Best Classic Pickup Trucks: Our TOP 10  

F-Series Predecessor - 1918 Ford Model TT

Find here our picks of the best classic pickup trucks, epic ones, which are still desired by car enthusiasts who love vintage vehicles and prefer “true driving” without relying on modern technologies.

Ford:

  • Ford Model TT produced in 1917- 1928
  • Ford F-100, 1953 – 1985
  • Ford F-250 Highboy, 1967-1977
Ford Model TT 1925
1925 Ford Model TT

The Model TT is based on the Model T – Ford’s first automobile affordable for middle-class Americans. Ford sold the first 3 units at $600 only as a chassis, while a body had to be supplied by a buyer.

From 1924, the truck already came with a factory-produced body, and the price dropped to $325 by 1926. The vehicle was widely used by the American and British armies during World War I. The Model TT was slow (15-22 mph) but durable for its time. Today the Model TT is a rare vintage toy for car enthusiasts.

Ford F-100 Effy1956
1956 Ford F-100 “Effy”

The entry-level F-Series pickup was the 1⁄-ton F-100, a predecessor of the all-time bestseller F-150. The F-100 is an iconic vehicle to most gearheads, particularly the 1953-1956 model called ‘Effy’. It was the evolution of Ford’s postwar F-1 Bonus Built half-ton trucks. a decent truck in all respects, especially its handsome nose-heavy exterior design.

The 1953 Ford F-100 came with 5 engines: from a 101-hp “Clipper Six” to a 155-hp “Cargo King” V8. For this year, Ford renamed the F-1 to F-100, supposedly to pay homage to the F-100 Super Sabre fighter jet.

Ford F-250 Highboy 1976 truck
1976 Ford F-250 Highboy

The “Highboy” or “Hi-Boy” featured four-wheel drive, 240 and 300 6-cylinder engines, 351M, 352, and 360 V8s. 

A longer front driveshaft and massive ground clearance were needed since the driveline required a divorced transfer case and sat further back, So, the truck’s front end sat up higher.

This F-250 Highboy is a true classic pickup truck, one of the most sought-after Fords on the planet. It is also the basis for the world’s first monster truck – Bob Chandler’s “Bigfoot”.

Dodge:

  • Dodge Power Wagon, 1945 – 1980
  • Dodge Li’l Red Express, 1978 – 1979
Dodge Power Wagon 1950
1950 Dodge Power Wagon

Long before Dodge introduced its Ram lineup, the Power Wagon was the company’s most iconic pickup truck produced for 35 years.

The extremely capable model had rugged construction, a four-wheel-drive system, high clearance, low axle, and robust transmission. It was powered by 3.8-liter and 4.1-liter Flathead I6 engines, 5.2.L and 5.9L LA V8s.

The Power Wagon was available throughout three series as a civilian pickup or a military-type truck. Today this nameplate continues as a special package of the 4WD 3/4 ton  Ram Trucks 2500 model.

Dodge Li'l Red Express 1978-1979
1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express

The Li’l Red Express is a unique Dodge, a muscle pickup truck that beat a Chevloter Corvette. The model needed 6.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph and 15 seconds for a quarter mile – phenomenon figures for a truck from the 1970s. The manufacturer designed it to give muscle car lovers an option during the era of the new emissions rules. The vehicle was built not for work like other pickup trucks, but for speed and performance.

The Dodge Li’l Red Express, also called the Dodge Lil Red Truck, had a limited-slip axle and was equipped with a modified 360 police V8 engine good for 225 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. In the 1970s the average fuel consumption of a pickup truck was under 10 mpg, but the Li’l Red Express had a respectable 13 mpg.

While the 1978 Lil Red Express was an exceptional hit since it could get maximum power from the engine without any restrictions, the 1979 model got catalytic converters and lost all its demand. Dodge produced only 7,306 units within two years. Today the Dodge Li’l Red Express is a sought-after model due to its rareness.

