The Chameleon Cummins

August 2019 Feature Colin Peterson

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue.

Want to see a cool truck that’s sure not to bore you with its looks? Check out this 2012 RAM Cummins 2500, a truck completed by Russell Amoruso of Yonkers, N.Y. Russell works at American Tire, a 30-year-old, family-owned performance mod shop based in Yonkers. His truck is featured in the background on the home page of his shop’s website. His shop provides various services including maintenance of tires, wheels, suspension systems, exhaust systems, and brakes, as well as installation of lift kits, auxiliary lighting, recovery systems (such as winches), air ride suspension kits, and horn systems. Russell performed many of these mods on his own 2012 Cummins, which also has a very unique matte sand metallic color that makes it seem to change appearance with the weather.

On a bright, sunny day, the color looks dark matte green, while at night and on dark, stormy days, it looks boldly tan. For mods, Russell’s truck boasts a Kelderman air suspension, an air management panel system (that he produced himself), custom-fabricated side exhaust pipes, enormous rims and tires, and many other cool goodies. Although the truck sees use for more than one purpose, he uses it largely to help market and promote his business, especially in the four-wheel-drive mod segment.

Lifestyle, Reputation, & Color

Russell’s RAM has a unique lifestyle, as it’s based in New York City’s northern neighbor in Westchester County. Although it’s not part of the Big Apple, Yonkers is still highly urban in nature. You wouldn’t normally expect to see a lifted, modified diesel pickup truck prowling around the city streets. Large pickup trucks can’t reach their full potential around large city areas due to speed restrictions, among other strict laws needed to control a large body of vehicles. Despite improvements in urban public transportation over the last several years lessening the need for personal vehicles in the area, American Tire has managed to keep going strong in the business. That’s likely helped by the company’s amazing reputation for customer focus and satisfaction.

“To tell the truth, it’s about you, not us,” Russell says about his company. “We are defined and strive to make every deal about the customer and focus on building relationships on the honest approach.”

His truck symbolizes that mindset well, especially with the variable matte sand metallic paint, since the truck shows how deep American Tire goes in customizing a vehicle the way the customer wants it. Owning a truck that changes colors is a unique experience and is an impressive sight for those walking the streets. Both the matte green and tan colors give the truck excellent looks in a warm weather surrounding, especially near the ocean. Color, however, is not the only thing that gives this RAM truck good looks. The mechanical mods are sure to blow you away as well. Taking a quick glance at the truck, plenty of things will jump out at you. Other than 4x4 advertising, Russell uses his 2012 Cummins as a race truck.

“During the summer, I take it to Rhode Island and New Hampshire to some race meets,” Russell says. “It’s a lot of fun.” Wouldn’t you think so as well with a truck having a lift so massive and wheels so huge?

Engine & Exhaust

“I haven’t done any real engine mods on it yet, but I plan to later on,” Russell says about his 6.7L monster. He does, however, have some exceptional electronic performance tunes on it, thanks to the H&S Performance XRT Pro Race Tuner. The American-made tuner offers precision engine tunes of up to 250hp, speedometer recalibration (for wheel, tire, and gearing mods), the ability to enable or disable special factory features, a removable or adjustable top speed limiter, readable and clearable diagnostic trouble codes, and compatibility with aftermarket turbo kits. Premium customizable tunes are free to download onto the device, and the device is Internet-updatable with an included MicroSD memory card and a USB adapter.

Russell loves having this device on his truck; it’s excellent for meeting almost anyone’s budget and needs. Although he doesn’t have mechanical tunes under the hood, he is still very happy with his performance boosts. This is ideal for his lifestyle, as he uses the truck for both advertisement of his shop and off-street performance competitions. The tuner is not the biggest hit on his truck, but it still helps it sound like a true monster with the exhaust mods.

Another huge eye-catcher on Russell’s truck is his dual side exit exhaust, which he fabricated entirely himself at the shop. The monster-size black pipes run down below the doors and curve out before the rear fenders. This is unique, as it makes it look like a legitimate racing truck. When Russell stomps on the gas with this beast, it’ll sound wonderful zooming by. On top of that, of course, having larger exhaust with more pipes always reduces backpressure and thus increases power and efficiency.

Suspension & Wheels

The engine and exhaust might say a lot, but what really makes this truck stand out most is its air ride suspension, which is a Kelderman 4-Link 8-10-inch lift model. That’s really quite a lift, and it’s amazing to be up in the driver’s seat so high above the road. With most lift kits, the biggest drawback is drivability and comfort. With this kit, the factory coil springs are replaced with lower bag plates and a robust air suspension bag that’s a direct fit into the factory spring location. This allows for an entirely new level of comfort on lifted trucks that’s extremely difficult to match in the aftermarket. Although Russell doesn’t take much advantage of it, for supreme convenience the kit also has a 4-inch raise-lower feature that allows the truck to be a premium race monster, while at the same time trailer-ready or storable in a garage. The truck can go from a 14-inch lift to a 4-inch lift, which is also convenient in adjusting to different lift laws that vary from state to state. To go with the air suspension, Russell installed an air management panel system that he fabricated himself. With this, he has exceptional control over how high or how low his suspension goes. The kit can be used on tires up to 40 inches in size, yet the RAM will still uphold full functionality. Russell certainly takes advantage of that, as he uses Fuel Gripper M/T 40-inch tires on Fuel Forged 11 rims. These tires provide superior traction and aggressive styling that really emphasize the truck’s tough looks. With this type of kit, you’d literally never want to quit driving your truck!

City Cruising

Russell’s 2012 Cummins might not be ideal for use as a year-round, everyday street vehicle, but it’s excellent for what he uses his truck for. Especially in the city, advertising for American Tire’s 4x4 mods is an excellent alternative for doing “truck stuff” that’s hard to do in such a densely populated area. After all, it makes sense that people wanting to get their trucks jacked up would be coming into Yonkers from New York City’s outer suburbs and rural areas further away. The truck is a perfect example of how detail-oriented the shop is in meeting the needs of the customer; Russell truly put the time and effort into every visible part of the truck, especially into the suspension and exterior. The engine might only be turned up slightly, but Russell has plans to put plenty more mods into it. As a drag racing machine, his truck most definitely will blow you away with its custom-fabricated exhaust. This says a lot, but nothing on the truck is more appealing than the Kelderman 4-Link 8-10 air ride suspension, which can lower or heighten in a 10-inch range. A densely populated city might not be the best place to show off performance, but it’s always a great place to advertise, especially for those coming in from the sticks.


American Tire New York City


Fuel Offroad


H&S Motorsports




  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!