2010 Readers' Rides Showcase
50 of Your Finest Pickups and SUVs, Plus More!
We put out the call, and you answered in a big way. This year, we received the most submissions ever (by far) for Readers’ Rides, and had a tough time narrowing it down. After a lot of debate and discussion, we finally got the number down to the best 50 pickups, SUVs, and…other...which you’ll see on the next several pages.
All though we couldn’t fit everyone into our print version (Featured in our 2010 Jan/Feb Issue), we had no problem showcasing the terrific trucks we had to leave out with our uncut online version. There, you’ll find even more Readers’ Rides. For those who sent in photos and info about your trucks, thank you for participating!
Hope you enjoy this year’s album of the cream of the crop from the readers of Truck Trend.
Master Sergeant David Beach
Keesler AFB, Mississippi
Master Sergeant David Beach calls his F-550 the Beast and, given its towing duties, the nickname is not unwarranted. The V-10-powered Ford regularly hauls a miniature C-130 transport plane and 48-foot fifth-wheel to Air Force Reserve recruiting activities in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In the background sits a C-130 from the Hurricane Hunters assigned to Keesler AFB.
Outside of the U.S., Mitsubishi offers a compact truck called the Triton, also known as the Strada in certain markets. Agapito shares his Strada GLS Sport with us; it’s powered by a diesel 3.2-liter inline-four putting out 158 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. There’s something we don’t see every day in the States!
Bill and Rita Lammers
The Lammers have provided our veterans with a great piece of nostalgia thanks to their restoration of this 1952 Willys-Overland G-740. The military-spec Willys is put on display at parades, veteran events, and air and car shows, with its presence never failing to evoke memories and tales about treasured past experiences.
James’ F-250 is 13 years old on paper, but is young at heart with only 25,000 miles on the clock. As the original owner, James plans on keeping his rig forever and has equipped it with a six-inch Skyjacker lift kit, a 4.10 rearend, dual exhaust, cold air intake, and Rhino Linings bedliner.
Marcel has scoured the Internet and other information avenues for answers on his Silverado, which achieves a claimed 45 highway mpg and 25 mpg while towing. Powered by the 6.0-liter V-8 with 353 horses and 373 pound-feet of torque, this rare specimen (standard cab, long bed) is just one of 166 produced (and one of 10 Victory Red Silverados), qualifying it as a collector’s vehicle. Even converted to U.S. mpg figures (37.5 highway mpg and 20.8 mpg while towing), this truck’s fuel economy has us flummoxed.
Andy bought his F-250 in 2007 for a dedicated purpose: to tow a KZ Spree 290 BHS travel trailer. Today, it tows a larger KZ Spree 324 BHS trailer and a 16-foot tandem axle utility trailer with ease, thanks to the beefy V-10. A Ford bug deflector, rain vents, and Leer cap adorn this F-250.
Doug likes big gassers, as his ownership of the 8.1-liter V-8 can attest. His Silverado is not only fully loaded from the factory, but has also been modified with a chip, a Volant intake, and 285-size BFGoodrich all-terrains. Never averse to the great outdoors, this Chevy serves regular duty on Doug’s hunting and fishing excursions.
This F-250 runs on waste vegetable oil, thanks to its Vegistroke conversion, affording the Ford truck a 4000-plus-mile range on a combination of the factory 29-gallon diesel fuel tank and 44-gallon WVO tank sourced from the Ford Excursion. Mike’s F-250 has also been given a 10-inch lift, 22-inch KMC wheels on 40-inch Toyos, and more. The Super Duty serves as a mobile office, is used to tow car trailers, and hauls trees and trophy karts during the workweek.
This lucky dog gets to spend his days on the big island of Hawaii, where his daily driver is this super clean and well-maintained Nissan Pathfinder 4x4. This Pathfinder represents a few rarities in the sport/utility world: It’s a two-door model, powered by a V-6 backed by a manual transmission.
This unique Mini truck (not just a minitruck, mind you) has previously shown up in our 2008 Readers’ Rides, but this time around, it features an updated look. After going under the knife again and receiving some new graphics, the Mini truck has amassed over 49,000 miles while winning some Best of Show awards along the way. Notably smaller than today’s MINI Cooper, the Mini truck is still sure to gather big attention.
