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2012 GMC Canyon & 2011 Chevrolet Colorado

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Phil Howell | Writer
Posted October 1, 2012

Two Small V-8 Pickups Built for Exploring — and More

By the time you read this, there will be no more new Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon (355 V-8 platform) trucks being built. GM is closing the Shreveport, Louisiana, plant and we won’t see another Colorado until the completely redesigned 2014, badged as a 2015 model. The new trucks won’t have a V-8. Because of this, many enthusiasts purchased one before they couldn’t anymore.

Cedar City resident Phil Smith was one of these enthusiasts. Phil wanted the V-8 and he wanted it in a truck with enough room to take the family backcountry exploring. He enlisted the help of John Williams at Impulse Off-Road to install the ARB Air Lockers in the front and rear ends, the Trail Gear rocker guards, and Rancho 4-inch suspension. Dixie 4 Wheel Drive wired the ARB switches and built a winch mount to mount the Warn M8000 winch. ProComp 7028 wheels have 285 Falken WildPeak AT tires mounted on them.

Phil’s truck is an almost perfect balance of backcountry exploring vehicle and daily driver. The V-8 produces lots of horsepower and torque to power the truck, which weighs over 1,000 pounds less than a JK Unlimited. There’s room in the bed to carry equipment and room inside the cab to carry people.

Our 2011 Chevrolet Colorado is finished and working well. You can follow the build of this truck in the January and February 2012 issues of 4WHEEL DRIVE MAGAZINE. The only things we’ve changed were the addition of 17x8 Black Rock Viper wheels and 285/70R17LT Mickey Thompson Baja Radial MTZ tires. We decided to leave the winch off this truck, as it’s going on our new 2012 Colorado V-8 4x4. Yes, we couldn’t resist. These are such great trucks we had to get one of the very last built.

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