Jeep and Toyota:

  • Jeep Gladiator, 1962 – 1971
  • Toyota Pickup, 1968 – 1995
Jeep Gladiator 1963
1963 Jeep Gladiator

In 1962-1971, Jeep made the Gladiator or Jeep Pickup, or J-series model with a conventional body-on-frame pickup design. It shared its architecture and front end with the Jeep Wagoneer 4WD station wagon.

The first Gladiators were available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, with optional dual rear wheels, and a standard 3.8-liter 140-hp straight-six Tornado that was the first production overhead cam engine in an American light truck or SUV.  

As the 1963 to ’71 Jeep Gladiator continued to thrive on the market, the truck had got many more engine options: a 3.8-liter AMC* i6 (replaced the Tornado in 1965), a 5.4-liter 250-hp V8, 5.9- and 6.6-liter AMC V8s, Buick’s 5.7-liter 230-hp Dauntless V8 engine.

At present, this Jeep Gladiator is a dream to drive for the true connoisseur.

*AMC is an abbreviation for American Motor Corporation.

Toyota Truck 1983
1983 Toyota Pickup

The Toyota Hilux (Hi-Lux) has been on the automotive scene since 1968 and continues to be sold worldwide. For 20 years and 5 generations since the mid-70s, the vehicle was marketed as the Toyota Pickup / Toyota Truck / Toyota Pickup Truck in the USA, until it was replaced by the Toyota Tacoma.

The Toyota Pickup is a legend: It was the very model that earned Toyota the reputation for building the world’s best 4×4 LDV (Light Duty Vehicle).

Thanks to the SFA* Toyota Truck / Hilux, customers veered away from larger and less fuel-efficient trucks for dependable and economical Toyotas – well-maintained, incredibly reliable, and having a long lifespan.

*SFA is Solid Front Axle

General Motors:

  • Chevrolet El Camino SS 454, 1970 – 1972
  • GMC Syclone, 1991 – 1992
  • GMC Sierra, 1988 – 1998
Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 1971
1971 Chevrolet El Camino SS 454

Chevrolet produced the El Camino coupe utility vehicle (ute) between 1959–60 and 1964–1987 in four generations. This “half-car/half truck” model was a response to the Ford Ranchero.

Chevy did not limit itself to standard El Camino and offered high-performance SS (Super Sport) versions, the hottest and coolest of which was the SS 454 variant. It had a 7.4-liter big-block V8 engine under the hood, with 360 and 450 horsepower options.

Needless to say that today the 1970- 1972 Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 is a valuable collectible. ​​​​​​​

GMC Syclone 1993
1993 GMC Syclone

The GMC Syclone is one of the greatest sleeper cars ever, since it combined its quite ordinary appearance of an average single-cab pickup truck with high performance.

When the model arrived in the 90s, it was a shock. It is responsible for the trend of performance trucks. The Syclone could outrun a Corvette or a Porsche sports car from that era while remaining a truck in terms of functionality and utility.

The GMC Syclone packed 280 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque from a 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine sending power to all four wheels The pickup needed just around five seconds to speed up to 60 mph.

GMC Sierra 1988 pickup
1988 GMC Sierra

The Sierra is one of the most competitive and longest-running pickup trucks in the market.

Consumers wanted a versatile, simple, dependable, and affordable enough pickup truck for more than work purposes, and they received such in the guise of the GMC Sierra.

Properly speaking, the vehicle wasn’t always called the Sierra, but rather the C/K. Today the C/K is referred to as the OBS (“old body style”) truck series. When the 4th-generation Chevrolet C/K arrived in 1988, General Motors spun off a GMC-branded version into its own model and called it the Sierra.

The 1988-1998 GMC Sierra is considered to be an iconic classic truck. It is still easy to find for sale at a reasonable price, while the modern Sierra is a leader of GMC’s truck evolution.

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