Robert enthusiastically shares his first-generation Ram with us, an excellent example of a well-kept truck. It’s powered by a carbureted 5.9-liter V-8 and has attained 108,000 miles with no rust. Aside from a new sound system, 31-inch tires, dual exhaust, and a freshly repainted center band, Robert plans on keeping his fully loaded Power Ram as stock, and as long, as possible.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Ah, braving the mighty Serengeti while on safari: the perfect place for a Jeep. Okay, Brenda leveled with us here -- this photo was actually taken at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. She uses her Jeep as a daily driver and for weekend exploring, and knows that her Jeep could go just about anywhere.
Montague, New Jersey
Norbert’s Tundra has been in the family for a full decade and has seen a lot of winter driving. Originally from New Hampshire, the rear-drive Toyota has held up well over the years despite plowing through numerous snow and ice storms while sharing the road with salt trucks. With over 202,000 miles on the odometer, Norbert plans on retiring his Tundra when it reaches 250,000 miles -- then he’ll get a newer Tundra.
Hamburg, New York
Steven enjoys his F-150, and to show his appreciation, he has fitted it with a Banks Power Pack system (intake, exhaust, exhaust manifolds, programmer), an Extang tri-fold tonneau cover, 22-inch OEM chrome wheels, and various chrome accessories. Currently his daily driver, Steven will be hitching up a 29-foot travel trailer next spring.
Mario’s Durango enjoys a significant role in its owner’s life, whether hauling his little angel (in pink in the background) on family road trips or taking Mario to business meetings. To give it an “old school” look, Mario mounted the wheels from the 2001 Ram 1500’s Off-Road 4x4 package, which should feel right at home during a Milwaukee winter.
Kevin loves his Rainier and uses it to tow his boat every weekend. Well aware of Buick’s brand perception, and being only halfway to an AARP membership himself, Kevin wants us to know his Buick is indeed a very capable SUV. Accessories include HID lights, chrome door handles, and an updated shifter handle from the 2005-and-newer Rainier.
Mike’s clean F-150 comes from a time when brown was a popular color, and 26 years later, the two-tone paint scheme still looks strangely appealing. Motivated by the durable, timing gear-equipped 4.9-liter inline-six, the Ford truck has racked up over 145,000 miles and currently sits on a four-inch Superlift system and 35-inch tires.
East Barre, Vermont
Didn’t think you’d see a Volvo in Readers’ Rides, did you? Well, this is probably the coolest Volvo we’ve ever seen. The C303 is a military vehicle that was also sold to civilians as a four-wheeler or a 6x6. This one has push-button four-wheel drive, front and rear lockers, a compressed air system, and upgraded lighting. Hank uses it as a daily driver and for off-road search-and-rescue work.
Based on the photo, Brad likes to be near and in water, as he regularly carries an Old Town Discovery canoe and Old Town Otter kayak while towing an 18-foot Starcraft hybrid travel trailer. Providing its loyal service is Brad’s 2004 Canyon with the 3.5-liter inline-five, four-wheel drive, and the Z71 off-road package. Two other family members also have great rides -- check them out at www.trucktrend.com.
Buck shares Truck Trend with his grandchildren; we share his F-150 with the readers. Buck rocks a King Ranch edition F-150 he bought in August 2009 as his daily driver and frequent grandchild-hauler. The truck is equipped with the 5.4-liter V-8 and four-wheel drive from the factory, and Buck added a Leer 700 bed cover.
Sao Luis, Brazil
Robervaldo’s Ram visits us from South America, where the Cummins-powered truck enjoys trips on the weekend and during vacations. The truck remains stock for now. He also owns a 2001 Ford F-350, powered by a 141-horse, Cummins B Series 3.9-liter inline-four. You can see that truck at www.trucktrend.com.
Medicine Lake, Minnesota
The resurrected Power Wagon was the first Dodge truck to bear the acclaimed nameplate in 25 years, and Richard gets to enjoy his purpose-built truck every day. Built on the Ram 2500 platform, Richard uses the raised and Hemi-powered Power Wagon for daily driving, hauling, towing, trips to the cabin, and, of course, off-roading. His other truck, a relatively rare 1980 Plymouth TrailDuster, can be seen at www.trucktrend.com.
This is the cleanest Isuzu Pickup we’ve seen in a long time. Vince is definitely taking good care of his truck, which he uses to travel to work sites. The LS uses the stock 2.4-liter and five-speed manual, and now has foglights, a roof rack, runningboards, a tool box, bed rails, and a tonneau cover.
