Friendly Ford and Equine Dreams Partner Up for Custom Ride for “Teddy”

Equine Dreams

Meet “Teddy”

Nothing is cuter than pint-sized animals—and miniature horses are some of the cutest. Equine Dreams is a local non-profit organization that uses therapeutic horseback riding and miniature horse visits to help children and adults with physical, social, and other disabilities. Recently, Friendly Ford and Equine Dreams teamed up to provide a custom vehicle for one of its star miniature horses, Teddy.

To help Equine Dreams, Friendly Ford is modifying a Ford Excursion to transport Teddy along with other horses and animals. The Excursion will get a raised roof and turtle top so the animals will fit in the rear of the vehicle.

“This organization is near and dear to my heart,” said Friendly Ford co-owner Randy Yockey. “My sister, [Equine Dreams CEO] Sharon Mason, runs this organization [and] she has a handicapped child. We’re going to convert her Excursion that she daily drives and we’re going to make it a transporter for a mini horse.”

And, making the project even sweeter, Yockey’s neighbor Mike Gillespie is donating his time to modify the Excursion at Friendly Ford’s body shop.

You can follow along with the “Teddy’s New Ride” project on Friendly Ford’s Facebook page. If you’re interested in helping out Equine Dreams yourself, they are always accepting more volunteers or your can make a donation online.

2016 Ford RS Reveal Gets Strong, Positive Reaction Online

FordFord finally revealed its long-awaited 2016 Ford RS model last week, a top-of-the-line hatchback that’s getting rave reviews—especially from those who are happy to see such a stellar model released in the United States.

The 2016 Focus RS gets 320 horsepower and has all-wheel drive, making it the kind of powerfully modern compact car you’d expect from Ford in 2016, using the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost, four-cylinder engine found in the mid-level Mustang.

According to various Ford execs, the new performance car RS is just the beginning for a new wave of high-performances at Ford, and since this is the first RS designed for international sale, expect to see a stellar year for Ford.

The 2016 Ford RS reveal comes months ahead of its official release, which is planned for later in the year. Are you looking forward to this new arrival like we at Friendly Ford are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Having a Great Game Day: Super Bowl Party Tips

Super Bowl PartyAnother Super Bowl has gone by, and we at Friendly Ford hope you took the opportunity to celebrate friends, football, and finger foods. The incentive to throw a proper Super Bowl party is significant—as you probably saw last weekend, it can make things interesting even when the game is not. So here are a few Super Bowl party tips for next year from the Huffington Post.

BE DIFFERENT.  Yes, everyone loves pizza. You can’t beat it in a pinch. But, if you have the time, try to present unique food choices. Make your own dip or use a slow-cooker to make your own chili.

BE PREPARED. Don’t wait until the last minute to arrange your living room or whichever room you plan to watch the big game in. You may need to grab chairs or furniture from other rooms. Arrange them in such a way to give everyone a good view. Plus, if guests arrive and see that they have seating, they will feel all the more welcome.

CAN’T PLEASE ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.  Just get a keg or a mini-keg. Everyone has their own taste in beer and they’re proud of it. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Save some money and get a mini-keg.  Encourage people to bring their own drinks if they’re picky.

SEND INVITATIONS EARLY. Give people plenty of advice warning. Send out invites via text or social media a couple of weeks beforehand.

Ford Shelby GT350R Auction Raises $1 Million for Diabetes Research

Ford Shelby GT250R auctionWhen the first Ford Shelby® GT350R Mustang rolled off the assembly line, it wasn’t headed to Chi-town to join our display of vehicles here at Friendly Ford—or any other dealership for that matter. Instead, the road racer was delivered to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction where it was awarded to the highest bidder. The winning bid of the VIN 001 Shelby GT350R earned $1,000,000 for JDRF and its research in type 1 diabetes.

While the Shelby GT350R ‘Stang won’t officially go on sale until later this year, the auction of the first-ever retail production vehicle caused great excitement in the world of auto enthusiasts. It was also an exciting day for those affiliated with JDRF. The non-profit organization is dedicated to researching ways to better treat type 1 diabetes as they work to find a cure.

The $1,000,000 in funds received from the Ford Shelby GT350R auction will support the organization’s research.

JDRF is honored to share in Ford’s 50-year celebration of the new Shelby GT350R at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale,” said JDRF president and CEO, Derek Rapp. “As the leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, JDRF is extremely proud of our long-time partnership with Ford, and we are tremendously thankful for Ford’s continued support of JDRF. JDRF benefits greatly from this partnership, which is an essential element of our pursuit of our shared vision of a world without type 1.”

Faster than Fast: New Ford GT Supercar Debuts

Ford GT Supercar DebutThe new Ford GT Supercar debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and fast is indeed the keyword! With a streamlined structure, and sexy, sleek curves, Ford’s new baby is designed for speed! However, it’s hard to say which is more impressive: its function or beauty.

To a casual observer of the GT in motion, the 2015 Supercar is sure to appear as nothing but a blur. Due in part to the aerodynamic design, but also adding to the power is the 3.5-liter twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine. A carbon-fiber driver’s cell and aluminum-alloy sub frames decrease the car’s overall bulk, thus enabling an increased pace.

With the newest addition to its performance lineup, Ford continues its tradition of GT panache. Swing-up clamshell doors give two passengers an extravagant entrance into the smooth and simple interior, each line and angle of the body calculated to reduce drag.

Designed as an homage to the original Ford GT built in 1966 (the original being commissioned by Henry Ford II to win the Le Mans 24-hour race in France), the Ford GT is set to be released next year in celebration of the original’s 50th anniversary.

