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Top 10 Trucks Of 2012

Get Your Vote In!

Maxwell Matthewson
Feb 1, 2013
Photographers: Truckin Staff
It is that time of year again, people are spending thousands of dollars on presents, the weather is getting cooler, and Truckin magazine has researched and created the Top 10 trucks of the past year. These are the best of the best, aside from cover trucks. We do not include cover trucks because those are obviously the best trucks throughout the year, hence the coveted spot on the cover. As you will see, there isn't a clear-cut winner—that is up to you. Scroll down and vote for your favorite truck. You can also vote for your favorite cover truck from 2012. The following trucks are not listed in a ranking format, rather from the issue they appeared in. If you think we forgot a truck or want to voice your opinion, send an email to maxwell.matthewson@sorc.com.
Photo 2/13   |   1302tr 01 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 2009 Gmc Sierra 2500hd
Tony Laughlin • Pasadena, Texas
2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD • Issue 1

Twenty-one-year-old Tony Laughlin is the young up-and-comer that owns this Sierra. The truck rides high on a massive 18-inch 3rd Coast Suspension lift kit installed by B-n-C Off Road, with custom-painted 22x14 Fuel wheels wrapped in 40x15.50R22 Nitto Mud Grappler tires. The coolest thing about this truck is by far the paint, which was done by Czar Zamora of Master Mind Designs. Helping the Duramax engine churn out even more horsepower is a PPE Hot Shot II tuner, 5-inch RBP exhaust, and S&B Filters intake. This big lifted truck definitely earned its spot in our Top 10.

Photo 3/13   |   1302tr 02 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 1951 Ford F 1
Ray Corn • Houston, Texas
1951 Ford F-1 • Issue 2

Not a body style that you see often, this F-1 was done right with a TCI Mustang II front suspension and a four-link in the rear. QA1 coilovers on all four corners help to soften any bumps in the road. Filling the Ford's fenders is a set of 18x8 and 20x15-inch Intro Twisted Matrix wheels shod in Mickey Thompson rubber. Rather than leave the original Flathead under the hood, Ray switched it out for a Ram Jet-injected 502ci big-block. Before Alamo Customs sprayed the body in Candy Brandywine paint, the cab was chopped 2-3/4 inches, custom roll pans were made, and every body gap was fit to perfection. It is pretty obvious why this truck is in the list.

Photo 4/13   |   1302tr 03 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 2002 Chevy Silverado
Mike Godat • St. Peter's, Missouri
2002 Chevrolet Silverado • Issue 5 

After buying the truck new in 2002, it took Mike eight years to finish his truck. The first thing he did was bolt on a Ridetech airbag suspension with StrongArms and Cool Ride setup in the front and four-link with Air Bar out back. This slammed the Chevy over a set of Dropstars DS-02 wheels mounted in 295/30R24 Toyo Proxes ST-II tires. Being the owner of a paint and body shop, Mike decided to spruce up the nose with a complete 2012 Escalade Platinum front clip. After shaving the body and installing Caddy taillights, the body was two-toned with DuPont Molten Orange Candy over Starry Night and separated by a Candy Apple Red tribal graphic. Moving inside, the Cadillac theme continues with an Escalade dash cluster and steering wheel. The factory Silverado seats were reshaped and covered in grey and orange leather. Between the seats resides a fiberglass center console that leads into a fiberglass dash, all paint-matched to the exterior. The headliner features orange suede and custom cut mirrors. At this point the only thing untouched was the engine compartment. This received more paint and chrome that makes the area clean enough to eat off of.

Photo 5/13   |   1302tr 04 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 1946 Chevy Pickup
Nick Weber • Yardville, New Jersey
1946 Chevy Pickup • Issue 5

The second classic truck in our lineup is this immaculate '46 Chevy riding on a custom frame, Mustang II front suspension, and a four-link with a Panhard bar. For a slammed stance, Nick used Ridetech Shockwaves. To finish off the rolling chassis, a set of Billet Specialties Draft wheels were wrapped in Nitto Invo tires and bolted on. Sitting under the hood of this 67-year-old Bow Tie is a 540ci Merlin III big-block. To give the truck a meaner profile, Nick took two inches out of the roofline, stretched the cab 3 inches, pancaked and pie-cut the roof 1-1/2 inches, and converted the hood to a one-piece reverse-opening style. With the truck prepped, it was sprayed with a BASF GM Spice Red and Black two-tone. Rather than let his truck sit, Nick drives the piss out of it and enjoys the sound of the .600 lift cam.