Ivan ”Ironman” Stewart
El Cajon, California
That isn’t a typo -- not only is this off-road racing-legend Ivan Stewart’s truck, Ivan’s pickup is a Mercury. Those of you who are Ford fans know that means this is a Canadian version of the F-100. The truck has undergone a frame-off restoration, and the stock 352-cubic-inch V-8 now has a four-barrel carb and mild cam, backed by the original three-speed manual.
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
This Ram works throughout the week, with the System One overhead racks and Jobox toolboxes getting regular use due to Mike’s contracting business. The Dodge dually also transports kayaks and dogs, goes beach fishing on the weekends, and taks the occasional road trip. The engine of choice is the 5.9-liter Cummins inline-six, and additional modifications include a Mag-Hytec transmission pan and rear differential cover, Husky rubber floormats, and bedliner.
Fidencio’s Silverado is called Dado, a name designated by Fidencio’s young son as part of his initial vocabulary. Believed to be the combination of the words Daddy and Silverado, Dado is powered by the 4.8-liter V-8 and accentuated with a host of GM accessories, including six-inch oval runningboards, a soft tonneau, and a chrome gas cover and mirror guards. Dado is daily driven and frequently borrowed by Fidencio’s father and father-in-law.
Jim spent the better part of 2008 stationed in Iraq as a physician’s assistant, and when he returned home to his family and friends, he was also greeted with a freshly modified Tundra. Having owned his truck since 2004, Jim’s wife outfitted the Tundra with a two-inch leveling kit and 17-inch Alba wheels wrapped in Wrangler Silent Armor rubber as Jim’s welcome home gift. Other modifications include Westin chrome nerf and bull bars, a tonneau cover, a K&N intake system, and a whole lot of chrome.
Nissan’s compact/midsize truck makes an appearance in our Readers’ Rides, thanks to Ray’s Frontier with the NISMO 4x4 package. The 4.0-liter V-6-equipped Frontier is driven daily and decked out with Steelcraft step bars and an Extang Classic tonneau.
Imagine if Chevrolet had built an Avalanche SS. This red-on-red truck is what Brian envisions it would look like. A long list of modifications include the 22-inch Dakar Senator Black wheels, matching interior with red/black front seat covers and red under-seat and dash LEDs, new sound system, and MagnaFlow custom catback exhaust. Brian isn’t finished–he expects to add a Silverado SS front bumper, an LTZ rear bumper, and a leather interior.
Matt’s heavy-duty Silverado is daily driven, used as a haul vehicle for his part-time business, and equipped with a snowplow during the winter. During hunting season, the Chevy ventures off the road for shooting engagements. The 6.0-liter V-8 has been fitted with a True Flow intake and Hypertech tuner, other additions including a Magnaflow muffler, American Racing wheels, and Vortex spray-on liner and Access cover for the bed. This is Matt’s sixth Chevy in the past decade.
Kansas City, Missouri
Ben’s first vehicle is his 1993 Sierra, and the nearly stock truck serves its purposes well. This GMC is a daily driver, work truck, weekend toy hauler, and hunting companion, all in one vehicle. With over 100,000 miles, the truck has been refreshed with a set of 2009 GM 17-inch wheels, catback exhaust, updated sound system, and brushguard.
Wesley Chapel, Florida
Caleb’s Tundra does anything and everything its owner needs, from hauling a sportbike to North Carolina several times a year, to carrying supplies for the house. Modifications include 22-inch KMC wheels, dual exhaust, window visors, and Toyota chrome nerf bars.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Anthony uses his Ranger mostly for daily commuting and runs to the building supply store, but he especially likes to go on road trips. To improve his on-road experience, he added an in-dash GPS and ScanGauge II, along with spray-on bedliner and a tonneau cover. This photo was taken on the shore of James Bay, the destination of a 2200-mile trip. The bay feeds into the Hudson Bay, and ultimately the Arctic Ocean.
This 1994 Suburban has had its transmission, rearend, and exhaust replaced a couple times already, but it continues kicking even after 225,000 miles. Now retired from daily driving, Allen’s ride still sees action during the snow season.
Klamath Falls, Oregon
This Cummins-powered Ram is Steve’s tow vehicle, which he uses for “play time.” As you can see in the photo, he tows his sailboat with the Dodge. While he hasn’t modified the engine or suspension, he did get a shell for the back, on top of which is a rack for his mountain bikes.
Ken’s clean, green International Series 200 4x4 came from the factory with the 345-cubic-inch V-8 -- and that’s how he kept it. The 3/4-ton rides on aluminum wheels with 285/75R16 tires, and spends most of its time as a work truck, serving as a parts runner and occasional farm worker.
