DISCLAIMER: All information below on the 1991 GMC Marlboro Syclone Edition is documented and checked for accuracy from both previous and current owners, DMV information, carfax data, and GM/Phillip Morris/ASC/Shinoda paperwork. Some information has been purposely excluded and/or abbreviated to protect the personal data of both past and current owners. If you have information regarding any of the Marlboro Syclones not listed here, please contact us. Documented proof in the form of pictures or paperwork will be required to ensure the validity and accuracy before being submitted to display on this page.
THE HOTTEST TRUCK IN THE WORLD
The 1991 GMC Syclone Marlboro Editions are considered among owners as the top collectable variations of the Syclone trucks. With its bright red paint, custom graphics, and uniquely styled targa top roof, the Marlboro Syclones have always commanded top tier pricing and been considered one of the pinnacle trucks to own within the Sportmachines trio by many owners, collectors, and enthusiasts.
June 1, 1992, Car Craft Magazine – Marlboro Promotion Foldout
A surprising fact to most, the Marlboro Syclones were part of the 2995 unit-built production Syclones in 1991. General Motors had no affiliation nor were involved in the the creation process and production of the Marlboro Syclone other than the sale of the ten trucks to Phillip Morris Inc. that were to be converted.
ENTER TO WIN
The Marlboro Racing ‘92 Contest held was held mid 1992 and was a sweepstakes entry in which ten lucky people would be chosen to win the grand prize – one of ten 1991 GMC Syclone Marlboro Edition trucks. Entry to to the sweepstakes was simple: fill out a form with your contact information, answer four questions, and write a brief essay in 20 words or less on why you would be fast enough for the Marlboro Championship Team. You then would send it back to Phillip Morris in hopes your entry would be chosen. The entry form could be found in many of the popular magazines such as Car & Driver, Hot Rod, Outdoor Life, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many more.
The sweepstakes was open to anyone over the age of 21, and didn’t require the use of “Marlboro Miles”. For those unfamiliar with Marlboro Miles, this was Marlboro’s famed marketing tactic were one would save their empty Marlboro cigarette packs to use as proof of purchase towards miles which was traded in to acquire official Marlboro gear. The more you smoked, the more miles you were able to gain. Thankfully, Marlboro ceased their Marlboro Miles campaign in 1998 due to the Master Tobacco Settlement was set into place.
Winners of the contest were notified in September of that year. A letter that was sent to the winners claimed more than 85,000 entries were received which was much lower than a previous giveaway contests (Camaro and Corvette). Due to a drop in entries, the promotion was never repeated. All ten of the Marlboro Syclones were claimed by the winners. Interestingly, out of the ten original winners chosen, one person was chosen as an alternate winner. This was due to the original winning person not being able to attend the VIP ceremony due to a schedule conflict with his wedding. This ultimately forced him to forfeit his winning spot. Because of this, Phillip Morris was forced to choose an alternate winner for the grand prize so that all 10 would be in attendance for the giveaway event planned.
The ten grand prize winners of the Marlboro Giveaway Sweepstakes not only won a brand new 1991 GMC Syclone Marlboro Edition, but were also treated to an all expenses paid 4 day, 3 night trip to enjoy a weekend of racing alongside the Indy racing team and pit crew. Winners were treated with VIP access and tours, pit passes, a photo session with the Marlboro Indy team, and a prize pack full of various Marlboro apparel. Unfortunately, during the VIP event with the sweepstake winners, there was a camera malfunction and no official photos were released by Phillip Morris. Only a handful of photos currently are known to exist taken by either the winners themselves or attendees.
At the VIP event, only one Marlboro (VIN 2992, Marlboro #1) was present and used. There are pictures that show a custom orange light bar setup on the truck. This light bar was not included with the trucks and only used for display and the parade lap at the event.
Marlboro Syclone #1 (#2992 VIN) on display at Pennsylvania International Raceway, October 3, 1992.
After the raffle had taken place and the trucks claimed by the winners, Phillip Morris had each truck delivered to an allocated dealership nearest to each winner’s residence. It is documented with Phillip Morris that dealer delivery change orders on some trucks had to be made due to change of address with some of the winners. At least two of the ten Marlboro Syclones were immediately sold due to the luxury taxes and fees each winner was responsible for upon delivery. Over the years, all of the Marlboros have been sold privately or have been auctioned through well known auctioneers Barrett Jackson and Mecum and have each seen multiple owners. None of the ten original sweepstakes winners still currently own a truck.
