FCA March 2017 Sales Down 4.6% with 190,254 Vehicles sold + 2017 RAM 2500 HD Preview

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] RAM outsells Silverado in March.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 3, 2017

    2017 RAM 2500 HD – $36,795 as listed while equipped with the 6.4L V8 including a 4-cyl. deactivating Displacement on Demand mated to a 6-speed AT. TrueCar is showing an easy $5k discount and surely more with local advertising with even more off. EPA efficiency is not provided given the HD's GVWR is beyond EPA efficiency requirements.

    Later this month I will be attending the 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon in Detroit and to get there, I will be transporting a 2017 RAM 2500 HD with the 6.4L V8 between San Diego and Denver as it is needed for the Colorado and surrounding states based Journalists hands.

    Remember our last drive of a RAM HD occurred during the summer of 2016 from behind the wheel of a 2500 HD w/ the 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel. Like all our recent LD and HD RAM Truck drives, the brand has not let us down on the segment efficiency front. The 3.6L V6 Pentastar (Ram Goes To War And Lets Loose A NUKE – As in 25 mpgUS highway! and 2013 RAM 1500 HFE Arrives Soon), 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel (2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Heads West), and of course 6.7L Cummins I6 (RAM HD with the Cummins Targets Death Valley) proved the various drivetrains were segment leading in this key attribute.

    The 6.4L V8 with its own brand of efficiency measures may shine too despite not being a Cummins Turbo Diesel. We shall see.

    Let us also hope that this drive does not involve saving anyone like last year’s 2500 HD did, (RAM Trucks Finest Hour), but if necessary, it will surely be up to the task.

    2017 RAM 2500 HD Preview

    [​IMG]
    A RAM 2500 HD ready to tow a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Float in NY City.​

    With a 2017 4WD Nissan Titan and its 5.6L Advance V8 gas engine mated to a 7-speed AT currently in the drive, the 2017 RAM 2500 HD in RWD format should be a good comparison. Of course the RAM is a much more durable HD work platform given its 3/4-Ton underpinnings allowing 7,090 lbs. more towing cap.

    The RAM 2500 HD we will be driving is the same truck that took part in the PUTC shootout a few weeks ago. Our efficiency numbers and accuracy should be a better comparison although their Nissan Titan was the XD variant with the 5.6L V8 mated to a 7-speed AT under the hood and cab during the PUTC testing. A good write-up by Mark Williams nonetheless.

    2017 Ford Super Duty ¾ Ton Work Truck Challenge, Bests RAM, Chevrolet, and Nissan

    Given PUTCs use of the RAM 2500 HD loaded and unloaded over a short 111 mile highway stint, I will derive a more accurate aFCD offset and surely achieve much higher results over the two day, 1,100 mile drive from just over sea level to over 11,158’ ASL elevation at the Eisenhower Tunnel and then finish over a mile high near the Denver airport. Before leaving however, I will complete the steady states and use the offset from the actual drive to graph it after the fact. It should be a good comparison to the 3.93 rear end equipped 2017 Titan with the 5.6L Advanced engine in the std. cab 1/2 ton. On the efficiency front that is.

    Since we are talking 3/4-ton, the 2500 HD frame uses high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate roll-formed cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength, rigidity, and low mass. The rear of the frame includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross-member with provisions for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches. Body-to-frame hydro-mounts help to improve ride quality.

    RAM 2500 Drivetrain in Detail

    The RAM 2500 HD equipped w/ the 410 hp and 429 lb.-ft. of torque 6.4L Hemi mated to the std. HD 6-speed AT and 4.10 rear end is a segment leader in a number of areas. Its Payload and Towing cap of 3,990 and 16,320 lbs. respectively are simply over the top within the 3/4 Ton class.

    [​IMG]

    The Ram 2500 with the 6.4L Hemi V8 gas engine can also be equipped with a dual-alternator system which combines a 220 and base 160-amp unit for 380 amps of total output. Our truck is equipped with an upgraded but single 180-amp unit.

    The 2017 Ram HD also features the Ram Active Air intake system. When the intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cooler air from the front of the vehicle. It also engages at high altitudes - the 11,158 ft elevation of the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 we will be passing though comes to mind ;) - for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water-fording, the system pulls air from an under-hood inlet, clear from snow packing and water.