Photo 6/13   |   1302tr 05 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 2008 Ford F 650
Adam Genei • Brighton, Michigan
2008 Ford F-650 • Issue 7

Probably one of the coolest trucks we have shot in the last few years, this gargantuan F-650 truck needed to have 3 feet cut out of the frame in order to fit the standard Ford 8-foot bed. Mob Steel handled all of the custom work. For the suspension, just about all of the factory mounts and components were lopped off and replacements were fabricated to bring the massive Blue Oval closer to terra firma. Goodyear commercial airbags were bolted on at the corners along with a set of 24-inch Aztec wheels wrapped in Pirelli 325/45R24 rubber. The interior features two-tone black and tan hand-stitched leather seats, suede and aluminum overhead console with two 17-inch monitors, and JL Audio speakers. We would drive this thing every day, no matter what the price of gas is.

Photo 7/13   |   1302tr 06 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 2006 Chevy Silverado
Jay Penfield • Fresno, California
2006 Chevrolet Silverado • Issue 9

Wanting a truck that would stand out among all of the other Silverados on the road and at shows, Jay picked up an '06 regular cab and decided to do something GM didn't. He converted it to a 5-foot 8-inch bed from the Crew Cab models. Jay then had the roof chopped 2¼ inches, had the front glass leaned back, and the mirrors shaved. The handles and tailgate were also shaved and the truck was painted a high-gloss black. Gold pinstriping and gold leaf was then applied to the truck, giving it an old-school feel. Inside the cab, the bench seat was cut down and leaned back to accommodate the chop top. It was then covered in black tuck-and-roll vinyl. Under the hood, a Cadillac engine cover and intake tube were painted black and pinstriped. Jay also added shorty headers and a custom exhaust to the 5.3L engine. As hard as it is to keep black clean, Jay still drives his truck all over California.

Photo 8/13   |   1302tr 07 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 1982 Chevy C10
Jose Pena • Pasadena, Texas
1982 Chevrolet C10 • Issue 9

Much like many truck owners, Jose's '82 C10 started out a little different than how you see it now. Since being built in the Pro Street style, the truck now features a custom set of control arms up front and a ladder bar setup in the back. Firestone 'bags and QA1 coilovers soften the bumps while 22x10 and 24x15-inch Intro Gallup wheels enveloped in Pirelli rubber keep the truck rolling. Massive 14-inch Wilwood brakes bring the whole rig to a quick halt. Under the hood, Jose strapped a 2.9L Whipple blower onto a 6.0L Vortec Max engine. This combination puts down an imposing 600 hp. Giving Jose a nice place to sit when cruising Texas highways and byways is an interior that has a hot rod feel to it. The bench seat is wrapped in grey leather and suede with the dash wrapped in matching leather. A custom steering wheel and Dakota Digital gauges give Jose command of the vehicle and the ability to monitor all of the stats. Jose is never satisfied with the Status Quo and we applaud him for that.

Photo 9/13   |   1302tr 08 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 1996 Gmc C1500
Hubert Jackson • Montgomery, Texas
1996 GMC C1500 • Issue 10

Each truck in the Top 10 has something about it that makes it stand out in our minds. For Hubert's truck it is the insane paint. Painted by Max Maxwell, the truck is a rolling piece of art. Speaking of rolling, it rides on a custom suspension, body drop, and paint-matched 22-inch Intro Twisted Vistas. Maxwell carried the paint inside as well. The dash, center console, sub box, and amp rack were all painted to match the exterior. The seats were wrapped in grey leather with pink stitching before being bolted back in. Instead of a standard head unit, Hubert had the dash modified to fit an iPad that he uses to run the audio in the truck. The audio consists of Focal speakers, JL subwoofers, and Orion amps. There is no question as to why this flawless GMC is on our list.
Photo 10/13   |   1302tr 09 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 2000 Ford F 1500 Lightning
Brent Marks • Coral Springs, Florida
2000 Ford F-150 Lightning • Issue 11

