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Old 12-31-2010, 07:24 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tim3058 View Post
What do you base the "Bureaucrats have already distorted the market by heavily subsidizing fossil fuels" on?? As far as I know they are subsidizing the alternative fuels (correct me if I'm wrong), to the extent they instituted a 10% ethanol-monopoly at the pumps (which is killing my mpgs!!!!)
Well, just in one article, oil companies get $2.7 billion just in income tax subsidies alone, not to mention interest-free loans, R&D subsidies, subsidized oil cleanup, and the DOE, which is funding research into oil exploration, at a cost at least $120 million. And of course, that doesn't include the cost of the military, which spends an awful lot of time defending our interests in oil-rich countries. Worldwide, fossil fuels get over $500 billion in subsidies, compared to $46 billion for renewables.

Then add in the smog, fuel economy and safety exemptions auto companies get to make large trucks cheaper, and the famous Bush "large truck depreciation write-off", and the fact that everybody seems to have a "small business" on the side that they use to write off their toy haulers, with no oversight by the IRS...

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Old 12-31-2010, 09:45 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robchalmers View Post
I don't get it. From a simple Euro p.o.v we don't do te whole truck thing

you're not telling me ford/chevy/whoever can't go on a lightweight 'retro' trip in the design studio??
It's quite simple (as are Americans): egomania + cheap fuel = vehicles far larger than required. Actually I shouldn't single out Americans, as people globally have demonstrated that as soon as they have access to the same combo of large vehicles, cheap fuel, and enough disposable income to fuel up, they gravitate to the leviathans too.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:23 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
It's quite simple (as are Americans): egomania + cheap fuel = vehicles far larger than required.
I don't think egomania is quite the reason. Indeed, I'll argue that it's just the opposite, insecurity. The average American, and particularly the average American male, is pretty darned insecure about his place in the world, and as a consequence he buys the big truck and suchlike to hide his insecurity behind. Whereas the truly egotistical (like me!) are secure in the knowledge of our superiority, and so don't need artificial props :-)
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:39 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tim3058 View Post
Exactly

Sorry Frank, on the opposite end of that one. If people are buying 14mpg rigs may the force be with them... more assembly line jobs, and automakers recover that much faster... If there was a market for 30mpg trucks, then automakers would be selling em already without a bureaucrat telling em to..
Not exactly, running a small business for years has taught me a couple things
1. Most people are very very ignorant and make absolutely no effort to know anything beyond their direct sphere of contact, even when told they don't remember it or remember it with the facts 100% opposite.
2. Most people will do what authority figures, media and other outlets tell them they should do, it takes a while but people tend to believe what somebody says they should do. If advertising suggests they should be driving an 22000lb 8x8 HET with a pickup box on the back they would do so.

At the moment I am having my 89 diesel suburban rebuilt as an 82 emission controlled 6.2 diesel with a 5sp double OD MT suburban. before the conversion it was not uncommon for me to get 26mpg highway with an auto (and loaded with a ton in the back). With higher gears, more air in the tires and a 5 speed stick I would estimate 30mpg is not out of reach. The 6.2's were built for fuel economy and a few of the blazers with 6.2s were rated for a time at 30mpg highway with airplane gears, sadly everyone has forgotten this, all on a rather bland platform and one that is not even optimally efficient either.

I am one of a group that would love to see a more reliable set of antique diesel big guys on the block. Most every big car and truck would benefit from a LOW COST relatively efficient diesel alternative. The old diesel 5.7's and 6.2s in their more reliable last generation versions would be on my want list, especially if improved further and remarketed. Some of the giant oldsmobiles with the NA 4.3 6 banger diesel netted in the 40mpg area, it always makes me wonder what could have been had they been done right the first time as opposed to right before being discontinued (like all GM products) A Current tech update to these old motors would likely net something very interesting, too bad GM had to screw them up before fixing them up nice.

