40 Awesome Old School Trucks
Old-school, the way it was meant to be. These 40 trucks are nothing short of cool, classic and enviable. You’re going to love each of these, if you’re anything like us. We can’t get enough of these classic trucks, and these are our 40 favorites. Some may surprise you, especially towards the end of the list. Check them all out and enjoy!
40. 1917-1927 Model TT
There’s the Model T, and then there’s the Model TT, the truck that started it all. Over a hundred years old, the 1917 Model TT was one of the earliest predecessors to the modern pickup truck. Featuring an extended wheelbase and heavier chassis than the Model T, the Model TT helped usher in the idea of light work trucks. The truck was capable of hauling a 1 ton payload and retailed for $600 (roughly $12,000 in today’s dollars). The Model TT was an instant success and other automobile makers quickly followed suit, offering up their own light trucks.
39. 1928 Model A
Ford brought the concept of pickup trucks to the masses with the Model TT. By the mid-1920s, however, the company was facing a lot of competition from Chevrolet, Dodge, and other brands. To shake things up, Ford launched the Model A pickup in 1928. The truck was rated at 1.5 tons, a .5 ton upgrade from the Model T, and featured a 200-cubic-inch four cylinder engine that could crank out 40 horsepower. This was mated with a sliding-gear three-speed transmission.
38. 1930 Model A
While the 1930 Model A Pickup looks a lot like its predecessor, it received a ton of upgrades underneath the skin. The 1930 Model A got a stainless steel radiator, wider fenders, smaller wheels, and a higher steering ratio. The truck was equipped with a modern gearbox and electrical system as well, and could reach 60 miles per hour, then quite fast for an automobile. The 1930 variant also wrote the blueprint for how automobile companies would approach updating their trucks by focusing on incremental change that improved performance.
37. 1929 Half Ton Dodge truck
By 1929 Dodge had become a part of Chrysler while the American automobile industry underwent a period of consolidation. The 1929 Half Ton Dodge truck would end up being the last truck designed by the old Dodge Brothers company. The truck was quite robust for the era and could be equipped with two different Dodge engines, one cranking out 63 horsepower, while the other produced 78 horsepower. There was a 45 hp Maxwell engine available as well. The 1929 Half Ton Dodge truck was also one of the few trucks to feature hydraulic brakes on all four wheels.
36. 1991 GMC Syclone
The GMC Sonoma, a light-duty pickup truck, was quite legendary during the 1990s. In 1991, GMC decided to offer enthusiasts a souped-up Sonoma under the Syclone badge. Performance was a given owing to the 280 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque provided by the 4.3 L LB4 turbo V6. The 1991 Syclone could hit 60 miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds and could complete a quarter mile in 13.4 seconds, making it an exceptionally fast truck, especially for the 90s. Less than 3,000 Syclones were built, making them very rare (and very valuable) today.
35. 1989–1991 Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible
Yeah, you read that right. Convertible and pickup truck, in the same line. Not only is the 1989–1991 Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible an awesome truck but it’s a bit off the wall as well. Dodge partnered with American Sunroof Corporate to bring the Dakota Sport Convertible to life. Want the practicality of a truck combined with the open air of a convertible? The Dakota Sport Convertible is for you. It came equipped standard with a 3.9 liter V6 engine cranking out 125 horsepower and a five-speed manual. While unique, the Dakota Sport Convertible didn’t sell well, with Dodge selling less than 3,000 in the first year.
34. 1976–1983 Jeep Honcho
While Jeep is now most well-known for its sport utility vehicles, once upon a time, the company cranked out a lot of pickup trucks. The Jeep Honcho remains one of the more iconic Jeep trucks. The Hancho trim package was offered on the full-size J10 pickup truck and featured a variety of factory extras, such as a Levi’s interior and a roll bar. The Honcho was available with a 6.6 liter V8 engine that produced 215 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
33. 1990–1993 Chevy 454 SS
Whereas the GMC Syclone used a technologically advanced V6 to achieve speed, the Chevy C1500 454 SS did it all through pure muscle. Packing a massive 7.4 liter big block V8 that cranked out 230 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, which was a lot for its day, the Chevy 454 SS could hit 60 in 7.7 seconds. A 1993 V6 Camaro, on the other hand, needed nearly 9 seconds to reach 60. Unfortunately, you’ll get just 10 miles per gallon with the 454 SS, so while speed may be plentiful, fuel efficiency is lacking.
