Hot Rods and Harleys

Posted 08-10-2000 3:00am PST

Copyright © July 2000,
By Michael Levine

Related Links
PUTC First Drive: Chevy SSR Concept

New Truck Review: 2001 Harley-Davidson Edition Ford F-150

Pickup truck enthusiasts, your prayers have been answered. General Motors and Ford have both announced two new trucks sure to get your heart rate and blood pressure pumping to new levels - the 2002 Chevy SSR and 2001 Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 SuperCrew.

The SSR (Super Sports Roadster) hits hard at those fans of open top sports cars, in the tradition of the Corvette, but also combines the rich heritage of 1950s era Chevrolet pickups. An open air roadster with a retractable hard top and small-block V8, the SSR was announced yesterday by GM President and CEO, Richard Wagoner during an automotive conference at the University of Michigan.

Referring to the fact that the SSR was originally created as a concept truck for the 2000 North American International Auto Show and didn't even exist as a concept until last October, Wagoner is quoted as stating, "We donít have every detail buttoned down for the SSR, but look at that truck! Doesnít it just feel right!"

The SSR is expected to be based on the same platform as the upcoming 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer and GMC Envoy midsize SUVs to cut help costs and speed time to production. GM's Oklahoma City plant is rumored to be the leading contender for the SSR's manufacture.

For pickup truck enthusiasts looking for a distinctive and powerful vehicle with a little more practicality than the three seater Chevrolet SSR, look no further than the Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 SuperCrew announced August 8th at the 2000 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

A follow up to the recently launched and very popular Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 SuperCab, the similarly obsidian hued HD SuperCrew has seating for up to five adults in a four door pickup.

The HDSC is powered by the 260 horsepower 5.4 liter Triton V8 and its specially-tuned exhaust system features a single inlet/dual outlet muffler, ending in chrome 3 1/2-inch "slash cut" exhaust tips taken from the Ford SVT Lightning. Harley-Davidson branded 20x9-inch five-spoke cast chromed aluminum wheels and P275/45R20 Goodyear Eagle GTII tires are accented by gray and "Harley-Davidson" orange striping on the lower rocker panels.

On the inside four black leather trimmed captains chairs embroidered with the Harley-Davidson Bar and Shield dominate. Each set of seats has its own center console with Harley-Davidson embroidered on the console lids to further identify the limited edition nature of the HDSC.

Ford describes the instrument panel as having the look of spun metal and jeweled ornamentation.

The 2001 Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCrew will be manufactured at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant and is expected to arrive at dealerships by the first quarter of 2001.

With the announcement and introduction of these two distinctive trucks we definitely encourage enthusiasts to run, not walk, to your nearest Ford or Chevy shop with money hand to put your deposits down.