FBI Grand Opening Hizzous
Fender Bender International celebrated the grand opening of its new 20,000-square-foot location on August 21. With a show 'n' shine of more than 100 custom rides, shop tours, and a live remote by local rock station 98Rock, the show was a definite success. FBI's new shop includes manufacturing facilities for steel and billet aluminum products, a larger warehouse and shipping department, and a custom showroom with working displays, including airbagged barstools, live Internet access, and a custom-painted and 'bagged Escalade front end. The show 'n' shine consisted of vehicles ranging from a '37 Ford Coupe to a '92 Toyota, which was stock-floor body-dropped to the doors. Due to the success of this show, keep your eyes on www.fbirides.com for more show 'n' shines in the FBI parking lot next season.

Fast 411
Ford Motor Co. will reduce production of six vehicles to trim inventories, one of which is the Ford Ranger.

Seatbelt usage has hit an all-time high at an estimated 80 percent in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The national average for regular unleaded gasoline was $1.85 a gallon in September, according to the American Automobile Association.

Automakers must adjust to an increase in federal fuel-economy standards. Starting Oct. 1, 2005 light trucks must average 21 mpg.

Browsin' Around
www.v8s10.org/forum - Tons of tech information and other help is available here.

www.downundertruckin.tk - Down-under mini-truckers rail just as hard as we do.

www.kuttingedgegraphix.com - Check out the awesome designs and ideas shown on this site.

www.midwestdragfest.com/main.htm - This is the official site for IV Ever Low's show.

www.fredbeardesigns.com - Find killer embroidery for truck-club members. This shop does the staff shirts for MT.

Joint Ventures
Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. will join hands in a bid to save costs and create an international standard for the software that operates cars' electronic systems. Japan's top two automakers said the tie-up would allow them to spend less on developing and improving the base software needed to run the electronic systems and more on actual electronic products, such as power windows and cruise-control systems. The two companies will work together through a nonprofit entity called JASPAR (Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture) set up by two Toyota group companies. JASPAR is also seeking participation by other automakers and car electronics-related firms in the hope of becoming the first to create an international standard. Similar groups already exist, led by European manufacturers such as DaimlerChrysler AG, BMW AG, and Bosch, but no common platform has been formed to date. A study by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry estimated that Japanese automakers collectively spend around 100 billion yen ($915 million) a year on software development. Electronics have long since replaced the mechanics in vehicle braking and steering systems and are expected to be used more as automakers build cleaner and safer cars with gadgets such as cruise control and lane-keeping systems.

The End Of Toyota Mini-Trucks?
New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. ended production of the '04 Toyota Tacoma on August 27 at its Fremont, California, plant. The plant's truck line was down for two weeks while changing over to the '05 Tacoma, a much-larger version of the Toyota Tacoma that has been designed to compete directly with Dodge's midsize Dakota pickup.