Unexpected Upgrades: A Couple Tips

MBRP Gets the Hot Air Out!

When we last updated you on Mike Sutton’s ’18 Dodge Ram 3500 Mega Cab, the performance upgrades had begun with a programmer to fine-tune every computer setting possible, a throttle booster to provide a pick-me-up, and an intake to help bring in more air for the diesel beast. It’s no secret that to get the most out of your diesel engine, you need a supply of cool, clean air. You can get fresh air in, but you must also usher the hot air out. The MBRP Inc. Performance Exhaust going on Mike’s truck is specific to this model, but the company carries options for many years, makes, and models. This version, the S6167AL, is a 4-inch filter-back exhaust with dual outlets on a single side with an aluminized finish. Mike chose to use the black T5051 5-inch angled exhaust tips with a rolled end. This setup is capable of dropping exhaust gas temperature by up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and, when it’s combined with the previous products installed, it encourages the 6.7L Cummins to perform well no matter what driving/towing conditions put it to the test. Take a look at our quick install, from bone-stock to where we are today.

  |   Before

  |   After

  |   The MBRP Inc. S6167AL kit consists of an extension pipe, Y-pipe, front tailpipe, rear tailpipe, two exhaust tips, and four 4-inch clamps.

  |   Here’s the stock exhaust from the factory. It’s functional, but not aesthetically pleasing. This kit will be a huge upgrade in function and looks.

Adventure: Exploring The Abandoned Mining Camps of Colorado

Across Colorado, there are reminders of a colorful past when precious metals were scraped, pulled, dug, and washed from the earth, where boomtowns sprung up overnight and just as quickly disappeared. Here, huge fortunes could be instantly made, but for most who came driven by such dreams, the rush to find riches turned out to be just that, a dream.

  |   Exploring The Abandoned Mining Camps Colorado Armada

Many arrived on foot, packing what they needed on their backs. Some came with a mule loaded down with picks, shovels, and canvas shelters tethered to these beasts of burden. On the heels of these miners came those who provided various kinds of support systems (saloons, merchants, women offering companionship for a price, dentists) and a wide assortment of other kinds of riffraff. Some mother lodes played out quickly, while others continue to be mined to this day. Several of these old mining towns have taken on new life and experienced a gold rush or boom of a different kind. Like magnets, they draw tourists from around the globe because of the fun stuff they offer, while others have vanished or been nearly forgotten but where remnants of a rich and colorful past still sit waiting to be discovered.
Poke around the nooks and crannies that are hidden in the Centennial State and you still find evidence of those once heady boom/bust days. And even though these mining towns are located in the heart of the Rockies, some are well off the beaten path.

Traveling The Mississippi Blues Trail In Search of Music, Food, and Pickups

Mud, Sweat, and Tears

It’s agreed among all that from Memphis down to Vicksburg is the cradle of the Delta Blues Music, a genre of American root music that has left an indelible mark on country, jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock ’n’ roll. However, it’s also one that, to this day, maintains its purity and continues to be embraced by music aficionados from around the world. Rising out of the mud, sweat, and tears of those who, 100 years ago, lived at the bottom of the food chain in the Mississippi Delta, this was the genesis of the Delta Blues. Gaining its legs, its unique melodic sounds and syncopations were carried to the urban industrial north, where some 60 years later it would cross the “pond” to influence the music of icons like the Beatles, Stones, Clapton, and a litany of other musicians too numerous to mention.

  |   Mississippis Delta Blues Trail

Along the blue-line roads that lead south from Beal Street out of Memphis are found blues clubs and juke joints where emerging talents continue to showcase the mastery of their wares. This is a landscape dotted with pickup trucks that are almost as old as the Delta Blues itself. But it’s more than just the music that draws curious visitors to the Delta. You’re immersed in provincial fare and the charming culture that’s found only here, where the bucolic beauty of the nooks and crannies tucked into the serpentine folds of the Mississippi River. The Delta Blues Music Trail offers a very genuine and unique slice of America’s experience.
First stop is Tunica, Mississippi, where the Gateway to the Blues Museum waits. This is the perfect place to begin total immersion into the world of the Delta Blues. Here, you’re given a crash course in what to see, do, and expect over the next couple of days as you journey south along the Delta. This is the perfect place to plan your stops. Should you travel the Trail in September, the King Biscuit Blues Festival (just across the Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas) is a must-stop. If you’re lucky, local blues legend Super Chicken will be performing at the Delta Cultural Center in the Old Historic District.

2003 Dodge Ram 1500- Road to Riches

Started From the Bottom, Now He’s Here

People decide to customize trucks for many reasons. Some use their vehicle as a way to flaunt their finances, others to show off their talents in the shop, and sometimes it’s simply because that’s what they grew up around and it’s all they know. For Abe Silva of Albuquerque, New Mexico, his build was not for any of those reasons. It was much more personal. It’s hard to imagine somebody having a much harder life than the way Abe grew up. Abused by his parents, Abe was on his own, living on the streets at 16 years old. “I had to sneak into my own home so I could steal food,” Abe remembers. “I wouldn’t wish this life on anyone.” After sleeping in parks and even the back seat of cars, Abe knew there had to be something out there for him.

  |   2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Road To Riches Drive

He met his now wife Joy at 18. When she became pregnant, Abe began to strive for better things, because he was no longer living his life just for himself. After being able to get odd jobs, Abe purchased his first vehicle, a Dodge Neon, because it was simply the cheapest new car he could purchase. As a result of being neglected and not standing out throughout his childhood, he decided to customize his Neon so he could be noticed and respected. He used magazines for motivation and articles on builds to design his compact car to show-quality status.

1968 Chevy Tahoe- Ghoesst

Uniquely Named, Exceptionally Built

If GM had built the Tahoe back in 1968, this is what that product would look like after today’s custom enthusiasts got their hands on it. This one-of-a-kind Chevrolet is the product of creativity, imagination, modernization, and a talented skillset. Owner Jason Ellis of Visalia, California, is a longtime friend of builder Brandon Sisco from Barrett Jackson Garage. The pair thought up this project, contemplating what could have been a General Motors concept vehicle that got left in a barn for decades. As a huge fan of the ’90s OBS Tahoe, Jason wanted a two-door version inspired by the ’67-to-’72 body style. Beginning life as a three-door Suburban, this truck been drastically shortened—but don’t call it a Blazer! There is not a removable roof, zero K5 parts were utilized in the build, and the wheelbase is not as short as a Blazer. This SUV has a style all its own, and that was the whole point. The name Ghoesst is a play on its white paint, Tahoe (hence the “hoe”), and the LSA SS powerplant.

  |   1968 Chevrolet Tahoe Concept One Off Ghoesst

Since the focus was on shortening the Suburban, Brandon cut 34 inches out of the body as a first step. If that isn’t nerve-racking enough, more cuts were made, including 2.5 inches chopped from the top and a 2-inch body drop to eventually lay it on the pavement. To give the truck a more flowing, laid-back look, the squared Suburban front doors were replaced with C10 versions. The pillars were custom modified, along with the door frames and wheelbase. With those major structural changes complete, the extensive list of cosmetic body alterations could begin to take shape. The list includes a front roll pan, as well as fender extensions by Bob Grant, shaved front markers, C10 truck taillights, reshaped quarter panels, a custom rear hatch, and a new cowl to rid the unsightly windshield wipers from the front.

Custom Pro Touring 1986 Chevy C10 Silverado

Hip to be Square(body)

A matte-gray expanse of hood blends seamlessly into a broad, open highway in front of the truck. It’s just waiting for a blip of throttle, or maybe even a foot firmly planted until either tires or nerve give out. There’s a 6.2L Chevy crate engine under that prairie-sized hood, and earlier, when we maneuvered the pickup out of the industrial office park where it was hidden, the sound of 640 supercharged horses through Magnaflow mufflers bounced off the concrete walls and rattled the vape juice in the neighboring units. Nobody even noticed, or if they did, they didn’t notice the earthquake was coming from an ’80s-era pickup. With its typical work-truck patina and body lines barely changed since the introduction of the square-body design in 1973, there’s a truck like this in every neighborhood. That truck-next-door appeal is exactly what led Noah Alexander and the crew of Classic Car Studio (CCS) to choose the ’86 Silverado as their shop truck/parts tester, and later to loan it out for test rides, because it’s too good not to share.

  |   Pro Touring 1986 Chevy C10 Silverado Badge

  |   While the engine bay of the C10 had plenty of room for the LT4, it wasn’t a direct bolt in, requiring custom engine and transmission mounts. The guys considered long-tube headers, but decided to stick with exhaust manifolds to avoid interference with the GSI chassis cross brace.

If Alexander’s name or shop sound familiar, it may be because Classic Car Studio and its team of builders are the stars of a car show on MotorTrend (formerly Velocity) called Speed is the New Black. If you’re rolling your eyes and picturing thrown wrenches and screaming fabricators, unroll, because Speed is the New Black is a calm, feel-good show whose only TV tropes might be an excessive use of slo-mo grinding sparks. “We don’t do the drama thing,” Alexander tells us. “We just build cars.” Cars and trucks. A look through the CCS website shows that a good third of the vehicles built there are pickups.
It’s not by accident that CCS builds so many hot rod trucks. Alexander and his right-hand man, CCS General Manager Charles Crews, get so excited about customized haulers that they start talking fast when the topic turns to trucks. They get big, dumb smiles on their faces and interrupt one another, each finishing the other’s thoughts.
“Trucks are almost horrible to being with,” Crews says.
“From a driving standpoint,” clarifies Alexander. “But when you hot rod one, it makes you want to drive it.”

