Readers' Rides 2013: From Crazy Custom to Bone Stock
You Heard Our Calls and Answered Back With Amazing Rides.
From the April, 2013 issue of Truck Trend
By Edward A. Sanchez, Melissa Spiering
This year, we received Readers' Rides entries from across the country and around the world, and the trucks (and a few sport/utilities) we saw were the most varied yet. Some were gorgeous classics, some were brand new and ready for work and play, and others were daily drivers, carefully detailed for their photo shoots. Regardless, the common theme through all the stories and submissions we received is how much owners love their trucks. Everyone who submitted forms and photos expressed passion for his ride like it was a member of the family. Without further ado, here are our 2013 Readers' Rides.
2005 Jeep Wrangler
Steve Casey, Ettrick, Wisconsin
Riding high in the cheese state, Steve Casey uses his nicely modified Jeep Wrangler not only as his daily driver, but also for off-roading fun. His Wrangler is equipped with a 3 1/2-inch Rubicon Express lift, Currie heavy-duty tie rods and drag link, K&N intake, Borla cat-back exhaust, and ARB front/rear bumpers and tire carrier. It's finished off with Mickey Thompson classic lock wheels wrapped in 33-inch BFG rubber.
2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Brenda Yates, Raleigh, North Carolina
Longtime reader and Jeep owner, Brenda Yates shows off her new wheels on the shores of Fort Fisher, North Carolina. And, boy, are we jealous! Her brand-new 2013 Wrangler Rubicon is powered with the 3.6-liter V-6 paired with the five-speed automatic transmission.
1992 Dodge Power Ram 250
Barry Hall, Spruce Pine, North Carolina
In near-mint condition, Hall's Ram 250 is his daily driver and his workhorse. It's powered by a 5.9-liter Cummins turbodiesel mated with an automatic transmission. He's added a few upgrades to his suspension, but only to enhance its peak performance for towing and hauling.
1956 Ford F-700
Stuart Robertson, Boise, Idaho
Show and go! Robertson's show-stopping Ford F-700 was built to tow his gooseneck trailer and turn heads on cruise nights. Beside its stunning exterior, this workhorse is packing a GM 454 H.O. crate engine under the hood and is mated with an Allison 545 transmission. It also has an Eaton 19,000-pound rear axle, Ford 9000-pound front axle, 22 1/2-inch wheels, and a 50-gallon aluminum fuel tank.
Little Tikes Classic Pickup
Mackenzie Shanley, Haskell, New Jersey
Like mother, like daughter. After seeing Mom Amie's Ford Flex in our 2012 Readers' Rides, four-year-old Mackenzie wanted to show off her sweet Little Tikes pickup. It's powered by two little feet (according to the entry form), and sports a Ford emblem, custom roof rack, and a rear license plate that's says, "Silly boys, trucks are for girls." She uses it as a cleanup vehicle in the back yard, hauls her stuffed animals around, and sometimes gives her little sister Samantha a ride too. We also heard she'll be trading it soon for a Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler.
1997 Chevrolet Sportside Silverado
Darrell Crandell, S. Portland, Maine
This Silverado comes to us from the far tip of the United States. Crandell uses his Silverado as his daily driver and workhorse when doing home repairs. It's powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 and gets 20 mpg on road trips. Keeping it clean, Crandell had the bed sprayed with Rhino Linings and added a set of American Racing wheels -- just enough for his perfect truck.
1995 GMC Suburban
Mark Vanderbent, Manhattan, Florida
With over 516,000 miles on the odometer, This GMC Suburban is powered by a 6.5-liter turbodiesel and is used to haul Mark's 30-foot travel trailer for camping trips. The truck sits on a set of aluminum wheels wrapped in BFG All-Terrain rubber.
1985 Ford F-150
Bennett Orr, Marathon, Florida Keys
Longtime reader and Readers' Ride aficionado Bennett Orr uses his 1985 Ford F-150 to deliver fresh-caught seafood to local stores and restaurants. It also o hauls lobster and snow crab cages and fishing gear of all sorts. When this workhorse takes a break, you can find it hanging out at local car shows and youth club events. Orr says he had too many modifications to list -- he just likes to keep it running like it just rolled off the showroom floor.
