This is always a fun time of year around the Truck Trend offices. It's when we test for Sport/Utility of the Year and Truck of the Year, and we get to see what trucks and sport/utilities you drive. We got a great crop of entries this year, with all sorts of trucks, some old, some new, many used for towing, or taken on vacation. Thanks for all the entries you sent in. Enjoy!
2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 & 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4
T.J. And Andrew "Fred" Wagner; Southern California
Brothers T.J. and Andrew Wagner came to Southern California from Kentucky, bringing with them a fondness for big trucks and playing in the dirt. T.J.'s 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 is factory stock, including the Dodge torsion bars he leveled it with. It sits on the stock wheels wrapped in Pro Comp 35x12.50 Xterrain tires for playing in mud, snow, slush, and loose dirt. Under the hood is a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine mated with a five-speed automatic transmission. T.J. says this is his wife's daily driver, and by the look of the photo, it's his weekend toy.
When T.J. takes the Ram out for some off-roading, little brother Fred tags along with his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Fred's truck catches some wicked air with its 6-inch Skyjacker lift kit and 37x13.50 Nitto Mud Grappler Extreme Terrain tires, all pushed by a 5.3-liter Vortec with four-speed automatic transmission.
1996 Toyota Tacoma 4WD V-6
David Harris, Dubuque, Iowa
David bought his pickup back in 1997 and has clocked a little more than 99,000 miles on the odometer. He's outfitted the Tacoma with a custom Meyer plow rig built for a Chevy S-10, K&N air induction, Bilstein shocks, extra leaf springs, and a sunroof. David pulls a trailer made from the remains of an old Ford Sport Custom bed, or hauls his 1984 Glastron boat to the river.
2000 Dodge R/T Dakota
Joshua Brack, Ozark, Missouri
Joshua owns one of only 145 Amber Fire pearl Dodge R/T Dakotas produced in 2000. Although he's put in more than 3000 hours of build time on this custom frame-off restoration, he kept the rare factory color and added some flame airbrushing. The 5.9-liter 360 has a Mopar cam, intake manifold, headers, roller rockers, 3-inch Spintech exhaust, custom billet dual ram air cold air intake, and functional hood scoops. Inside the truck is a full-blown Memphis audio system.
We spotted this truck at the 2010 SEMA show, click here to see more photos and to check out his full list of modifications!
2005 Ford F-250 Harley-Davidson Edition
Mike Martin, Mechanicsville, Virginia
The day after his 2004 F-150 SuperCrew was wrecked in an accident, Mike searched the Internet for a new truck. He drove two hours from his home in Virginia, looked at an F-250 Harley-Davidson Edition with a 6.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel, and drove it home. Mike uses his truck to haul his custom trailer and two Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Florida for bike rallies.
1978 Chevrolet C/K Scottsdale
Scott and Alexxa Shelton, Weatherford, Texas
Scott handed the keys to his tan pickup to his daughter when she started driving. As soon as Alexxa took over, she began to transform it into something more unique. The two of them worked on the paint scheme, reupholstered the seats, and upgraded the sound system. Alexxa also chose to go with a set of chrome 22-inch wheels for her one-of-a-kind pickup.
Matt Carroll, San Marcos, California
Matt seems to like military vehicles. He submitted two, including this Puch Pinzgauer. The Pinzgauer is a military vehicle that has been around since the 1960s, available as a 4x4 or 6x6. It was originally built in Austria and served in military capacity around the world.
1997 Chevrolet K1500
Justin Elovirta, Becket, Massachusetts
This good-looking Chevrolet sports the stock two-tone paint, 5.0-liter V-8, and four-speed automatic it had when it was new in 1997. However, Justin added a Lund visor, bug shield, steps, window guards, and taillight covers. He also added a tonneau cover and a tonneau-friendly toolbox. Up until a few years ago, it had been his daily driver, but now it's used on weekend mountain-biking trips and to haul ATVs, and it gets 18 mpg.