Shop Class: Pickup Truck Crash Safety Devices

Bare Bones Safety

Protecting drivers and passengers during a collision has always been a challenge for automakers, but technology has made significant strides in safety since the early 1950s. But it all begins with the base structure of any vehicle. Common sense tells us the bigger, the better. A 3/4-ton truck meeting head on with a compact car is a no-brainer as to who wins the battle. But the structural design of the body and frame or unibody may give the little guy a fighting chance.

The Zone

In the earliest years of automobile production, the perception was the more rigid the structure, the safer the car. Meaning if you hit a concrete wall and the heavy-gauge steel up front was so strong that the front bumper barely moved, it would prevent occupants from being crushed inside the passenger compartment. Made sense at the time, but it didn’t take into consideration the assault on individuals by kinetic energy. Read More

Is Elon Musk Going to Have a Prototype Tesla Truck Ready for 2019?

Elon Musk tweets again he is dying to make a pickup truck prototype for 2019.

We have heard Elon Musk talk about a prototype Tesla truck for at least five years now. Die-hard Tesla fans have been waiting and hanging on Musk’s every word. He has been quoted on social media saying, “I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after the Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build it.”

  |   2

The pressure is now on for Musk and Tesla to deliver. Rivian just stepped up its game with a prototype electric truck and SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and it got a lot of attention. Rivian is ahead of the game with its prototypes already in the public eye. Rivian says it will begin production on the R1T by 2020. The pickup truck market is one of the largest growing segments in North America, and so far it seems an electric truck could be well received, especially from an established company such as Tesla.

Pickup Truck of the Year 2019: The Masterpost #PTOTY19

2019 Ram 1500 Takes Honors, But What Else Did We Learn?

If you’ve been living under a rock or are new to the Truck Trend family, then you might not know we spent the better part of Fall 2018 preparing for, then carrying out, our 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year competition. And when the dust settled and we tallied the points, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 came out on top, beating its new or significantly updated competition from GMC, Ford, and Chevrolet.

  |   004 2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Truck Pairs

How did we come to our decisions? That’s easy, and we’ll be more than happy to tell you all about our test, our findings, and our favorite features of each of the trucks. Check out the links below to learn everything about Pickup Truck of the Year 2019, from soup to nuts.
Pickup Truck of the Year Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 #PTOTY19

How to Get Your New Old Bronco

Gateway gets license from Ford to build Broncos.

Ford Motor Company has just given Gateway a license to build old first-generation Broncos. The company has been restoring old Broncos for years. This is the first time Ford Motor Company has granted a company a license to build the iconic Bronco from the ground up. Gateway’s license covers model years 1966-1977 under the NHSTA Low Volume Manufacturers Act of 2015, which allows manufacturers to produce a limited number of vehicles annually within a specific regulatory system. Gateway has three models to choose from. The Broncos will keep the original styling with upgraded modern suspension. A Ford Coyote 5.0L V-8 engine with six-speed automatic transmission will be installed in all three models.

  |   1

“We’re honored to be recognized by Ford Motor Company and consider this license agreement a tremendous privilege,” said Seth Burgett, CEO of Gateway Bronco. “We will work diligently to serve and protect the Ford brand. Our proprietary, exclusive solutions to re-condition and manufacture the first-generation Ford Bronco has led to incredible growth of our company. Deepening our relationship with Ford will help us better serve our customers who want the ultimate classic Ford Bronco with modern performance.”

The Driver’s Seat: Trucks Are Too Expensive

The Driver’s Seat

Allow me to sit on my metaphoric porch and shake my cane at the neighborhood kids, because what I need to say will have me sounding like that crotchety old man everyone knows and loves. Trucks have gotten too damn expensive. There, I said it. As you’ll see later in this issue, we had a $75,000 ½-ton in our Pickup Truck of the Year test. Let that settle in for a minute. Adding insult to injury, the average price across the whole field of eight ½-ton competitors was more than $64,000. I’ll concede that that’s MSRP and nobody pays the sticker price except Hank Hill. But even being incredibly generous, you’ll probably only knock about $4K off, even with the best negotiating skills.

  |   Boy, $36,000 sure went a lot further in 2007 than it does today. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do now but reminisce on the glory days.

If those prices seem bad, try pricing out a 1-ton. You can easily run an F-350 up to $90,000 by selecting Platinum trim and dual rear wheels. Disgustingly, Ford’s configurator bases the estimated monthly payment on an 84-month term. That’s seven years with a payment over $1,000 a month. Gone are the days of the standard five-year car loan, apparently.
When I was young and dumb, I went out and bought a brand-new truck. It was an ’07 Ford F-150 SuperCrew in FX4 trim with the 5.4L V-8 engine. While not quite top of the line, it was a very well-equipped truck. Sticker price was just a touch over $36K, and I walked out the door paying far less and financed with no interest. Even with inflation, that’s just a shade over $42,000. Now, 12 years later, an equivalent new truck would set you back about $60,000. Sure, a lot has changed in that time, but it’s difficult to fathom a price jump like that.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for free enterprise, companies earning a profit, and letting the market dictate the price. I just can’t help but wonder if another crash is looming, much like it did in 2008 when dealers couldn’t give away the same pickup I’d just bought, even with a $10K discount on the hood. Like I said, grumpy old man shaking his cane.

2019 Pickup Truck of the Year Specifications as Tested #PTOTY19

Specifications as Tested

General
Vehicle/model Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Ford F-150 Lariat FX4 Ford F-150 Limited
Base price $48,300 $48,700 $47,205 $70,560
Price as tested $56,790 $58,135 $68,225 $74,940
Engine
Type Naturally aspirated, direct-injected gasoline V-8 Naturally aspirated, direct-injected gasoline V-8 Turbocharged, common rail-injected diesel V-6 Twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6
Displacement 5.3L 6.2L 3.0L 3.5L
Bore x stroke (in) 3.78×3.62 4.06×3.62 3.31×3.54 3.64×3.41
Compression ratio (:1) 11.0 11.5 16.0 10.0
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp) 355 @ 5,600 420 @ 5,600 250 @ 3,250 450 @ 5,000
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft) 383 @ 4,100 460 @ 4,100 440 @ 1,750 510 @ 3,500
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type Regular unleaded Premium unleaded Ultra-low sulfur diesel Premium unleaded
Drivetrain
Transmission 8-speed automatic 10-speed automatic 10-speed automatic 10-speed automatic
Axle ratio (:1) 3.23 3.23 3.55 3.55
Frame/body Steel and aluminum body on ladder frame Steel and aluminum body on ladder frame Aluminum body on ladder frame Aluminum body on ladder frame
Suspension/axles
Front Independent with coilover monotube shocks Independent with coilover monotube shocks Independent double-wishbone with coilover gas-pressurized shocks Independent double-wishbone with coilover gas-pressurized shocks
Rear Solid-axle leaf springs with monotube shocks Solid-axle leaf springs with monotube shocks Solid-axle leaf springs, gas pressurized shocks Solid-axle leaf springs, gas pressurized shocks
Steering
Type Electric power rack and pinion steering Electric power rack and pinion steering Electric power rack and pinion steering Electric power rack and pinion steering
Brakes
Front 13.5-inch disc 13.5-inch disc 13.8-inch disc 13.8-inch disc
Rear 14.1-inch disc 14.1-inch disc 13.7-inch disc 13.7-inch disc
ABS 4-wheel 4-wheel 4-wheel 4-wheel
Wheels/tires
Wheels (in) 18×8.5 20×9 20×8.5 22×9
Tires LT275/65R18 P275/60R20 all-terrain P275/55R20 all-terrain P275/45R22
Dimensions/capacities
Wheelbase (in) 147.5 147.4 145.0 145.0
Overall length (in) 231.7 231.7 231.9 231.9
Overall width (in) 81.2 81.2 83.5 83.5
Height (in) 78.4 75.5 77.2 77.2
Track f/r (in) 68.7/67.1 68.7/67.1 67.6/67.6 67.6/67.6
Minimum ground clearance (in) 10.7 8.1 9.4 9.4
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft) 49.5 46.3 47.8 47.8
Approach/departure angles (deg) 27.2/25.8 19.0/23.9 25.5/26.0 25.5/26.0
Breakover angle (deg) 20.4 19.4 21.0 21.0
GVWR (lb) 7,000 7,100 7,050 6,750
Payload (lb) 1,812 1,814 1,333 1,039
Maximum towing capacity (lb) 9,635 9,543 10,100 12,700
Seating 5 5 5 5
Fuel capacity (gal) 24.0 24.0 26.0 26.0
General
Vehicle/model GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Ram 1500 Rebel
Base price (incl. destination, configuration, and powertrain options) $53,200 $58,000 $53,695 $44,695
Price as tested $65,475 $67,200 $66,755 $55,805
Engine
Type Naturally aspirated, direct-injected gasoline V-8 Naturally aspirated, direct-injected gasoline V-8 Naturally aspirated, port-injected gasoline V-8 with electric assist Naturally aspirated, port-injected gasoline V-8 with electric assist
Displacement 6.2L 6.2L 5.7L 5.7L
Bore x stroke (in) 4.06×3.62 4.06×3.62 3.92×3.58 3.92×3.58
Compression ratio (:1) 11.5 11.5 10.5 10.5
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp) 420 @ 5,600 420 @ 5,600 395 @ 5,600 395 @ 5,600
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft) 460 @ 4,100 460 @ 4,100 410 @ 3,950 410 @ 3,950
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type Premium unleaded Premium unleaded Midgrade unleaded Midgrade unleaded
Drivetrain
Transmission 10-speed automatic 10-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Axle ratio (:1) 3.23 3.23 3.21 3.92
Frame/body Steel and aluminum body on ladder frame Steel and aluminum body on ladder frame Steel, aluminum, and composite body on ladder frame Steel, aluminum, and composite body on ladder frame
Suspension/axles
Front Independent with coilover monotube shocks Independent with coilover monotube shocks Independent double-wishbone with coilover twin-tube shock absorbers Independent double-wishbone with coilover monotube shock absorbers
Rear Solid-axle leaf springs with monotube shocks Solid-axle leaf springs with monotube shocks Five-link solid axle with track bar, coilover twin-tube shock absorbers Five-link solid axle with track bar, coilover monotube shock absorbers with remote reservoir
Steering
Type Electric power rack and pinion steering Electric power rack and pinion steering Electric power rack and pinion steering Electric power rack and pinion steering
Brakes
Front 13.5 13.5 14.9 14.9
Rear 14.1 14.1 14.8 14.8
ABS 4-wheel 4-wheel 4-wheel 4-wheel
Wheels/tires
Wheels (in) 20×9 22×9 20×9 18×8
Tires P275/60R20 all-terrain P275/50R22 P275/55R20 LT275/70R18 all-terrain
Dimensions/capacities
Wheelbase (in) 147.4 147.4 144.6 140.5
Overall length (in) 231.7 231.7 232.9 228.9
Overall width (in) 81.2 81.2 82.1 82.1
Height (in) 78.4 78.4 77.6 77.7
Track f/r (in) 68.7/67.1 68.9/68.3 68.5/68.1 68.5/68.1
Minimum ground clearance (in) 10.88 8.09 8.7 9.1
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft) 46.3 46.3 46.2 46.2
Approach/departure angles (deg) 27.2/25.8 23.5/19.3 19.0/24.9 25.1/22.7
Breakover angle (deg) 20.4 19.3 19.5 20.0
GVWR (lb) 7,000 7,100 7,100 7,100
Payload (lb) 1,635 1,684 1,448 1,566
Maximum towing capacity (lb) 9,427 9,400 8,150 11,330
Seating 5 5 5 5
Fuel capacity (gal) 24.0 24.0 33.0 33.0

