2006 Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS - Insider

Truckin' News

Mark HalvorsenAug 1, 2005
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Intimidating Debut
Truckin' got a look at the Intimidator SS Silverado during its debut at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated's (DEI) Dale Earnhardt Day in Moorisville, North Carolina. The unveiling of the '06 Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS was made in honor of the late Dale Earnhardt during a special celebration for the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion, team owner, and icon. Thousands of Earnhardt and DEI fans visit the race shop facility each year to commemorate the legend's birthday on April 29, and this time was no different.
Chevrolet plans to offer only 1,333 Silverado Intimidator SS trucks. Notice the 3's in the limited production run. This was done to honor Dale's car number, 3.
The Intimidator SS is based on a well-equipped '06 Silverado SS featuring GM's Vortec 6000 V-8, which produces 345 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. It also features a lowered ride height, performance-tuned suspension, two-stage multi-leaf springs, Tenneco shocks, a stiffer front stabilizer bar, and front jounce bumpers.
The exterior scheme begins with a striking, black monochromatic color highlighted with Intimidator badging on the tailgate and doors, a race-inspired tailgate spoiler, and a silver front grille insert. The Intimidator SS rolls on 20-inch chrome wheels, wrapped with Goodyear Eagle Performance 275/55R20 AL2 rubber.
The interior showcases a black leather steering wheel with the Dale Earnhardt Legacy Logo embroidered on the front of the headrests with optional dark charcoal leather seats. Other features include Dale Earnhardt's signature on the white, backlit gauge cluster, the Intimidator badge on the instrument panel, and floor mats with the Intimidator script.
The Silverados also feature a four-speed automatic transmission linked up to a 3:73 rearend gear ratio with a locking differential; cruise control; a rear defogger; keyless entry; a power seat adjuster; steering wheel radio controls; power windows; engine oil cooler; transmission oil cooler; and a rear-wheel, two-wheel drive.
The Silverado Intimidator SS is the sixth signature edition vehicle offered by Chevrolet and is considered by some fans to be the ultimate in NASCAR-themed collectibles. "We are very proud of the long-time association between Chevrolet and the Earnhardt family," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet's general manager. "Dale's legacy is unique within racing, and we are excited about this opportunity to offer fans a vehicle they can so closely identify with one of their heroes."
Chevrolet will make a donation from the sale of the Silverado Intimidator SS to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, a charity specifically chosen by the Earnhardt family. -Bob Ryder
Ford And GM
Credit Ratings Land in the Junk PileIn May, Standard & Poor's reduced the credit rating of Ford and GM to "junk" status for the first time in the history of these Big Three automakers.
S&P doubts the companies will generate adequate cash profits to consistently pay down their debts and to fold back into their businesses. Therefore, the agency downgraded the company's bonds to below investment grade. Bonds are devices through which investors lend money to a company with interest-as opposed to stocks, which allow investors to buy a stake in a company. One impact that this downgrade will have is that Ford and GM will find it more difficult to borrow money. Also, institutional investors can't buy junk bonds because they are too risky, and some of them will be forced to pull their money from these carmakers. Those investors who can buy them will demand a greater return on their investment.
At the time of this writing, the other two major credit rating agencies, Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors, have not downgraded Ford and GM to junk status. Why did S&P make its decision? Rising health care costs and a falling market share. Health care adds around $1,500 to the price of vehicles coming out of Detroit-costs that Asian carmakers don't have to contend with. Both automakers had become very dependent on profitable truck and SUV markets. But SUV sales have been dropping rapidly, due in part to rising gas prices. Overall, the U.S. market share for GM was 25.1 percent in April, down 2.6 percent from a year before, while Ford's numbers dropped 1.3 percent to 17.5.
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