Restomod

Legacy Classic Trucks restomodded a 1937 Kenworth 706 Mount Rainier touring bus

This bus used to take travelers to Mount Rainier.

Photo courtesy of Legacy Classic Trucks

Visiting America's national parks has been a staple of American family life for more than a century. The Mount Rainier National Park was established in 1899 and is one of the five oldest national parks - a list that includes Yellowstone, Yosemite, General Grant (now part of Kings Canyon), and Sequoia.

From 1937 to 1962, five 1937 Kenworth touring buses transported guests visiting Mount Rainier from the Winthrop Hotel in Tacoma and Olympic Hotel in Seattle to the park.

Art Redford purchased one of the buses in 1985. In 2009, Redford and Frank Pupo donated that bus to the Mount Rainier National Park. At the time of its donation, the Covington Reporter interviewed Redford and Pupo who told them that, "the coach is one of only five built by Kenworth between 1937 and 1938. Three still remain active, one in Sitka, Alaska, one in Montana and the one [they owned]."

Throughout the years, the duo allowed the park to use the coach to celebrate important events, including its Centennial inn 1999. Recently, Legacy Classic Trucks was given the opportunity to restore one of the original five models.

"Today, most people associate Kenworth with large format semi-trucks, but the company actually manufactured buses as part of its business back in the thirties," said Legacy Classic Trucks Founder Winslow Bent. "Decades have passed, but the Kenworth Mount Rainier tour buses delighted travelers for years and years. When we were presented with the rare chance to work on the bus, we knew it was just too cool to pass up. Our work at Legacy Classic Trucks is focused on giving workhorses like the Mount Rainier Tour Bus a new life, and we can't think of a more deserving vehicle. This tour bus has brought so much happiness to the world."

1937 Kenworth 706 - Mount Rainier

Photo courtesy of Legacy Classic Trucks

During its lifespan, the bus logged thousands of miles and visitors. As part of its restoration, Legacy Classic Trucks equipped the model with a six-cylinder Hercules JXD engine that they mated to the vehicle's original manual five-speed transmission. The bus now is able to produce 130 horsepower. The first three gears are all compound low gears that originally assisted in climbing and descending the steep mountain passes of Mt. Rainier. Legacy upgraded the bus with 20x6 Budd wheels and shoed it with Bias Ply Tires.

The long body of the bus had its rust repaired by Legacy and it was repainted its original flame red shade. It features retro-style gauges and instrument paneling designed to give a feeling of nostalgia. The bus's wood flooring is original to the vehicle.

The bench seating received an upgrade. The seats are now covered in leather made from 23 hides of imported Italian leather. In total, the bus can seat up to 18 people in the cabin. Ann open top canopy system allows passengers to see their surroundings while riding.

"Interestingly, the Mount Rainier Kenworth Bus was actually brought to us by a long-time customer who thought Legacy could have some fun with this project," continues Bent. "Restoring a classic bus like this takes an insane amount of work. A larger format vehicle demands an exacting amount of detail, so the restoration is more extensive. However, it was one of the most rewarding processes in our company's history, and Legacy couldn't be happier with how everything turned out restoring this bonafide piece of automotive history."

The fully restored Legacy Mount Rainier Kenworth Tour Bus is available now priced at $580,000.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 MINI Cooper 1499 GT Special Edition is a throwback to a 1969 MINI.

Photo courtesy of MINI

The MINI 1499 GT Special Edition pays tribute to the iconic 1275 GT from 1969 while the MINI Countryman Oxford edition offers unique value proposition. The two models are new for the 2021 model year.

2021 MINI Cooper 1499 GT Special Edition

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI has given the 1499 GT a Midnight Black Metallic exterior complete with gold 1499 GT side stripes. There's a Piano Black grille frame, door handles, and headlight rings, which surround LED headlights. There are Piano Black taillight rinks and Union Jack taillights.