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Old 01-01-2011, 02:04 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rmay635703 View Post
2. Most people will do what authority figures, media and other outlets tell them they should do, it takes a while but people tend to believe what somebody says they should do. If advertising suggests they should be driving an 22000lb 8x8 HET with a pickup box on the back they would do so.
And it MUST have 400hp. A 1992 Suburban did 0-60 in about 11.4 seconds, but the 2011 model (at 5,800 pounds!!) does it in a little over 8 seconds. Seriously, people?
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:59 AM   #36 (permalink)
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The problem is that the whole truck and SUV thing has become an arms race. People fear getting hit by some idiot who is talking on their cell phone while smacking the kids, putting on makeup and text messaging so they go out and buy one too. I drive my Metro in fear of the morons but honestly can't in good conscience drive a 12 mpg vehicle. It's not out of wanting to save the planet. I really can't do that when countries like China continue to pollute at an alarming and ever-increasing rate. No, it's out of not wanting to part with huge sums of money at the gas station just to get around. I like my cars but I also like being able to afford to drive them as well. I also like the smug factor of knowing my vehicular choice is technically or financially superior to those of people commuting in a Ford Excursion or leasing a new Prius. My car cost less than 1 car payment for the normals to buy and will be less than less than 3 more payments to sort and that just makes me smile all the way to the bank.

If I really was concerned with going green I don't think I could have a more green choice than a restored Metro. At least my "new" car doesn't require more manufacturing pollution to replace an old car that was already built with a new one. I never understood the wastefulness of people who buy a new car every 3-5 years when the old one is still perfectly capable of doing the job.

(However, if someone wants to sell me a new Prius, Insight or Volt for $250 I am more than willing to jump on the bandwagon.)
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:11 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I don't think egomania is quite the reason. Indeed, I'll argue that it's just the opposite, insecurity. The average American, and particularly the average American male, is pretty darned insecure about his place in the world, and as a consequence he buys the big truck and suchlike to hide his insecurity behind. Whereas the truly egotistical (like me!) are secure in the knowledge of our superiority, and so don't need artificial props :-)
^ I nominate this for post of the week.

I got into an argument at a tire place because the guy insisted that 16" 8 ply tires just couldn't have come from that little of a truck. I made him walk out there, read the "3500" off the side and crawl underneath and look at the rear pumpkin. People here are conditioned to huge trucks.
I remember thinking a buddies Ford Excursion was too big....... until his wife parked her Expedition next to it !

Doesn't Subaru still make the Brat, just not here?
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:29 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3058 View Post
Exactly

Sorry Frank, on the opposite end of that one. If people are buying 14mpg rigs may the force be with them... more assembly line jobs, and automakers recover that much faster... If there was a market for 30mpg trucks, then automakers would be selling em already without a bureaucrat telling em to. Guys wanting 30mpg and driving long distances may wish to consider something smaller than an F150 in the first place.
Used to frequent a diesel truck forum when I had one, and I can tell you that the "truck guys" are very interested in fuel economy. The main reason no one buys 30 mpg full-sized trucks is because no one makes one, not because "they don't want one".

Last edited by instarx; 01-01-2011 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:52 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cujet View Post
Plus, I load up the back with gravel for the driveways, mulch for the flower beds, potting soil for my raised garden and so on. There is no way on God's green earth that a small vehicle can move that much weight. I suppose a bed chock full of gravel is about 3000 pounds!
Perfect rationalization. Exactly how much gravel a year do you have to haul for your driveway? How much mulch could you possibly use? Your trailer towing argument is better, but I don't buy the "I gotta haul rock for my driveway" argument.

Unless it is for a business where things have to be hauled on a daily basis, most of these 3/4 and 1-ton trucks are pointless. As trailer pullers, sure, but as haulers nope. There is essentially nothing that cannot be delivered for a tiny fraction of the cost of buying, insuring, licensing and fueling a daily-driver truck. Since you own a travel trailer it makes sense for you, but for 90% of people who own these trucks it makes no sense.

I often see pristine (e.g. non-work) trucks at the local Home Depot with a single 2x10 sticking out the back. I always laugh because I just know the guy was thinking he sure was lucky to own that truck.

Last edited by instarx; 01-01-2011 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:13 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Perfect rationalization. Exactly how much gravel a year do you have to haul for your driveway? How much mulch could you possibly use? Your trailer towing argument is better, but I don't buy the "I gotta haul rock for my driveway" argument.
Actually, 3,000 pounds of gravel exceeds the payload rating of the F-150, but in a trailer, is well within the towing capacities of compact pickups and even some cars and smaller crossovers. (And that's here. In the UK, a freaking Civic 3-door can tow 3,300 pounds and is rated at 55 mpg on the freeway with the diesel.)

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