2019 Ford Ranger Fuel Economy Revealed – Up to 26 MPG for 4×2

Ranger Numbers Are Tops Among Gas-Powered Pickups

Ford announced the official EPA fuel economy numbers for the 2019 Ranger midsize pickup, and they’re very reasonable indeed. Its most efficient configuration, a 4×2, is capable of 21 city/26 highway/23 combined mpg, numbers that Ford claims are tops among gas-powered midsize trucks. Equipped as a 4×4, the Ranger nets a still-impressive 20 city/24 highway/22 combined mpg in EPA testing.

  |   2019 Ford Ranger In Snow Front Side View

That fuel economy is the result of a standard 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine routing its power through a 10-speed automatic, a gearbox that beats out its competitors’ six- and eight-speed transmissions. One caveat: Ford’s EcoBoost engines tend to do better in testing than they do in the real world, so we’ll have to wait and see what kind of fuel economy the Ranger gets in the wild.

2019 Ford Ranger Fuel Economy Rated at 23 MPG Combined

Ford’s new midsize pickup will return 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined when equipped rear-wheel drive. Moving to a Ranger 4×4 will lower the fuel economy to 20 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.

The only available powertrain on the 2019 Ford Ranger is a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine, which makes 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission option is an ten-speed automatic. Read More

2019 Pickup Truck of the Year: Final Scoring & Thank You #PTOTY19

The Final Scorecard

Our Pickup Truck of the Year scoring method uses seven weighted categories as the means to declaring a winner. The rundown is as follows: 15 percent Highway Performance (vehicle handling, ride quality, steering feel, NVH, and so on), 15 percent Towing and Hauling (how the vehicle reacts with a class-specific weighted trailer—7,500 pounds for ½-tons—and maximum payload), 15 percent Off-Road Performance (evaluating each vehicle’s performance and off-road–centric features such as traction aids, tires, and four-wheel-drive system operation in a specific off-highway environment), 10 percent Interior (instrumentation, ingress and egress, seat comfort, storage, appearance, driving position, material choice), 10 percent Exterior (styling, appearance, and features), 15 percent Functionality (passing power, parking prowess, ease of use of technology), and 20 percent Empirical Data (loaded and unloaded acceleration, braking, and quarter-mile; weight, pricing, fuel economy, and so on). These individual categories each contain a series of subsections on which each judge assigns a numerical value to (excluding Empirical). All of the judges’ votes are then tabulated, and total scoring is averaged and normalized.

Special Thanks

Pickup Truck of the Year doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it requires the involvement of dozens of people and agencies spread all across the country, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least give them a shout out. First and foremost, we must say thank you to the men and women who make up the marketing and communications teams at each of the OEMs. Without their help and support, this test wouldn’t happen. Special thanks are due to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, for allowing us use of its facility. For our spectacular photo shoot locations, thanks go to the Inland Empire Film Commission, California Film Commission, the U.S. Forest Service Mountain Top Ranger District, and California State Parks Oceano Dunes District. And a good location would be nothing without killer photographers; this year, we had two of the best along for the ride. Thank you both for putting up with us. And, lastly, a big thank you to Nissan, which graciously provided an ’18 Armada for use as a support vehicle during the week. Read More

2019 Pickup Truck of the Year: Final Scoring & Thank You #PTOTY19

The Final Scorecard

Our Pickup Truck of the Year scoring method uses seven weighted categories as the means to declaring a winner. The rundown is as follows: 15 percent Highway Performance (vehicle handling, ride quality, steering feel, NVH, and so on), 15 percent Towing and Hauling (how the vehicle reacts with a class-specific weighted trailer—7,500 pounds for ½-tons—and maximum payload), 15 percent Off-Road Performance (evaluating each vehicle’s performance and off-road–centric features such as traction aids, tires, and four-wheel-drive system operation in a specific off-highway environment), 10 percent Interior (instrumentation, ingress and egress, seat comfort, storage, appearance, driving position, material choice), 10 percent Exterior (styling, appearance, and features), 15 percent Functionality (passing power, parking prowess, ease of use of technology), and 20 percent Empirical Data (loaded and unloaded acceleration, braking, and quarter-mile; weight, pricing, fuel economy, and so on). These individual categories each contain a series of subsections on which each judge assigns a numerical value to (excluding Empirical). All of the judges’ votes are then tabulated, and total scoring is averaged and normalized.

Special Thanks

Pickup Truck of the Year doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it requires the involvement of dozens of people and agencies spread all across the country, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least give them a shout out. First and foremost, we must say thank you to the men and women who make up the marketing and communications teams at each of the OEMs. Without their help and support, this test wouldn’t happen. Special thanks are due to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, for allowing us use of its facility. For our spectacular photo shoot locations, thanks go to the Inland Empire Film Commission, California Film Commission, the U.S. Forest Service Mountain Top Ranger District, and California State Parks Oceano Dunes District. And a good location would be nothing without killer photographers; this year, we had two of the best along for the ride. Thank you both for putting up with us. And, lastly, a big thank you to Nissan, which graciously provided an ’18 Armada for use as a support vehicle during the week. Read More

2019 Pickup Truck of the Year: Judges Choice #PTOTY19

Judge’s Choice

Our Individual Choices for #PTOTY19

When we judge Pickup Truck of the Year, we try our best to be impartial and to avoid mob mentality. We evaluate each truck based on its own merits, not our personal penchants and preconceptions, and we feel like we do a decent job of giving each pickup a fair shot. That’s what sets Truck Trend’s award apart from others: we don’t blindly ballot for our favorite, we use numbers and data to decide which is worthy of the title.

Still, in order to allow our individual preferred pickups a chance to shine, we give each judge the opportunity to choose which one he would take home, if money were no object. Without further ado, here are our personal picks and why we would choose them.