As you can see here, Richard uses his F-550 Super Duty Power Stroke to tow a 40-foot gooseneck trailer loaded with hay, straw, and farm equipment. (It’s all there -- just covered with a tarp.) Mods include an A&B intake system, SCT custom tuner, MBRP turbo-back exhaust, and gauges mounted on the pillar.
Ron Smith Jr.
Ron’s Tacoma already came from the factory with plenty of Toyota Racing Development goodies, but that didn’t stop him from adding more items. There’s a ProComp spacer lift with Bilstein off-road shocks, making plenty of room for 33-inch Firestone Destination A/Ts on 16x8-inch MB Off-Road chrome wheels. There’s also a prerunner bar with off-road lights up front, and aftermarket graphics along the sides.
Franklin, New Jersey
Natalie’s daily driver is also her restoration project. Her Jimmy sits on a four-inch Skyjacker lift kit, complemented by Skyjacker dual steering stabilizers. After installing a Flowmaster exhaust system and fitting 35-inch tires, Natalie is looking to do additional custom exhaust work and engine work on the 5.7-liter V-8.
Bennett, a passionate Ford guy, found this stepside in the weeds about 10 years ago, and it’s been an ongoing project since. But as he says, “The truck is a lot like me -- gettin’ older, tired, missing some parts, and a little rough around the edges.” But it still works hard for him, helping this semi-retired commercial fisherman deliver Florida lobster and stone crab pots to the commercial fisherman in the Keys.
For being a mostly stock truck, Michael’s Tacoma has done some impressive off-roading and water-crossing. We didn’t have room to show you all the photos, but trust us, he is quite the enthusiastic ’wheeler. When not off-road in the Arizona deserts and mountains, he uses the Toyota as a daily driver. Other than the V-6, TRD package, skidplates, and rear locker, the truck also has 32-inch BFGs.
Ah, remember the days when Jeep offered a pickup truck? (Can you believe it’s been almost 20 years?) This J-10 is a daily driver, now powered by a 302-cubic-inch V-8 mated to a C-6 transmission. The only other modification Deryck made was to put in a set of bucket seats.
This deuce and a half (2-1/2-ton truck) military cargo truck has returned to civilian duty. It serves as the vehicle of choice when Max’s F-250 Super Duty won’t cut it at Home Depot -- and will guarantee that, no matter what he buys, he can get it home in one trip. It’s powered by a six-cylinder Hercules multi-fuel turbodiesel and has a 10,000-pound PTO winch, Rockwell axles, and a front air locker.
This beautiful classic has a GM 350 crate motor under the hood, backed by a Turbo 350 transmission. There’s also a Dodge M-400 disc-brake front axle and a Chevy 3500 dually rear axle, plus air-conditioning and an aluminum stake bed. Stuart uses it to intimidate Smart and Mini owners and might make it a hauler for his 1931 1/2 Ford cabriolet.
Hamilton Township, New Jersey
As you can see here, one of the places Joseph likes to use his Suburban is at the local dragstrip, where his 5.7-liter half-ton runs the quarter mile in 17.22 seconds at 74 mph. He also uses it to tow a boat, a car, and a utility trailer. He’s added a cowl hood, K&N air filter, MSD coil, Flowmaster exhaust, Bilsteins, chrome accessories, and Chevy 454 SS chrome wheels.
There’s no question this is a work truck: Alfred’s Tundra has a Masco 1600 parking lot sweeper attached to the chassis. The sweeper uses a three-yard stainless-steel hopper with a 50-gallon water dust suppression system, plus a 40-horse Nissan A-15 engine that powers a 30-inch turbo fan. He uses his work truck daily, and thanks to the V-6, it is quite fuel-efficient.
Cleve and Sara Hargis
Kansas City, Missouri
When Cleve and Sara aren’t working their Silverado on the farm, they pull a 29-foot fifth-wheel behind it, along with an 8x10-foot Voyager flatbed trailer. What goes on the trailer, you ask? Their matching Suzuki Eiger 400 ATVs, which they ride in Utah and Colorado, and while hunting in Missouri and Ohio. The owners of this big-block-powered pickup are both 72 years young, and more active than some Gen X-ers we know.
