WELCOME to the latest edition, for better or worse, of our annual family album--Truck Trend's Readers' Rides. We may not have many celebrities in our family tree, but we have plenty of honest guys and gals who love their vehicles. Pickups, SUVs, haulers, cruisers, show trucks, and even a few monsters--every one of our highlighted rigs solves a number of problems for their owners. Check out the photos and read the text. Find out how other truck lovers are using and modifying their rigs. Who knows? There might be a few ideas here for your own vehicle. And, of course, there's always next year: Keep your eyes open for our 2010 Readers' Rides form in our September/October 2009 issue.
Broadview Heights, Ohio
Andrew found his semi after 20 years of searching. He spent nine months restoring it with the help of his son-in-law and has since taken it to truck shows and driven it in parades in Ohio. In its prior workaday life, the Hendricksen hauled a propane tanker for HIX Gas. It's now powered by a 270 Cummins; other upgrades include radial tires, redone interior, standard speedometer in the dash, and new paint.
2006 Dodge Ram 3500
Bonner Springs, Kansas
Chris hasn't been too concerned about making big changes to his Ram, which is powered by the stalwart 5.9-liter Cummins turbodiesel. Instead, he just enjoys what it can do. He uses his four-wheel-drive Heavy-Duty to tow his 23-foot Crownline, named Black Pearl, to rallies and poker runs.
2000 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
Greg's Silverado is a truck that serves many purposes. It's his transportation to work every day. It's his work truck. It's his hauler--it pulls his 28-foot enclosed trailer and also serves as lugger for his car trailer. He hasn't made any modifications to it, but when it does all this with no trouble, why should he?
2000 Toyota Tundra
Elk Grove, California
Jack's four-wheel-drive Tundra has several exterior modifications, including a SnugTop cap, billet grille, new taillights and wheels, Pirelli Scorpion Zeros, and chrome tube steps. The 4.7-liter V-8 uses a K&N FIPK filter and Magnaflow dual exhaust. What does he use it for? According to Jack: "extreme pleasure."
1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS
San Diego, California
We love to see these rare birds being used on the trail, and Jo is certainly having a lot of fun here. The VehiCROSS uses a three-inch Calmini lift and 33-inch Nitto Mud Grapplers on Pro Comp Street Lock wheels. Body upgrades include a modified Mercedes ML320 brush guard, rock rails, Black Widow spare tire carrier, and modified skidplates from an Isuzu Trooper. This Isuzu has traversed the backcountry in Moab and the dunes in Southern California and Mexico.
2002 GMC Sierra 1500
This regular-cab Sierra has a 2004 Cadillac Escalade front fascia, swapped in at a local shop in Anchorage. Daniel's truck is black inside and out, with airbrushed realistic flames on the front fenders. The tailgate was shaved, brake lights painted, and HID headlights installed. The 5.3-liter uses a K&N air filter and oil filter, plus a chip. The custom interior uses two captain's chairs and a folding middle seat, plus an in-dash DVD player, 10-inch subwoofers, and an iPod jack.
2007 Ford F-150
San Diego, California
When he isn't in a troop carrier or Humvee, Sergeant Slipher's civilian mode of transportation is this pristine F-150. He added a 2.5-inch Bilstein leveling kit, Airaid cold-air intake with throttle-body spacer, JBA headers, and three-inch cat-back Flowmaster exhaust. Mark's F-150 takes him to work every day and onto trails whenever possible.
1989 Toyota Pickup
Jackson, New Jersey
Darrell's Toyota, the first truck he ever bought, was treated to a 10-inch Trailmaster lift and Mickey Thompson wheels and tires, custom removable top, Rhino Lining bed liner, and Orange Pearl paint. He also added a polished Stull grille, Lund visor and rollpan, Gaylord bed cover, Hella lights, custom door panels, and gave the V-6 a K&N air filter and Downey headers. He takes it to the store, the job, and cruise nights.
1962 Mercedes-Benz 404.1 series Unimog
San Diego, California
After finding his dream truck, Ahmet set out on a cross-country adventure to pick it up. He flew to Connecticut to get the Unimog, drove to Alabama to pick his son Alec up from Space Camp, and was back in California in 14 days--and at a truck show with it two days later. The 'Mog--with six forward gears, two reverse, four-wheel drive, and two crawler gears, dual 70-gallon tanks, and seating for three (including the jump seat in back)--was a search and rescue vehicle in the Swiss army.
2003 Dodge Ram 3500 Quad Cab
G.C. loves using his truck to haul equipment and gear, which he proved when he submitted photos of his truck in action (sorry we couldn't include all of them). You can see the John Deere in tow here, plus he has a camper that serves as home away from home, and uses it to haul other equipment, including a tractor. G.C. added a B&W body, Brunner aluminum boxes, Jake brake, dual stacks, and Bully Dog chip.