2019 Porsche Macan S Gets All-New Engine, More Power, and Updated Styling

Twin-Scroll Single-Turbo V-6 Replaces Twin-Turbo V-6

Porsche is slowly rolling out the refreshed versions of its 2019 Macan small SUV. Starting with the base Macan in October, Porsche gave the world a look at an SUV with bolder and more modern styling than its predecessor, as well as a slightly updated interior. But under the hood, the base 2019 Macan is all but identical to the 2018 version, with only slight alterations that reduced emissions (and power).

  |   2019 Porsche Macan S Exterior Rear Quarter 01

The volume-selling 2019 Macan S will suffer no such downgrades when it arrives at Porsche dealers next summer. Thanks to an all-new turbo V-6 engine, the Macan S produces 348 hp and 354 lb-ft, respective improvements of 8 and 15 over the 2018 Macan S. The outgoing SUV featured a twin-turbocharged V-6, while the new engine’s twin-scroll single turbocharger is nestled in the valley between the two cylinder banks for improved throttle response and power.
Porsche says its slight power increase will make the Macan 0.1 second faster to 60 mph than the vehicle it replaces. The sprint should take 5.1 seconds for the standard Macan S or 4.9 seconds for the launch control–equipped Macan S with Sport Chrono Package. Other performance improvements include front strut forks newly hewn in aluminum, reducing unsprung weight and improving steering response, ride comfort, and handling. The antiroll bars have been retuned for more neutral handling as well.

Episode 44 of The Truck Show Podcast: Finding Ronnie

Plus EV 4x4s Are Here, Mentorship, and a Listener in Studio

  |   Episode 44 Truck Show Podcast

The Truck Show Podcast Presented by Nissan in association with DECKED is a fun, irreverent, and edgy look at today’s world of custom and factory trucks, hosted by automotive journalist Sean Holman and veteran Los Angeles radio personality Jay “Lightning” Tilles. Sit back, relax, and enjoy our latest episode.
Episode 44 is full of goodness, including a conversation with fellow podcaster Ronnie Wetch from C10 Talk, a look at electric trucks with the founder and CEO of electric vehicle startup Bollinger Motors, Robert Bollinger, and a great clip from SEMA’s Brew Talks about mentorship and vocational education. Ben Palmer from American Expedition Vehicles also drops by with pizza, Dr. Pepper, and a little truck insight.

2019 Pickup Truck of the Year: How We Test #PTOTY19

Running the Gauntlet

Looking from the outside in, our annual Pickup Truck of the Year test may appear as if we’re just a bunch of hooligans doing burnouts and donuts in brand-new pickups for a week. The reality is that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, some adolescent shenanigans take place, usually for the sake of photography, but what isn’t seen are the many hundreds of hours of work that go on behind the scenes. We’ll spare you the details of the thousands of pages of paperwork, hundreds of emails, and many hours on the phone with various state, federal, and private organizations and get right to the nitty gritty.
By now you should have noticed that there’s something different about this year’s test. For the first time, we have invited a pair of trucks from each eligible manufacturer. We requested both a luxury and an off-road trim, since all of the current pickup manufacturers have both in their lineup. Each truck went through the battery of tests prescribed individually, and at the end, the scores received by both the luxury and off-road variant from a particular manufacturer were combined. This provided the ultimate score and the overall winner. Before the pickups hit the highway, they are first logged in, stickered up, photographed, and fully refueled. First thing on day 1, prior to the start of testing, our staff weighs each vehicle with a full tank of fuel and nothing else. We utilize a set of ProForm precision digital vehicle scales from Summit Racing that are capable of accurately weighing pickups in excess of 7,000 pounds. We do this for several reasons, the first being that manufacturer-published curb weights typically don’t account for trim-level variants. For the most accurate testing possible, we calculate available payload based on the published gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and our determined actual curb weight, and check tow ratings against the vehicle’s gross combined weight rating (GCWR). While we’ve found in the past that most of the pickups tested actually have less available payload and towing than published accounting for their particular GVWRs and GCWRs, this is beginning to turn the opposite direction. Still, we check each vehicle anyway.
With the full judging staff assembled for a week of intense testing, the team headed to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, for a day of instrumented testing. The field of eight was subjected to 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration testing, as well as 60-0 mph braking while unladen. Each truck was then loaded up with its maximum payload and retested from 0-60, for quarter-mile elapsed time and speed, and 60-0 braking. The final instrumented test involved each truck accelerating from 0-60 mph and through a quarter-mile while towing a weighted trailer. Because of last year’s change in how we weight the trailer for tow testing and our field being comprised of all ½-ton pickups, all of the competitors towed the same 7,500-pound load.
For our instrumented testing, we use asphalt pavement that most closely simulates what you would find in the real world, not a competition-prepped dragstrip. Payload is replicated using rubber mats that weigh 100 pounds apiece, loaded and secured in the bed of each pickup. We load the trucks 200 pounds short of our calculated maximum payload to account for the driver’s weight. The trailer is weighted in the same fashion with our rubber ballast mats, set with approximately 10 percent of weight on the tongue. To ensure consistency, a single driver conducted the instrumented testing, while each of the other judges had the opportunity to drive each pickup with its full payload on a closed course. This allowed for testing vehicle handling with maneuvers that would otherwise be dangerous on public roads, such as panic-braking and emergency lane changes. We also took this time to arrange the vehicles in such a way as to demonstrate and test available self-parking and trailer-backing technology, if so equipped. Each judge had the opportunity to sample Ram’s parallel-parking ability, along with Ford’s parallel and perpendicular park assist and Pro Trailer Backup Assist features. Lastly, we tested the vehicles’ low-speed pedestrian detection and automatic braking functions.
Day 2 was spent with trailer in tow. Using the same parameters as the instrumented testing, the trucks were again hitched up to our test trailer and driven on a 12-mile loop up and down the infamous Cajon Pass of Interstate 15 in Southern California. The Cajon Pass features an impressive 6 percent grade, which tested each pickup to the max. Our expert judges spent the day rotating through the driver seat of each of the pickups involved. This allowed our judges to evaluate every vehicle with a loaded trailer driving both up and down the grade. Our chosen grade allowed us to test merging and passing power, vehicle stability, downhill control, and available features such as towing mirrors, integrated trailer brake controllers, and integrated exhaust brakes. Transmission function, both up and down the grade, along with the vehicle’s service brakes and cruise-control systems were also put to the test. Testers also got well acquainted with how easy (or difficult) each truck was to hitch a trailer to and how each truck’s backup camera and sensor systems either helped or hindered the process. New for this year, we also ran each truck up the grade with its maximum payload. While one truck towed up the grade, a second payload-laden pickup followed. This allowed our judges to experience full payload at highway speeds and on a grade, testing handling, stability, acceleration, and braking.
Halfway through tow testing, we experienced a minor setback when a leaf-spring shackle on our test trailer decided to let go. Ever the scrappy bunch, we quickly rented a trailer from the local U-Haul, loaded it back to the test weight, and continued with our program. A mobile repair service had our trailer fixed and good as new in time to return the rental, leaving our test schedule on track. With load and instrumented testing complete, on day 3 the vehicles were pointed north from the Truck Trend world headquarters toward the quiet Central California coastal town of Pismo Beach for a 400-mile highway slog designed to test maximum real-world fuel efficiency. Our convoy drove at the stated speed limit in a lead-follow formation, rotating both drivers and vehicle positions at designated intervals. This method produces the most accurate representation of real-world highway fuel economy possible. While all fuel used during the test is logged to get an overall average, this allows us to see what each vehicle is capable of producing under nearly ideal real-world circumstances.
Finally, the team headed to the mountain town of Big Bear Lake, California, where the field completed extensive off-highway testing over miles of diverse terrain over the course of two days. Through rough, graded roads; rocky climbs; tight trails; and sandy washes, judges were able to evaluate tires, gearing, traction aids, electronic traction controls, ground clearance, suspension tuning, four-wheel-drive systems, thermal management, and overall vehicle dynamics. While it’s true that most truck owners won’t use their pickup as strictly an off-road toy, the fact still remains that most are marketed toward those who lead an active outdoor lifestyle. And while some may not consider themselves off-roaders, they still use their four-wheel-drive pickup to get to their favorite hunting, fishing, camping, biking, surfing, skiing, or boarding spot. And if it’s not for recreation, then it’s used on the farm, in muddy fields, rural construction sites, or mines. While all of the test vehicles were taken off-road, we concentrated the most intense testing on our cadre of four off-road specific models. Our judges thoroughly examined the available skidplates, rocker protection, shock and spring packages, ground clearance, and tires. Because of the popularity of off-road–specific pickup models and the lengths the manufacturers are going to satisfy consumer desire, we felt it was our duty to include them in this year’s competition.
Over the course of the five-day, 1,200-mile test, our experts had ample time with each vehicle to form qualified opinions regarding important factors such as interior ergonomics, seat comfort, technology usability, build quality, and features and benefits of each truck. Each judge then took this knowledge and applied it while blind-ranking each pickup on a sliding scale in each of 60 different criteria in 6 different categories. In the end, there can be only one winner. Continue on to see how the story unfolds.