Ken ordered this F-350 Super Camper Special in 1976, with the optional Medium Ginger Glow paint. He was so excited about getting the truck he spoke with someone at the Norfolk plant to find out the progress on the build. When it arrived in Charlotte, the dealer let Ken drive it to the dealership. He’s had the engine rebuilt, installed a Comp cam and roller rocker arms, Edelbrock heads, and Holley carb, and had a frame-off restoration done. He uses it to haul a 12-foot Lance camper.
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Mike’s Ram is constantly on the go, towing his a trailer around Canada and the USA. He also uses it when he does landscaping work (hauling manure, compost, and brush) and as a tow vehicle at ice-racing events in the winter in Canada. He’s added a big-bore exhaust, K&N filter, and a steering stabilizer.
Chris’s truck has racked up 247,000 miles serving as the tow vehicle for his 2001 Seadoo Utopia boat on weekends and as a secondary vehicle throughout the week. The truck has 20-inch Boss wheels on Cooper tires, chrome side steps, LED taillights, billet grille, a new bench seat, and a new stereo system.
Los Angeles, California
Steve’s Flex paid a visit to Galpin Auto Sports and came out looking sharp. The factory chrome has been removed, accentuating the natural Dark Blue Metallic paint. This Flex has been dropped 1.5 inches and sits on Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs, and 20-inch Lorenzo wheels.
Tracy takes great pride in keeping this V-10-powered F-250 spic-and-span. It has been meticulously washed and garaged for the majority of its life. On its days out, Tracy’s truck pulls a 26-foot travel trailer.
Orange Park, Florida
Timothy’s first truck is a 2008 F-150, and he is very proud of it. This F-150 is powered by the 4.2-liter V-6 and was the final model year to offer a six-cylinder.
Christopher M. Furnaros
Christopher uses his relatively stock Silverado 2500 HD primarily as a daily driver, and he also puts it to work as a snowplow. Christopher plans on adding a K&N air filter setup and stainless-steel toolbox in the near future.
Sao Luis, Brazil
Say hello again to Robervaldo and his 2001 F-350. It is mainly used for construction work, putting the 3.9-liter Cummins to good use.
Eric C. Smith
Greenwood, South Carolina
From pulling parade floats to going off-roading, Eric’s Excursion has done a lot. The 6.8-liter V-10 is well-experienced with over 118,000 miles on the clock.
Black-on-black is an attractive combination, and Mike’s Tundra has bite and bark. Sitting beneath this inconspicuous truck’s hood is a 525-horsepower V-8, mostly thanks to the TRD supercharger. The Tundra Crew Max is a rolling TRD catalog with every factory performance option installed. Not from the Toyota catalog are a 2.0-inch Ready Lift and 22-inch KMC Hoss wheels.
Toms River, New Jersey
What hasn’t been done to Jeffrey’s S-10? His exceptionally smooth show truck is bagged, dropped, and shaved and sits on 22-inch wheels. Although the picture doesn’t show it, the interior matches the exterior, complete with a billet steering wheel.
In her GM family, Michele drives the SUV, a 2003 Tahoe. Her 5.3-liter V-8-powered Chevy comes with the Z71 off-road package and tows a 23-foot Jayco hybrid travel trailer on family camping trips.
Al and Vivienne Hinkebein
While the Hinkebein children are behind the wheels of a GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Tahoe, Mom and Dad captain a heavy-duty Silverado. Al and Vivienne opted for the 6.0-liter V-8-equipped Silverado 2500 HD, which regularly sits in front of their Homestead fifth-wheel camper.
Matthew has put his Sierra half-ton through the paces, as his truck has acted as daily driver, weekend cruiser, project supplies hauler, and 1966 Chevy II puller. The 5.3-liter flex-fuel V-8 sits underneath the hood, which has averaged 17.5 combined mpg in its 51,000-plus miles of service. To give his Sierra that personal touch, Matthew installed a Flowmaster 50 Series Delta Flow catback exhaust, a Reese electronic brake controller, a punch front grille, and chrome door and tailgate handles and mirror covers.
Daniel’s Silverado is used mainly as a daily commuter, but when it is time for fun, the Chevy is off to the lake or the Colorado river with Daniel’s water toys in tow. Daniel has modified his Silverado with Line-X spray-on bedliner, a DJ Motor Sports front grille, a Flowmaster catback exhaust, and a new sound system.
Medicine Lake, Minnesota
We don’t see too many Plymouths rolling around -- and especially not a Trailduster. This particular specimen came with the 5.2-liter V-8, which now has just 100,000 miles. Richard keeps his Trailduster roofless and enjoys easy drives to the lake mixed with the occasional off-road session.