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Old 02-23-2015, 02:12 PM   #21
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I have a pontoon boat that sits in front of my house all season long.

We use it a heck of allot more than we do our ocean going cruiser!

Pontoon boats are fantastic for what they are intended to do, which for us at least is a noce slow cruise around our lake.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:18 PM   #22
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I know people that can own anything they want and have these things just so they can go out to the lake (live on canals) and park for Sunday afternoon at the " swimmin hole".
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:57 PM   #23
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Kinda, sorta but I think the minivan got that Oscar.
I agree the minivan was a great evolutionary development in design. It's too bad they became known as only for mom's. Since when did men stop needing to haul things around? And how many millions of male truck owners hardly ever use them as a truck.

But I see the SUV's as only in existance because they are vogue. Kind of a bastard vehicle. But if they are here 20 years from now I may have to take that back. Or are there long lasting fads?
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #24
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I have never set foot on a pontoon boat but have seen lots of them out on the lakes and bays. They do seem like a nice way to be able to get family and friends out on the water.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:22 PM   #25
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Pontoon boats are great party boats for lakes. If I end up living near a lake in retirement, I'll definitely have one.

There will not be multiple 300HP OBs hanging on it!
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:44 PM   #26
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I agree the minivan was a great evolutionary development in design. It's too bad they became known as only for mom's. Since when did men stop needing to haul things around? And how many millions of male truck owners hardly ever use them as a truck.
That's true, Eric. A lot if not most pickups seem to be bought these days primarily for the image. Like Harley-Davidson. According to the avid motorcyclists in my organization, absolutely crap motorcycles as motorcycles go but they have this Hell's Angels image every guy seems to want.

We actually haul stuff in and with our pickup but I also drive it to work most days, and on those times it's empty. It drives better than the 1987 BMW 635Csi I sold (along with a 1983 Ford F-250SC) to make room for the new truck. Problem with mini-vans is they're great for kids and little stuff but you can't load a whole stretch of rotten cedar fence and fence posts with concrete still on one end in them to haul to the dump.

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But I see the SUV's as only in existance because they are vogue. Kind of a bastard vehicle. But if they are here 20 years from now I may have to take that back. Or are there long lasting fads?
The modern SUV concept has been around since 1969 when Rover introduced the Range Rover. A departure from the Land Rover/Jeep/Toyota utility 4wds, the Range Rover was originally designed for the farmer or estate owner who needed a relativley rugged 4wd but also wanted something more comfortable and nice to drive to go to town, shopping, etc. To that end the Range Rover featured coil springs on both axles instead of leaf springs. To my knowledge, it was the first 4wd to use coils all around but I could be wrong on that. Like the Land Rover, the Range Rover has an aluminum body.

The Range Rover was a big success right off the bat--- the Louvre Museum in Paris even displayed one as an example of automotive aesthetics-- and it almost immediatly became a status vehicle albeit it a very rugged one. (A pair of Range Rovers were the first vehicles to drive the entire length of the Pan American Highway including crossing the infamous, roadless, Darien Gap between Panama and Columbia). The Range Rover inspired other companies to start developing their own similar concepts. .Toyota, for example, created the FJ55 Land Cruiser in the 1970s to compete with the Range Rover and there were others.

American manufacturers soon jumped in with the Chevy Blazer and Ford started growing the utility Bronco into a more comfortable vehicle. Jeep had their Waggoneer line.

I bought a new Land Rover Series III-88 in 1973. 1974 was the last year Land Rovers were imported to the US. The Range Rover had never been imported here or I probably would have bought one of them, too. (Range Rover North America began importing Range Rovers in fairly limited numbers in 1987. They caught on and the whole Range Rover/Discovery line has become a well-known marque in the US). I still have the Land Rover and many years after I bought it, it was finally joined by a Range Rover.

