The Hottest Truck in the World.
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 one of the pinnacle trucks to own within the Sportmachine trio by many owners and enthusiasts.
June 1, 1992, Car Craft Magazine – Marlboro Promotion Foldout
A surprising fact to most, the Marlboros were part of the 2995 unit-built production Syclones in 1991.
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 a planned 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 purchased the Syclones from GM at a reduced price of $10,000 each. Out of the 10 trucks, 9 were left untitled coming directly from GMC, while the first Marlboro to be built (VIN #2992) was purchased by Phillip Morris, Inc and is listed as being the first titled owner of the truck. This truck would be used for promotional pictures and later during a parade lap where Rick Mears would drive it at the Marlboro Challenge CART Indy Car race in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, in October 1992 and sign the glove box door.
The Marlboro Edition 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 (Camaro and Corvette). Due to a drop in entries, the promotion was never repeated. All 10 Marlboro Syclones were claimed by the winners.
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 grand prize winners of the Marlboro Sweepstakes not only won a 1991 GMC Syclone Marlboro Edition, but were treated to an all expenses paid day of racing alongside the Indy racing team and pit crew with a VIP access and tours, pit passes, photo session with the Marlboro Indy team, and a prize pack full of various Marlboro apparel. 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 2 of the 10 Marlboro Syclones were immediately sold due to the luxury taxes and fees each winner was responsible for upon pickup. 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 seen multiple owners. None of the original sweepstakes winner still currently own a truck.
The following VINs (listed in order) are documented as Marlboro Syclones:
- #2871 – Marlboro No. 4
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Frank Paciello
Previous Owners: Jozsef Prisztas (2) deceased, Crisztian Taylor (3), Current (?)
Frank was actually an alternate winner as the person who won was unable to schedule and be there to pick up the truck due to his wedding. Mr. Paciello was then chosen as an alternate winner. Sold in 1994, Marlboro #2871 was exported from Miami to Germany and relocated to Hungary. 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. Currently, it is located in northern Estonia, exact location disclosed.
- #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
Original Sweepstakes Winner: Lynn Poole
Previous Owners: Ray Moore (2) deceased, Current (?)
- #2879 – Marlboro No. 8
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
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
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
Previous Owners: Nate Brower (?), Current Owner (?)
Truck was sold 6 months after Robert Stack took ownership.
Listed on Ebay 10.16.10 with ending bid at $55,101 – Reserve not met.
- #2891 – Marlboro No. 10
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.
- #2927 – Marlboro No. 5
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
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 where the glove box door was signed by Rick Mears. 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.
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.
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.