2000 Chevrolet Silverado C1500
Charles Hippler, Amherst, Ohio
Charles' 2000 Silverado, seen here at Lake Erie, is powered by a 4.8-liter V-8 with a 700 4R. It was lowered 2 inches and uses a custom hood. The V-8 uses a K&N air filter and a dual exhaust. The truck was given custom red paint, a tonneau cover, and chrome rails on the bed. It also has aluminum wheels and oversize tires. Charles drives it every day and has racked up 125,000 miles.
1984 Jeep Scrambler
Roy D. Loggins, Highlands, Texas
There aren't too many Jeep pickups on the road today, so the rest of us have to envy the few we do get to see. This Scrambler is Roy's pride and joy, an all-stock model powered by an inline-six backed by a five-speed manual transmission. It has such factory features as air conditioning, power brakes and steering, tilt wheel, AM radio, and four-wheel drive. The odometer has 79,900 miles.
2006 Nissan Frontier LE
Bryan Shanley, Haskell, New Jersey
Bryan's Frontier, which has the stock 4.0-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission, is a daily driver that's wonderfully reliable in all weather. It serves for weekend projects around the house, and when his 2-year-old daughter is old enough, he plans to take her and his wife on camping trips in the Nissan. Modifications include a Truxedo tonneau cover, black taillight guards and matching bull bar, Nissan PRO-4X wheels, and a spray-in bedliner.
1956 Chevrolet 3/4-ton Flatbed
Richard C. Sandoval, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Richard bought his 1956 Chevy pickup from his then-father-in-law for the princely sum of $1. It's served him well on countless trips to the county dump, and he uses it to transport his paintings and sculptures to the annual Contemporary Hispanic Market in Santa Fe. It used to be blue -- his daughters call it the SOBT, or Silly Old Blue Truck - so he plans to paint it blue someday. He made the slatted sides himself. The odometer is broken, so he has no clue how many miles are on it.
Matt Carroll, San Marcos, California
The second military vehicle Matt submitted was this cool Ferret, built from 1948 until the late 1960s. The engine is fully waterproofed, the tires run-flats. The Ferret is powered by a Rolls-Royce gas engine putting out 120-129 horsepower at 3750 rpm.
1990 GMC Sierra SLE
Walter Gray, Jr., Madison, Alabama
You wouldn’t know it from looking at it, but this truck has racked up more than 202,000 miles. As you can see, this Sierra has been well maintained, by Gray. It has been a reliable form of transportation to work and back home, and to the Grays’ farm. The regular-cab longbed has a tonneau cover and the original wheels.
1967 Ford F-100 Ranger
Larry Peterson, Kalispell, Montana
Larry and wife Sue bought this Camper Special new in 1966, and it's still mostly original: dash, carpet -- and the original spare tire is still unused. The truck has 73,000 miles, has been as far as Alaska, and is also used to tow a Hitchhiker II fifth-wheel trailer.
2004 Ford Ranger XLT
Harry Richmond, Indianapolis, Indiana
While Harry's Ranger uses the stock V-6 engine and transmission, and sits at stock height, he has done plenty to the truck. It has a Volant intake, Optima battery, Bilstein HD shocks, Undercover tonneau, and Goodyear Fortera tires. Other additions include a Westin black bull bar and the grille from a 2007 Ranger. He takes his daily driver on trips to Florida and the Smoky Mountains.
1987 Dodge AW150 Ramcharger
Stanley DeLo, Blanchard, Michigan
We have another proud Readers' Rides owner who bought his truck brand new. In this case, he made the purchase in Lakeview, Michigan, in 1987. The 318-cubic-inch gas engine is stock, as is the 727 transmission. Stanley added aluminum wheels, 3-inch exhaust, and manual locking hubs in front. It had been used as a utility vehicle on a rural farm route. These days, it tows a trailer, with antique tractors inside, to shows.