THE BUILD DATA
The Marlboro Syclone custom features include:
- ASC converted the roof to a targa-style roof panel with mounts in the pick-up bed
- C.R. Laurence PowerLite slide-down rear window assembly
- Guidon hard tonneau cover
- Boyd Coddington “Cobra” wheels with Marlboro emblem center caps & Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires
- PPG Industries “Hot Licks” Red paint
- White “vibe stripes”, windshield decal, & Marlboro emblems provided by Graphik Concepts
- Recaro leather seats with Simpson 5-Point racing harness
- Custom Momo “Evolution” steering wheel
- Sony sound system
- PROMPaq performance chip
- Borla stainless steel exhaust, “Turbo Extractor Design”
- Belltech suspension (rear leaf springs and blocks) dropped 3 inches
The ten randomly selected stock Syclones started out as standard black production trucks that were purchased by Phillip Morris Inc. and provided to American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) for the conversion. With the help of Larry Shinoda Design Associates, Inc. – the designer behind the Corvette Stingray and Boss Mustang, and in conjunction with Phillip Morris, Inc., each of the ten Syclones were then customized and transformed into the “Marlboro Syclone” for the planned contest giveaway.
ASC contributed the most significant and most eye catching physical alteration – converting the cab to a T-top reinforced setup with a fully removable one piece targa cover panel (the roof), which can be locked into a specialized frame bolt into the bed and stowed away when you want to enjoy the sunshine on your face while driving. Of course, if you are going to have a removable targa-top roof, then being able to roll down every window in the truck becomes a stylish move to make. The C.R. Laurence Company provided a PowerLite retractable sliding rear window which moves in a downward motion hiding itself between the rear cab wall and seats.
The 1991 Marlboro Syclone with targa roof removed showing the reinforced T-top design.
Inside the interior, a Momo Evolution steering wheel with a raised Marlboro logo insignia replaced the stock unit, and leather Recaro seats with cam lock five-point Simpson racing harnesses where installed to keep you planted security and safely, but not comfortably. The seats are not plush and have a very hard feel to them. A Sony sound system installed by Pacific Audio & Alarm was set into the dash along with customized door panels to hold the speakers rounded out the mods to an otherwise stock Syclone interior.
Marlboro Syclone interior featuring Momo steering wheel, leather Recaro seats, 5-point Simpson seat belts and custom speaker door panels.
Being this was a Phillip Morris giveaway, the 10 trucks were stripped of their menacing black paint scheme and PPG supplied the “Hot Licks” DBC Concept 2000 paint (Marlboro red if you will) and Concept 2020 clear for that deep shine. To keep the flow and sleek look of the truck, Guidon provided the lockable fiberglass hard tonneau cover which was also paint matched to the body and replaced the standard soft black tonneau cover. An interesting paint detail with all ten Marlboro trucks is they all still have the original black paint on the firewall. Also, with the hood opened, some trucks have bad red overspray on the underside of the hood and on the hood hinges.
Offsetting the red, Shinoda designed the Marlboro Syclone to have custom vinyl graphics on the windshield, hood and doors to mimic Marlboro’s famed red and white advertising look. Called “Vibe Stripes” by Shinoda, the silver pearl vinyl was set on the truck and buried in clear. Graphik Concepts Inc. who printed the production Syclone and Typhoon graphics also provided the graphics package for the Marlboro trucks too. Custom “bubble” Marlboro Racing decals can be found on the doors and tailgate with a Shinoda Design decal located below the Marlboro decal also on the tailgate.
The Marlboro Syclone’s custom white vinyl graphics sets off the PPG Hot Licks red paint.
SPREADING THE VIBE (STRIPES)
The red and white design scheme used on the Marlboro isn’t unique to only the Syclone as it was also used by Shinda on a previous Penske/Marlboro project using a 1990 ZR1 Corvette known as the RM-1, the RM standing for famed Indy Car World Champion, Rick Mears. Also knowns as the Rick Mears Special Edition, the RM-1 Penske Corvette was sold in a Barrett Jackson auction in 2008 and is currently known to reside in the Lingenfelter Collection and can sometimes be seen in pictures during displays. It is rumored that three Marlboro style RM Editions were built and one may still exist in Japan, however we have never been able to confirm this information with documentation.
