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]
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?
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