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Truckin's Top 10 of 2011

Truckin' Staff
Feb 1, 2012
Photographers: Truckin' Staff
Truckin's top 10 is reserved for the best of the best. As you will see, these are not trucks that have appeared on the covers from 2011, as the cover trucks were some of the best trucks we featured, hence their spot on the acclaimed cover. We decided to instead give the owners of the rest of the trucks a fighting chance. So here they are, the top ten trucks of 2011. Please vote here for your favorite truck! Think we forgot a truck or would you just like to express your opinion? Send your thoughts to maxwell.matthewson@sorc.com.
Issue 1 R.J. Silva
Las Vegas, Nevada
'91 Chevy 1500

The '88-'98 model years of the Chevy 1500 are very popular trucks for customizing. They can be purchased for a paltry sum and parts for them are plentiful and inexpensive. Because of this, it takes a lot for one to stand out, but R.J. Silva's 1991 version is a definite one-of-a-kind. R.J. started by ripping out the factory suspension in favor of a 'bagged suspension that lets the truck skate on open roads. KRZ control arms, an IF Customs' two-link, and Slam Specialties airbags bring the truck down hard over 22-inch Image Alloy wheels. For a different look on the body, the front clip from a '99 Cadillac Escalade was sectioned, smoothed, and bolted on in place of the factory pieces. A clean shave rounds out the body while AVS LED lightbars were molded into the tailgate skin. After receiving several coats of Jaguar Green paint, it was time to move to the engine. The factory 4.3L engine was replaced with a crate duplicate that also received the chrome and powdercoat treatment. Moving to the interior, R.J. swapped out the factory seats for a set of race-inspired seats that have been wrapped in black leather with dark green accents. Between the seats sits a fiberglass center console that houses two 12-inch Polk Audio subs. The dash has been smoothed and painted to match the truck and an NRC Smoothie billet steering wheel gives an unobstructed view of the Dakota Digital gauges. The rest of the audio consists of a Pioneer head unit, two Polk Momo amps, Polk 6-inch mids, and Polk tweeters. Nicely done R.J.
Photo 2/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1991 Chevy 1500
Issue 2 Dave and Sandy Forman
Everett, Washington
'56 Ford F-100 and '57 Chevy Cameo

A husband and wife team built this duo of trucks. The first is a '56 Ford F-100 that is more Lincoln than it is Ford. The body is all Effie, while the suspension, interior, and engine are those from a '94 Lincoln Mark VIII. In order to accomplish this feat, every seam on the body had to be welded shut and the running boards were molded and welded to the body and fenders, forever turning this Blue Oval into a unibody. PPG silver paint was sprayed over the whole truck. The engine is a twin-supercharged, DOHC 5.0L V-8 from the donor Lincoln. It receives 14 pounds of boost from the dual Procharger P-1SC superchargers, which is then fed through a Lincoln four-speed automatic transmission to a Lincoln 8.8-inch IRS. The interior is all Lincoln while the bucket seats are from a Ford Explorer. The whole of the suspension, steering, and brakes were used from the donor Lincoln.
truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1956 Ford F100
  |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1956 Ford F100
The second truck is a '57 Chevy Cameo. The frame on this one has been notched, boxed, and painted before being outfitted with Fatman Fabrication 2-inch drop spindles, custom two-link with Panhard bar, and Firestone 2500 'bags. The rolling stock consists of 19-inch Makaveli Lugiano wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. For the body, a custom grille was filled with mesh grilles and Bow Tie marker lights. The rest of the body was then prepped and sprayed with PPG Dark Shadow Gray paint. The interior is a bit more conventional with the factory dash and bucket seats out of a '00 Chevy Impala that were wrapped in gray and white Ultraleather. A simple audio system was installed and the interior was complete. We saved the best for last, as a Shark Racing Engines 434ci engine was dropped in. This monster V-8, in conjunction with two Turbonetics turbos, pumps out 830 rwhp and 723 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a small-block.
Issue 3 Steve Hale
Marcy, New York
'56 Ford F-100