2019 Pickup Truck of the Year – Introduction #PTOTY19

Patriot Games

It’s finally here—time to crown our 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year. The journey that embarks on the following pages is the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work that encompasses several months. The days spent testing are long and nights often seem longer. Our crew is forced to work tirelessly in the harshest conditions Mother Nature can dish out, from stifling heat to howling wind and driving rain. Nothing can stop us.
Our judging panel is comprised of some of the most knowledgeable minds in the automotive industry. They come to us with backgrounds in street, off-road, diesel, lifted, lowered, new, and classic trucks. This ensures that our judging staff is just as diverse as the pickups we’re testing. We all eat, sleep, and breathe trucks. At Truck Trend, we pride ourselves on being the definitive authority on all things truck.
For our 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year competition, we invited all models that were either all-new or significantly updated for the ’19 model year and available to us at the time of testing. New for 2019, we also requested each manufacturer send both a luxury and off-road variant of its eligible model line. Four manufacturers accepted the invitation, and each sent a pair of pickups for the test. Each truck would be tested individually, but each brand representative’s scores would be combined to determine the overall winner. Each of these pickups brought with it a unique skill set, and they were all impressive to our staff in one area or another. In the end, however, only one brand could take home the coveted Billet Piston trophy. The winner showed exceptional performance in each of the tested criterion and never left our panel of judges disappointed. Which brand scored the highest? Read on to find out.

Ram

2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn2019 Ram 1500 Rebel

Ford

2019 Ford F-150 Limited2018 Ford F-150 Lariat FX4

Chevrolet

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss

GMC

2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4

SPIED: 2020 GMC Sierra HD in Limited Camo Shows Its Skin

The Boss Shares Styling With Its Little Brother

Chevrolet surprised us all this week when it released the first official photos of the 2020 Silverado HD. The Bow Tie claims that the Silverado HD shares only one piece of sheetmetal with the Silverado 1500—its roof panel.

  |   2020 Gmc Sierra 3500hd Slt Front Quarter 01

After seeing stripped-down spy photos of the likewise–all new 2020 GMC Sierra HD, we don’t think that division will be able to say the same, as the luxury-oriented pickup seems to share much more with the smaller Sierra 1500. However, given the 1/2-ton truck’s handsome lines—and the polarizing-at-best reaction garnered by the Silverado HD—that might be a good thing for GMC.

Chevrolet Reveals Less Controversial 2020 Silverado HD High Country

More Traditional Chevy Cues Make Top-Spec Truck a Looker

Since Chevrolet released the first official photos of the 2020 Silverado HD in LT trim on December 4, the peanut gallery has made its opinion known: The new truck’s styling is controversial. While we at Truck Trend find ourselves split—some love the LT’s aggressive and modern new styling, while some will have to, er, get used to it—our opinions are much more united with regard to the range-topping Silverado HD High Country, which was just shown today with a cohesive and attractive new design.

  |   2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500hd High Country Front Quarter 01

The High Country receives much more traditional Chevrolet styling cues, including a front grille with a bow tie badge and added chrome accents, replacing the already revealed LT’s flow-through “CHEVROLET” branding and dimpled black plastic grille. The High Country name appears on the bold center grille bar as well, in between the driver-side lighting elements. The Silverado HD’s most luxurious trim level offsets its blingy grille with body-color bumpers, although perhaps predictably, the High Country gets chrome mirror caps and wheels, along with shiny running boards.

2018 Jeep Wrangler scores 1 star in European crash tests

The Jeep Wrangler got a full redesign for the 2018 model year, and this Euro NCAP test we have here is the first official independent safety testing we’ve seen for the new model. Historically, the Wrangler has performed poorly in crash tests. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the previous generation a three-star rating. Euro NCAP testing puts a lot more weight on driver assistance systems in its testing, an area where the new Wrangler is somewhat lacking. It lost points for not having things like automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist — the Wrangler doesn’t offer either of those things in Europe, even as an option. However, the 2019 model year Wrangler does (2018 does not) offer active braking for the U.S., a $795 package gives your Wrangler the ability to brake itself to a full stop if it senses the risk of a collision. This package includes adaptive cruise control, too, but lane-keep assist is not available. Read More

SPIED: 2020 Ford Explorer With Minimal Camouflage

Slight Exterior Restyling Hides Revolutionary Changes Under the Skin

The 2020 Ford Explorer was recently spotted in Michigan wearing limited camouflage, giving us a good look at the next generation of the Blue Oval’s popular family SUV. If you have to squint to see the changes, you’re forgiven—surprisingly, the next-generation Explorer looks very much like the utility it replaces. Blacked-out A-, B-, and D-pillars carry over, as does a cantilevered C-pillar in body color. The current Explorer’s Range Rover–aping front end has been jettisoned in favor of a mug with headlamps that integrate into the grille (with obvious Platinum-model details seen here). The front bumper incorporates a lower air intake and air curtains with integrated LED foglamps to direct air cleanly around the side of the body. The new taillights are doppelgangers for the current Explorer.

  |   2020 Ford Explorer Platinum Spied Front End Graphic

Taken in whole, however, there are some differences between old and new. The 2020 Explorer has a more athletic stance, appearing to sit longer and lower than the vehicle it replaces—the latter is probably a visual effect, as we believe it will actually be taller than the outgoing model. Side glass sits nearly flush with the body, giving the new Explorer a sleeker appearance as well, and the head- and taillights integrate more cleanly into the body sides. Squint a bit and you’ll also notice that front overhang is reduced a bit, with a longer dash-to-axle ratio and rear overhang than the current Explorer.

2017 Ford F-250 Platinum- The Dream

If You Dream It, You Can Do It

They say the United States is the land of opportunity and prosperity. Born and raised in Iran, Ray Shadravan strived for a better life and a chance for success. In the ’80s he arrived in South Florida and quickly worked hard to open a custom car and truck store selling wheels. During his time running the shop, Ray noticed the industry was missing something his customers were requesting.

  |   2017 Ford F 250 Platinum The Dream Rear 3 4

“What was available was very limited,” Ray tells Truckin. “I believed my customers demanded a higher quality wheel.” In 2003, he opened and created the company American Force Wheels. His goal was to provide his customers with the style, size, and quality wheels they not only preferred but needed to accentuate the type of vehicle they owned.
As the owner of a successful wheel company, Ray knew he would be required to showcase his products on his daily vehicles. Since he was a longtime Ford truck consumer, he decided he would purchase the brand-new Ford F-250, but he couldn’t find the newest model in Miami. He eventually located a ’17 Ford F-250 Platinum edition in Texas and had the truck shipped directly to Full Throttle Suspension in Fresno, California.

Pickup Truck of the Year Contender: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 #PTOTY19

Pickup Truck of the Year Contender

A Cynical Redesign, but It Has Its Charms

It’s hard not to feel a little bit sorry for Chevrolet. The ’19 Silverado 1500 was sneakily revealed in December 2017 for about 10 seconds before being given the press world’s full attention at the 2018 North American International Auto Show the next month. With ultra-modern exterior styling, a heavily redeveloped powertrain lineup, and more cargo and interior space than ever before, the Silverado 1500 looked like it would absolutely destroy its competition in nearly every way. Read More

Pickup Truck of the Year Contender: 2019 Ford F-150 #PTOTY19

Pickup Truck of the Year Contender

Exciting Powertrains Enliven an Aging Platform

Ford rocked the pickup world when it introduced the current-generation F-150 for 2015. This truck featured a body constructed entirely of military-grade aluminum, packed potent second-generation EcoBoost power under the hood, and shattered what we all thought we knew about ½-ton towing capability. The redesign was so bold that the ’15 F-150 won the title of 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year. But that was four years ago, and the competition has been hard at work catching up to the Blue Oval. Read More

Mopar Accessorizes the 2020 Gladiator with Jeep Performance Parts

Storage Solutions, Wheels, and Lift Kit on Deck

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator was arguably the biggest reveal of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and Jeep Performance Parts wasted no time getting the droptop pickup accessorized with a long list of Mopar goodies.

  |   Jeep Performance Parts 2020 Gladiator Rear Quarter

Found at Jeep’s auto show stand is a 2020 Gladiator Rubicon kitted out with some toys, key among them being a Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift kit, Mopar 17-inch wheels (beadlock-capable rollers are also available), and sturdy Mopar steel bumpers with winch mounts. In addition to those stylish and functional updates, the Gladiator also gets Jeep Performance Parts tube doors and rock rails, as well as off-road lighting for improved visibility. Mopar claims the Gladiator’s available accessory cold-air intake (which draws air from the hood cutout) and cat-back exhaust improve horsepower and torque for better performance.

Ford wants conveyor belts in its super-big SUVs to move groceries to the front

Ford has filed a patent for what can only be described as a conveyor belt for the rear cargo section of its three-row SUVs, to aid in storage and removal of items.

Companies patent goofy things all the time, like airbags for pedestrians and baby-NSXs, but this seems like something that could actually happen if done properly, and that could actually be helpful.

Most three-row SUVs these days are massive, and to get something in and out of the damn things usually requires two or three trips back and forth from car to house, so it would make a lot of sense to actually improve one aspect of the whole thing. Read More

Pickup Truck of the Year Contender: 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 #PTOTY19

Pickup Truck of the Year Contender

A New Era of High Class

It’s no secret that we’re fans of GMC. For evidence, look no further than our previous Pickup Truck of the Year tests, in which the Sierra 1500 Denali won for 2016 and the Sierra 2500HD Denali for 2018’s trophy. For this reason alone, we had high hopes for the all-new ’19 Sierra 1500. At our request, GMC delivered a pair of Sierras, one in Denali trim and the other AT4, both equipped with the company’s 6.2L V-8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Read More

Pickup Truck of the Year Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 #PTOTY19

Pickup Truck of the Year Winner

The State of the Art

You know that old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”?