The addition of the MINI John Cooper Works (JCW) styling package adds JCW front and rear bumpers, side skirts, split level spoiler, and door entry plates. The MINI 1499 GT rids on 17-innch Track Spoke Black wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

Under the hood, the model has a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that delivers 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The car can get from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. A six-speed manual transmission is standard while a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available.

MINI refines the interior with more JCW accents including Sports seats in Carbon Black Dinamica/Cloth, a JCW steering wheel in perforated leather with Chili Red stitching and multi-function controls, along with Piano Black finishing throughout the interior with an Anthracite Headliner. The list of standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6.5-inch infotainment touch screen with navigation, MINI Assist eCall, remote services, Apple CarPlay, and a digital instrument cluster.

The MINI 1499 GT will be offered with a starting MSRP of $27,040 plus an additional $850 destination and handling fee.

MINI Countryman Oxford Edition

MINI's small SUV, the Countryman, is getting a budget-friendly version that available with front- and all-wheel drive. It comes with the standard equipment list of the Classic Trim, which includes leatherette upholstery, an 8.8-inch display with Bluetooth, rear camera, rear park distance control, seven-speed dual clutch transmission, and a panoramic sunroof. The Countryman Oxford Edition also has LED headlights and fog lights and Union Jack LED taillights.

MINI has given the model standard 18-inch wheels (Silver of Black) that are wrapped with run-flat tires, an anthracite headliner, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and a choice of six exterior colors, including metallic paint options. Those options include British Racing Green IV metallic, Midnight Black metallic, White Silver metallic, Moonwalk Grey metallic, Chili Red, or Island Blue metallic. Exterior options also include body color roof and mirrors, or choice of a contrast white or black roof and mirror combination.

The staring MSRP for the 2021 MINI Cooper Countryman Oxford Edition is $26,500 and the 2021 MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 Oxford Edition is $28,500, plus an additional $850 destination and handling charge. This means the MINI Countryman Oxford Edition is specially configured with $5,600 worth of optional equipment as standard at no additional cost.

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Ford has launched its new Bronco configuration tool.

Photo by AutomotiveMap with screen image courtesy of Ford Motor Company
How would you build it? Now you can find out. The new 2021 Ford Bronco build-and-price configurator is live on the Ford website giving buyers the opportunity to customize their pick without having to commit to a deposit or trip to the dealership. Ford has received over 190,000 reservations for the Bronco to date.
It's also a great way to kill some time between Zooms.

"The color and material offerings of the all-new Bronco and Bronco Sport are genuine and trusted, and establish a visceral connection between nature and the authenticity of this new family of rugged SUVs," said Missy Coolsaet, Bronco color and materials designer. "They motivate our customers to return to the wilderness and challenge themselves – and Bronco takes them there in a carefree, spontaneous way."

2021 Ford Bronco configurator options

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The configurator works in a traditional sense, asking users to first enter their ZIP code then taking them to a menu where they choose a trim level. Ford offers the Bronco in seven trim levels: Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak, and First Edition.

Buyers are then asked to choose a two- or four-door model. The 2021 Bronco is available in a wide variety of colors, including some with deep Ford heritage, and wheel varieties.

Powertrains components are trim level-dependent and some paint and wheel color combinations are not compatible with the seven-speed manual transmission or the Sasquatch Package.

All-terrain, mud, or all-season tires are either standard or available depending on trim level and wheel choice.

Buyers can check options boxes for a hard top, sound-deadening headliner, roof rails with crossbar, splash guards, an upgraded bash plate, paint protection film, brush guard, keyless entry keypad, wireless charging pad, heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, a 12.0-inch infotainment touch screen, 10-speaker B&O sound system, and LED headlights, depending on trim level. Higher Bronco grades get much of these features as standard.

Cloth, vinyl, or leather-trimmed seats are available. An Ebony black or Medium Sandstone interior are the only options, but Medium Sandstone is not available in all trim levels.

A variety of equipment groups and packages are available as well, including a graphics package that will put the profile of rolling hills on the lower quarter of your Bronco's door panels.

Check out the configurator now at Ford.com/Bronco.

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