Just when we thought we had seen all that could be done to a '56 Ford F-100, Steve Hale of Marcy, New York, built one that sets itself apart from every other F-100. To start the build, Steve used a pair of CPP 2-inch drop spindles and a pair of Airbagit double-convoluted air springs to complete the front suspension. The green machine rolls on a set of Genuine Boyds “Evolution” billet aluminum 17x8-inch wheels that were anodized copper. Next up, a '76 Ford 460ci engine block was bored and had Comp Cams bumpstick and valvetrain components installed onto it. The all-steel F-100 received suicide doors with shaved door handles, and a hydraulic dump action bed with a top hinged, dump truck–style tailgate. A handformed, copper sheetmetal panel was placed behind the monochrome '56 grille. Steve painted his '56 with PPG basecoats and pearls. The PPG copper flip-flop metal flake gave the '56 multiple personalities. To create a clean, nostalgic interior, Steve finished the all-steel dash with Autometer Classic white-faced gauges and fabricated a center console that separates the '75 Monte Carlo bucket seats. He then proceeded to cover the seats and door panels using black and saddle tan leather with tuck 'n' roll inserts and saddle tan piping.
Photo 3/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1956 Ford F100
Issue 4 Chris and Selena Couto
Canyon Country, California
'63 Chevy C10

This truck may look like a shiny black show truck with big wheels, but there is more to it than on the surface. Chris and Selena Couto from Canyon Country, California, spent five years building their '63 Chevy C10 project. To start, a pair of Belltech 2½-inch drop spindles was sandwiched between the upper and lower control arms, while two ContiTech 2600 airbags were teamed up with Rancho 9000 shocks to take care of the front suspension. A four-bar and Watts linkage was used for the rear suspension that supports the GM 12-bolt rearend. To complete the suspension modifications, the C10 rolls on a set of chrome 22-inch Detata Siphon wheels that are wrapped in Kumho 265/35R22 rubber. A Chevy 350ci small-block was built and dropped into the truck and a rebuilt 700-R4 automatic transmission was used to transmit gear changes to the rearend. Now that the drivetrain was built and good to go, Grant Kustoms handled the bodywork. The lower half of the truck was reskinned and the cab and bed were welded together. A pair of ‘60 Chevy Impala front and rear bumpers was frenched into the front valance and rear roll pan. To continue the transformation, the stock bed floor was cut out and relaid with a step to cover the large step notch of the rear framerails. Finally, the truck was doused in DuPont Black paint and cleared for an ever-wet appearance. The original bench seat was replaced with a 60/40-split seat from a '98 Tahoe that was covered in two-tone beige and tan microfiber.
Photo 4/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1963 Chevy C10
Issue 5 Troy Anderson
Sacramento, California
'97 GMC Sierra

This truck is from Andreson Bros Paint and Body owner, Troy Anderson. To start this '97 GMC, a back half for the chassis was made using mandrel-bent rectangular tubing for the notch and round DOM tubing for the bridge. The rear axle rides on a wishboned three-link with Firestone 'bags. The front suspension uses matching Firestone 'bags, drop spindles, and a tubbed firewall to drop the frame on 22-inch Boyd Coddington Timeless II wheels. The tailgate was completely shaved and a roll pan was installed that wraps the body line around the rear of the truck before the taillights were filled in and replaced with thin, vertical Cadillac lights. Then the entire bed was moved forward 1½ inches to close the gap between the cab. On the cab itself, the seams were shaved along with the door handles and third brake light, which was replaced with a flush-mounted LED. The Sierra front clip was unbolted in favor of 2000 Yukon Denali sheetmetal that was filled with a Street Scene speed grille and capped off with an '03 Sierra bumper. After priming and block-sanding the body, several coats of Corvette Bright Blue were sprayed before it was layered in orange-tipped yellow flames and pinstriping. The interior of the Sierra features body-matched dash and door plastics as well as a full-length center console that mounts the Arc Audio subwoofer and amp. Subtle two-tone leather upholstery and fresh gray carpet round out the rest of the accommodations.
Photo 5/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1997 Gmc Sierra
Issue 5 Norm Couturier
Fredricton, NB, Canada
'03 Dodge Ram 1500

