You Need a Texas License to Buy This Leather-Lined Longhorn Luxury

you need a texas license to buy this leather lined longhorn luxury

It’s a stereotype more threadbare than a pair of old chaps, but just like 72-ounce steaks, Stetson hats, and the God-given right to poke bullet holes in road signs, it’s no exaggeration: Texas likes its trucks.

Pickups account for roughly a quarter of the state’s new-vehicle sales, counting for a remarkable 20 percent of the nation’s truck market. Plying the state’s ever-expanding highway network, gearheads like us can’t help but notice rows upon rows of pickup trucks, parked as they are on both stagnant Dallas freeways and dealer lots.

It’s no wonder then that pickup truck manufacturers market these trucks specifically to Texans.

At the moment, every single purveyor of pickup trucks in America offers some sort of Texas-exclusive trim line or optional package. Ram claims to have started the trend way back in 2002 with a special edition built for the Lone Star state. As any good marketer will tell you, there’s no plate like chrome and Texas-exclusive packages tend to make the entire truck a lot shinier.

Ram showed its newest trim level reserved solely for the everything-is-bigger market, the Lone Star Silver Edition, available with either a Pentastar V6, Hemi V8, or EcoDiesel V6 in a myriad of cab and box configurations. The $900 package piles on the exterior chrome, adds polished six-spoke 20-inch wheels, front tow hooks, and special badging that customers couldn’t wait to get their hands on. Inside, customers can choose from buckets trimmed in cloth and vinyl or a Texas-sized bench seat, allowing your buckle bunny to scoot alongside while driving to the rodeo.

Capitalizing on the broad overlap on the Venn Diagram of truck owners and football fans, Ford introduced a Dallas Cowboys edition of its best-selling F-150 at the State Fair, replete with the Cowboys star on its flanks and rim caps, which are affixed to chrome 20-inch wheels. Unlike the Limited trim, which is limited to exactly how many Ford can make and customers will buy, the Cowboys edition will reportedly only have a total run of 400 trucks, and each truck will bear a “1 in 400” interior badge. Ford has been Official Vehicle of the Dallas Cowboys for more than two decades, so this marketing tie-up makes a lot of sense in the nation’s largest truck market. Texas customers can lasso this package on the XLT trim of the F-150.

Even the Nissan Titan, which sells at the rate of glacier progression when compared to the Detroit Three, introduced a Texas-exclusive trim at the State Fair, called the Texas Titan. Nissan doubled down on its Texas two-step by announcing its intention to offer the trim on both its Cummins-powered and Endurance V8 Crew Cab models with the choice of two- and four-wheel drive. Pardon me while I grin, as signing the note on a 2WD Texas-edition anything is akin to ordering a salad at a steakhouse. In its effort, Nissan ladles on the chrome and installs a Sirius XM radio permanently tuned to Prime Country.

For its part, Toyota doubled down and moved its entire operation to Texas, assembling every Tundra in San Antonio. Their 1794 Edition, available anywhere, takes its name from the year the ranch — on which the Toyota plant now sits — was founded. Interestingly, the Texas-specific trucks “made by” Toyota are not made by Toyota. They’re reportedly put together by Toyota’s private distributor for the Gulf coast states, Gulf Coast Toyota, and are not necessarily officially marketed through Toyota’s U.S. corporate operations.

We all know about GM’s Texas Edition: Jack gave away badges earlier this year to a few lucky (?) readers. We hear the winners now wear spurs to work and have a habit of lighting matches off their face. For 2017, the chrome-bedazzled Texas Edition shows up as an option on LT and LTZ trims of the Silverado, adding dual-zone climate control, a remote starter, and other goodies along with the requisite Texas Edition badging. It’s very similar (minus the badges) to the All-Star Edition available in the rest of the country. Deviating from its competitors, GM applies this trim not just to pickups, but to the Tahoe and Suburban for the not-insignificant sum of $3,110.

Driving a Ram 1500 up to Southfork Ranch (review later today) gave me a lot of time to think about this unique market. In some cases, special edition trucks built and marketed specifically for roads just north of the Rio Grande are simple badge jobs. Some, like the Cowboys F-150, are created for a specific marketing goal. One thing’s for sure: the unassailable Texas pride is enough to guarantee these trucks will play in Plano.

[Images: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars, FCA, Ford, GM]

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6 of 33 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Oct 14, 2016

    "Even the Nissan Titan, which sells at the rate of glacier progression when compared to the Detroit Three" That is damning commentary on Titan sales since glaciers in North America are regressing not progressing.

    • See 2 previous
    • JimZ JimZ on Oct 14, 2016

      @mopar4wd if they don't break out the XD's figures separately, that would explain why. the Cummins diesel would be a huge "why buy" for some people.

  • Stuki Stuki on Oct 14, 2016

    What really is akin to getting salad at a steak house, is ponying up for a Texas edition of the most Texan vehicle available, and only getting something as mundane as a chrome grill. You can get that anywhere. Talk about scam! What happened to gen-u-wiine Texan cattle horns? And what about standard gun racks and/or scabbards? And a bumped roofline for the Stetson? Heck, and while we're at it, what about swapping the pedals out for some cable connected stirrups?

    • Dave M. Dave M. on Oct 14, 2016

      As a Texan, pickup truck lover and former pickup truck owner (ok, ok it was a Nissan Hardbody but still....), the King Ranch perfectly fits all you need in Texas. "Texas Edition" is just cheesy.

  • Tane94 are both eligible for federal tax credits? That's the big $7,500 question.
  • Jkross22 Toenail says what?
  • MaintenanceCosts This sounds like old-school GM drama!
  • SCE to AUX It's not really a total re-badge since some of the body parts are unique, and the interiors are quite different.As I mentioned the other day, the Tonale has a terrible name and a dim future.As for the Alfa team - guess what, this is how corporate ownership works. You are part of Stellantis partly because you're not viable as a standalone business, and then your overlords decide what's shared among the products.By the way: That Uconnect infotainment system found in Alfas was originally a Chrysler product... you're welcome.
  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.