32. 1990 Dodge Rod Hall Signature Edition
A lot of pickup owners like to lift their trucks. If you own a Baja race truck, like the 1990 Dodge Rod Hall Signature Edition, you don’t have to bother. Designed in collaboration with legendary racer Rod Hall, this Signature Edition Dodge came with lifted suspension right from the dealership. Inspired by Baja racing trucks, the 1990 Dodge Rod Hall Signature Edition certainly was a looker. However, it was powered by a rather underwhelming 318-cid V-8 pumping out just 170 hp.
31. 1977-1981 Dodge Macho Power Wagon
When discussing awesome old school trucks, one can’t overlook the 1977-1981 Dodge Macho Power Wagon. Macho is in the name, after all. Part of Dodge’s “adult toys” lineup, these trucks left the lot lifted and featured various decals, a roll bar with lights, and other toys. While Power Wagons came stock with a V6 engine, you could upgrade to a 318-cc V-8 engine. The Power Wagon preceded but inspired the now very popular Ram trucks, which were first launched under the Dodge brand.
30. 1972-1979 Datsun 620
Japanese car companies have long been trying to break into the American pickup truck market. Nissan started the Datsun truck series in 1955 to compete with American trucks, hoping to get a slice of a very lucrative pie. Launched in 1972, the 620 compact truck came equipped with a four-cylinder engine. The Datsun 620 represents perhaps the best truck of the Datsun lineup and built a sizable following in the tough-to-crack American truck market. The Datsun brand would later be phased out in favor of Nissan and in 1997 the truck lineup was replaced by the Navara and Frontier.
29. 1978-1979 Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck
The 1978-1979 Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck was one of the first true performance pickup trucks. Performance trucks are all the rage these days, but in 1978 it was still a pretty novel concept. With admission standards and high gas prices constraining the automobile market, a regulatory loophole allowed Dodge to produce the high performance 1978-79 Lil’ Red Express truck. It was one of the fastest vehicles of its day, besting many same-year American sports cars. Less than 10,000 Lil’ Red Express trucks were produced, making them rare collector’s items.
28. 1955 to 1959 GM NAPCO Power-Pak
Don’t the 1956-59 NAPCO Power-Pak trucks look out of this world? The 50s were a wild time, especially as far as car design went. The technological revolution was just kicking into full swing and many people were dreaming about space, robot maids, and much more. The space race would influence car designs, with fins and exaggerated, bulbous styling becoming the norm. As far as trucks go, there are few better examples than the GM NAPCO Power-Pak trucks, which featured beefed up parts from the NAPCO auto parts company.
27. 1981-1985 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
The 1981-1985 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler is part CJ Jeep, part pickup truck, and the two elements come together surprisingly well. Famous for its off-road capability, the CJ-8 Scrambler offered more space than your traditional CJ Jeep, but designers decided to use it to offer a flatbed. Most of the CJ-8 Scramblers were equipped with manual transmissions, but an automatic was offered later in the Jeep’s lifecycle. You also got a choice between a hard and soft top model. Either way, the CJ-8 Scrambler offered the best of both worlds.
26. 1974-1977 Mazda Rotary Pickup
The Mazda Rotary Pickup was the first and only pickup truck to use Mazda’s unique “Wankel” rotary engine. Rotary engines are unique in the auto world. While most automobiles are piston-powered (and increasingly, battery-powered), Mazda’s rotating Wankel engine relies on a rotor that moves around the engine block in a sort of figure-eight. For its day-and-age, the Wankel engine offered a lot of power-to-weight ratio, although the engine has since fallen out of favor. If you’re looking for a unique part of combustion-engine history, the Mazda Rotary Pickup certainly fits the bill.
