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Reader's Rides 2012

We asked, and you responded -- in a big way.

Allyson Harwood
Nov 15, 2011
Contributors: Melissa Spiering
We received a lot of entries this year, from all over the world. Thanks to everyone who submitted your truck or sport/utility vehicle this year. Here's this year's crop of Readers' Rides. It's a mix of pickups and SUVs, but this year's batch definitely leans more toward trucks. Enjoy!

2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Mark Ryan and Teresa Flores, Glendale, Arizona
When Mark and Teresa aren't carving the canyons in their Mini Coopers, they're climbing the mountain trails in their 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. They bought their FJ to go where their Minis couldn't take them: off-road. They added Fox adjustable coilovers, All Pro armor, cold-air intake, Demello bumper, and BFG KM2s for better handling, performance, and protection.

2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500
Jimmy and David Vianu, Rancho Cucamonga, California
David Vianu submitted two of Dad Jimmy's trucks this year. The first is Jimmy's daily driver, a 2004 Chevy Avalanche 4x4 he also uses to haul their toy rig to the desert. It's powered by a big-block V-8 engine with a Volant air intake. He's running on 205/70R17 Toyo tires and 17-inch wheels from a HUMMER H2 (they have the same bolt pattern), and added a set of Rancho reservoir shocks.
Photo 5/58   |   02 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500

2011 Ford Flex EcoBoost
Amie Shanley, Haskell, New Jersey
Amie's 2011 Ford Flex is one of the coolest minivan alternatives. It's equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, rear DVD player, class 3 Curt tow hitch, upgraded factory Ford 20-inch wheels, and the panoramic glass roof. Amie even debadged it for that clean look.
Photo 6/58   |   03 2011 Ford Flex EcoBoost

2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
Francis G. Blake, Fullerton, California
This 2002 Chevy Avalanche is no show queen, but it's one heck of an off-roader. Francis has kept the truck stock for the most part, only adding Black American Racing wheels and custom bush-rash pinstriping from exploring the Mojave Desert.
Photo 7/58   |   04 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche

2007 Chevrolet 2500
Randy Loewen, Boley, Oklahoma
This sleek 2007 Chevy 2500 HD has a Duramax turbodiesel paired with an Allison transmission. Randy added a Hypertech Max Energy programmer and an Airaid air intake and straight-piped the exhaust, then added a billet grille, chrome door handles, and Nerf bars.
Photo 8/58   |   05 2007 Chevrolet 2500

2008 Ford Ranger
Thomas E. Prell, Oswego, Illinois
This Ford Ranger 4x4 is powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 and equipped with a trailer tow package to do just about everything. Thomas uses it as his daily driver, has been on a few road trips, hauls logs/firewood easily, and goes deer hunting.
Photo 9/58   |   06 2008 Ford Ranger

1965 Ford Ranchero
Lee Schulz, Rancho Cucamonga, California
This cherry-red, retired, and restored Ranchero has a small-block 289 V-8 paired with a C-4 automatic transmission. The engine got an Edelbrock carb and manifold, aluminum radiator, and Competition cam. The brakes were also upgraded with 1965 Mustang discs.
Photo 10/58   |   07 1965 Ford Ranchero

2004 Ford Ranger XLT
Harry A. Richmond, Indianapolis, Indiana
Harry's Ford Ranger has the 4.0-liter engine with a five-speed transmission. He's left the suspension at stock ride height, and added Bilstein shocks, a Volant intake, Optima Red Top battery, Undercover tonneau cover, Westin Black Bull Bar, and Cooper A/T 3 tires.
Photo 11/58   |   08 2004 Ford Ranger XLT

2011 Toyota Tundra TRD 4x4
Ron Smith Jr., Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Ron's Tundra Double Cab has a 330-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 equipped with a TRD Air intake and Flowmaster exhaust. The truck has a 2-inch spacer lift, custom side graphics, a tonneau cover, sidebars, and lots of chrome accents to finish the look.
Photo 12/58   |   09 2011 Toyota Tundra TRD 4x4
Custom 1937 Ford Pickup Golf Cart
Mickie and Skip Hoffman, The Villages, Florida
This custom 5/8-scale 1937 Ford Pickup Street Rod Golf Cart has a single-cylinder, 9-hp Kawasaki engine with a 7-gallon tank, and tops out at 20 mph. The Hoffmans plan to add an OEM 1937 Ford grille, engine cowl, V-8 emblems, and vintage-style round foglights.
Photo 13/58   |   10 Custom 1937 Ford Pickup Golf Cart

2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
Tammy Meyers, Frackville, Pennsylvania
A long list of mods keeps this Jeep looking good with Poison Spyder Customs front Brawler Lite bumper with custom-colored shackles and Daystar isolators, PSC front Brawler skidplate, Rugged Ridge light guards, Cobra CB, and an Arizona Rocky Road rear tire antenna mount.