1990 Rick Mears Special Edition (RM-1) Corvette designed by Larry Shinoda.
While the Marlboro Syclones didn’t receive any motor modifications and to add a bit of a performance over stock, the trucks received a stainless Borla exhaust, a Prompaq Adaptive Technologies security and performance computer system which was mounted on the passenger’s side kick panel. For its lowered stance, a Belltech 3-inch-drop kit consisting of lowered leaf springs and drop blocks was used under the rear while the front was cranked down via the stock suspension torsion bars. No internal or bolt-on performance motor modifications were made and all Marlboros retain the same standard 4.3 turbo power-plant as the production Syclones.
Even with the minor modifications for added power, the appearance modifications the trucks got with the roof, wheels, and heavy fiberglass tonneau, the Marlboros were much heavier than stock production trucks and notably slower in the quarter mile. Stock production trucks easily run into the low 13s while the Marlboros seem to consistently run a full second slower in the mid to high 14 second range with a lower mph trap time. This has been documented by both original owners in 1992 and also in 1999 when 2 Marlboros raced in front of a crowd at Kansas City International Raceway at the 2nd Annual SyTy Nationals and again in 2002 at the 5th Annual SyTy Nationals at Great Lakes Raceway.
There is no evidence the ten trucks bought to be converted to Marlboro Syclones had any speciality equipment or features beyond the standard manufacturing of the Syclone. All ten trucks were standard production units that were available to purchase by Phillip Morris. It is documented that Phillip Morris purchased the Syclones from GM at a reduced price of $10,000 each. Documentation also shows that Phillip Morris set it up to purchase and pay for nine of the trucks totaling $90,000, with remaining truck noted as being “purchased on our own”.
Out of the ten trucks, nine were left untitled coming directly from GMC. The first Marlboro to be built (VIN #2992) was titled and Phillip Morris Inc was listed the first owner. There is documentation that notates this sale as “purchased on our own” from Phillip Morris. This truck would be used for all of the official promotional pictures, advertisements for the giveaway, and ultimately used during the VIP winners event where Rick Mears would drive a parade lap at the Marlboro Challenge CART Indy Car race in Nazareth, Pennsylvania on October 3, 1992. After the promotion was over, Phillip Morris would handle the transfer of the title independently while the other nine trucks were titled through the closest dealerships to the winners that the trucks were delivered to.
Once the trucks had transferred ownership, Marlboro #1 would eventually be sold by the original winner to its second owner, Lou Roberts. During Lou’s ownership, he was able to meet with Rick Mears in California at an event where had had the glove box door signed by Rick. This is a distinguishing feature of Marlboro #1 as none of the other Marlboro Syclones have a signed glove box door.
A PACK-A-DAY HABIT
Over the span of 30 years, the value of the Marlboro Syclones has been a somewhat open discussion with many weighing in with opinion on exactly what the trucks are worth. All ten trucks have been sold at least once, and many of the same trucks have been sold numerous times either privately or through an auction platform.
The Marlboro Syclones did not instantly catch the attention of collectors nor where they considered a collectable vehicle at the time. In fact, even with the successful production of the Syclone and the new release of the Typhoon, the trucks never seem to get a recognition of being collectable and most only appealed to the niche group of owners and enthusiasts who could afford a $27,000-32,000 truck that couldn’t be used as a truck. Many opinionated comments have been made that the Marlboro theme is a turn-off in terms of collectability due to the ever growing public anti-tobacco campaigns. A truck that advertises for an addictive and deadly habit is not one that most want to embrace.
The Marlboro Syclones that were sold after the winners took ownership where priced in the mid to low $20,000 range. From that point, prices would increase into the $30-50k range. Information given by a previous owner reveals that a gentleman’s agreement was made with current owners that in order to boost value, if a truck was to be put up for sale it would be set at $100,000k.
Over the years, Marlboro Syclones have sold between the $50,000-80,000 price range. Many times it has been the same truck with different selling prices each time.
With today’s market now much more aware and educated on the history and significance of the Syclone and Typhoon, recent sales of trucks have been hitting an all time high. There has been a significant increase in pricing of the Marlboro trucks that have recently sold with prices well above the $100,000 mark. We can assume that prices will continue to increase as it is now public knowledge that not all ten trucks still exist. With one truck destroyed in the 2018 Malibu California fires, another that has been abandoned in Northern Europe, and a truck that is seemingly has gone missing with no current owner or history since 1992, there are only seven trucks that can be accounted for in private collections.