25. 1969 Toyota Hilux
The Toyota Hilux is now one of the most famous light pickup trucks in the world. Extremely reliable with solid off-road capabilities, the Hilux has become a mainstay in many markets. First offered in Japan in 1968 and later in North America in 1969, it took the Hilux a while to gain traction. Regardless, the 1969 Hilux will go down as a milestone in automotive history. When Toyota decided to bring the Hilux to the United States, the company offered a 1.9 liter engine that easily overpowered the 1.5 liter engine intended for the Japanese market, showing that Toyota understood its market.
24. 1946-1968 Dodge Power Wagon
It’s often said that America’s industrial might is what won World War II, and Dodge was an important part of the war effort. In 1946, as Dodge shifted from wartime production to peacetime, the company decided to offer a “truck that needs no roads,” the Dodge Power Wagon. At the time, the Power Wagon was one of just two 4-wheel drive general use vehicles (the other was the Willys Jeep). For its day and age, the Dodge Power Wagon was arguably the premier work truck, allowing people to drive off-road with relative ease.
23. 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota
Shelby is perhaps most well-known for its Mustangs; however, the company has tried its hand at plenty of other performance vehicles, including the 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota. Only about 1,500 Dodge Shelby Dakotas were built, making it a rare collector’s edition. While most Dakotas were equipped with small four or six cylinder engines, Shelby managed to cram a 5.2 liter Magnum V8 under the hood. Add in some other modifications and the engine was cranking out 175 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft of torque. This enabled the truck to hit 60 in a respectable 8.5 seconds.
22. 1953-1956 Ford F-100
One of the most distinctive pickup trucks to ever roll off the line, the Ford F-100 is simply dazzling to the modern eye. The generous, rounded curves helped the F-100 fit in with 1950s design cues, seemingly reminiscent of a spaceship. These days, the F-100’s distinctive styling has made it a hot collector’s item, and even though well over 300,000 of these trucks were produced, they can still be hard to get your hands on. With an available 136 horsepower engine, the 1956 F-100 was quite powerful for its day as well.
21. 1935-1940 Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet is, in many ways, the inspiration for most modern SUVs. The idea of the Suburban was simple: to be a true “carryall” that could transport a wide range of goods. The Suburban was meant for people who needed to transport a lot of stuff, but not a full transport truck worth of goods. The original suburban was essentially a station wagon body fitted onto a truck chassis. The suburban could also be fitted to seat 8, making it great for transferring small groups of people.
20. 1967-1969 Kaiser Jeep M175
Like many Jeeps, the 1967-1969 Kaiser Jeep M715 was first built for action in combat theaters, in this case, Vietnam. The Kaiser M715 was a heavy-duty military grade pickup truck that was based on the Jeep Gladiator. To that end, the Kaiser M715 received capable Dana 60 and 70 axles, and ultra-low 5.87:1 gears mated with a robust Warner T-98 four-speed manual. A 231-cid inline six was found under the hood. The Kaiser M715 topped out at just 55 miles per hour but could handle trails with relative ease.
19. 1963-1971 Jeep Wagoneer
You probably weren’t expecting to find a “station wagon” on an awesome truck list, but the 1963-1971 Jeep Wagoneer belies a mean, tough, off-road vehicle. The 1966 Wagoneer, in particular, offered a great blend of luxury and powerful muscle with its equipped V8, cranking out 145 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque, which were quite respectable numbers at the time. The Wagoneer would ultimately help lay the foundation for later full-sized, fully-powered SUVs. While the Wagoneer is no more, you can clearly see its influence in modern Jeep SUVs.
18. 1973-1991 Chevrolet Suburban
In 1973, Chevrolet unveiled the next generation of their popular Suburban “carryall” truck. The Suburban would go all but unchanged until 1991, with Chevrolet opting only for subtle performance upgrades and minor facelifts. The 1973 Suburban also showcased changing design philosophies as Chevrolet eschewed rounded corners and round headlights for squares and sharp angles. Available with a 454 7.4 liter V8 engine, the Chevy Suburban had plenty of power, although like most trucks, felt the bite of the 1970s oil crisis.
17. 1975 Ford F150
The Ford F150 currently holds the title for America’s best-selling truck, a title it has held continuously since 1977. The F150’s march through history started a few years earlier, however. The first truck to wear the F150 badge appeared in 1975 and quickly became the standard bearer for the “F Series” line of trucks, offering beefier suspension and more muscle than its slightly smaller F-100 sibling. While the stock six cylinder cranked out just 113 horsepower, the available 7.5 liter V8 could pump out 245 horsepower.