Norm Couturier made a personal challenge to build the ultimate high-end custom show truck. In his words, “I wanted a truck that could stand in the company of anything out on the West Coast.” Starting with a '03 Ram Quad Cab, Norm removed all of the original crossmembers, C-notched the factory framerails, and fabricated a triangulated four-link. Up front, McGaughy's 2-inch drop spindles were machined to accommodate the massive 15-inch six-piston Brembo big brakes. The end result to all of the suspension mods was a 5-inch drop for the nose and an 8-inch drop in the rear. For wheels Norm ordered 22-inch Budnik Hammer billet wheels for his Ram. Under the SRT-10 fiberglass hood lies a 392ci beast of a Mopar engine. Moving to the body, Norm molded the tailgate to the tonneau cover for a unique look. Lifting up the tonneau cover/tailgate reveals a large Lexan window that is cut out of the sheetmetal bed floor and motorizes up to allow suspension access. Norm massaged the metal on the truck that also included shaving the door handles, molding in Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 mirrors to the A-pillars, creating a smooth wiper cowl, welding shut the taillights, and creating inner fenders for the engine bay. Once the last piece was finalized, the truck was coated in DuPont Hot Hues Sinful Cinnamon. Inside the heavily modified doors lies an interior that combines elegance with function. Seats from an '03 Viper were covered in two-tone Ultraleather and were mounted to seven-way power bases.
Photo 6/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 2003 Dodge Ram 1500
Issue 8 Shea Walker
Ozark, Arkansas
'00 GMC Sierra

Ozark, Arkansas–native Shea Walker is very familiar with '99 to '02 GM trucks. After building an '02 Silverado, Shea wanted to try his hand at a '00 GMC Sierra. After smoothing the frame, Choppin' Block upper and lower control arms, McGaughy's 2-inch drop spindles, and a custom cantilevered two-link with a Panhard bar were installed, making this Sierra sit nice and low. With the rest of the chassis taken care of and the rear axles narrowed a total of three inches, a set of 24x9.5-inch Viscera VSC778 wheels with paint-matched inserts and Kumho Ecsta 275/30R24 tires were installed. Under the hood, Shea had a surprise in store. Where the factory engine once sat, now sits a 5.7L LS1. From here, Shea went to work on the body. Wanting a custom, clean look, Shea opted for a Denali grille with a billet insert and a Denali bumper with a matching billet insert. To keep with the clean look, Shea had the door handles, tailgate, and third brake light shaved. He also replaced the factory taillights with those from an '84 Cadillac Deville. After finishing off the body with a Grant Kustoms Cali Combo rear skin, Shea drenched the whole truck in PPG's Daytona Blue paint. Continuing with the smooth look on the inside, Shea had the factory bucket seats covered in black Katzkin leather and installed black carpet on the floor.
Photo 7/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 2000 Gmc Sierra
Issue 8 Javi Cantu
Del Rey, California
'97 Ford F-150

Javi Cantu didn't want to build just another truck when he started on his '97 F-150. So he set out to break the mold with his project. To get this Blue Oval to lay out, Javi used a wishboned three-link out back and arms and spindles up front. Javi then had the rearend cut down a total of 9 inches and converted the rear drum brakes to Wilwood discs. Finally, a set of 24-inch Intro Vista II wheels and Kumho Ecsta tires was strapped. A clean shave of the body included the taillights, third brake light, door handles, gas filler door, and rear bumper. A sheetmetal bed was fabricated and welded in and an '04 Navigator front clip was installed up front. To finish off the body, several coats of House of Kolor Razberry Pearl were laid down, followed by the hot rod–style flames with white over the base, HoK Victory Red over the white, and HoK Red Mini Flake. Each lick was then outlined in pinstripes. Always liking the look of classic car and truck dashboards, Javi pulled the dash from a 1963 Ford Galaxie and modified it to fit into his truck. On the inside, the headliner is covered in suede and the seats are adorned in dove leather with burgundy inserts. Custom door panels, silver carpet, and a custom center console and sub box finish off the stylish looks of Javi's truck.
Photo 8/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1997 Ford F150
Issue 10 Darrell Chambers
Redding, California
'40 Ford ½-ton

