyrannosaur’s anger.
It seems a lot of people felt that way about the custom-built camper and when it was found languishing in California, enthusiasts decided to restore it. To raise funds the JPRV Restoration Team have taken to crowd-funding website Go Fund Me.
Small amounts of cash will get the donor a patch/cap/T-shirt, but when you get to US$250, you score a custom-made commemorative number plate. Double that and you get a piece of the RV that has had to be replaced during restoration. For US$1000 you get a two-night stay in the finished RV (airfares not included), while US$1500 gets you a limited-edition, hand-built scale model of the RV, as well as a piece of the beast.
US$2000 gets you all of the team gear, a piece of the RV and a camping expedition in Southern California.
Pledge US$5000 and you get all of that, plus an executive producer credit on the documentary about the restoration, while US$10,000 gets you all of that, the model and the original back door off the RV!
1 MODEL The DMC-12 was the only model DeLorean produced.
900 CARS Estimate of the number of DMC-12s produced.
97 KW The power of the US-spec DMC-12.
85 MILES PER HOUR The DMC-12 had to hit 88mph to time-travel, unlike in reality, 85m/h.