    And finally, because of the RAM 2500 HD's 6.4L V8 includes 4-cylinder deactivation technology, it should help with the drive uphill between San Diego and Denver although the optional and installed on this RAM HDs 4.10 rear ratio will probably hurt the overall somewhat. With the optional on our truck P275/70R18s, the 4.10 rear end still allows a reasonable 1574 RPMs (calculated) at 60 mph. We will see soon enough.

    Another super truck meant to complete a lot of real work. Watch this space for more… #RamTrip

    2017 RAM 2500 HD Reg. Cab RWD Tradesman with the 8' Bed and 6.4L Hemi V8 Monroney

    [​IMG]

    Once in Denver, I hop on a plane to Midway in Chicago, pick up a 2017 Toyota Prius Two Eco for the final driving stint to the Shell Eco-Marathon in Detroit.

    FCA March 2017 Sales Overview

    FCA reported March U.S. sales of 190,254 vehicles, down 4.6 percent beneath the 199,467 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 510,798 are off a bit more onerous 8.5 percent compared to the 558,137 sold through the same period of 2016.

    FCA March fleet sales of 43,992 vehicles was down 15 percent as FCA like GM continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the rental fleets. Fleet sales represented 23 percent of total FCA US sales in March. FCA US retail sales of 146,262 units were down 1 percent for the month, and represented 77 percent of total March sales.

    [​IMG]

    Ram pickup truck sales reached 46,384, up 6.3 percent over the 43,647 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 119,199 are up 5.2 percent over the 113,298 sold through the same period of 2016.

    Jeep Grand Cherokee achieved sales of 20,374 vehicles in March, up 22.1 percent over the 16,693 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 56,600 are up 18.8 percent over the 47,658 sold through the same period of 2016.

    FIAT 500 sales were up 12 percent in March compared with March of 2016.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
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    Items of Note: In January and now March, the Fusion Hybrid outsold Prius. YTD sales of the Prius (15,769) are still ahead of the Fusion Hybrid (15,660) by just 109 vehicles. This is turning out to be quite the horse race with both jockeying back and forth for the monthly sales lead. The Prius has not felt this kind of sales pressure ever.

    The Kia Niro, now in its second full month of sales reached 2,704 new owners and continues to be the 4th bestselling hybrid in the country. The sales totals appear to be accelerating over and above the 2,143 sold last month and I suspect it will top out near 3 to 3.5k/month mark with incentives beginning to be offered in earnest and for the first time in March.

    Ioniq is just now reaching Hyundai dealerships so we will be watching that one closely with April being its first full month of sales.

    U.S. March 2017 Sales vs. March 2016 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 18 Automobile Manufacturers

    GM March 2017 Sales Up 1.6% with 256,224 Vehicles sold
    Ford March 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 236,250 Vehicles sold
    Toyota March 2017 Sales Down 2.1% with 215,224 Vehicles sold
    FCA March 2017 Sales Down 4.6% with 190,254 Vehicles sold
    Nissan March 2017 Sales Up 3.2% with 168,832 Vehicles sold
    Honda March 2017 Sales Down 0.7% with 137,227 Vehicles sold
    Hyundai March 2017 Sales were down 8.0% with 69,265 Vehicles sold
    Subaru March 2017 Sales Up 11.3% with 54,871 Vehicles sold
    Kia March 2017 Sales Down 15.2% with 49,429 Vehicles Sold
    BMW March 2017 Sales Up 3.5% with 36,002 Vehicles sold
    Mercedes-Benz March 2017 Sales Up 2.0% with 32,352 Vehicles Sold
    VW March 2017 Sales Up 2.7% with 27,635 Vehicles sold
    Mazda March 2017 Sales Up 4.9% with 24,549 Vehicles sold
    Audi March 2017 Sales Up 1.7% with 18,705 Vehicles sold
    Jaguar/Land Rover March 2017 Sales Up 18.9% with 12,918 Vehicles sold
    Mitsubishi March 2017 Sales Up 6.2% with 11,766 Vehicles sold
    Volvo March 2017 Sales Down 21.9% with 5,356 Vehicles sold
    Porsche March 2017 Sales Up 3.6% with 4,479 Vehicles sold

    In March, BMW moved up two spots to 10th ahead of both VW and MB. Jaguar/Land Rover moved ahead of Mitsubishi to take the 15th spot.

