Last month, we revealed the winner as well as some honorable mentions for our 1st Annual Low-Buck Challenge. The competition targeted you, our readers, to build the sweetest truck possible for less than $5,500, not including the price of the truck. We received all sorts of entries via snail mail as well as e-mail, and we thought it would only be fair to give some of the other entries a little time under the spotlight, too. So without further ado, here are a few of the Low-Buck Challenge entries.
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Green Machine Who: Jeremy Pickett Where: Coushatta, Louisiana What: '94 Ford Ranger
After a stroke of bad luck, Jeremy Pickett was able to buy a totaled version of this Ford Ranger from his insurance company for $1,000. With the help of his buddy, he shaved the tailgate handle, factory emblems, and stake pocket holes. Using I-beams and hangers, they were able to drop the truck 3 inches in the front and 4 inches in the rear onto a set of 15-inch Eagle alloys. A bumper cover, air dam, roll pan, and bed cover were added along with clear corners and euro tails. After all the dings and dents were pulled, the truck was shot with Candy Organic Green. The inside sports two 12-inch Kicker subs, a Kicker amp, some Kicker tweeters, and a Pioneer head unit.
Little Red Who: Dustin Palmer Where: Plattsmouth, Nebraska What: '98 Chevy S-10
Dustin Palmer of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, purchased his used S-truck from a friend, which came equipped with the ZQ8 sport suspension. The truck was lowered both in the front and rear for better handling, and the sound system within the cab was upgraded. A Pioneer CD head unit was installed in the dash, and two 12-inch Rockford Fosgate subs were stuffed in a box and powered by a 500-watt amp behind the seats. Beneath the hood, an Airaid cold-air intake was installed to help the 4.3L breathe. Out back, the rear bumper was removed and replaced with a roll pan.
One of a Kind Who: Daniel CroninWhere: Revere, Massachusetts What: '85 Chevy S-10
Daniel Cronin knows all about building a budget truck. He happily states that his truck was "modified using salvage yard parts, flea market parts, the good old barter system, discontinued parts, sales, discounts, and off-season pricing." His list of upgrades is incredibly long, but it includes a functional hoodscoop, hood tach, spoilers, wheelwell flares, tonneau cover, Monte Carlo SS wheels, Wet Okole seat covers, new gauges, and Grant GT steering wheel. The engine has been upgraded with an Accel Super Coil, MSD plug wires, dual exhaust with high-flow cats, K&N air filter, and custom air cleaner.
Body-Dropped Beauty Who: Cole RussellWhere: Surprise, Arizona What: '95 Chevy 1500
Cole picked up this '95 Chevy for a smoking deal and transformed it into the body-dropped beauty that you see here. Unfortunately, we received his entry late and couldn't include him as a finalist. He started off by removing the interior, cutting the stock floor, and letting the body drop over the framerails. Once the floor was reinforced, the interior was put back together and covered using snow-leopard material. Firestone 'bags were used at each of the corners, and 17-inch Tornado wheels were chosen for rolling stock. The front end was updated and incorporates Diamond lights, clear corners, and a billet grille. A set of Street Scene mirrors replaced the factory mirrors, and the door handles were color-matched.
Longbed Style Who: Douglas Henri Where: Voorhees, New Jersey What: '89 GMC Sierra
Douglas Henri actually sent in pictures of a few of his sport trucks, but he wanted us to focus on his GMC pickup for the Low-Buck Challenge. The original two-toned version of the Sierra had suffered some severe damage to the front, so it was stripped down and built back up with some style. A Reflexxion cowl-induction hood, a grille shell, a billet grille, and a chrome bumper were added up front. APC clear corners and euro tails were installed along with a roll pan and Street Scene mirrors. The truck was lowered using Belltech components onto a set of 18-inch Boss wheels and sprayed with PPG White from head to tail. To give the Sierra a nice growl, a Gibson Performance exhaust was installed beneath the truck.
On His Way Who: Isaias Rojas Where: North Hills, California What: '99 Dodge Dakota
Isaias Rojas sent in pictures of his Dakota for the competition. He lowered the truck using DJM components onto a set of 18-inch Giovanna Modena wheels that are wrapped with Pirelli rubber. The nose has been updated with a Street Scene grille and clear corners, while the rear was treated to a Stylin' Concepts roll pan. A set of JBA headers and an after-cat exhaust system were bolted on for performance. Inside the cab, a Pioneer CD player and white face gauges were installed.