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What Kind Of Car Do Real Mountaineers/Climbers Have?


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2000 Chevy Tracker, and I've got 87k on it already. It's been up the divide 8 or 9 times now, off-road, with never a snort or a whimper. Both front seats recline fully, and they're wider and softer than a ridge rest.

 

Plenty of head and leg room for even the tallest people, and you can cram 3 kids in the back seat, or fold them down to make room for a week's gear for 2. The roof rack adds a third. Power everything, 'cept you have to load your CD's one at a time, and it gets 26 mpg on blacktop. Zippy too. The cruise control is kinda bogus, it'll snap your neck and grind along at 4k rpm on slight grades, and the steering is tight, tight, tight.

 

Four wheel low got me up Schaffer Gulch without dropping under 1000 rpm, and the factory skid plates mean the infrequent (8" clearance under the diffs) kisses with rocks don't take anything vital out from under you.

 

It'll go forever thru 3 foot drifts as long as you don't slow enough to pizza cutter down onto the frame, but 4 footers will stop it cold after 150' or so.

 

For $16k, new, it's worth a long look.

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Wow, that is a sweet ride [rockband] Just put a tack-down cover over the bed with an airbrushed screaming eagle or some shit on it and you'd be ready for battle.

 

How come there is no high-clearance, 4WD, roomy vehicle with a hybrid engine on the market? I'd almost be willing to make monthly payments for an SUV that gets 50 mpg.

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Some outfit has been doing hybrid conversions for normal cars in Cali. They did a Mercedes (tires smoked on takeoff) and an SUV, Explorer maybe. I too would make payments for a hybrid SUV. It's hard to pay for what they got now when you know that something like a 50mpg SUV is just around the corner. I'd take a hybrid Excursion any day.

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The word I get from people is that the Toyotas are already underpowered. What kind of torque and horsepower are they projecting with a hydrogen engine? How cost-effective is it? Maintainability? Lots of questions to answer. Do you have a link? I'm interested in the technology, but I love my Chevy engine: vroom vrooom.

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The only Forerunner I've been in was an older model, but I was struck by just how damn small they were inside, less room than our old Toyota Tercel wagon.

 

Speaking of which, I'd put that wagon on a list of great climber cars. Sure, it was a dog on acceleration, but the 35 mpg was nice, and the 4wd worked great. Nice high interior, fit this tall person nicely. I sold it at 280,000 miles (still on original engine) with no 4th gear (5sp manual trans) and it has continued to run that way for 4 years (including three road trips to Texas and four to Lake Tahoe). Inelegant, but dependable. Also quite discontinued.

 

Personally, I've long been a fan of Volkswagen vans, and over the years have worked my way up from a 67 (last year of the split screen front windshield) to a 79 (last year of the breadloaf, with one of the best aircooled engines VW ever made) and now to an 85 Vanagon. I freely admit they are a "cult" vehicle with some mechanical lack of dependibility, but aside from going through 1600cc motors in the first one like kleenex, I've never had any serious road trip problems. I really like the "living room on wheels" effect of the Westfalia camper, and with the addition of real heat (courtesy of a water cooled motor) and a real refrigerator in my current Van, I'm pretty content. I'd be happier to have the Synchro four wheel drive model, which also features more ground clearance, but they are both too spendy and the mysterious "viscous coupling" that serves as the transfer case makes me somewhat uneasy. Not that I'm opposed to viscous coupling mind you, I just like to understand what I'm doing. Oh, they're also discontinued vehicles, so maybe I've got a theme going here.

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quote:

Originally posted by Dr Flash Amazing:

Yeah, DFA heard they're really fuel-efficient, too!
[Roll Eyes]

No shit! Yer a smart feller! [Roll Eyes]

 

But for a car with surprisingly little power, they are reported to accelerate through 30 mph about the same as your usual gasmobile.

 

But what the hell am I talking about? The acceleration of a wimpy little hybrid sedan? We're talking climbing vehicles here. You can't beat this one:

 

-

 

You could probably mount some Hellfires on it for those expeditions to Pakistan or Yemen, too.

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quote:

Originally posted by Off White:

Speaking of which, I'd put that wagon on a list of great climber cars. Sure, it was a dog on acceleration, but the 35 mpg was nice, and the 4wd worked great. Nice high interior, fit this tall person nicely. I sold it at 280,000 miles (still on original engine) with no 4th gear (5sp manual trans) and it has continued to run that way for 4 years (including three road trips to Texas and four to Lake Tahoe). Inelegant, but dependable. Also quite discontinued.

Damned straight! My tercel gets van. to smith in 1.5 tanks of gas. Mind you, once you hit 140kms it feels a bit like a windsurfer! Best $$ I ever spent! Toyota didn't seem to care about planned obsolescence with that one!

 

[ 11-05-2002, 08:07 PM: Message edited by: jordop ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Greg W:

I agree that the new design sucks: too much plastic and bubbly looking. The V8 they tout is only 4.7-l and so may be slightly underpowered for a V8. V6 has nice numbers though.

When did atoyot stop making manual 5 spds in the forerunners? Never understood why someone would choose automatic 4wd over standard [Confused]

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quote:

Originally posted by Greg W:

I agree that the new design sucks: too much plastic and bubbly looking. The V8 they tout is only 4.7-l and so may be slightly underpowered for a V8. V6 has nice numbers though.

That thing is ugly! I was feeling dumb for not having the newest model, but I feel better now. The best climber rig is a tacoma with a shell (hotel on wheels).

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quote:

Originally posted by shredmaximus:

Minivan = Muir Hut on wheels
[Cool]

He he, always knew that's why you drove around in that thing. [Wazzup]

 

My family picked up one of the first gen Chrysler Minivans back in '84. T'was sweet for roadtrips in my teenage years. Got 275K miles with no major maintenance. Called it the 'toaster'. Loved that car.

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