2007 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Classic
John M. Cone, Greenville, Florida
This Silverado 3500 has the best job ever working on the Cone family's 2200-acre farm. John uses his pickup to haul hay to horse farms and feed stores all across Florida, along with hauling a tractor, balers, and cattle. Its 6.6-liter Duramax diesel is mated to a six-speed Allison transmission to get the job done. A Bully Dog GT tuner, MBRP turbo cat-back exhaust, Eagle Alloys wheels wrapped in Cooper Discoverer STs, and a billet grille were added for the perfect look and performance gains.
2004 Chevrolet Avalanche Z66
Mark Shafron, Encino, California
Mark's daily-driven Avalanche is powered by a 5.3-liter V-8 producing 295 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Mark's wife uses it for shopping and taking their daughter to school. The first-gen Avalanche launched in 2001 as a 2002 model on the GMT800 platform and was named Motor Trend's 2002 Truck of the Year. The Z66 trim level featured a Premium Smooth Ride suspension package, 18x8-inch aluminum wheels, bright chrome grille insert, tubular assist steps, and a few extra goodies.
2006 Ford Ranger FX4
Anthony Geiss, Southwick, Massachusetts
It was love at first sight when Anthony saw this Ranger FX4 sitting at the local dealer. To keep his Ranger one step ahead of the crazy New England weather (and looking sharp), he outfitted it with 16-inch American Racing Teflon Mojave wheels wrapped in 265/75R16 Goodyear Duratracs for the winter, Warn W650F foglights, custom Husky Shields, OEM black grille, Herculiner bedliner, and a Tuffbox. According to Anthony, "Either navigating through a dense squall of snow after ice fishing or taking a half-beaten trail to kayak a remote body of water, I have complete confidence in my Ranger."
1986.5 Nissan Hardbody 4x4
James Hutchison, Middleborough, Massachusetts
Losing a longtime friend is never easy. When James Hutchison said farewell to his Nissan Hardbody, best friend of 25 years, it seemed fitting that it be part of our Readers' Rides for one last tribute. Hutchison bought it brand new from the dealer and learned how to drive stick on it that night. He modified his pickup with nearly every Nissan factory upgrade he could order to keep it as OEM as possible -- including the black and chrome wheels and 31-inch tires. He even fabricated a 2-inch lift kit, since no one made one for it at the time. It won a few show trophies, pulled waterlogged vehicles out of flooded rivers, and launched into the air without ever skipping a beat.
2002 Chevrolet Express Van 3500
Mike Hardbarger, Gambier, Ohio
There's a bit of a cult following for the modified van segment, and Mike Hardbarger knows first-hand how awesome his 2002 Quigley Conversion Express van is. They switched it from 3.73 gears to 4.10s, and added a Class V hitch, bin package, customized bulkhead with a windowed door in back, and a Dana 60 front end with lockout hubs. Mike uses the van for his construction business, and the custom bins hold everything he needs for the job, including pulling a lowboy trailer with a backhoe on it and a large dump trailer.
Father and Son Fords
Jonathan and Daniel Coad, Toledo, Illinois
1994 Ford F-150 XL
Jonathan's mother Catherine writes, "Jonathan's truck is a 1994 Ford F-150 XL regular cab with an 8-foot bed. It has an inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic overdrive transmission, factory twin I-beam front suspension, and factory leaf spring suspension in the rear. It's still in original factory very good/excellent condition with approximately 114,000 original miles. The truck is his first vehicle and will be used for driving to school and work."
1997 Ford F-350 XLT
We couldn't have written this any better: "Daniel, Jonathan's father, drives a 1997 Ford F-350 XLT Super Cab dualie with the 7.3-liter V-8 diesel engine, a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission with approximately 72,000 original miles. It has a twin I-beam suspension in front, and leaf-spring suspension in back. Over the years since purchasing his truck, he has added an EZ Dumper dump bed, Air Lift suspension in the rear to level heavy loads, a brush guard, and a Reese hitch. The truck has been used to haul heavy loads of water, wood, rock, dirt, and sand, and it's still in excellent condition."