2007 Toyota Tundra
Louis O'Neal, Bridge Creek, Oklahoma
Last seen in our 2009 Readers' Rides Issue, this truck comes back to show off a few custom upgrades: a ram air hood to enhance airflow to the Volant Powerpack cold-air intake, new wheels, with the front grille and the lower panels painted to match the rest of the truck.
Photo 17/58   |   12 2007 Toyota Tundra

2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab SLT Plus
Frankie Rider II, Batesville, Arkansas
Frankie has always liked the 1994-2002 Dodge Ram body style, and took his time to find the perfect Cummins I-6 24-valve turbodiesel. It is his daily driver, and he occasionally uses it to pull one of two 1988 Trans Am GTA show cars.
Photo 18/58   |   13b 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab SLT Plus

1972 Chevrolet C20 Custom Camper
Steve Robison, Salem, Missouri
This Custom Camper has a GM 350 crate motor with electric fan, Edelbrock 650 carb, Hedman Hedders, and Flowmaster mufflers paired with a granny four-speed trans. The front end is leveled with 2-inch-taller front springs. The truck rides on Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks.

1990 GMC Jimmy 4x4
Jimmy and David Vianu, Rancho Cucamonga, California
This 1990 GMC Jimmy has a newly built, blown 350 small-block paired with a 4L60 transmission and 3.73:1 gears, custom powdercoated Trailmaster Invader SS shocks and suspension, and fat 36-inch Dick Cepek tires.
Photo 22/58   |   15 1990 GMC Jimmy 4x4

1969 International Harvester Travelall 1200D
Armando Verdugo, San Tan Valley, Arizona
An IH 345 SV engine with a BW 11/12 transmission powers this International Harvester Travelall. Other mods include on-board air, recentered H1 wheels with 37-inch military MTR tires, custom bumpers, four-wheel disc brakes, Hydroboost brakes, and 22-gallon fuel cell.
Photo 23/58   |   16a 1969 International Harvester Travelall 1200D

2006 Ford F-150
Ditson Abraham, Duluth, Georgia
This show-stopper is powered by a 5.4-liter V-8 with a Magnuson supercharger, Predator Tune, and a Corsa performance exhaust, sits low with the help of a Belltech Performance lowering kit, rolls on 295/30ZR22 Pirelli Scorpion tires, and stops with SSB Big Brakes.
Photo 24/58   |   17 2006 Ford F 150

1998 Chevrolet K1500 Silverado 4x4
Vince Sunde, Valley, Nebraska
With more than 200,000 miles and climbing, this Silverado's 5.7-liter Vortec is still running strong with no leaks, and it doesn't burn a drop of oil. The truck has new grille guards, window tint, late-model Silverado wheels, and a torsion bar crank.
Photo 25/58   |   18 1998 Chevrolet K1500 Silverado 4x4

1988 GMC Suburban
Gary Rost, Federal Way, Washington
This Suburban is road ready with a Lund visor and bug shield, American Racing wheels, fiberglass runningboards and fender flares, Panasonic CD player, Rockford Fosgate subwoofer, and a K&N air filter. Body style remained largely unchanged for 19 model years.
Photo 26/58   |   19 1988 GMC Suburban
2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Brenda Yates, Raleigh, North Carolina
This Readers' Rides alumna has had plenty of fun posing her Jeep in cool spots. This year, her white boxer, O.B., is star of the show. Brenda explains that, even though her Jeep will go just about anywhere, O.B. comes along only on errands around town.
Photo 27/58   |   20 2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

2008 Ford F-150
Justin Burgess, Metairie, Louisiana
This Ford's 4.6-liter V-8 has an Edge programmer and a Saleen S331 grille, tinted taillights, and Halo projector head-/foglights. The 6-inch Fabtech suspension lift and 20-inch BMF Stealth Novakanes in 35-inch Mickey Thompson rubber earn their keep when the streets flood.

1998 Toyota T-100 SR5 4x4
Matthew A. Brasil, Turlock, California
The T-100 hit the U.S. in 1993 as a full-sizer, available only in standard cab/longbed configuration with a 3.0-liter V-6. The Xtracab and 3.4-liter V-6, as in Matthew's truck, was introduced in 1995. The T100 was replaced by the larger V-8-powered Tundra in 1998.
Photo 31/58   |   22 1998 Toyota T 100 SR5 4x4

2009 Chevy Tahoe Z71
John Fitzwilliam, Long Island, New York
John's Tahoe is powered by a 5.3-liter FlexFuel V-8 with a performance computer tune, SLP air box, and Gibson exhaust. It rides high with a 4-inch ReadyLIFT lift kit and 20-inch KMC Monsters with 33x12.5-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers.
Photo 32/58   |   23a 2009 Chevy Tahoe Z71

1978 GMC 1500 Regular Cab
Brandon Kuehner, Seguin, Texas
Brandon Kuehner is currently stationed at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Army Airborne Division. He first saw this Sierra during high school, looking for his first vehicle, without a lot of money. You can see the transformation here. His truck is powered by a small-block 400 V-8.