16. 1960-1966 Chevrolet Suburban
By 1960, the basics of the modern Chevrolet Suburban had emerged. It was long and powerful, great for transporting goods and people, and also a true truck. Available small block V8s meant the 1960-66 Suburbans had access to enough horsepower and torque to get a lot of jobs done. For large families, the Suburban could act as a station wagon when needed, and a work truck on-demand when the job called for it, making them a pragmatic choice for many different situations.
15. 1967-1972 Chevy C10
The 1967-1972 Chevy C10 remains one of the most handsome trucks on the road. The front end was able to incorporate much of the rounded corners from the 50s and 60s with the emerging square-ish look that would dominate the 70s and 80s. Meanwhile, a 350 CID engine pumped out an impressive 255 horsepower. Coil spring trailing arm suspension helped ensure a smooth ride and marked a huge upgrade from leaf springs. While many modern drivers might take smooth driving for granted, in the 1960s many cars were rough on the road.
14. 1963-1987 Jeep Gladiator and J-series
With World War II far in the rearview mirror, Jeep needed a replacement for the Willy’s pickup truck. Enter the Gladiator. While Jeep’s early workhorses were rather compact, the Gladiator was a full-size and fully capable truck. The truly timeless design would go nearly unchanged for 24 years, undergoing only cosmetic refreshes and a few updates. In 1971, the Gladiator did get a new name, the “J-Series.” All good things come to an end and by the mid-1980s, the Gladiator was falling farther and farther behind the competition. As a result, it was discontinued.
13. 1965- 1971 International Harvester Scout 800
The International Harvester Scout 800 is one of the most popular collector trucks around, and with good reason. The original Scout quickly gained a loyal following and a lot of attention for its superb off-road capabilities. In its heyday, it was arguably the best truck of its class. The original 800 was barebones and lacked many creature comforts but the 800A and later 800B would add many then-modern amenities. During the 1960s, International Harvester Scout even managed to outsell Jeep, making it the most popular 4X4 of the time.
12. 1971-1980 International Harvester Scout II
In 1971, International Harvester followed up on the success of the Scout 800 series with the Scout II. These days, the Scout II is one of the most valuable and sought out collector trucks. Why? Its performance was plain awesome. The Scout II received a number of cosmetic changes compared to the Scout 1 and was lowered 3 inches closer to the ground. The Scout II offered a variety of engines, from 4 to 8 cylinders, as well as two diesel engines. The 345 V-8 pumped out nearly 200 horsepower and just over 300 lb-ft of torque.
11. 1986-1992 Jeep Comanche
Jeep had already been slowly exiting the pickup truck market by the 1980s, ceding ground to its intercompany sibling, Dodge. Jeep decided to take a stab at surging Japanese automakers, however, by releasing the compact Jeep Comanche. With an available 4.0 liter gasoline engine capable of cranking out up to 190 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque, the Comanche packed quite a lot of power in its compact frame. Nearly 200,000 Jeep Comanches were built during its production run but poor sales would ultimately lead to Jeep exiting the pickup truck market all-together to focus on SUVs.
10. 1967-1977 Ford F-250
Nicknamed the “Highboy,” the 1967-1977.5 Ford F-250 4X4 is one of the meanest looking Ford trucks around. First, there’s the stature. It sits higher than your typical off-the-lot truck. The truck is a bit narrower, giving it a lean, tall appearance. At the time it stood a few inches higher than its rivals, allowing you to put massive 35-inch tires on. The end result was a large, aggressive truck. Ford’s respectable 360 V-8 engine was used, providing solid performance. Highboys have even been cited as the inspiration for the first monster trucks.
9. 1983 Humvee
The “High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle,” AKA Humvee, is one of the meanest trucks of all time. Built by AM General specifically for military use, the original Humvee -launched in 1983- would go on to supplant the CJ Jeeps and other vehicles as the military’s vehicle of choice. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Style-wise, the Humvee is virtually unchanged from the 1983 model. A civilian-variant of the Humvee, the Hummer, would eventually be sold to the public. The military has occasionally auctioned off Humvees over the years as well.
