Rockin' Retro Ranger
Cool Cars is working on a new project truck that had us, here at MT, scratching our heads when we first heard about it. The idea is wacky, but once we'd seen the rendering, we were hooked. Based on a '00 Ford Ranger, the back half of the truck sports modifications we've never seen on a Ford, with plenty of thought-provoking items reworked throughout. We'll have more information as the truck continues to take shape, finalizing it with editorial feature coverage in an upcoming issue of MT. For more information, contact: Cool Cars, (800) 266-5969.

XM & Sirius Satellite Radio To Merge?
(Courtesy Of Reuters)Executives of satellite-radio rivals Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio Holdings have been meeting lately to discuss the possibility of a merger. The New York Post said the talks have not advanced far and executives have not yet discussed price, but have been weighing any potential antitrust concerns that would arise from a deal. The two companies have talked about merging in the past, according to the article, but the discussions never got to an advanced stage. The newspaper said a deal could be at least a year away. Sirius spokesman Jim Collins said the company does not comment on rumors. Officials at XM Satellite were not immediately available to comment. Sirius executives have said in the past that they believe the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would take issue with such a deal. The two companies now operate under separate FCC licenses.

Ridgeline Released
The '06 Honda Ridgeline pickup went on sale March 1 at the suggested retail price of $28,215, rising to $35,155 for a fully loaded version with leather seats, a moonroof, and satellite radio and navigation. All prices include a $515 destination charge. The Ridgeline will be sold in three trim levels - RT, RTS, and RTL. All models are equipped with a 3.5L V-6 engine that makes 255 hp and offers four-wheel drive. The truck has a 5-foot bed with a covered storage bin built into the floor. Standard equipment includes power windows and door locks, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, and air conditioning. Front, side, and full-length side-curtain airbags are standard. The RTS trim level, priced at $30,590, adds alloy wheels, a more powerful audio system, and automatic climate control. The high-end RTL trim, priced at $32,005, includes heated leather seats and a compass in the rearview mirror. The addition of the moonroof and XM satellite radio boosts the price to $33,155.

Airbag Advances
GM recently introduced what may actually be the automotive industry's first passenger-side front airbag that can deploy in different sizes and with different pressures, all depending on the location of the seat and force of impact from a crash. Dubbed GM's "dual depth," a dual-depth airbag helps restrain front-seat passengers in a greater variety of seating and crash situations. The dual-depth airbag deploys from the front-passenger-side instrument panel. When a small airbag is required, a tether holds the airbag back to the smaller size and gas is vented from the module housing. For larger airbag deployment, the tether is released, the module-housing vent is shut off, and the airbag is allowed to expand to its full size.

FAST 411
* American Honda Motor Co. will be the featured automaker at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. At least they now make a truck.
* Ford Motor Co. is offering a $500 cash rebate, in addition to other hefty discounts, to millions of full-time college students and recent graduates.
* Honda's new Ridgeline truck won't have a steel bed. Instead, the truck's box will be made from a rock-hard molded composite.
* Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 22,228 of its '05 Tacoma pickup trucks to fix a potential problem with the parking brake.
* All-wheel-drive vehicles are becoming more popular, and GM and Ford are racing to catch up. Will this trend come back to trucks (a la the defunct GMC Cyclone)?
* The Chrysler Group has accelerated its plan to cut the number of poorly performing dealers in 125 U.S. metropolitan areas.
* Canadian light-vehicle sales dropped 4 percent in January 2005. Not to worry, though, as sales usually drop some with the Great White North's winter temperatures.
* Stronger sales in the United States and Japan helped push net income at Nissan Motor Co. up 6.9 percent to $1.24 billion at the end of 2004.
* At the end of January, Isuzu dealers were told that they would be getting a version of the GMC Canyon pickup beginning in July.
* GM will make OnStar and stability control standard on vehicles sold in the United States and Canada by 2010.

www.browsinaround.com.org
www.krustyskustoms.com
Buy everything you need for your project, or have your project built by Krusty's - the choice is yours, but the results are breathtaking.
www.dragitoff.com Like they say, "Slam it down and drag it off". A site built by enthusiasts of draggin', where the only thing in jeopardy is the steel of your truck's undercarriage.
www.built2rail.com Draggin' pictures, videos, cyber features, and a forum all meant to whet your appetite for things that go spark in the night.
www.dominationthevideo.com Hardcore? Yes. Badass? Most definitely. Check out the most in-your-face DVD coverage of our lifestyle to be found anywhere.
www.truckscene.net Truck-show coverage online, an event calendar, tons of chick pics, and just about everything else you could need for a killer experience with slammed minis.