Luckily for the ’19 Ram 1500, the opposite held true in our 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year test. Every interaction with the truck, from the time it strutted the stage at the Detroit Auto Show to the moment it rolled out of our parking lot at the end of #PTOTY19 testing, led more and more of us to melt to its charms. Yes, we lament the loss of the crosshairs grille, and its somewhat bland styling is a mockery to the revolutionary, big rig–aping ’94 Dodge Ram 1500, but darned if the all-new Ram 1500 didn’t pursue our hearts like a gentleman suitor going after a debutante at a Savannah cotillion.
The folks at Ram sent two 1500 pickups our way, per our request. One was a loaded Laramie Longhorn crew cab, a truck festooned with Western-inspired seat embossing, authentic wood trim (hand-branded with the trim level’s logo), and plenty of cowboy glitz on the interior and exterior. The other was a Rebel Quad Cab off-road special, moderately optioned with the less-spacious cab configuration but a reasonable roster of comfort and convenience. Both played very nicely with our editors.

Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

Ram introduced the Laramie Longhorn trim level a few years ago alongside the Laramie Limited (now simply called Limited). Both were and are top-spec variations on a theme, the Laramie Limited marketed toward black-tie truck enthusiasts, folks who were as likely to attend a charity function as a 4-H livestock auction. The Longhorn, however, is aimed totally toward folks who wear formal cowboy boots rather than dress shoes. Both offer high-luxury comfort, differentiated only by presentation. Read More

1985 Chevy S-10- Y Not

The S10 That Answers the Question of Why

Our Canadian friends to the north are well known for their winter weather, hockey expertise, and politeness, but one thing they should be recognized for more often is their truck builds. Courtice, Ontario, resident Tim Atkinson was introduced to truck culture when he was still in high school. The youngest of three boys, Tim watched as his older brothers lifted their Chevy trucks, but his eye-opening really took place when he saw his first lowered truck. “Something about that Chevy mini-truck just made me stop in my tracks—I knew this was my calling,” he says.

  |   1985 Chevy S10 Y Not Rear

Finances weren’t good enough to be able to purchase a new truck or even customize an older truck, so it took some time. He located an ’85 Chevy S10 that was primarily used for park security and maintenance. It was a couple of hours away, but Tim had a feeling this would be his first attempt at making something memorable. Without enormous funds to bring it to a builder, he started learning through trial and error.
As he was building, the motor blew on him, making it the moment everything changed for the good. Tim decided to go big or go home, so he and his brothers upgraded from the standard V-6 to a V-8 and dressed up the motor. The next step was the paint; his cousin Chase Atkinson lent a hand with the Dodge Copper color. The interior was next on his list, making it a truly unique creation with handmade, tooled leather wrapping through the entire interior.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD: Allison 10-Speed & Official Photos

Chevrolet Set to Debut New HD in February 2019

  |   Chevrolet HD 2020 Silverado Rear 34

  |   2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD 001

Surprise! For HD fans everywhere, Christmas has come early. Chevrolet blindsided the industry this morning by revealing its highly anticipated 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD truck on the Chevrolet media site. Back in April, Chevrolet officially revealed a frontend teaser shot of the next-gen HD, which was actually reused in today’s batch of pictures. Then the company showed an outline of the hood at the State Fair of Texas in September. Those two tidbits—augmented by today’s reveal—have been arguably the only official communication Chevrolet has offered on its new HD, although it never denied the truck was coming, and it’s never been a secret. Read More

SPIED: 2020 Ram Heavy Duty Completely Uncovered

New Styling Disguises a Carryover Cab Structure

The 2020 Ram Heavy Duty was recently spotted trundling around Detroit totally undisguised, giving us our best look yet at the big trucks that are due sometime next year. Spotted in almost every single trim level, we now know what to expect from the company’s biggest, most capable consumer pickups.

  |   2020 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Limited Mega Cab Side Profile

Foremost, keen-eyed observers will notice that the trucks seen here make use of the current-generation Heavy Duty’s passenger cab. That comes as a bit of a shock, given how thoroughly updated the 2019 Ram 1500’s passenger cab is. However, our spy photographers told us to expect a massive interior overhaul for the 2020 Ram Heavy Duty lineup, meaning that although the trucks will receive a carryover cab structure, nearly everything the passengers see and touch will be new or significantly revised.

Busted Knuckles-1999 Chevy 3500: Cochon

All I Wanted Was a Tow Pig!

We all know the affectionate term given to trucks primarily used to tow show vehicles is “Tow Pig.” Teva Wache—who was born in Bali, Indonesia, with French and Tahitian roots—was on the hunt for a tow pig for his custom-bagged BMW. Though Teva has previously dipped his toes in the truck culture, he’s spent the last few years customizing import cars. His search for a strong, durable truck to tow his BMW to shows ended when he located a ’99 Chevy 3500 just an hour from his home in Gretna, Louisiana.

  |   Busted Knuckles 1999 Chevy 3500 Cochon

  |   Busted Knuckles 1999 Chevy 3500 Cochon Engine

The Chevy had very minimal customization, with only a 5/7 static drop, semi wheels, and two-tone paint. Teva wanted to toughen up the suspension, so he immediately got on the phone with Keith at NFamus in Texas. They discussed what they were going to do, and Keith shipped Teva a 1-ton two-link kit and custom-made prototype control arms. While waiting for his kit, Teva put the Chevy on a rack to begin the new suspension work.

Cadillac Introduces 2019 Escalade Sport Edition at Los Angeles Auto Show

Fullsize Caddy Gets Blacked-Out Styling

The Cadillac Escalade is a model long known for massive chrome wheels and brash exterior brightwork, but the company will now offer a different take on the SUV’s bold styling for 2019. Cadillac will offer a new package on the 2019 Escalade called the Sport Edition. Available on every trim level except the base Escalade, the Sport Edition bundles blacked-out exterior accents with the SUV’s big and bold styling for a different take on the SUV. Replacing traditional brightwork will be gloss black front grille elements, window surrounds, bodyside moldings, headlight trim, and more. Furthermore, the Sport Edition will come standard with 22-inch wheels dressed in a darkened Midnight Silver (we’re happy to see Cadillac avoided the black-roller trend). Available on the Escalade Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum, the Sport Edition will demand $2,700 on top of each respective trim level’s price of entry. Cadillac says the styling package was conceived due to customer and dealer demand, something we believe to be true. Both Nissan and Chevrolet offer similarly named Midnight styling packages, while Ram offers Blackout and Jeep offers Altitude. And since some customers murder out their Escalades right as soon as they leave the dealer, it’s wise of Cadillac to cash in on the trend with a factory-installed set of darkened trim bits. Deliveries of the Sport Edition will begin in early 2019. Source: Cadillac

2018 Los Angeles Auto Show – Rivian R1S All-Electric SUV

Plug-In Ute Joins R1T Pickup in the City of Angels

Technology company Rivian debuted two new automobiles at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the futuristic R1T pickup and its R1S seven-passenger SUV sibling. Both of these all-electric offerings are predicted to hit the market in 2020, offering up to 400 miles of battery range. We took a good look at the R1T when it debuted on Monday, and we just got up close with the R1S. Both concepts look surprisingly production-ready, with impressive build quality and robust-looking suspension components. That’s vastly unlike many upstart companies’ show cars, which can be fragile, delicate things. Like the pickup, the R1S sport-ute is available in three different power outputs—402 hp, 700 hp, and 753 hp. The former configuration is good for 413 lb-ft of torque, while the latter two will have 826 lb-ft. The R1S is built on a thin “skateboard” chassis, with the batteries situated down low and an individual electric motor at each wheel.

  |   Rivian Running Skateboard Chassis Design

The R1S’ batteries will also come in 105-kWh, 135-kWh, and 180-kWh setups, and Rivian estimates a fully charged range of 240 miles, 310 miles, and 410 miles respectively. Those numbers are up about 10 miles compared to the company’s guesses for the equivalent R1T pickup, likely owing to the SUV’s slightly lower curb weight and smoother aerodynamics.
According to Rivian, the R1S can tow up to 7,716 pounds, matching the Range Rover Sport in lock step. In fact, that machine will probably serve as the R1S’ primary competitor. The idea bears itself out in the R1S’ styling, which looks like a futuristic and modern iteration of a Jeep Grand Wagoneer of sorts. The R1S features the same full-width daytime running light element as the R1T pickup, with four-LED headlights positioned on the SUV’s front corners. The rear of the R1S is squared off, paying dividends in terms of interior room and bold styling.

Episode 40 of The Truck Show Podcast: A Memorial to Off-Roaders

Adventures On the Trail and Ghost Town Burgers

  |   Episode 40 Truck Show Podcast 3

The Truck Show Podcast Presented by Nissan in association with DECKED is a fun, irreverent, and edgy look at today’s world of custom and factory trucks, hosted by automotive journalist Sean Holman and veteran Los Angeles radio personality Jay “Lightning” Tilles. Sit back, relax, and enjoy our latest episode.

One-two Punch: Rivian Debuts Seven-seat Electric SUV, Promises 410 Miles of Range

Having just unveiled a rather impressive all-electric pickup for the LA Auto Show, Michigan-based automotive startup Rivian is following up with another model. Rivian’s second vehicle will be a seven-passenger SUV, called the R1S, that uses the same platform as the R1T e-pickup.