2008 GMC Sierra
Dave Barber, Boise, Idaho
It looks like Dave loves Boise State as much as he loves his 2008 GMC Sierra regular-cab pickup. Between the short bed and the 5.3-liter V-8, this truck was pretty quick right out of the showroom. Then he added a cat-back exhaust and K&N high-flow air intake. He also had the suspension lowered 1.5 inches and leveled, added Ultra 18-inch wheels, and an Access tonneau cover. The Sierra is his transportation to and from the golf course and when going to grandkids' sports events.
Dodge Ram 3500 Dualie
Matt Carroll, San Marcos, California
Matt Carroll sent us images of three of his vehicles (and from what we can see, there’s a fourth, a Toyota pickup, hiding in his garage), but not a lot of information. The first vehicle in the group is a crew cab Ram dualie, which is in perfect condition. His Ram is Cummins-powered, and looks like it’s ready to tow just about anything.
2008 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab SR5 4x4
Mark Ritchey, Wrentham, Massachusetts
Mark loves his clean Tacoma, nicknamed Nacho after the 2006 Jack Black comedy Nacho Libre. This truck has lived through blizzards and 100-degree heat. Mark added a remote start and security system, rain guards, Weather Tech floor liners, Bedrug, and a Lear 180 midrise cap to his daily driver. Mark says this family truckster hangs out at the local drive-in or the local fire station, waiting to save its owner from any future zombie attacks. (We hope he was joking about that last part.)
1993 Chevrolet CK 1500
Jon Veenstra, Welland, Ontario, Canada
Jon's fully Candy Green pickup turns heads as he cruises the streets in Canada. Nothing was left untouched -- shaved exterior, reupholstered interior, and dash trim was smoothed and painted to match the outside. The slammed suspension provides a low-low stance.
1954 Dodge Military M-37
Bill and Rita Lammers, Ocala, Florida
The Lammers' 1954 Dodge Military M-37 G-741 served as a radio truck for the U.S. Marine Corps. Since being decommissioned from the military, it spends its days playing on trails, hillclimbing, and taking part in numerous veteran and civilian events.
1986 Ford F-150
Chris Brush, Harrow, Ontario, Canada
Chris, who is 19 years old, started rebuilding his F-150 four years ago from the outside in with a full body-off restoration. Now this cruiser/drag truck has a built 351 Windsor V-8 engine with a Comp Cams cam, MSD ignition, Edelbrock aluminum intake, Edelbrock 650 Performer carburetor, Eagle alloy wheels, B&M Star shifter, SVT Lightning bucket seats, true dual exhaust including Ford shorty headers, Cherry Bomb mufflers, and 3-inch tips exiting in front of the rear tires.
1999 Dodge Dakota SLT
Ernest E. Lemke, Sacramento, California
Ernest's Dodge Dakota came from the factory with the 5.2-liter V-8, to which he added a K&N air induction and Flowmaster mufflers, and modified the truck with heavy-duty alternator, cooling, and transmission package. The truck also received a Leer shell and Reflex shocks. The 88-year-old geezer (his words) uses it for all his transportation, and it's in perfect shape. It has 67,500 miles and was repainted in 2009.
1996 Ford Ranger 4x4
Vince Sunde, Valley, Nebraska
There's no end to Vince's fun with his 1996 Ford Ranger regular cab 4x4. When he's not off-roading in the mud, he's racing his daily driver truck around town. He's added a drop-in K&N to the 4.0-liter V-6, a set of American Racing wheels, Rancho struts, off-road lights, bed cover, and dual CB antennas. As a serious off-roader, his truck hauls his ATV, dirt bike, and firewood.
2004 GMC Sierra Crew Cab SLT 4x4 Z71
Chris Brandt, Minnesota
Chris likes to load up his Sierra Crew with his family of five -- including two young boys and a dog -- to go canoeing. His rig came with the factory tow package, six-disc CD player, rear DVD system, and power leather seats. He added a tonneau with a full box carpet package, step bars, billet grille, brushguard/push bar, PIAA pencil foglamps, window visors, triple powdercoated 2007 GMC Denali 17-inch rims wrapped in Hankook tires, and mudflaps.