    In terms of Market Share, GM was a clear winner in March with a 0.9 percent gain over March of 2016. FCA was down 1.0 percent, Nissan was up 0.7 percent.

    Regarding segment sales totals, F-Series outsold GM’s Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, and Canyon combined. Ram also outsold Silverado.

    March light vehicle SAAR (seasonally-adjusted annual rate) was 14 million in March although March 2017 sales (1.54 million) were off 0.05 million vs. March of 2016 sales (1.59 million). The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 14.0 million vehicles. YTD industry sales of 4.00 million is down 0.05 million form the 4.05 million sold through the same period of 2016 with the same number of selling days. It is clear that short term sales have peaked. With incentives piling on across the industry, where we go from here is anyone’s guess.
     
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  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    First drive of the 2017 RAM 2500 3/4-Ton w/ the 6.4L V8 Hemi monster was actually better than I had anticipated. I was thinking more along the lines of 22 to 24 mpg and it came in at a displayed 24.3 mpg. Of course this is non-calibrated so I will find out the actual offset over the next 1,300 miles while on my way to Denver beginning tomorrow morning.

    2017 RAM 2500 w/ the 6.4L Hemi V8

    [​IMG]
    See the little "ECO" moniker displayed at the top next to the outside temperature? That indicates 4-cylinder mode in action.

    [​IMG]
    First drive complete at 24.3 mpg indicated after 81.3 miles of 405 and 5 from Gardena, Calif. to Carlsbad, Calif.

    [​IMG]
    Under the hood. Everything about this truck is Supersized for HD ops!​

    The 4-cylinder deactivation system works although it is not going to allow a truck of this size, weight, and displacement to receive 4-cylinder compact pickup like efficiency. I thought this would be the least efficient pickup we have driven in quite some time when in actuality, it hung in there with some of the less efficient recent half-tons which was surprising given the high fuel use 4.10 rear end ($125 option), its 3,990 lb payload cap and a tow rating of 16,320 lbs. That is more than 8-tons!

    If LOAD is kept below 40 percent, the 4-cylinder deactivation mode can be held almost indefinitely. Climb a 2 to 3+ percent grade or accelerate with any gusto and that mode is gone. The transition from 4-cylinders to all 8-cylinders and back again is seamless. The HEMI guys made the transition so smooth that you will not be able to tell other than a slight change in engine pitch with the windows open and the little ECO indicator showing up on the dash. Great job 6.4L Hemi engineers.

    [​IMG]
    A short excursion to the Pacific Ocean after its first drive.

    [​IMG]
    A 3/4-Ton monster would be a great back drop for a Baywatch episode ;)

    Its spec is a 32-gallon tank and I suspect it holds closer to 36+ gallons when topped off. At 23 mpg, this is a solid 800+ mile range full size 3/4-Ton truck. We will have a tank and a half of open country to calibrate the display and spend some quality time behind the wheel of one of the most powerful pickups available in the U.S. today. Sans its sibling with the 6.7L Cummins I6 turbo diesel that is. That is a $10k upgrade however. ;)

    2017 RAM 2500 Tradesman w/ the 6.4L Hemi V8

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Inside finds the base trim comfortable and equipped just right for a real work truck. Roll up windows made me smile. :) The $595 Popular Equipment pkg. adds the 40/20/40 cloth bench, carpeted floors, floor mats, and XM which will keep the cab filled with tunes for the long road ahead. A very good thing for a road warrior mind you. There is also more cargo volume behind the front seats than I had thought at first glance as well. A std. all-weather tray for holding tools and such is a great work truck addition.

    2017 RAM 2500 Tradesman w/ the 6.4L Hemi V8

    [​IMG]

    As a base trimmed Tradesman, the RAM badge within the full chrome grille (part of the $895 Chrome Appearance Group pkg.) is an homage to Dodge and Ram work trucks past and present. Besides the grille, the Chrome Appearance Group included 275/70R18 tires on chrome clad 18's, chrome front and rear bumpers, and a steel 18" full size spare.

