We’ve left Las Vegas and the 2011 SEMA show, but we have strong memories of the trucks that grabbed our attention. There were actually many more trucks of interest than we’re including in this post, but we’re limiting this to 11 vehicles.
2011 Ford F-150 Pro Football Hall of Fame pickup
ARE is known for its pickup bed caps and tonneau covers. It’s based in Massillon, Ohio, which, along with nearby Canton, is considered to be the birthplace of what we now know as the National Football League. ARE and the Pro Football Hall of Fame worked together to create this special truck, which has an interior covered in pigskin leather. Beneath the ARE LSX Series tonneau is a pop-up flat-screen and swing-out grille for tailgating, as well as a slide-out bed tray full of historic pro football artifacts.
Chevrolet didn’t make an El Camino in 1958; the car-based truck wasn’t introduced until the 1959 model year. But Joe Cherry wanted a ’58, so he set out to build his own. Cherry, who lives in upstate New York, started with a 1958 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon and, five years later, ended up with his El Nomado. Cherry did a two-inch chop on the cab, and he used the original liftgate as a rear window. Features include a 348-cubic-inch-displacement power plant topped by a trio of Rochester 2 barrels, Powerglide transmission, disc brakes, RideTech air suspension, seats from a Chrysler 300 covered in custom leather, custom console and gauge cluster, Vintage Air air conditioning, 18-inch Boyd Coddington Crown Jewel wheels and, of course, that PPG Brickyard Red paint applied in four stages over cranberry primer.
2012 Ford F-650 Hollow Point by Mobsteel
Want your truck to be as intimidating as a visit from the local mafia chieftain? You might want to use this F-650 as your template. Based in the Detroit suburb of Brighton, Mich., Mobsteel specializes in enhancing Detroit iron, encasing it in its own trademark Mobsteel Black PPG paint. And if the exterior isn’t already intimidating enough, inside there are hand-tooled Glock holsters and magazine racks. Here are some other details: The frame was shortened and notched; the body was channeled over the frame; and custom grille and tanks and other bits were created, including those 24-inch Aztec wheels. Inside there are 2,600 watts of JL Audio equipment and a pair of 20-inch monitors.
Wild Boar Jeep 6x6 Pickup
Want to get off the grid? Wild Boar Products is the parts company of What-A-Rack and Landrunner conversions, and it focuses not on pickup trucks, but on Jeeps. Its latest project turns a four-door Jeep into a triple-axle 6x6 go-anywhere pickup truck equipped with an over-sized auxiliary gas tank so you can go anywhere for a long time without having to search for the nearest gas station. This different kind of duallie looks cool but we're guessing without steerable rear axles, they'll be wearing out the rear tires pretty fast with that kind of wheelbase.
Red Jacket Firearms Jeep Pickup
Among the heads turned by this SEMA special were those from the Las Vegas Police Department, who pulled over this Jeep pickup as it entered their jurisdiction and inquired about that cannon mounted above the pickup bed. Turns out it’s merely a modified T-shirt launcher like those used to propel souvenirs into the stands at sports events. This Jeep-turned-pickup Mopar JK8 conversion is a joint effort by auto supplier and modifier Venchurs V Werks of Adrian, Mich., Red Jacket Firearms, and the Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns” TV show. We hear there will be a few more exciting vehicles coming from V Werks in the near future because its VP of product development engineering is the same guy who helped develop the Ram Runner and Mopar JK8 kits (Pat Muldoon) and he told us to keep our eyes peeled.
2011 Ford Raptor Luxury Prerunner
Does the name Ivan Stewart pique your interest? Stewart’s Raceworks is the company launched by the Ironman’s son, Craig, to create custom off-road vehicles, including this 2011 Raptor “luxury prerunner.” The “luxury” comes from features such as leather interior, six-way power-adjustable MasterCraft seats, dual-zone air conditioning, a 10-inch Lowrance GPS screen, Kenwood racing radios and intercom, and Momo steering wheel on a tilting column. The fiber-glass body wears Lamborghini Yellow paint from Balboa. Other features include a power-adjustable high-intensity-discharge light bar, built-in toolbox and a pair of spare 39-inch BFGoodrich tires. The “prerunner” capability comes from goodies such as a TIG-welded chassis, 26 inches of front-wheel travel and 31 inches of rear-wheel travel, a 70-gallon fuel tank, 600-horsepower Patton Racing engine and a 10-inch rear differential.
1968 Boss 351 Trans-Am Ford Ranchero
Believe it or not, this 1968 Ford Ranchero was a junkyard shell that took Galpin Auto Sports eight weeks to turn into a pickup-style homage to a classic Trans-Am racing series Mustang. Details include a vintage Boss 351 V-8 rated at 450 hp, a four-speed gearbox modified for road racing, a Currie 9-inch rear and 3:89 Trac-Lok gears. Total Control Products coil-overs are up front with a Maeco Motorsport road-racing rear setup. Four-wheel discs are Wilwood. There’s a safety cage and Scat Elite bucket seats with five-point racing harnesses, but also the original factory-installed AM radio.
No Compromise Dualie
OK, we admit we really don’t know much about this truck, except that its body-less chassis and powertrain were displayed at SEMA with a couple of signs headlined “No Compromise” that featured the logos of various sponsoring supplier companies, including Advanced Plating of Nashville, Tenn. A lack of information about a vehicle and its owner was a real frustration for us this year at SEMA. Folks, when you show your vehicles, you need to at least have the owner’s name and some sort of contact information or website on display as well.
Perhaps the best example of what we mentioned above is this truck. All we know by looking at it is that it was completed as a memorial to “Tito,” who was born in 1968 and died in 2011.
1956 Ford F-750 Big Job
Lonn and Jackie Burrows of Riverton, Utah, created their Big Job pickup by marrying a 1956 Ford F-750 with a modern Chevrolet 3500 cab chassis. A Duramax diesel provides the power, boosted by some goodies from Banks and other powertrain suppliers. The big truck rides on Auto Air Ride suspension, has heated and ventilated seats, and has a B&W gooseneck ball towing hitch. We know we mentioned this truck before in an earlier post, but if ever there was a truck that deserved a second or third look, this is the one.
Believe if or not, an almost box-stock truck can be a showstopper at SEMA, at least when that pickup is a Volkswagen Amarok. Actually, a pair of the you-can’t-have-it compact pickups was at SEMA. This one — white with custom wheels — was at the display for Extang, Bedrug, UnderCover, TruXedo and Advantage Truck Accessories. Another nearby Amarok was equipped with a Roll-N-Lock tonneau cover and cargo manager, was at the Roll-N-Lock display. All of the above companies make aftermarket equipment for the folks in Mexico, Central America and South America who are allowed to buy and own this nifty Vdub. This one had the turbodiesel that the salesguy told us was getting 32 mpg.