To be at the top of one's game is usually diction used for athletes who have worked hard and achieved acclaim by winning a championship of some sort. For a custom truck enthusiast, being on top of one's game means having a unique design concept, the ability to see that design to fruition, and the discerning eye to ensure every detail is attended to. The reward is being happy with the end result, perhaps a trophy given at a show, and earning the annual Truckin' Top 10 Truck award. We pride ourselves on photographing only the best of the best in the custom truck world and for 2009 we witnessed trucks on a whole new level. To say we were impressed is a huge understatement, as we had trouble whittling down the list of top trucks to only 10. Before you send us hate mail, no we didn't accidentally leave off the cover trucks. The craftsmanship and level of execution performed for the cover trucks were so incredible we would have filled up the Top 10 with covers alone, so in fairness to the other trucks, we opted not to include them. They've already been acknowledged as the premier trucks in the country and they've experienced 15 minutes of fame.
Look through our list and vote for your favorite truck at truckinweb.com. Agree? Disagree? Think we left a truck out? Send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2003 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson
Chris Hyslop - Tom Rivers, New Jersey
Customized from top to bottom, front to back, Chris' F-150 is so subtle with its dark hues that you may not realize the amount of quality work put into it. 'Bagged over 24-inch Centerline wheels and Toyo tires, the SuperCrew features a molded body kit, molded Navigator front end, and shaved body. Inside the four doors, a leather-covered cabin with LED lighting, fiberglass center console, and real wood impress all who see it. Lift open the tonneau cover and more real wood, LED lighting, and a fiberglass island with two Memphis subs will make you give it two thumbs up.
1936 Ford Ute
Paul Knowlson - Muskegon, Michigan
An absolute gem of a find, Paul's '36 Ford Ute was shipped in a container all the way from Australia. One of the rarest of the rare, rather than just return the Ford to factory condition, Paul turned to Kevin Yankey, who during the 7-year build, replaced every nut and bolt and built a truck Henry Ford could have never imagined. The words "one-off" can't be used enough when describing this truck, as Kevin hand-fabricated much of steel body. DuPont paint was used to add color to the metal surgery and the custom frame supports the body. A truck that leaves you scratching your head at every new glance, Paul's Ford is in a class all to its own.
1970 Chevy C10
Terry and Ann Roberson - Forney, Texas
Inspired by a Habanero pepper, Terry and Ann built a truck that is hotter than hot. A 545hp big-block has no problem smoking the 18-inch-wide rear Mickey Thompson meats and a Ride Tech air suspension keeps the Chevy riding low around every corner. PPG Torch Red paint covers the all-steel body and almost burns your eyes. Opening the doors exposes the all-leather interior, including the seat, dash, door panels, and headliner. Following a clean and simple design philosophy, the Roberson's created a beautiful classic truck that can smoke most rides from stoplight to stoplight and snag trophies at all venues.
2004 Dodge Ram
Tony Saenz - Andrews, Texas
Proving Dodge Rams can lay out and take home the gold, Tony's Dodge features stunning PPG paint sprayed by Demented Customs, an airbagged stance tucking 22-inch Bonspeed wheels, and a shaved body. Inside the doors, six 12-inch TMA subs pound you into submission as the leather-covered seats provide masochistic comfort. Once the sun hits those flame licks and the green sparkles in the Texas sunshine, you instantly realize why Tony's Ram is a Top 10 truck.
1956 Chevy Cameo
Les Allen - Arlington, Washington
Sexy just sitting still, this Chevy truck was built using the best of the best. A mandrel-bent Art Morrison frame supports the Ride Tech airbag components, Wilwood disc brakes, and Colorado Custom billet wheels on each corner. Powering the Cameo is a 406ci V-8, force-fed by a Procharger supercharger churning out a massive 700 hp. A two-toned leather interior sets off the steel dash with digital gauges and for you purists out there, Les rows through the gears himself via a Richmond six-speed. It looks fast sitting still and in the blink of an eye is a black blur, long gone.
1999 GMC Sierra
Chad Jumonville - White Castle, Louisiana
Absolutely stunning in person, Chad's Sierra dominates the fullsize GM category as he rests the smoothed body onto the Louisiana tarmac. Tucking 22-inch Billet Specialties wheels, the extended cab features an air-ride suspension with Slam 'bags, dual Viair compressors, and a Lexan bed cutout to view all of the detail work. Black leather and suede fit the hot-rod theme, while a flowing center console shows the creativity of a craftsman. Painted a custom PPG blue, the truck interior oozes class and perfectly matches the perfect exterior. It’s as nice as a late-model truck can get.