    Tonight after midnight I will collect the Steady State Speed vs FE data. With the calibration provided from the 1,200+ mile drive coming up, the final graph should prove to be quite interesting to compare against other 1/2 and 3/4-ton late model Pickups.

    The incalculably cool #RamTrip to the 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon is about to begin. :)
     
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  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The steady state(s) were undertaken just after midnight this morning with temperatures ranging from 56 to 59 degrees F. Winds were calm while completing the northbound and southbound drives.

    The indicated speeds of 50 through 70 mph matched the actual speeds per the Garmin and CC held to within .5 mph either way while ascending or descending. +/- 1 mph at 70 mph. There were more MDS mode distance at 50 and 55 than the rest as expected. By 65 mph, only the slight descent would allow 4-cylinder operation.

    The RPM@60 mph indicated about 1,580 RPM vs. the 1,574 RPM calculated with the LT275/70R18s, 0.63 6th, and 4.10 final. If the truck had the stock 3.73, it would surely help the efficiency.

    We will be heading out today for a 1,300 mile drive out to Denver and over that distance I will come up with a solid aFCD offset. The graph below is preliminary without the offset incorporated. I will correct that in a few days.

    2017 RAM 2500 HD – 6.4L V8 mated to the 6-speed AT and 4.10 rear end Speed vs Fuel Economy Steady States.

    [​IMG]
    Just moments before the numerous NB/SB drive segments.

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    A very powerful 6.4L V8.​

    With no EPA highway since this is a > 8,500 GVWR truck, from the graph it appears the RAM 2500 HD with the 6.4L V8 would be rated at approximately 17 mpg highway. Maybe 16 mpg depending on what the offset comes too.

    Wayne
     
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  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I am at my hometown Shell in Carlsbad, California and well into the 2-hour mark. She is still consuming fuel at the rate of about 5 thousandths per click. $49.48 and 16.666 gallons filled so far and I have not even started the drive. We are getting close however.

    [​IMG]
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    I did spot some cool RAM hats hanging out on the dash though. :D

    [​IMG]

    The #RamTrip to the 2017 #ShellEcoMarathon adventure is nearing launch.
     
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  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    That took a while. :) I brought her in only 1/3 of a tank down from full. Some 16.704 gallons later and she's topped off, displays are reset, and she is ready for adventure.

    IMG_20170422_131608.jpg
    Next stop, the Mojave Desert.

    The #RamTrip to the #ShellEcoMarathon is ready to roll. :)

    #ShellontheRoad
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
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  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A lot of Ram's and Dodge Ram's on the road in Southern Calif. this afternoon. ;)

    IMG_20170422_174530.jpg
    #RamTrip
     
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  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Everyone on the 215 through the Riverside area paid dearly - about 45-minutes or so - to see this...

    IMG_20170422_174952.jpg
    I do not know if anyone was seriously hurt or not but they took some of the victims away via Ambulance.
     
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And the infamous I15 Cajon Pass is now a distant memory...

    IMG_20170422_175228.jpg

    I am parked at a Rest Area about 50 miles from Kilbaker Road - my turn off to cross the center of the Mojave - on the 40 at 21.2 mpg and 1,700' ASL. Not a bad days work from the mighty Ram.

    #RamTrip to the #ShellEcoMarathon continues.
     
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  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Did you know there are three desert ranges including the Mojave in California? I did not until today either.

    The Mojave is the largest and by far most famous but this road side infographic explains the differences between the three.

    FB_IMG_1492909628145.jpg
    #RamTrip to the #ShellEcoMarathon continues.
     
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  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I spent the last hour traveling the Mother Road, Rt. 66, paralleling I-40 this evening. A national treasure that is quietly becoming undrivable as the years pile on. Thank goodness for tall profile truck tires. I would not want to take any of our cars down portions of what I drove so far.

    [​IMG]
    Back to the 40 in about 30 miles.​

    The #RamTrip continues...
     
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  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    As the last light of day fades over the San Bernardino Mountain Range to the west, the Mother Roads eerie silence hides a vibrant past when Americans by the millions traveled this exact road seeking a better future for their children.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    #RamTrip to the 2017 #ShellEcoMarathon continues.
     
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  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    About a mile beyond the dusk pull off and maybe 5 miles east of Ludlow, Calif., Rt. 66 all the way to Amboy was reasonably decent pavement...