1928 Ford Model A Pickup
Alex den Ouden, Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
More than 4.4 million Model As were produced and shipped all over the world. Each truck sold for only $385 and came with a 201-cubic-inch 3.3-liter with 40 horsepower. This one, restored in Pennsylvania, is now on the small island of Curacao in the Caribbean.
2000 Jeep Wrangler
Kerry Huckaby, Columbia, Tennessee
Two years ago, Kerry found the Jeep he always wanted. This pre-loved 4.0-liter-powered Wrangler has a Bestop soft top, Clarion CD player, and Cover King seat covers. This daily driver takes the kids to and from school, soccer practice and games, and on weekend trips.
2007 Toyota Tacoma
Larry Shumaker, Shermansdale, Pennsylvania
When you know you're not putting together a show truck, and you don't want to lose the functionality of a daily driver, you have to be more careful about the modifications you make to a truck. Larry's Tacoma, which he uses for work and play, often tows a small trailer that carries wood and water for hot tubs and pools. Mods include a TRD sport suspension, K&N filter, Flowmaster exhaust, backup camera, Under Cover cases, LED lighting, and Viair OBA with a train horn.
1979 Chevrolet C-10 Custom Deluxe
Rainier Bonsma, Newcastle, Ontario, Canada
During the workweek, this 1979 Chevrolet C-10 Custom Deluxe hauls a utility trailer filled with landscaping and repair tools for owner Rainier's day job. He also uses its 350-cubic-inch V-8 engine to pull a hybrid camping trailer on the weekends. The C-10 has been refreshed with full bodywork and new paint, extra leaf springs, spray-on bedliner, color-matched cap, dual exhaust, and aluminum rims. The interior was revamped with Denali bucket seats, new trim, and carpet.
Rodney and Red
Joseph Stachowski, Manasquan, New Jersey
Rodney IS an Emerald Green 2000 Ford Ranger 4WD with more than 187,000 original miles. Red is a 1949 Ford F-1 with a flathead V-8. Joseph owns both, and uses his Ranger as a daily driver. It clocks a little more than 74 miles a day, five days a week, and he also uses it on the weekends for side projects around the house. His Candy Red F-1 struts its stuff at cruise nights and on roadways along the Jersey Shore.
2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Brenda Yates, Raleigh, North Carolina
Those of you who own a Wrangler Rubicon know there isn't much that Jeep can't tackle. Which may be part of the reason Brenda's 2008 Wrangler Rubicon remains bone stock. The lack of modifications doesn't keep her or her daily driver from going anywhere she likes, though. The Jeep is very good at getting through snow and rain, and the two-door also is fun when the sun comes out.
This year makes Brenda Yates our Readers' Ride Hall of Fame with her 5th appearance in our Magazine! Keep up the good work and keep having fun with your Jeeps!
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 and 2008 Ford F-150
Ian Cone and Aaron Cone, Lakeland, Florida
A couple years ago, David O. Kinder was featured in Readers' Rides with his 1999 F-150, with the frozen Alaskan country in the background. This year, he submitted photos of his grandsons' trucks. On the left is Ian's diesel Ram, which he uses on the job as a general contractor. On the right, Aaron's V-8-powered F-150 is driven daily. Both received 6-inch suspension lifts and aftermarket wheels and tires.
2002 Ford F-250 V-10
Tracy Smith, Billings, Montana
This very pampered workhorse gets handwashed using the warm-water tap added to Tracy's Garage Mahal. But with only 43,000 miles clocked on the odometer, it's earned its just rewards by pulling a 26-foot travel trailer. Tracy loves the sound of the dual exhaust on this beast.
2010 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Sport
John Marzo, Staten Island, New York
This IS Beauty and the Beast all in one truck. The Brilliant Black paint on John's Ram 1500 really stands out in the sunlight and gives it that "don't mess with me" look. The truck has a Skyjacker 4-inch lift, 18 x 9.5 KMC Rockstar wheels, K&N air intake, Black Rhino 5-inch oval sidesteps, Mopar splashguards, and HID lights. The upgrades won't stop there: John has plans to modify his truck even more.