1948 Ford F-1 Pro Street
Paul and Carol Gerritsen - Dandridge, Tennessee
Are you scratching your head trying to figure out what kind of truck this is? Don't feel bad, the confusion is just testament to the body mods and amount of work that went into this phenomenal '48 Ford. Complete with a 4-inch chop-top, suicide doors, custom front grille and rear tailgate, the Ford is a wild conglomeration of custom. Strapped to the 406ci Ford V-8 is a BDS supercharger that turns the 18-inch-wide M/T tires into smoke with a tap of the throttle. Inside the suicide doors, a one-off matching steering wheel serves as the focal point in front of leather bucket seats and a handbuilt center console. With such a unique profile and the perfect wheel/tire combo, we had no choice but to include it in our list.
1956 Ford F-100
Bob "Hoot" Gibson - Phoenix, Arizona
You may never come across a nicer '53-'56 F-100 than the one you see here. Created over a 10-year period, Hoot's Ford features a Walton chassis with a TCI front clip and Kugel/Winters quick-change rear and also has custom-machined spindles to accept the real Halibrand knock-off wheels. Painted by Hoot and his son inside his daughter's garage, the Ford was two-toned vanilla and orange. Keeping true to his roots, a Ford 392ci small-block is fitted with Imagine fuel injection and plenty of dress-up items to keep things looking good. Leather abounds inside and the old Ford is equipped with Vintage A/C to keep the cabin comfortable. If you love attention to detail and you love a great story behind a build, go back and check out Hoot's story in issue 13. We're confident you'll be as impressed as we are.
2004 Chevy Silverado 3500
Casey Ridinger - Marion, Mississippi
To say Casey's dualie is low, would be like saying laying out a dualie is easy. Endless fabrication went into the Chevy to tuck the massive 24-inch Diesel Wheels. Innovative Customs and "Big" John Adkins teamed together to get the dualie on the ground using Ekstensive's upper and lower A-arms, a Suicide Doors triangulated four-link, and plenty of cutting and welding on the frame. The result is a bright red body that kisses the pavement. Inside, more bright red paint was brought sprayed and upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio keeps the road trips lively. Road trips you ask? Yes, Casey's HD is ready and able to tow at a moments notice thanks to the wild fifth wheel. We can’t think of a better tow rig.
1987 Chevy Van
Brock Chobar - Phoenix, Arizona
Rather than add a mural of wizards and bikini-clad she-warriors, Brock opted to go hot-rod style with his Chevy van and the decision paid dividends. Metal Asylum Kustom Finishes laid down the beautiful red basecoat and then set the van ablaze with traditional flames. The look is unmistakably sick. As if the bright hues weren't enough, Brock also 'bagged the van, Z'd the frame and notched the back to get the huge metal canvas on terra firma. Chrome Boss wheels add the right touch and with the air out of the 'bags, this monster draws a crowd. Powering the time machine is a 383ci stroker V-8 that rumbles as loud as the four 12-inch Rockford Fosgate subs in the cargo area. Hopefully this build will spawn a whole new era for vans—vans that look fresh and better than ever.
2006 Chevy Silverado
Mike Matamoros - Rogers, Texas
Titled "Blue Bombshell" in issue 8, Mike's Silverado is a perfect example of how far subtle modifications can go. 'Bagged over 22-inch Intro wheels, his Chevy has the right stance. Two-toned blues with a simple break-up line, the body is eye-catching, but not over the top. Painted interior pieces and black leather seats are easy on the eyes. You see, nothing stands out, however, the complete package is done so well, we can't get enough of the truck. Why didn't it crack the Top 10 then? At the time of our shoot, Mike hadn't finished up under the hood yet. After all, it's the little things, right?
2006 Toyota Tundra
Chris Hernandez - La Mirada, California
You may just walk past Chris' Tundra at a show because of its extreme cleanness. It's so incredibly sanitary you may miss the custom suspension work that allows the Double Cab to lay-out on 24-inch paint-matched Boss wheels, or the suede-wrapped interior with painted accents, or even the full sheetmetal bed created by Chassis by Aaron Iha. What you won't miss is the stack of trophies and the amount of turning heads Chris accumulates every time he gets behind the wheel of his slick Toyota. So why only an Honorable Mention? Send us your thoughts.