That results in the pair playing host to nearly identical specs. This isn’t a problem, as the automaker vows to provide between 300 and 562 kW (402 and 753 hp) in combined output. Range is similarly good. The company is also promising figures that would make most other electric vehicles of this size blush, especially if you opt for the bigger battery. Read More

Custom Oil Cooler Cures Hot G56 Transmissions

’Cooler Concept

Overheating the aluminum G56 five- and six-speed manual transmission is a concern for many ’05½-and-newer heavy-duty Ram owners who use their rigs for severe-duty tasks (hot-shot and excessive-weight towing, construction, ranch work, and such), especially during the heat of summer. While normal operating temperature for the factory-approved ATF fluid gearbox is between 160 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit, it can top 250 degrees when ambient temperature nears triple digits while towing trailers that push a truck’s maximum GVWR. Trucks with larger exhausts compound the heat issue, because the exhaust is much closer to the transmission. Fluid temperature is a big concern, because when ATF+4—the stock lubricant in G56s—exceeds a certain temperature, it begins losing its ability to adequately protect gears and bearings, just as it does inside an automatic transmission. Most heat charts for ATF show that once the fluid’s temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, its rate of degradation doubles with every 20-degree increase. Transmission experts say operating a G56 transmission when its fluid temperatures exceed 220 degrees for even short durations has a cumulative effect on its bearings and seals, shortening the transmission’s normal service-life expectancy. Even though a G56 is full of gears—not clutch packs and valvebodies like an automatic—even reducing the average fluid temperature from 200 degrees to 175 degrees will have a positive impact on improving the manual transmission’s long-term reliability. While there are several bolt-on fin-type power takeoff covers available, they do very little to make a 20- to 25-degree heat drop, because there’s very little cooling airflow around the transmission case. That’s why the only effective method to cool a G56’s transmission-fluid temperature by any significant amount is to install a system that actually circulates the transmission fluid through a remote cooler.

  |   Custom Oil Cooler

Using a transmission cooler on the G56 requires a pump to circulate the fluid, as a manual-transmission’s fluid isn’t under pressure. Some owners install stock, radiator-mounted coolers used on automatic Rams, along with aftermarket pumps and filters to handle the circulation.
For our ’14 Ram 2500, we want a cooler system that is easier to resource and install. After doing some research in the truck-racing scene, we came up with the concept of pairing a Flex-a-Lite baby transmission cooler/fan combo with a Tilton Engineering positive-displacement pump that’s commonly used to circulate fluid through differentials and transmissions on race vehicles.
What we ended up with are three components that work really well together for this application. A Flex-a-Lite remote-mounted, 17-row, stacked-plate cooler (PN 600117) measures just 11x6x3.25 inches and includes a 6.5-inch, thermostatic-controlled fan. It’s also set up with 3/8-inch barbed fittings, which are fine for our low-pressure use.
The Tilton 40-527 transmission/differential oil cooler pump is a robust Buna (designed for oils and coolants) unit ideal for pumping oil through transmission and differential coolers, thanks to an internal bypass valve. The self-priming pump can also run continuously for longer than two hours without requiring time for cool down.
Finally, Trusted Design Services’ custom CNC-machined PTO covers (PN PTO-G56-CC-NPT) are used for making the connection between the G56 and pump/cooler combo an easy process. The covers are machined from billet 6061-T6 aluminum stock, with ports pre-drilled and tapped for the 3/8-inch “In” and “Out” fluid fittings, 1/8-inch NPT for a temperature probe, and a fill port that’s designed to accommodate 8 quarts of ATF (stock is 6.5 quarts)
Installing the transmission cooler is very straightforward. Ruben Villalobos, a technician at Mobile Diesel Service in Oakland, Oregon, mounted the Flex-a-Lite transmission cooler on top of the crossmember for the skidplate of our four-wheel-drive ’14 Ram 2500’s transfer case, bolted on the PTO covers (he also replaced the passenger-side stock cover with a billet plate for added fluid capacity and appearance), and mounted the Tilton pump and filter assembly to the outside of the framerail.

2018 Los Angeles Auto Show – Nissan Refreshes the Murano for 2019

Slight Facelift Keeps Murano’s Exterior Looking Modern

Nissan will give the 2019 Murano a few changes to keep it relevant in the two-row midsize SUV class, a segment now occupied by the recently revealed Honda Passport. While Honda is marketing the Passport as a rough-road champ, Nissan has always considered the Murano to be a genteel, versatile, and stylish sport-ute, and that personality doesn’t change for 2019. Slight updates to the front end include a bolder version of Nissan’s V-motion grille, reshaped boomerang headlights, and LED elements for the head- and foglights. It looks as though the taillights have been slightly revised with darker lenses, but we’re not positive.

  |   2019 Nissan Murano La Auto Show 04

  |   2019 Nissan Murano La Auto Show 05 Changes indoors are even more minor, with new semi-aniline leather options with quilted stitching on the Murano Platinum. There are also new trim options: dark wood on the Platinum and light wood or metallic trim on the S, SV, and SL. More significantly, the Murano now comes with a few new added safety features, such as rear-seat side airbags and a front passenger knee airbag. The Murano also now comes standard with Rear Door Alert to remind the driver to check the rear seat before leaving the vehicle. The Murano Platinum and Murano SL with Technology Package will now come standard with Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology, which bundles automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. We must admit, however, that we’re disappointed such active safety tech isn’t found in every Murano—automated emergency braking is standard in the aforementioned Passport and class rival Ford Edge.
Nevertheless, these minor changes still help keep the Murano current. It could be argued that the Murano invented the style-conscious midsize two-row crossover segment when the first-generation model hit the market for 2003. And even amid new competition from the Passport, Edge, and reintroduced Chevrolet Blazer, the Murano is still a very popular machine. While we’d love to see more updates to the interior, infotainment, and safety equipment, the powerful and stylish 2019 Murano should continue to be a hit in its class. Source: Nissan

2018 Los Angeles Auto Show – 2020 Hyundai Palisade Coming Soon to a Suburb Near You

Flagship SUV Features Bold Styling and Three Rows of Seats

Hyundai is jumping into the family SUV game once again, following up on the short-lived Veracruz and passable-but-bland Santa Fe XL with the bold 2020 Palisade. With seating for up to eight, the Palisade shares a lot of styling DNA (but little else) with the 2019 Santa Fe, as it rides on an all-new platform specific to the three-row SUV. Thanks to a variety of new features, it just might give Hyundai a viable rival to the industry’s best midsize/large family crossovers. Hyundai’s road to success in the U.S. has been a rocky one, founded at first on cars with questionable quality but bargain-basement prices and moving on to machines that are 9/10ths as good as their rivals for 7/10ths the price. But lately, the brand has been on a roll, with excellent vehicles and excellent prices. Is the Palisade a happy new phase for this company’s soap-opera

The Bold and the Beautiful

The Palisade very clearly takes lots of inspiration from Hyundai’s current SUV themes, with a huge hexagonal grille dominating the front end. Like the Santa Fe and Kona, the Palisade has high-mounted parking lamps arranged in a thin razor swipe on the front edge of the grille. Bookending the grille are two-element headlamps, optionally fired by LEDs.

However, unlike the exuberant Kona, the front end of the Palisade is very restrained, with a smooth front bumper profile mercifully free of phony air vents and non-functional “cooling ducts.” It’s an elegant first impression that befits a flagship SUV.
In profile, the Palisade leaves a large silhouette. The bold front end is very square-jawed, with prominent sculpted wheel arches and relatively simple bodyside surfacing. The most interesting styling feature in the side view is the 2020 Palisade’s window trim. Rather than merely surrounding the window openings in chrome, the Palisade features a thin strip of shiny stuff that traverses the top of the C-pillar and the leading edge of the rear quarter window. It’s a surprising styling feature, a simple change that we really like. It also prevents the Palisade from looking too much like a Chevrolet Tahoe, given its squarer styling compared to other crossover SUVs.
The rear-quarter view reminds us just a bit of the similarly sized Kia Telluride, which rides on the same platform as the Palisade. Similarities lie in the massive rear taillights and upright rear glass, although the Palisade’s wraparound rear glass distinguishes it from its corporate cousin. There’s little fault to find in the rear view—we like the large, unapologetic Hyundai logo and “PALISADE” script on the tailgate, and it looks as though the SUV’s tailpipe opening is genuine, not a tacked-on piece of plastic.

All My Children

The Palisade is incredibly spacious inside, with more first- and second-row legroom than the Honda Pilot and more third-row legroom than the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder. At 18 cubic feet, there’s also more cargo space behind the third row than Highlander, Pilot, and Pathfinder, and with the third row folded, there’s an impressive 45.8 cubes. The Palisade is also substantially larger in every interior dimension than the Santa Fe XL it replaces.

