At 9.37 liters, the ZZ572 is the mac daddy of all big block engines. It’s nearly a 1-liter EcoBoost larger than any engine ever fitted to a production vehicle (the 8.4-liter V10 in the dearly departed Dodge Viper). Naturally, that means it’s got loads of power 727 horsepower and 680 torques but those aren’t the most impressive specs.
This crate engine is hand-assembled in its own special facility, presumably so as to not risk contamination by one of those plebian engines we saw earlier. Gone are the days of solid lifters and cast-iron heads this beast combines an LSX cast-iron block, LS7/Z06 aluminum heads, forged steel crank and rods, forged aluminum pistons, hydraulic roller cams, and 10.2:1 compression.
Stoppe’s shop could further customize a Baja with a large selection of optional parts. Roll cages, winches, and off-road lights were popular, as were suspension upgrades. The Baja cost almost $2,000 more than the standard Bronco, which was big cash back in the day; its high price limited sales. While not a huge seller (only 650 were produced) this is one of the coolest old Ford trucks on our list.
A big block has higher weight and density in the block, as well as larger valve bores, a longer stroke, and a generally larger exterior size. A big block can have the same displacement as a small block, but only the most extreme small blocks encroach on this territory.
This is one of the best old Ford trucks as far as we are concerned, but they can be hard to come by. Restored versions tend to be pricey but it’s a great choice if you can get ahold of one.
In reality, the roomy interior is full of odd shaped materials and cheap plastics that can easily turn anyone off. Oddly, as you move up the trim lines the Sienna loses ride and handling quality. The Sienna’s second row of seating does move quite a distance on its slide mechanisms, but the seats are quite difficult to remove if you want them out of the way for added cargo space.
The Baja had a paint scheme that matched Stroppe’s racing trucks and was fitted with Gates Commando tires, quick ratio power steering, a roll bar, as well as a padded steering wheel. A 302-cid V-8 was dropped in with a C4 automatic transmission transferring the power to wheels.
Surely you’re aware of the C7 Corvette. You know it’s a huge leap for Corvettes. You know that valets go joyriding in them. You know a manual Z06 did the Nurburgring in 7:13.9, making it the fastest factory Corvette to ever lap that track. You know that with a little fiddling the C7 Z06 can exceed 200 mph. But did you know you can buy the beating heart of a C7 Z06 and put it in any car you want?
It also takes more torque to get oversized wheels turning which saps overall output and drains the gas tank much faster than normal. Swapping to lower gears and increasing the number in your gear ratio may be enough to offset the difference. A notable exception here is diesels, which sometimes put out so much torque that the difference with larger wheels isn’t noticeable.
While we still like the look of the original Bronco best (see the Baja further down the list), the second generation is more practical for most people, especially if you have toys to tow. This is what a pickup should look like, rugged, tall and bursting with attitude. This truck could handle 35-inch tires without lifting the suspension.
Volkswagen took a Chrysler Town & Country platform and offered the world the Volkswagen Routan for the 2008 through 2013 model years. Few buyers were impressed. Even fewer used minivan buyers should be.
This may be a no-brainer to some but those who forget this in their Jeep mods often regret it later. There’s nothing like a good winch when it comes to getting yourself out of a sticky situation. Whether you’re stuck in a swampy mud pit or have found a slope you can’t crawl up, these can save the day.
The Ranchero is based on a two-door station wagon platform and was marketed as a light pickup that could haul a fair amount of cargo while being easy to operate and drive, like a car. There is not enough space here to cover the various engines and features that were incorporated into the Ranchero over the years, but a few engine choices consisted of a 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder and a variety of V8 power plants that ranged from a standard 302 to a 428 cu-in. (7.0 L) Cobra Jet.