MARLBORO SYCLONE DIECASTS
The popularity of the Marlboro Syclone has increased so much over the years that even Johnny Lightning, makers of 1:64 diecast models picked up the design and released a few versions using their existing GMC Syclone casting. Part of JL’s Xtreme 90s Muscle Series, there are 2 variations available – one being the standard red color way and a reversed colorway where the body is white and the decals are red.
In 2020, Hot Wheels released their 1:64 version of the GMC Syclone and included a Marlboro version in their Premium “Car Culture Power Trip” collection. It is Number 5 of 5 in the series which also includes an 87 Buick Regal GNX, Plymouth Barracuda Hemi, Custom 72 Chevy Luv, and 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Collectors have been able to find them in various stores such as Walmart, Target, and Dollar General.
Both the JL and Hotwheels diecasts do not carry any of the Marlboro insignia logos. It is safe to assume this is due to both licensing and today’s strict policy against marketing of tobacco products to children. Regardless of your age, it’s hard to deny that these are some of the coolest diecasts available on the market, plus they are much more affordable than the full scale version!
INDIVIDUAL TRUCK HISTORY
The following VINs are documented as 1991 GMC Marlboro Syclone Editions:
- #2871 – Marlboro No. 4
Current Condition: CURRENTLY ABANDONED
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Frank Paciello
Previous Owners: Jozsef Prisztas – not certified, deceased (2), Crisztian Taylor (3), Current (?)Truck Info: Although Frank Paciello is listed as a sweepstakes winner, he was actually an alternate winner as the person who originally won was unable to schedule and be there to pick up the truck due to his wedding. Due to the conflict of scheduling that could not be resolved, the winner forfeited his spot and Mr. Paciello was then contacted and chosen as an alternate winner.Frank took ownership of the truck in 1993, enjoyed putting a few miles on it and raced it several times at Homestead Raceway in Miami before ultimately trading it in at a local dealership for a brand new Corvette. Frank has noted that shortly after selling the truck, he was contacted by Ziggy Marley with interest to buy the truck not knowing Frank had already sold it.
After sitting in a dealer holding lot the truck was sold in 1994 and Marlboro #2871 was exported from Miami to Germany and relocated to Hungary. At one point, it has been said to be owned by József Prisztás who was murdered in 1996 (unconfirmed information as of Feb 2021). Truck was sold and driven on a regular basis by Crisztian Taylor until 2014 when he sold it.
The history and ownership of #2871 is very unclear after 1994 due to obstacles in obtaining information from international documentation and varying stories over the years. It is believed that #2871 is the highest mile truck with over 40k miles. Many of the original winner’s packet items, the original rare VIP event pictures, and documentation were donated to SyTy Registry from Mr. Paciello. We are grateful for this gesture and these items will be shared and on display at any show we attend for everyone to view.
PLEASE NOTE: SyTy Registry is well aware that Marlboro #4 it is located in northern Estonia and currently in an abandoned state. The SyTy Registry is continually working to keep current information on the truck’s condition and is routinely checked on in hopes to rescue or see the truck back to a restored condition. The exact location of the truck is known, and will remain undisclosed with limited information being released.
Due to the growing interest this truck has brought across the internet, the SyTy Registry has opted to not detail this information as not to compromise and to protect the efforts and time that have been put into the ongoing research and resourcing information on the truck to save it. It should be noted – the truck is located in a secured area and not fully accessible by the public. The property in which the truck is on and the people who currently have access are well aware of what the truck is, the value, and DO NOT allow visitors.
- #2872 – Marlboro No. 6
Original Sweepstakes Winner: William Rhodes
Previous Owners: Woody Howard (2), Chris Pearson (3), Tom Argue (4), John Parsons (5), Current (?)
Owned by Chris Pearson, Tom Argue, John Parsons. Marlboro 2872 is one of the more notable and recognized trucks as it features a red powder coated intake and intercooler system which is not a stock feature of the Marlboro. It has been featured in many online articles (Road & Track, Car & Driver, Bring-A-Trailer) when it was listed on ebay in 2015 for $80k out of Reno, NV with 3,435 miles.