Ford SVT's initial try at building trucks was with the Lightning. Brent figured what better platform to build onto but a 360 hp, supercharged speed machine. Even with a factory supercharger, Brent needed more power. The factory Eaton blower was ported and polished and received a smaller pulley, which bumped the boost up to 14 psi. To help the blower breathe, a short ram intake and Dynatech long-tube headers were installed on the 5.4L. This pushed the horsepower output to 430. Next on the list was a better stance. This came by way of DJM upper control arms and Slam Specialties RE-6 'bags in the front. Out back, a KP Components six-link with custom Watt's link and matching RE-6 'bags helps tuck the 22-inch Boyd Coddington wheels. With the truck laid out, paint was the next big step. Brent's Lightning features Toyota Spruce Mica and Lexus Desert Sage Metallic separated by detailed chrome and woodgrain stripes. Finally, the interior received a dose of custom touches as well. The seats were replaced with a bench seat wrapped in rawhide saddle leather. A custom sound system blasts out the tunes as Brent skates down the Florida coast in his slammed SVT.

Photo 11/13   |   1302tr 10 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 1958 Chevy Pickup
Brian Fuentes • Oakland, California
1958 Chevrolet Pickup • Issue 13

Talk about a truck that just about every guy drools over; a flat-black '58 Chevy with a 572ci engine. The team at Fesler Built is responsible for this insane pickup. They started by adding custom control arms to the boxed and modified frame, then went on drop spindles and Slam Specialties airbags to provide an adjustable ride. Out back, a simple four-link and another pair of Slam Specialties 'bags slam the rear down. QA1 coilovers and Accuair controls finish off the suspension. Three-piece 20- and 22-inch Fesler wheels were shod in Pirelli P Zero Nero rubber before being bolted on over the 15-inch Baer brakes. Under the forward-tilt hood sits the 572ci engine we spoke of earlier. With that in and bolted down, the body was addressed with nearly everything shaved, a custom roll pan, and a coat of Satin Black paint from DuPont. Finally, the interior could be finished. Recaro seats straddle a custom center console while Dakota Digital gauges fill the dash. Mercedes Benz carpet and custom door panels finish off the interior of this sinister machine. Like we said, most guys would kill for a truck like this.

Photo 12/13   |   1302tr 11 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 1954 Ford F 100
Honorable Mention

Tim Horn • Shreveport, Louisiana
1954 Ford F-100 • Issue 4

When done right, F-100s can be some of the best-looking trucks on the planet. This happens to be one of them. Riding on a TCI Mustang II front clip and Ridetech four-bar rear gives Horn's F-100 the perfect stance. With that handled, Billet Specialties wheels and Mickey Thompson tires finish off the rolling chassis. Under the hood, Tim had a 520ci engine dropped in and connected to a C6 trans to get the power to the ground. Wanting a hot rod look for his truck, Tim had the body shaved up, chopped the top, suicided the doors, pancaked and pie-cut the hood, and welded in a roll pan. With the body taken care of, it was coated in DuPont Molten Orange and a Psycho Silver base. Moving inside, Oldsmobile seats were cut down and covered in Golden Fawn Ultraleather as was the headliner and custom door panels. The painted dash houses Dakota Digital gauges, billet A/C vents, and the A/C controls. Tim Horn's F-100 fits perfectly onto our list.

Photo 13/13   |   1302tr 12 Top 10 Trucks Of 2012 1997 Chevy Tahoe
Honorable Mention

Joe Robles • Houston, Texas
1997 Chevrolet Tahoe • Issue 8

Joe's Tahoe is slammed to the ground on Belltech drop spindles, a two-link with a Panhard bar, and Slam Specialties 'bags. Joe then capped off the suspension with 20-inch Centerline Retro wheels wrapped in 255/35R20 and 275/35R20 Nitto NT-555 tires. Next, Joe went to work on the body. He had Jerry Valenzuela shave the roof rack, antenna, rear barn door handles, and taillights. The body was then covered in pearl white with Torch Red, Sunrise, Sunset, and Tangelo Orange paint from House of Kolor. The interior matches the hot rod–inspired exterior. Any plastic not painted is covered in red Ultraleather. The seats are wrapped in red tuck-and-roll Ultraleather as well. Billet abounds inside in the form of A/C vents, steering wheels, gauge cluster, door handles, and pedals. Joe's Tahoe is a great way to cap off our Top 10.