What are the functions of pickup trucks? To tow large loads and assist their owners in becoming the best and most robust workhorses possible. They are a necessity for the majority of people, and they have replaced the beasts of the burden of the past. Others prefer pickup trucks to sedans or SUVs because they are a lifestyle choice.
Yet, in the history of American autos, there have been pickup trucks that do not meet these definitions at all. These trucks are insane in terms of speed, power, price, and, of course, appearance. What was the purpose of their creation? Because, well, why not? Isn’t it great to go higher if you can reach for the stars?
The Electric ‘90s: Ford F-150 Lightning
The 1990s heralded a new age in-car power, notably in trucks and SUVs, after the oil embargo-fueled melancholy of the 1970s and the severe emission-controlled ‘80s. The Ford F-150 Lightning was one of these mash-ups, however, its early 1992 version only had 280 horsepower.
By 1991, the F-150 Lighting was a lean, mean racing machine with a 5.4-liter V8 that jetted 360 horses, and later went up to 380. It went 0-60 mph in a flat five seconds and was a vehicle that looked like a truck but ran like a racing car.
The Pickup-Racer: GMC Syclone
With GM making changes to Chevy trucks, GMC couldn’t stay behind, so in 1991 they released the Syclone, which was widely regarded as the worst pickup truck ever because it could haul to save ass. What it might be able to do is complete tasks quickly. The GMC had a modest S10 body with a 4.3-liter V6 engine that produced 280 horsepower.
A turbocharger was also fitted, as well as a four-speed automatic transmission from a Vette and performance-based all-wheel drive. The outcome was a 5.3-second 0-60 mph sprint, making a pickup truck faster than a Ferrari for a brief period of time.
Chevrolet’s Equivalent: The 454 SS
The 454SS logo has been seen on a variety of Chevrolet vehicles over the years, including the Chevelle, Impala, El Camino, and even the Nova, but it was first seen on a truck in 1990.
Chevy engineers replaced the engine in a completely typical Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck with a short bed with a 454 V8, sometimes known as a 7.4-liter V8. The horsepower was only 230-235, but the torque was tremendous at 385 ft-lb, causing this unassuming vehicle to rocket off in a cloud of dust.
Red Hot: Dodge Lil’ Express Truck
Dodge may have struggled in the meantime, but with cars like the Charger and Challenger, they were always a quality automaker who thrived in limited editions. In 1978, the Dodge Lil’ Express Truck not only broke emission standards because it wasn’t a “car,” but it also set the record for the quickest vehicle on wheels for that year.
It only takes a regular D series short bed truck with a 5.8-liter V8, stacked exhausts, and dependable AT. This crazy vehicle could produce 225 horsepower, which was a large amount in the late 1970s.
Car + Truck + Insane Power: Ford Ranchero GT
The Ford Ranchero was an odd combination, combining the utility of a truck with the smoothness of a car. The Ranchero GT was a whole new level of insane, with a 7.0-liter Cobra Jet V8 engine that turned this car-truck into a truck-car-racing machine.
The Cobra Jet engine was rated at 335 horsepower for insurance purposes, but it actually produced closer to 450, turning the Ranchero into a bucking bronco. Needless to say, it was a challenge to drive, and not everyone was up to the task.
Very Rare: Jeep Gladiator Honcho
Jeep pickup trucks aren’t new, and the Gladiator isn’t either. The Gladiator 2020, on the other hand, caused a stir due to the time gap between it and its predecessor. In the 1970s, when car sales were down everywhere, the Jeep Gladiator was no exception.
So they added some graphics and created the Gladiator Honcho, which was a badass on the road is equipped with the 6.5-liter AMC V8. Regrettably, sales remained modest, with only 1,500 units produced on the day, and today’s antique vehicle market commands exorbitant rates.
Chevrolet Bucks Up El Camino SS 454
When the Ford Ranchero debuted in 1957 and quickly became a best-seller despite being a pickup truck built on a car chassis, Chevrolet quickly followed suit with the El Camino in 1959. To match the Ranchero GT’s crazy power, the El Camino was given the dependable and powerful 454 SS engine.
In other words, the El Camino now has a 7.0-liter V8 engine that produces 450 horsepower officially and an unheard-of 500 horsepower unofficially. You’ll also need a large bank account to purchase one now.
The Uber Luxurious: Lincoln Blackwood
When Lincoln realized it needed a truck, it simply took a Ford F-150 and luxed it up to ridiculous levels. Yes, it was practical, since it was a Ford F-150 at its core. It did, however, have pinstriping on the streets and a carpeted bed, and it was most likely chauffeured by English butlers named Reeves.
If you could afford it, which was huge if, at $52,000, it was an exquisite delight that replaced everything you disliked about a Ford F-150 with buttery comfort.
The Beast On The Road: Ford F-150 Raptor
If we told you about a car with a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, 450 horsepower, a 10-speed automatic transmission, and 0-60 mph timings of less than 5 seconds, you’d probably think we’re talking about a $200,000+ supercar.
No, that’s not it. These are genuine Ford F-150 Raptor figures, and this is a truck that comes with a long list of warranties and is ready to go off-road. It is still in production and has to be the weirdest vehicle on the market since 2009, judging by the fact that people are still lined up to get one.
Sheer Madness: Dodge Ram SRT 10
The Ram SRT-10 is the strangest pickup vehicle ever because all Dodge did was put a Viper SRT-10 engine in a Ram short bed truck. What was the SRT engine’s function? It was an 8.2-liter V10 monster that produced 500 horsepower on paper but a lot more in real life.
The fuel economy was pitiful, in the single digits, yet this truck could go from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds and cost $45,000. There was no consideration for practicality; it was all about performance, in a rainbow of hues.