Happy New Year!
We’d like to wish a very happy 2019 to all of you, from all of us here at Street Machine. May it bring you health, wealth and happiness, and please stay sober at the wheel during party season. Don’t be a statistic; just think how much your driving licence means to you… Happy New Year, everyone.
As you may have spotted, the cover price on your favourite magazine has risen by 10%. Sorry about that; it can’t be helped. Sadly, it’s due to mundane and boring reasons such as the price of paper and pressure from retailers, and nothing to do with my request for a Mopar Hellephant crate engine. Subscription prices are still frozen, however – even more reasons to subscribe!
They’re just getting into the big motor show season over in the USA, and the biggest early news is that Jeep are bringing back the Gladiator pick-up truck as a 2020 model. The last Gladiator was seen in 1972. Power will come from a 285hp 3.6 Pentastar V6 or 3.0 EcoDiesel V6 backed by a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto and Command-Trac or Rock-Trac 4×4 systems with Dana axles. Naturally, Jeep are promising towing and payload ratings that are “unmatched” in the mid-size class. The Jeep Gladiator will be in US showrooms in spring, but will it come to the UK…?
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has recently been introduced to the UK, with its supercharged 710bhp Hellcat Hemi pushing it from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds and on to 180mph, running the quarter in 11.48 seconds at 119mph. If you want one, you’ll have to be quick – there will only be 20 sold. Oh, and you’ll also have to have £90,000 to spare. See www.jeep.co.uk.
One of Frank Sinatra’s old cars is coming up for auction in the UK in February! Could it be a top-of-the-range Fifties Chrysler? Or a bespoke Sixties Imperial? Or maybe one of those coachbuilt Seventies specials like a Stutz? Nope, it’s a 1985 Chrysler Le Baron Town & Country, with the turbo K-car engine and acres of genuine fake wood. It’ll be part of H&H Auctions’ first live online auction on February 2nd, if you fancy it – see www.HandH.co.uk for details.
At the same auction, you’ll find the Barris-built SnakePit, a six-wheel dragster that uses six Ford 351 motors to give 2,000hp and, supposedly, a 200mph top speed. It’s up for sale with no reserve…
Where’d They Go?
Insurance specialists Hagerty will be staging their Festival of the Unexceptional Concours de l’Ordinaire at a new venue in 2019 – the rather exceptional Claydon Estate, near Buckingham. It’s a concours for ordinary cars from 1966 to 1996, whose ordinariness means that they haven’t survived in great number. Free entries for qualifying cars will open on January 1st, and free public admission is on a first-come, first-served basis – see www.unexceptionalcars.co.uk. Last year’s winner was a model that just happens to get two unrelated appearances in this magazine, coincidentally.
No S*it, Sherlock
A new study by Money Supermarket reckons that 1.2 million drivers – such as taxi and bus drivers, bin wagon drivers and takeaway delivery drivers – risk losing their jobs to automation when driverless vehicles begin arriving, possibly as early as 2020. Maybe the Luddites were onto something…