Drawn to the wild custom Downs '40 Ford pickups, Darrell Chambers and his wife Sandy from Redding, California, purchased this truck from Jim Downs himself. Underneath the modified Downs body is a boxed frame that features a Heidts independent front suspension with 2-inch drop spindles, coilover shocks, a power steering rack, a pair of Wilwood dual-piston clippers, and 10½-inch rotors. For a stylish rolling stock, a pair of Boyd Coddington Impulse 17x7-inch polished billet aluminum wheels are consumed in 215/50R17 Goodyear Eagle tires. The rear suspension also features a high-performance Heidts Pro G independent rear suspension. Peeking through the hood is a BDS bug catcher that is mounted atop a pair of Edlebrock Q-Jet carburetors. Opening the hood exposes the BDS 6-71 supercharger that force-feeds the mighty Chevy 355ci powerplant producing 600 hp. On the body, Downs used House of Kolor Metallic Midnight Blue for the top half with wispy Cobalt Blue ghost flames. The lower portion received HoK Metallic Silver. Both colors were separated with a HoK Orange graphic line surrounded with HoK Red pinstripes. Chevron-style taillights were installed in the rear fenders and up front, a modified '40 Ford horizontal grille was flanked by a pair of '40 Ford fenders and headlights. Inside the bed, the beautiful white oak planks were coated with a deep urethane finish and are separated with polished stainless stringers. To follow through with the smooth, clean look, a soft-white pearl Ultraleather headliner, door panels, padded dash, and a pair of low-back bucket seats that are separated with a waterfall center console were installed inside. The engine's vital signs are displayed on the dash in a Dakota Digital gauge panel.
Photo 9/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 1940 Ford Half Ton
Issue 12 Joshua Brack
Ozark, Missouri
'00 Dodge Dakota

Joshua Brack of Ozark, Missouri, is very proud of his 2000 Dodge Dakota. Starting with the suspension, Josh lowered the front and rear 2 inches for a meaner looking stance. With the suspension taken care of, a set of Intro Pentia 6 wheels were strapped on, 20s in the front and 22s in the back and wrapped in Continental 275/35R20 and 295/30R22 rubber. The factory brakes were then upgraded with Baer cross-drilled and slotted rotors. Moving to the engine, the factory 5.9L has been upgraded with the addition of a Mopar performance cam, M-1 intake manifold, Jet performance chip, Positive Performance headers, and a custom cold-air intake. To the body, Josh added a Cervini's Sniper body kit, euro one-piece headlamps, Anzo carbon euro taillights, and installed a pair of K-6 mirrors with turn signals. He finished off the truck with a SnugTop tonneau cover and a manual, removable sunroof. Josh then had the body painted with airbrushed flames and skulls in PPG's Sunburst Orange over Copper Metallic paint. Inside, the dash has been completely covered in fiberglass then wrapped in vinyl. The pièce de résistance of this truck has to be the audio and video. The head unit for the system is a Kenwood eXcelon KDC-x994. A Memphis Audio equalizer fine-tunes the audio before sending it to the three Memphis amps. They turn around and send the signal to four Memphis 12-inch woofers, Memphis 6-inch components, 6x9s and 4- and 6.5-inch separates. There are a total of 14 mid- and high-range speakers. Throughout the cab and bed are six monitors including a 42-inch LCD in the bed.
Photo 10/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 2000 Dodge Dakota
Honorable Mention
Issue 10 Karlo Carlos Mission, Texas
'03 Chevy Silverado

All Karlo wanted in life was a regular cab Chevy SS. So he built one. DJM 2-inch drop spindles and a flip kit with 3-inch blocks were used to achieve the proper stance. For more than just a static drop, four Slam Specialties RE-7 'bags and four Toxic shocks were installed on the corners. Karlo then wrapped a set of 22x8½-inch Raceline Deceptives in Fullway 265/30R22 rubber up front and 24x10-inch Deceptives in the rear. Next, all SS parts were installed on the exterior of the truck and it was coated in Jetstream Blue Metallic Tintcoat. Karlo pulled the original camshaft, pushrods, and valvesprings out of the engine and installed a Comp cam, Comp 918 beehive valvesprings, and Comp pushrods. To really get the tires spinning, Karlo installed a two-stage nitrous system with a 100 shot and a 150 shot. Turning his attention to the interior, Karlo continued the SS theme, by installing a pair of front seats from a Silverado SS. Next, he installed gray carpet to accent the black leather seats and black dash. With the chassis, engine, body, and interior taken care of, the last item on the agenda was the sound system. Karlo built a sub box from sheetmetal and welded it onto the back of the cab, in the bed. This allowed room for two 13½-inch JL W7 subwoofers to be installed in the regular cab. JL Audio was also used for the components in the doors, as well as the amplifiers behind the seat.
Photo 11/11   |   truckins Top 10 Of 2011 2003 Chevy Silverado