2001 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Sport
Morgan Osbaldeston, Norcross, Georgia
Morgan knows how to put her truck to work and have fun. She's a horseback rider, and uses her daily driver to haul hay, shavings, and equipment. It's also been autocrossed and hot-lapped at Road Atlanta. The Dakota has a K&N FIPK, MagnaFlow 2.5-inch stainless exhaust, DJM drop kit with Belltech shocks, 18-inch Anthracite MB Gunner 6s wrapped in BFG G-Sport tires, Cervini's grille, and dual ram air hood.
2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Daytona
Littwood "Torchwood" Tisdale, Rochester, New York
Torchwood loves the attention his Bright Silver Metallic 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Daytona #2155 gets. He says the sound from its 5.7-liter Hemi engine turns peoples' heads. This Daytona sports 22-inch SRT wheels, custom contoured mudflaps, rain guards, and new taillights. He's owned this truck for just over two years and uses it as his daily driver with occasional light towing.
2008 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 Z71
Bobby Brown, Jacksonville, Florida
Very few race trucks ever get to travel the U.S. on their own four wheels, let alone haul a fellow racer to a track and then compete in the race. Built for off-road racing and for durability, the Wild Gator Racing Chevrolet Silverado traveled 1000 miles with a race Jeep in tow to the 29th annual 4-Wheel Jamboree, where it qualified 16 out of 20 in modified tough trucks, finished 14th, then towed the Jeep back home.
1980 Plymouth Trailduster 4WD
James "Garfield" Barlow, Silver Springs, Nevada
It's a family affair at 3Gs Motorsports when James, his father, and his 7-year-old son work together on their TrailDuster Mud Drag Race truck. When this street-legal daily driver isn't at local Show-and-Shine events, high-school fundraisers, or the many parades it's been in, it's getting down and mudding. The 360 was rebuilt with a forged crank, Edelbrock intake, and long-tube headers, and has a rebuilt 727 TF trans.
2010 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x4
Andrew Litavecz, Phoenix, Arizona
Andrew bought his F-150 with adventure in mind. He purchased this truck as a daily driver and for its capabilities when he travels the backcountry of U.S. National Parks and goes off-road sightseeing. The seventh Ford truck he's owned has Dark Orange Metallic Pearl on the bottom of truck and fender flares, with hand-painted pinstriping. It also has a T-Rex grille insert, Bedrug, Anzo rear light bar, and K&N filter.
2007 4WD Ford Expedition XLT
Doug Fedeli, Hilton, New York
Doug Fedeli owns a 2007 Ford Expedition XLT 4WD. He uses his full-size SUV to tow his 30-foot 2011 Tracer 3000BHS travel trailer. The Expedition has a three-valve, 5.4-liter engine with the six-speed automatic transmission and the heavy-duty tow package with 3.73:1 gears. Doug also added a K&N filter and reprogrammed the computer with the Superchips Cortex tuner.
2003 Ford Ranger
Tim Ruppert, Newport, Tennessee
Tim isn't afraid to get his Ranger dirty, then cleans it up for shows. This truck turns heads while hauling supplies with this list of custom touches: blackout headlights and Euro taillights, 17-inch rims with Continental tires, painted bumpers and grille, custom grille inserts, Poker Ford emblems, Poker Chip window rollers, headliner wrapped in playing card fabric, and a Sony stereo system.
2001 Ford F-150 XLT Super Crew
Danny Ice-Cable, Hanover, Indiana
Danny is very proud of his F-150. This daily driver handles all the mud and snow thrown at it, thanks to 18x10 Pacer Warrior polished aluminum wheels wrapped in 325/65R18 Toyo Open Country A/T tires. Danny installed a DiabloSport Predator programmer and custom air intake. The 5.5-foot bed also has a custom toolbox to store gear when camping or traveling.