One Smoking Syclone.
The 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, the Marlboro Syclones have always commanded top tier pricing and been considered a trophy truck to own by many owners and enthusiasts. These were technically part of the production 2998 unit-built Syclones (all start as standard black trucks) built in 1991.
June 1, 1992, Car Craft Magazine – Marlboro Promotion Foldout
The Marlboro Syclone was the grand prize for ten winners of The Marlboro Racing ‘92 Contest held in mid 1992 with the winners notified in September of that year. A letter sent to the winners had claimed more than 85,000 entries were received which was much lower than a previous giveaway contests. Due to a drop it entries, the promotion was never repeated. All 10 Marlboro Syclones were claimed by the winners. Over the years, some Marlboros have been sold privately or have been auctioned through Barrett Jackson and Mecum. It is reported that all 10 still exist, however there is speculation that one may have been lost in the Malibu California fires in 2018. This information is unconfirmed and currently stands as only a rumor.
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 strobe 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 and Borla stainless steel exhaust
- Bell Tech suspension dropped 3 inches
The 10 stock Syclones were provided to American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) and started out as standard black production trucks that were purchased by Phillip Morris Inc. 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 10 Syclones were then customized and transformed into the “Marlboro Syclone” for the contest giveaway. ASC contributed the most significant and most eye catching physical alteration – converting the cab to a T-top with a fully removable targa cover panel, 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. Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires were wrapped around Boyd Coddington “Cobra” billet wheels with black centers, polished lips and a small red and white Marlboro Racing logo in each wheel center. PPG supplied the “Hot Licks” DBC Concept 2000 paint (Marlboro red if you will) and Concept 2020 clear. The C.R. Laurence company provided a PowerLite retractable sliding rear window, and Guidon provided the lockable hard tonneau cover, which replaced the standard soft tonneau cover. Graphik Concepts Inc. provided the white stripe graphics package and lettering. The truck included a stainless Borla exhaust, a BellTech 3-inch-drop kit, and a Prompaq Adaptive Technologies security and performance computer system which was mounted on the passenger’s side kick panel. Inside the interior, a Momo Evolution steering wheel replaced the stock unit, and leather Recaro seats with five-point Simpson racing harnesses where installed to keep you planted security and safely. A Sony sound system installed by Pacific Audio and Alarm rounded out the mods to an otherwise stock Syclone. No motor modifications where made and all Marlboros retain the same standard 4.3 turbo powerplant as the production Syclones.
There is no evidence that these particular 10 trucks had any speciality equipment or features beyond the standard manufacturing of the Syclone BEFORE they were transformed into Marlboros (again, these were stock production trucks), and were just the batch of available trucks that were purchased by Phillip Morris. It is documented that Phillip Morris paid $10,000 to GM per truck, and was listed as the owner for the first Marlboro built, while the remaining 9 were untitled coming directly from GMC. The following VINs are documented as Marlboro Syclones:
- 2871 – Currently located in Hungary (for sale)
- 2872 – #6 of 10, Owned by Chris Pearson, Tom Argue, John Parsons.
- 2992 – The #1 of 10 Marlboro, as it was the first to be built. Used for the artwork and promotional photography for the contest. Owned by Phillip Morris originally, 2nd owner put 700 miles on the truck and was sold. 3rd owner was Lou Robert. Was listed in Columbus, GA for sale at $85k with 9,245 miles. Glove box door is signed by Rick Mears.
The popularity of the Marlboro Syclone is such 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.