2003 Ford F-250 Super Duty
Bill Klecka, Old Town, Florida
What's cooler -- the F-250 in front, or that green and yellow number it's towing? Bill's 2003 F-250 is motivated by a 7.3-liter Power Stroke. Mods include a Line-X spray-in bedliner and a Superchips programmer.
Photo 36/58   |   25 2003 Ford F 250 Super Duty(

1959 Willys 4WD Wagon
Bill Gumbert, North Versailles, Pennsylvania
Bill bought this Willys wagon in 1977 for $300 and did a full restoration. He made new fuel and brake lines, rewired it, and did the detail work and tuning. It has the original six-cylinder flathead "Super Hurricane" engine and T-90 trans, and model 18 transfer case.

2005 Ford F-150 SuperCrew
Dan Rice, Stuart, Florida
Just looking at this setup makes us want to go on a road trip! Dan's F-150 has 41,000 miles on it and is a rear-drive XLT, powered by the tried-and-true 5.4-liter Triton V-8 with the five-speed automatic. It has the full tow package and a color-matched tonneau to keep gear dry.
Photo 43/58   |   27 2005 Ford F 150 SuperCrew

2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Jason Crane, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
This truck was meant to be Jason's. When he and wife Kelly bought a Colorado, this Silverado was on the lot. A year later, the Silverado was still there. Jason made a low offer, and the dealer agreed. The Colorado is gone, but Jason will never get rid of the Silverado.
Photo 44/58   |   28a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2011 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport
Jeff Horvat, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
This Tacoma came equipped with Toyota's 4.0-liter V-6, five-speed automatic, and TRD Sport package. Mods include Bridgestone Duelers, Weathertech floorliners and window vents, a bed mat, chrome exhaust tip, and a custom-painted engine cover.
Photo 45/58   |   29 2011 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport
2011 Toyota RAV4
Jennifer Spangler, North Las Vegas, Nevada
Jenn's ride is not a hard-core truck -- it's a RAV4 with the 2.5-liter inline-four and AWD -- but we're suckers for cute dogs. Jenn says she uses her stock RAV4 to get to work and school. When she has time, she takes her dogs--all four of them--hiking or to the park.
Photo 46/58   |   30 2011 Toyota RAV4

1979 Ford F-150 Ranger
John E. Mumma, Hustontown, Pennsylvania
This Ranger is powered by Ford's 351M V-8, came with factory A/C, and has an oak bed. John's flareside regular cab, which he bought used, has 120,000 original miles on the clock. John added a snowplow, and has been very happy with the truck's work and play performance.

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71
Mike Snyder, Culver, Indiana
Mike uses his truck to deliver mail on an 84-mile route. His 5.3-liter Silverado has the Z71 package, and was fitted with dual steering, brake, and accelerator controls, plus a rolltop tonneau for the bed and runningboards. The truck has 250,000 miles and gets 13 mpg.
Photo 50/58   |   32 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71

2000 Chevrolet S-10 ZR2
Bill Gumbert, North Versailles, Pennsylvania
Bill bought his ZR2 S-10 new and fully loaded. It serves as a work truck, but Bill keeps it in good shape. It's mostly stock, and he did add a set of mud flaps-- not easy to install on a ZR2. He had to build mounting brackets to get them on.
Photo 51/58   |   33a 2000 Chevrolet S 10 ZR2

2000 Ford F-250 Power Stroke
Joe Schueler, Bennington, Vermont
Joe's modifications mostly focused on the 7.3-liter turbodiesel, and include a Superchips programmer, Volant cold-air intake, and a 4-inch turbo-back exhaust. He tells us his truck has racked up 215,000 miles and is still going strong.
Photo 52/58   |   34 2000 Ford F 250 Power Stroke

2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
Don Bobbitt, Monroe, North Carolina
Photo 53/58   |   35 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
Powered by the Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel backed by the Allison six-speed automatic, This 4WD LTZ is built for towing. It has a Reese 16,000-pound fifth-wheel hitch and tows a 13,000-pound Sunny Brook Titan LX trailer.

1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne K20
Lara Wilde, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Lara is in Australia, and her 1972 K20 Cheyenne Chevy pickup is a rare bird there. Now powered by a 6.5-liter turbodiesel, it came with a 327 cubic-inch small-block. The suspension has been reinforced to handle heavy loads, there’s a new fuel tank and a bull bar on the front.

2009 Ford F-350
John McArthur, Lake Forest, Illinois
Modifications on this F-350 include a BedRug, Ranch bed cover, stainless-steel rails, K&N filter, and HID lights. John added flames with a diamond plate design inside, plus matching window graphics. We featured John's '99 F-350 in the January/February 2002 issue.
Photo 57/58   |   38 2009 Ford F 350
2004 Chevrolet SSR
John ended up owning an SSR, which coincidentally was on the cover of the issue that featured his 1999 F-350 in Readers' Rides. Here is John's SSR, in purple, with the addition of flames, a K&N filter, performance tuner, and HID lights.
Photo 58/58   |   37 2004 Chevrolet SSR



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