The Palisade is available with pleasant Nappa leather and smooth woodgrain trim, rendered in high-quality materials—the days of bargain-basement Korean interiors are long gone. The wraparound dashboard design reduces claustrophobia, and a floating center console opens up a little storage space underneath for purses, parking garage cards, and the like.
The Palisade also boasts USB outlets in each row of seats (seven in total), and there’s a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument display to complement the 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, and there’s an available wireless charging pad as well. Audio options include an available Infinity audio system with Clari-Fi and Quantum Logic surround sound. A heads-up display keeps pertinent information within easy access, without needing to look away from the road.
Helping parents keep an eye on their kids are a rearview conversation mirror and safety belt minders in each seating position, informing the driver when there’s a belt unbuckled. For rear-seat comfort, the Palisade offers HVAC vent diffusers, reducing drafts and noise while evenly distributing the climate-controlled air. One-touch folding second-row seats provide access to a spacious third row that can recline or fold for more cargo space.

Passions

Giving the Palisade a bit of verve is a Hyundai-familiar 3.8L V-6, optimized in this application to run on the Atkinson cycle for improved efficiency. The company estimates the 2020 Palisade will boast 291 hp and 262 lb-ft, the latter best in class among standard engines. An eight-speed automatic is likewise standard, outclassing the competitors’ standard six-speeds or CVTs (in fairness, the Honda Pilot is available with a nine-speed auto in higher trim levels). Read More

Ramble On – Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost (and Hopefully Found Again)

Late in 2018, the state of California experienced three incredibly destructive wildfires, including the worst the state has ever seen: the Camp fire. The epicenter of this horrendous inferno is just a few miles away from a town you probably hadn’t heard of: Paradise, California. Before the fire wiped out dozens of its residents and fully 95 percent of its structures, Paradise was fairly named: a mountainous, rugged town just north of Sacramento resting a few miles outside Tahoe National Forest. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, surrounded by oak trees that lent the air the kind of freshness unique to mountain towns (one that I now suspect has been replaced by the dry rancor of smoke and ash). I know this about the town because I’ve been there to attend the wedding of my best friend from college. Kevin Kopsa grew up in Paradise, and Paradise raised him right by giving him a wacky yet accessible sense of humor, appreciation for just about everyone he meets, and a willingness to pitch in and help whenever he senses a need. Kevin and his wife now live in Arizona, far away from the fire—his family and friends still in Paradise survived the flames, too—but there’s a palpable sense of loss for him and everyone else who calls the town home. Paradise also imbued in Kevin a love of the outdoors, especially when accessed by a 4×4. And—no hyperbole—it’s because of Kevin that I myself enjoy off-roading. When I moved into that college apartment and met my roommates and future best friends, two of the five of us had off-road machines, and we spent more than a few Saturday afternoons pounding around the Menan Buttes near Rexburg, Idaho. We climbed hills, crawled across talus fields, and drifted through tight corners, driving with the sort of zest you might expect from a half-dozen 22-year-olds split between a pickup and a Jeep.

  |   Paradise, California, is the gateway to a lot of scenic off-roading, including the High Lakes, just south of Lake Almanor. These roads are pretty much only accessible by 4×4, and sometimes they’re covered in loose, unstable snow that ends up pitching you into a ditch.

  |   Off-roading in the snow

Keen to slip behind the wheel after a few weeks of riding along, I bought a crappy ’94 Honda Passport with four-wheel drive and Isuzu 3.2L V-6. Though held together by little more than hope, that was the machine in which I learned to properly pick a line, following Kevin’s ’92 Toyota 4×4 through the tricky spots. Although still far from perfect, I am a much better driver off-road because of Kevin’s (and Kyle Hanson’s and Dane Mitchell’s) lessons.
As such, I owe a lot of my love for off-roading to the town of Paradise, where Kevin himself bought his first Toyota and learned to wheel. It breaks my heart to know the town has effectively been wiped off the map, to say nothing of the 42-and-counting of souls claimed by the fire and thousands of people now made homeless. Because of how destructive and heartbreaking the Camp fire is, it’s hard to imagine a happy ending for the town of Paradise. Who knows if it will ever return to its former glory: “a small but vibrant community with mutual concern for each other and appreciation for the surrounding natural beauty and history,” says Kevin.
After reconnecting with him for a few moments and to talk about college and Paradise and off-roading, he said it was nice to sort through some of his old photos and remember growing up in the Northern California town. And maybe that’s all Paradise is now: a collection of memories and skills gleaned from growing up in a place that valued its people and the environment that surrounded them. But he and I both hope for more.
“I just want my home back and better than ever before,” Kevin said. “That the fire becomes not a memory of destruction and despair but an opportunity for improvement and reflection on what’s most important.”

Episode 41 of The Truck Show Podcast: Back in Studio

Featuring Sadistic Iron Werks and Centerforce Clutches

  |   Truck Show Podcast Episode 41

The Truck Show Podcast Presented by Nissan in association with DECKED is a fun, irreverent, and edgy look at today’s world of custom and factory trucks, hosted by automotive journalist Sean Holman and veteran Los Angeles radio personality Jay “Lightning” Tilles. Sit back, relax, and enjoy our latest episode.

2018 Los Angeles Auto Show – 2019 Honda Passport First Look

Five-Passenger SUV Takes Bones from Honda Pilot

Positioned as a more rugged and sporty alternative to the Pilot SUV, Honda took the wraps off the 2019 Passport today, reviving a decades-old name for a rough-and-tumble off-road SUV from Honda’s past. The 2019 Passport, unveiled in Los Angeles alongside the sport side-by-side Honda Talon, takes most of its bones from the larger Pilot, sharing its standard 3.5L V-6, nine-speed automatic transmission, and available i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system. Built on the same 111-inch wheelbase as the Pilot, the Passport is 4 inches shorter (190.5 inches) and a couple inches higher, giving it a more purposeful stance than the similarly styled Pilot. Honda says it will be every bit as capable as the surprisingly off-road–ready Pilot, if not more so owing to its improved departure angles and slightly higher ride height (0.5 inch more ground clearance for front-wheelers and 1.1 inches more for all-wheel-drive models). Towing capacity starts at 3,500 pounds, rising to 5,000 when properly equipped with a trailering package.

  |   09.1 2019 Honda Passport With Accessory Roof Rack Running Boards Fender Flares And Towing Hitch

The Passport’s styling is clearly Pilot- and Ridgeline-inspired, with squinting headlights and a large open-element grille. However, instead of the usual chrome or body colors, the Passport’s front end is dominated by black accents, giving it a much more aggressive appeal than its slightly anonymous siblings. That aggression is compounded by standard 20-inch wheels on all Passport models. The Passport’s shorter overall length is clearly apparent in the side and rear views, as the tail is slightly awkwardly chopped off compared to the Pilot. However, overall styling is attractive from all angles.
In addition to its exterior similarities, the interior very, very closely resembles the Pilot. All models but the base Passport Sport receive Honda’s latest Display Audio System, incorporating an 8-inch center touchscreen with (and Honda is very proud of this) a physical volume knob. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, as does a 7-inch TFT screen in the instrument cluster that monitors a variety of driving information—Intelligent Traction Management modes, fuel efficiency, and more.

Episode 42 of The Truck Show Podcast: Bizarre Cummins Swaps

Plus Australian Parts for Better Adventures and Lightning’s Truck is for Sale

  |   002 Uacj6d Cummins Turbo Diesel

  |   009 Uacj6d Cummins Turbo Diesel

The Truck Show Podcast Presented by Nissan in association with DECKED is a fun, irreverent, and edgy look at today’s world of custom and factory trucks, hosted by automotive journalist Sean Holman and veteran Los Angeles radio personality Jay “Lightning” Tilles. Sit back, relax, and enjoy our latest episode with special guests Steve Sanders from Cummins and Matt Hankin From Rhino Rack.

2018 Los Angeles Auto Show – Lincoln Reveals All-New 2020 Aviator Midsize SUV

Three-Row Crossover Offers an Estimated 450 hp and 650 lb-ft (!) of Torque

When we first saw the concept in April at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, we fell in love with the Lincoln Aviator, believed to be a preview of a 2020 model. Today, however, the company showed off the production SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we’re glad to see little has changed.

  |   2020 Lincoln Aviator Exterior Front Quarter 02

You shouldn’t be terribly surprised to see the Aviator, returning after a 15-year hiatus, make the transition from concept to production mostly unscathed—Lincoln’s New York debut looked remarkably showroom-ready. That’s wonderful for the brand, as the Aviator is fresh and modern, inside and out.

Toyota Keeps Promise to Deliver New Tundra to Nurse

A Northern California nurse has received his brand-new Toyota TRD Pro Tundra courtesy of Toyota. We recently reported nurse Allyn Pierce had burned his Tundra in the deadly Camp Fire while rescuing patients at the hospital he works at from approaching flames. Pierce made several trips through the fire zone bringing patients to safety. The hospital would later end up burning down. Pierce posted pictures of his burned truck on Instagram, which immediately went viral. So many people shared his story, and it eventually caught the attention of Toyota. They commented on his Instagram page offering him a brand-new truck. The post read, “We are humbled you’d risk your life and Toyota Tundra to drive people to safety. Don’t worry about your truck, we’re honored to get you a new one.”

  |   1

Toyota made good on the promise over the weekend and delivered his new 2018 Toyota Tundra TRD. Rockstar Garage has also stepped up to customize the truck. The performance parts company has also extended an invite to Pierce to attend the 2019 SEMA Show. Other manufacturers have also stepped up to provide aftermarket parts for the new truck.

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