8. 1966-1977 Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco was one of the most popular trucks of its day, and now it’s among the most iconic. First launched in 1966, the Ford Bronco was a mid-sized two-door light-truck. The original Bronco offered solid performance, and just as importantly, a lot of fun. Many come sans top, meaning you can enjoy the Bronco in open air. The size and profile, along with powertrain, made the Bronco a sort of do-all. It was good for work around the farm, off-road exploring, or hauling the family around.
7. 1993-1995 Ford Lightning
In 1993, Ford decided to enter the high-speed performance truck race with the Ford Lightning, a souped-up version of the always popular F-150. Ford turned to their internal Special Vehicles Team (SVT) to tune the Ford Lightning. The team opted to work with the F-150’s 5.8 liter small block V-8 and used performance mods to increase horsepower to 240 hp and torque to 340 lb-ft of torque. The SVT team also lowered the Lightning by 2.5 inches and improved handling with new springs, shocks, tires, and anti-roll bars.
6. 1986-1993 Lamborghini LM002
Lamborghini recently got into the SUV game, opting to make more family friendly versions of their hypercars. However, the Italian supercar maker had already entered the truck game back in 1986 with the Lamborghini LM0002. The four door truck was hand built and well-regarded for its impressive performance. Nicknamed the Rambo-Lambo, the first LM002 entered the market with a 5.2 liter V12 engine that cranked out 444 horsepower. Even by today’s standards, that’s a lot of horses, but back then, it was borderline absurd.
5. 1979-1985 Stage One Land Rover
These days, Land Rover is an iconic luxury and off-road vehicle brand. Back in the 1970s, it was falling far behind the competition, especially when you consider how pricey Land Rover’s vehicles are. The British government decided to invest in the company, kicking off “Stage 1” to improve the company’s product offering. Most importantly, the Land Rover got an optional V8 engine that offered far more output than the company’s previous 4 cylinders. Stage one would also set the stage for future vehicles.
4. 1973-1996 Range Rover Classic
Some vehicles border on being timeless. The Range Rover Classic is one such truck, having been produced from 1973-1996 without a ground-up makeover. Instead, the Rover Group used incremental upgrades to continuously improve the Range Rover Classic’s performance and to update the styling. The Range Rover would get many engines over the years, from fuel-efficient 4 cylinders to robust V8s. Diesel options were also offered, including a “Turbo D” engine from Volkswagen. The Turbo D Land Rover set a diesel endurance record by running continuously for 24 hours at over 100 miles per hour.
3. 1946 Hudson Big Boy
The Hudson brand is no more but the company’s legacy lives on in its classic cars and trucks. The 1946 Hudson Big Boy is perhaps the best representation of the company’s design philosophy. Beautiful, classy, and riding low, the Hudson Big Boy was actually based on the company’s car platforms. For a truck of its age, the Hudson Big Boy exuded a certain luxury. Still, nice rides weren’t enough to save Hudson, which eventually became part of the American Motor Corporate (which itself would later fold) before fading into history.
2. 1947-1951 CHEVROLET 3100
Following the aftermath of World War II, Detroit’s automakers had to switch from wartime production to peacetime production. Most civilians weren’t looking to ride around in CJ Jeeps and the like. However, civilians did need modern, practical trucks. Enter the 1947 Chevrolet 3100, which was equipped with a robust 6 cylinder and featured updated styling and amenities. The Chevy 3100 would help usher in the modern era of automobiles, although pickup trucks weren’t yet the American staple they are today.
1. 1955-1958 CHEVROLET CAMEO
There may not be a more beautiful old school pickup truck than the 1955-58 Chevrolet Cameo. While many trucks were barebones workhorses, the Chevy Cameo was stylish. It also featured a lot of (then) modern amenities and had pretty solid acceleration, then a rarity for a pickup. In a sense, the Cameo was ahead of its time, combining luxury with practicality. Unfortunately, many people shied away from the Chevy Cameo’s high price tag, so the truck quickly went out of production. Now, it’s one of the rarest and most valuable antique trucks.