I started hearing the term SUV in, I think, the later 1980s or maybe even the early 90s. I have no idea whose marketing department first dreamt up that term for this type of vehicle but it caught on. The marketing folks didn't stop there, of course, and now we have Crossovers and SAVs (sports activity vehicles), and the name game goes on.

But the vehicle type that is today called an SUV has been around for 46 years.

Photos below are of the 1969 Range Rover (top) and a 1976 Toyota FJ55 Land Cruiser.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:47 AM   #27
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I always thought the International Scout 80 series from 1960 as the original SUV. Which drew at least some of its inspiration from the Willys Overland Jeepster of the late '40's early '50's.

Rover was undoubtedly a resounding commercial success but hardly the first.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:03 AM   #28
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I always thought the International Scout 80 series from 1960 as the original SUV. Which drew at least some of its inspiration from the Willys Overland Jeepster of the late '40's early '50's..
Possibly, but they were much more utilitarian than the Range Rover and the Landcruiser FJ55. The foreman of the ranch I worked on for a couple of summers as a kid in Colorado in the mid-60s had a Scout and it was pretty much a metal box on wheels. Nothing remotely luxurious or comfortable about it. The Jeepsters I've seen didn't seem much different albeit with "snazzy" styling.

Most of the 4wd publications I've read over the years credit the Range Rover with being the first of the "luxury" 4wds that eventually became known as SUVs. Not that those first Range Rovers were luxurious by today's standards, but I remember reading the brochure for the Range Rover in 1973 (I could get the sales brochure in the US but not the vehicle itself) and compared to all the other 4wds on the road at that time it was very upmarket.
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:55 AM   #29
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Possibly, but they were much more utilitarian than the Range Rover and the Landcruiser FJ55. The foreman of the ranch I worked on for a couple of summers as a kid in Colorado in the mid-60s had a Scout and it was pretty much a metal box on wheels. Nothing remotely luxurious or comfortable about it. The Jeepsters I've seen didn't seem much different albeit with "snazzy" styling.

Most of the 4wd publications I've read over the years credit the Range Rover with being the first of the "luxury" 4wds that eventually became known as SUVs. Not that those first Range Rovers were luxurious by today's standards, but I remember reading the brochure for the Range Rover in 1973 (I could get the sales brochure in the US but not the vehicle itself) and compared to all the other 4wds on the road at that time it was very upmarket.
Still all station wagons. Square them off to create space in the back and slip in another row of seats that can be there or not. Call it whatever necessary to fit the current naming. And we make fun of the drivers along the way but more and more sell, because they're practical. Of course none of us want to admit we buy practical. We own sports cars, but an SUV for when we actually need to carry things or people.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:03 AM   #30
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Here inland in FL we call pontoon boats Canal Patios , they work just great for that .
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:17 AM   #31
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I always thought the International Scout 80 series from 1960 as the original SUV. Which drew at least some of its inspiration from the Willys Overland Jeepster of the late '40's early '50's.

I think the Chevy Suburban and the Dodge Power Wagon both pre-date those. Don't remember when Sub/PW added 4WD. I've seen a '30s (I think) Suburban with three rows of seats. Never saw a Power Wagon with side windows, though, and it was likely more often sold as a truck (or ambulance).

I'd agree the Scout seems to start a major U.S. path of utility vehicles that "don't look like a Jeep" and progressed with more car-like interiors and amenities. Early Bronco, Blazer, etc. followed...

Nowadays, another distinction is about the drive systems: 4WD (with and without lockers, etc.) versus AWD versus many of the lower price SUVs sold with only 2WD (even when AWD is optional).

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Old 02-24-2015, 10:40 AM   #32
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Pontoon boats are the preferred boat of those in " THE REDNECK YACHT CLUB " where a good time can be had by all
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:35 AM   #33
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No .....

The original SUV was the AMC Eagle.