Ford SYNC AppLink System Will Feature New Drive Mode

Ford SYNC AppLink systemDespite all the recent advancements in vehicle connectivity and infotainment systems, few automakers have stopped to consider the risks of distracted driving–until now. Ford recently partnered with Life360 to introduce a modified SYNC AppLink system that keeps the driver safe.

According to Ford, the new system will offer a Drive Mode that will notify people trying to communicate with the driver that they’re busy driving. This new Drive Mode will not only eliminate some driver distraction, but it will also eliminate the need to, for instance, call mom when you get home. Family members can see when a driver arrives safely, just another new feature of the system.

“Responsible driving habits are top priorities at Ford Motor Company, and we are pleased to be working with Life360 to help reduce driver distractions,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford Connected Services Product manager. “With the integration of Life360 Drive Mode, we are helping to keep drivers’ attention on the road by letting their loved ones know that they are behind the wheel, encouraging family members and friends to hold off on sending texts.”

The new system also has made some improvements to hands-free options, like voice recognition. With the Ford SYNC AppLink system, the automaker is making the world safer one driver at a time. Get connected at Friendly Ford!

Could Ford’s ECOBEAST Patent Signal Something Ferocious on the Way?

Ford's ECOBEAST Patent

Ford’s current V6 EcoBoost Engine

What does Ford have up its sleeve?

That’s the question many are asking, including us at Friendly Ford, upon news that the automaker trademarked the term “ECOBEAST.” If that sounds like a reference to Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology, you’re on the right track. The patent request was filed under “Automobiles and automobile engines.”

What do you think Ford’s ECOBEAST patent could mean? Many believe it’s a high-output EcoBoost engine, even surpassing the highest-capacity 3.5-liter version currently offered. But why would a bigger engine require an entirely new name? Perhaps this will be an entire new line of engines.

Hopefully it’s not a red herring set loose by Ford to distract us all before the Detroit Auto Show, which might have something to do with the next-generation SVT Raptor on the way.

We’d like some answers, but trademark filing doesn’t indicate a projected timeline, so Ford could either be in its final stages before debut or initial development.  Still, it sounds like our favorite automaker has some exciting ideas in mind.

First Production 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang Auction to Benefit JDRF

Shelby GT350 Mustang AuctionFord is no stranger to helping those in need. The automaker frequently donates money to various causes and organizations—the latest of which is JDRF, a national organization dedicated to the funding of type 1 diabetes research. In order to help JDRF continue its mission in the New Year, Ford is holding a 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang auction at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona next month. The winner will become the proud owner of the first production 2015 Shelby GT350 with his or her choice of color and packages.

The auction coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350 Mustang, which was offered between 1965 and 1970 and has become one of the most iconic and sought-after classic cars ever made. The Shelby GT350 is coming back to the market for 2015, and this auction is Ford’s way of reintroducing it with a bang.

“The all-new Shelby GT350 is a thrilling, world-class car,” remarked Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “From the all-new independent suspension – a first for a Shelby, to the powerful engine and superb brakes, this car is simply amazing. Just as the Shelby GT350 did in 1965, we expect this new-generation pony car to demonstrate Ford Motor Company continues to lead the world in innovation and performance.”

Competition at the auction is sure to be fierce. We at Friendly Ford will be watching the action closely on Saturday, January 17th—how about you?

2015 F-150 Aluminum Body Reduces Weight and Cost

2015 F-150 Aluminum Body

2015 Ford F-150

If you’re like some of us at Friendly Ford, you’ve made New Year’s resolutions to start eating healthier, save more money, and maybe even recycle a bit more in 2015. If you’ve made a few of these promises to yourself, look no further than the Ford F-150 for inspiration. Recently, the F-150 switched from structure of steel to one of aluminum in the 2015 incarnation, saving weight, money, and even reducing its carbon footprint.

This change saves the company about $124 per pickup, as the Ford factory waste aluminum is returned to the aluminum manufacturer for recycling. Aluminum is more expensive than steel, but the savings in recycling leftover aluminum are making the difference. At its Dearborn and Kansas City plants, Ford has created a new recycling system that sends $300 worth of scrap metal back to its suppliers. Since aluminum is 95% recyclable, it is easier and cheaper to recycle scrap pieces instead of mining more aluminum ore.

In addition to saving money, the new 2015 F-150 aluminum body is much lighter than its steel predecessor. In all, the F-150 dropped about 700 pounds by making the switch. It takes a lot of energy to haul around that big steel frame, so going lighter with an aluminum body is going to save a lot of gas money for F-150 enthusiasts.

If the F-150 can do it, so can you. Good luck in keeping your New Year’s resolutions for 2015, and if you’d like to see how the F-150 drives with that light new body, come into Friendly Ford for a test drive.

Ford Plans New Hybrid Truck on the Heels of Aluminum-Bodied F-150

new Hybrid Truck

2015 Ford F-150 Available at Friendly Ford

Ready or not, new truck customers, here Ford comes, pushing the brand farther into the future. The 2015 Ford F-150 is just starting production, and the aluminum-bodied pickup will soon be all over the place, as Ford’s loyal customers line up to buy it. After all, it’s a stronger and more efficient version of the truck that everyone already loves.

However, Ford is not stopping its march towards more efficient trucks there. Recently, the brand announced that a new hybrid truck is in the works, saying that it is “working very hard” on such a model. After the gamble on the aluminum F-150 paid off so well, the folks at Ford are excited to take the next step.

“The key is to convince buyers that … you can still tow that boat out of the water or carry that load of wood,” said Bill Visnic of Edmunds.com. Here at Friendly Ford, we’re not really concerned about that. People said the same thing about the 2015 F-150, and it’s already proven itself better than anyone could have expected. Come see us to today to learn more about the new truck and give us your thoughts on the idea of a hybrid truck as well.