- #2873 – Marlboro No. 9
Current Condition: PRIVATE COLLECTION
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Lynn Poole
Previous Owners: Ray Moore (2) deceased, (3)Shane K.
Privately owned, located in CaliforniaDocumented with 389.5 miles as of 5/2022. This is currently the lowest mile Marlboro Syclone out of the known remaining.
- #2879 – Marlboro No. 8
Current Condition: PRIVATE COLLECTION
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Scott W Joerger
Previous Owners: Tom Steiger (2), Les (3), Marty McGuire (4), Eli (5)
Now privately owned by Eli in Maryland.
- #2884 – Marlboro No. 7
Current Condition: PRIVATE COLLECTION
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Ralph Esposito
Previous Owners: David/Mike Lee (2), John Parsons (3), Rob Meding (4)Listed on Ebay 2.23.02 at starting bid of $85k with buy it now set at $150k (368 miles). Relisted on Ebay on 3.21.02 with a $50k starting bid. Sold at the Mecum Kissimmee (2018) classic car auction on Jan 13, 2018 for $56,100 (not including fees). 426 miles at time of sale. Currently located in Maryland owned by Rob Meding.
- #2885 – Marlboro No. 2
Current Condition: DESTROYED
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Sidnal Hill
Previous Owners: Paul Davis (2), Vince Thoumey (3)
The “Plumber’s Marlboro”. Destroyed in the 2018 Malibu fires. Owned by Vince Thoumey
- #2888 – Marlboro No. 3
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Robert Stack
Residence at the time of winning: Lebanon, TN
Previous Owners: Nate Brower (?), Current Owner (?)Marlboro #2888 was sold 6 months after Robert Stack took ownership. It is reported that Robert filled out his winning sweepstake entry from Cycle World Magazine.
Listed on Ebay 10.16.10 with ending bid at $55,101 – Reserve not met.
- #2891 – Marlboro No. 10
Current Condition: PRIVATE COLLECTION
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Mark S. Knuth.
Previous Owners: Marvin S (2), ? (3), Ron Bailey (4)Listed on ebay on 12.26.03 with an ending price of $30,000. Truck was NOT sold and kept. Privately sold on Feb 14, 2021 out of PA from owner since 1994. Currently owned by Ron Bailey in North Carolina (also owner of #2992 Marlboro). Truck has 915 miles. Update 1/20/22 – #10 has been sold, documented with 1000 miles on it.
Update: Marlboro #10 has been sold for at an undisclosed price and now located in California.
- #2927 – Marlboro No. 5
Current Condition: UNKNOWN
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Robert Cole
Previous Owners: (?), Current Owner (?)The missing Marlboro. No information has been obtained on this truck and the current owner and whereabouts are unknown. Last known report 12/30/1992, Carbondale, IL – This is where the truck was delivered to the dealership for Robert Cole. If you have information on the whereabouts of Marlboro #2927 (No. 5), please contact us immediately.
- #2992 Marlboro No. 1
Current Condition: PRIVATE COLLECTION
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Ray Haslam Jr.
Previous Owners: Phillip Morris, Inc (1), Ray Haslam Jr. (2) Lou Roberts (3) deceased, John Parsons (4), – Dessert Auto – Arif Shaikh (5), Alan Woodall (6), Ron Bailey (7)
The #1 of 10 Marlboro, as it was the first truck to be built by ASC. It was also used for the artwork and promotional photography for the Marlboro giveaway sweepstakes while the other 9 trucks were building built. The Number 1 Marlboro was used at the parade lap truck at the Marlboro Challenge CART Indy Car race in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, in October 1992. The most totable feature of Marlboro #1 is the Rick Mears signature on the glovebox door.Bought and owned by Phillip Morris originally, Ray Haslam Jr. put 700 miles on the truck before selling it. The 3rd owner was Lou Robert (deceased). The 4th owner was John Parsons and part of his vast collection of SyTys which included 4 Marlboros. The collection was later sold off. The 5th owner was Arif Shaikh. Allen Woodall was the 6th owner where the truck was listed in Columbus, GA for sale at $85k with 9,245 miles.
In 2021, #2992 was sold privately and now resides in North Carolina owned by Ron Bailey. Featured in Hemmings Muscle Machines Magazine, Jan. 2006. Update 1/20/22 – #1 has been sold (same owner as #10).
Update: GMC Syclone Marlboro #1 has been sold for at an undisclosed price and now currently located in California.