And the two things that made it a SUV were 4wd and "mom going to the store shopping" level of comfort. The PU truck things were not SUVs. I'm not sure how exactly it fits in but low overall length definitely fits in too. Quite a few years ago one of my niece's was raving about some Ford Bronco. I told her it's just another big V8 Detroit thing like my old Buicks. She thought and looked up for about 3 seconds and said "well at least it's short".
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:10 PM   #34
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:02 PM   #35
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No .....

The original SUV was the AMC Eagle.

And the two things that made it a SUV were 4wd and "mom going to the store shopping" level of comfort. The PU truck things were not SUVs.



I should have remembered to include the older Willys Jeep station wagons from back in the late '40s, much taller than subsequent GM/Ford/Dodge/etc. "station wagons." Think it maybe evolved into the old boxy Cherokee or Laredo or some such name...

Seems to me IH Scout started one path, followed by the original Ford Bronco on that same general plan. Then Chevy brought out the K5 Blazer from almost a whole different path, I think built on a short-box half-ton pick-up frame, whereas the Suburban had always been on the regular box pick-up frame (I think). Then the Bronco grew to become a Ford version of the K5 and Dodge made one, etc.

Yes, there was a distinction, much to do with ground clearance and angle of attack and angle of departure and so forth. Even width was a factor, in places like a Colorado "Jeep" trail -- where no kidding sometimes anything wider isn't getting through without a chain saw. (Got our truck stuck on a snowy pass once, literally between a rock and a hard place, because we were both too long and too wide.) Much of the market was about off-roading at best ("sport"), or at least maintaining traction on crummy roads and/or in crummy weather. We had a Jeepster, but I don't remember it being anything other than a 2WD open "Jeep"-like thing, not about the off-road market at all.

The name "SUV" hadn't been invented yet, and I don't think that started appearing until the follow-on crop of smaller truck-based things (e.g., the later little Blazer) came out followed by the crop of car-based "cross-overs" that work OK for going to the Dairy Queen in most weather.

The AMC Eagle was actually pretty good at that... and with a lift kit, usually didn't do too badly on crummy roads. Given AMC's lineage to Kaiser-Willys, maybe the older "station wagon" led to their Eagle concept.



Anyway, now seems to me many of the few remaining truck-based SUVs are more about visibility, and internal space... without much emphasis on traction or certainly not off-roading.

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Old 02-24-2015, 02:42 PM   #36
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Great post Ranger,
I thought about the Suburban 5 min after I posted but being on a PU frame as you point it's really not what we think of as an SUV. The SUV is a vehicle that a woman would go out to lunch in dressed in slacks and would be inclined to park "in front". She wouldn't feel or look like she was driving hubby's hunting rig.
There were some forerunners of course but the vehicle that put the SUV in the middle of the map was undoubtably the Ford Explorer. If the SUV has a sexist slant it appears to be feminie.

I declared the AMC Eagle to be the first as there was an article on Yahoo that claimed it so.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:27 PM   #37
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:53 AM   #38
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Pontoon boats are the preferred boat of those in " THE REDNECK YACHT CLUB " where a good time can be had by all.

Perhaps where you are , but here in SW Florida the local (HUGE!) RYC has many acres of mud and races all sorts of mud boggers , from modified jeeps/trucks to full custom build 15 ft tall swamp buggies.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:46 AM   #39
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I have never set foot on a pontoon boat but have seen lots of them out on the lakes and bays. They do seem like a nice way to be able to get family and friends out on the water.
I've only been on one on the showroom floor. I can see the appeal. All the comforts of your living room on the lake/river. I've been trying to talk my 83 year old father into getting one; he lives on the river in So. MD.

That said, I don't care how much the companies jazz them up, they are one of the ugliest things you'll see on the water. The only thing uglier that I've seen was a dead, bloated alligator floating in a lake that I used to ski on. But still, I'd own one...
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:06 PM   #40
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My dad bought one before he passed. He and my mom loved to fish, and my mom couldn't board a regular boat any longer. They loved it and had a blast in the time they had left.
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