Looking Back: The Top 4 Trucks of 2011
It’s not healthy to live in the past, but it’s still good to take a nostaligic look back in time to see where you’ve been.
Every year, we choose four trucks that stood out during the previous 12 months for various reasons. Here are our picks, and rationale, from 2011.
Clean, Green Chevy
Most trucks get more and more thrashed as the years wear on, but Peter Verboom and his ’55 Chevy have bucked the trend. Peter bought the vintage machine a quarter of a century ago, and it’s been evolving and improving ever since.
Peter actually bucked another trend by building the classic machine into a go-fast truck instead of turning it into a Friday-night drive-in special. Handing it over to Chris Robinson of CST Performance Suspension, Peter commissioned a build on par with the best machinery we’ve seen. As a result, this thing flies high, lands smooth, and lives to tell about it. Best of all, it’s got a windshield and a license plate, so the good times aren’t confined to OHV areas. What’s cooler than that?
Editor Jerrod Jones is a bona fide Mopar maven, but this choice is more than just a nod to his taste and expertise.
Like Verboom’s ’55 Chevy, this ’75 Dodge W100 is vintage iron fitted with modern suspension, a windshield, and a license plate. Sam Cothrun and the crew at Samco Fabrication created something that rips through the dunes and can take to the trail thanks to fully functional four-wheel drive.
Why do we like old iron? It reminds us of simpler times, is usually cheaper to purchase in the first place, and comes with fewer (or none at all) electronic babysitters to tell us how to drive. The trick is getting older engines to run as powerfully and reliably as their newer counterparts, but thanks to a slew of quality aftermarket parts available today, that’s entirely attainable.
Dodge is different, and it takes an independent thinker to put TLC (time, love, and cash) into an old-school Mopar product while everyone else is busy building Fords, Chevys, and Toyotas.
This plain white, late-model Chevy shortbed is easy to overlook thanks to its lack of stickers, colors, and graphics, but the stealth factor is just one of the reasons we’re drawn to Randy Noborikawa’s Chevy 1500 4x4 WT.
The crew at Blitzkrieg Motorsports crafted a long-travel 4x4 front suspension complemented by a long-travel leaf sprung rear suspension with cantilever-mounted rear shocks that tuck completely under the bed. How’s that for a combination of speed, stealth, and utility? Topping it off is a Flipac combination bed shell and flip-open tent that means Randy’s ready for whatever, whenever. This truck is built for adventure and spontaneity, and the upgrades are wrapped around a GM drivetrain: One of the best in existence. We love it.
Making the Grade
What? Another old-school prerunner? Yes, but that’s not the deciding factor that led us to choose Brandon Arthur’s ’72 F-100. Brandon inherited the old Ford from his grandfather as a stone stock beater and proceeded to build it into the supertruck it is today with the help of his father, veteran racer and fabricator Todd Arthur. Brandon’s probably had his 16th birthday by now, but he was 15 when the truck was under construction. He was actually competing in desert races before he could legally drive on the street.
Brandon’s sweetheart situation comes at a price: good grades. His academic performance has to be over a certain threshold or the truck stays parked. It might sound strange coming from us, but we know that education will get you further in life than will owning a cool truck. We’re glad that Brandon stays grounded even while he’s flying high over terra firma. “Stay in school” never sounded so good.