    In Ludlow prior to the dusk shot, there was a plaque detailing project Carryall.

    FB_IMG_1492933606204.jpg
    It was a plan to use nukes to excavate. Very interesting and canceled in the late 60s for good reason.
     
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  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    I was playing with the Sony a6300s time lapse feature at the Nevada border. I am now parked at a Subway just north of Vegas and the Ram 2500 is indicating 22.8 mpg at 2,170' ASL.

    FB_IMG_1492934755262.jpg
    What a roller coaster. The first fill in Carlsbad was at 70' ASL. Climbed to 4,100, back down to 750', back up to 4,000', back down to 2,250, back up to 4,100, back down to 2,500, back up to 3,100, Back down to 1,850, back up to 2,700' and now back down to 2,170'...

    [​IMG]
    CA/NV border. A better pic.​

    I am not sure how to meet a min goal of 22 mpg with a climb to 7,000+ before filling up near the UT/CO border on Monday but we will certainly try.

    Now time for a few hours of sleep before hitting the road to St. George, UT in the morning.

    Day 1 of the #RamTrip to the #ShellEcoMarathon is in the books.

    #makethefuture
     
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  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    #RamTrip - Day 2 begins.

    Today will be a short mile day with a few more photo ops.

    The 6.4L Hemi in the 3/4-Ton Ram continues to surprise with an indicated 23.5 mpg result after almost 450 miles and parked at 1,780' ASL at the NV/AZ border on the 15. Half the tank has been consumed to that point.

    FB_IMG_1492976494450.jpg
    FB_IMG_1492976498173.jpg
    [​IMG]
    Next up was the Virgin River between the NV/AZ border and the AZ/UT border cutting its way through mile high canyons. Damn beautiful country out here.

    Just a few more miles down the road was the AZ/UT border itself. 2,670' elev. and 23.2 mpg displayed.

    FB_IMG_1492976504438.jpg
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    [​IMG]

    The climb up and over the Continental Divide and the Rockies through the Eisenhower Tunnel at 11k+ ft tomorrow will be a huge challenge however.

    I wish I had room my Eureka! camping gear on this one as the Ram 2500 would be a spectacular platform to drive deep into the Nevada, Utah, and Colorado wilderness to sleep under the stars. The star filled night sky through the Mojave and again 40 miles north of Vegas last night was awe inspiring.

    Trek to the 2017 #ShellEcoMarathon continues. #makethefuture
     
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  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    With only 10 Shell gift cards, four are in new owners hands. :)

    I passed out 2 at my local Shell in Carlsbad, CA.

    FB_IMG_1492976836173.jpg
    In addition, one went to a great young couple at the NV/AZ border in a second gen Prius - she just bought it and they are on their first road trip with it. The next to two best friends on a trek to visit as much of the Desert Southwest as they possibly can in the short vacation time allotted.

    Smiles all around. :)

    #RamTrip to the 2017 #ShellEcoMarathon. #Shellontheroad to #makethefuture
     
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  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Another from the Sony I snapped while in the deep canyons with the Virgin River below.

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    The LG G4 does an admirable job for Social Media but it cannot match the prowess of a Sony a6300 with a Sigma Prime. ;)

    The #RamTrip to the #Shellecomarathon continues. #Shellontheroad to #makethefuture
     
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  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And America's most famous and affordable restaurant.

    I am in St. George, UT for the afternoon and night. With a Subway visit last night and a McDonald's one today, I think a good steak is in order this evening.

    [​IMG]
    Notice the subliminal branding message(s)in this pic? ;)

    Also from the Sony but compressed through FB.

    #RamTrip to the #ShellEcoMarathon. #Shellontheroad to #makethefuture
     
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  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    More subliminal branding here? I parked at the hotel here in St.George, Utah for the night and look what else is in the parking lot.

    [​IMG]
    RAM 2500 with the 6.4L Hemi up front and a RAM 2500 with the Cummins turbo diesel in the background.​

    Wayne

    #RamTrip to the #ShellEcoMarathon. #Shellontheroad to #makethefuture
     
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  19. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Don't go faster than 45 mph unless you're bringing a Shell station with you?
     
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  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    That is a unique way to look at it! :D :D :D

    Wayne
     
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