2006 Chevrolet Kodiak 4500 4x4
Carson Braga, Soledad, California
Not much was left stock on Carson's killer green Kodiak 4500. This two-year build includes a 12-inch suspension lift aided by Atlas springs and triple-bypass King shocks. The Kodiak sits on 22.5x14 Alcoa wheels wrapped in massive 46-inch (445) Goodyear tires. It's powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine with an EFI programmer, Fleece Performance turbo, methanol injection, and Magnaflow exhaust. He even has a blind-spot camera system, similar to an RV, that switches side to side depending on what turn signal is used. Braga enjoys taking his green monster to the sandy shores at Oceano Dunes SVRA in California, and loves to turn heads when he travels to El Centro, California, for work.
2007 Dodge Ram 1500
U.S. Army Sergeant Anthony Robinson, Afghanistan
While deployed in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Sergeant Anthony Robinson sent us photos of the 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 that's waiting for him back home. Sergeant Robinson calls it his Killer Bee, and from the long list of performance upgrades, we believe it. His Killer Bee puts out 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque with the help of an ram air scoop, cold-air intake, 85mm ported throttle body, Crazy Spartan cam, long tube headers with 3-inch Y-pipe, 3-inch Cherry Bomb Pro, 3-inch exhaust cutout, Superchips 3865 with trans tune, 180-degree thermostat, Powerwire, Sonnax Line Pressure Booster, Sharadon Performance stage III valve body, traction bars, and 4.56 gears. It sits on 17-inch ST wheels wrapped in M&H drag radials. Sergeant Robinson has plans for more upgrades when he returns home.
2008 Chevrolet Silverado
Heath Rich, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
At just 17 years of age, Heath is one of the youngest entrants in this year's roundup. His truck features a Flowmaster Super 40 muffler, HID headlights, taillight guards, Prestige rivet-style fender flares, blackout taillights, a tonneau cover, sprayed-on bedliner, running boards, a 2-inch leveling kit, two 12-inch Kicker subwoofers, and Infinity door speakers. The truck rolls down the road on Goodyear tires, on 17-inch DEJ Ribelle wheels with 1.5-inch spacers.
1997 Ford Ranger
Amy Snyder, Sterling, Colorado
At first glance, Amy's Ranger may not seem that remarkable, but it's not the truck's modifications that make it significant or noteworthy. Somewhat of a family heirloom, the truck was bequeathed from Snyder's mother in 2003. Amy learned how to drive on the truck, as did as her sister before her. Snyder drove the Ranger in college and the two hours to Denver on weekends. The photo submitted was taken in 2011, before a fateful accident in May 2012 caused by a tire blowout, which resulted in a rollover. Although the truck was badly damaged, Snyder walked away from the accident uninjured. The truck still starts and runs reliably. Although insurance companies may consider the truck a "total," Snyder is in the process of rebuilding it, saying, "It's the least I can do for the truck that saved my life."
1988 Jeep Wrangler
Eric and Leah Deverick, O'Fallon, Missouri
Eric is a man of few words, stating simply, "Here is my 1988 Jeep Wrangler. It has a 2.5-inch lift, 33-inch tires, aftermarket bumpers, rock sliders, and tube fenders. This is my daily driver that I also take out and play with." Mind if we come along?
1969 International Travelall
Armando Verdugo, Queen Creek, Arizona
International may be out of the light-truck business, but the Scout and Travelall will always hold a special place in off-road enthusiasts' hearts. This 1969 Travelall certainly holds a special place in Armando's heart. Equipped with a 345-cubic-inch V-8 with a Carter four-barrel carburetor, the Travelall features an extensive list of modifications that would make any off-roader envious. It features power seats from a 2005 Chevy Silverado for comfort on the road and the trail. The tall Travelall rides on a 4-inch lift with 37-inch Goodyear MTR tires with run-flat inserts, King shocks, Teraflex differential covers, a 10-gallon on-board air system, and a four-wheel disc brake conversion. Other upgrades include custom bumpers and a custom dashboard and gauges. In case you can't see or hear this beast coming, Verdugo installed an air horn to announce his presence. More than just a cool off-roader, the Travelall is a showcase for Hero Offroad, and is dubbed the War Wagon to raise awareness for the organization that provides off-road adventures to veterans.
50 of Your Finest Pickups and SUVs, Plus More! This year, we received the most submissions ever (by far) for our Readers’ Rides showcase.
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!
We asked, and you responded -- in a big way. We received a lot of entries this year, from all over the world.