What are some of the best trucks of all-time? I’d originally titled this article, “Best Trucks of All-Time” but I figured I should be more specific lest I hear it from the diesel crowd. In fact, the only truck I’ve ever owned was a Dodge 2500 diesel so I get it. Nothing beats pushing 45 pounds of boost and making enough torque to jump start a dead planet. This list focuses on the best gas trucks of all-time. If we’re doing an all-encompassing list of best trucks of all-time it would be the Toyota Hilux diesel hands down. But this is the list of best gas trucks and there are some great ones on this list! If you need a truck to haul things, you minds well get one of these!
Dodge Power Wagon
I’m talking first generation flat fender Dodge Power Wagons, not the new “power wagons” they sell now. I want post-war knobby tires and a workman-like design. These Type D 1-ton Power Wagons just looked like a truck should. All the proportions were just perfect. The big, knobby tires, the giant front grill, the lift gate locked with chain hooks. Not an 8-way adjustable lift gate, one with freaking chains! How cool is that? Unfortunately, it’s so cool that prices for these early Power Wagons and stratospheric. Here is one I found on eBay going for nearly $150,000! Modern trucks now are approaching $100,000 but they will never be as cool as the first generation Power Wagon. I don’t think there’s been a truck sense that more personifies the word.
While not nearly as expensive as the Power Wagon above, the first generation Chevy C10’s are going up in price. Most good examples are going for $30,000-$40,0000 but you can still find some cheap ones. I am partial to the 1962 version because I think it looks the best. Before that the front end was a little too bulbous. There are way too many combinations to choose from but the sweet spot for me is ‘62-’72 first and second generation C10s. The motor combination is irrelevant because you’re probably just going to pull it out and put in a brand new crate motor. I know I would. These trucks are so versatile that owners have gone many different ways in design and the only thing that probably looks terrible it big chrome wheels.
The Ford F-Series is the best selling truck of all-time and it isn’t even close. While the Ford F100 is technically the second generation F-Series truck, I consider it the one that started it all. Produced from 1952-1954, the entire second generation F100’s look great. While I didn’t like the slightly bulbous from end on the early 1st generation C10’s, it just looks right on the F100. This truck doesn’t look bad from any angle. Again, there are numerous combinations to choose from and various ways to build them. Most good examples go for $30,000-$40,000, which is way less than you are going to pay for a truck today. Most of the times you can find one with a newer engine anyway. So really, why would you buy a new truck?
This truck doesn’t get enough love. Maybe because it is super rare and most people don’t know about it. How many trucks can you get with a Lamborghini V12? The answer is one, this one. They originally toyed with a rear-mounted Chrysler engine but it was terrible. For version 2 they moved a Countach V12 to the front and voila! Lamborghini only produced about 328 of these ultra-rare trucks from 1986-1993. There were two built for the Paris-Dakar Rally that were stripped of as much weight as possible. These 5-speed trucks also had custom tires made from Pirelli and a gigantic 45-gallon tank. Maybe with the success of the Urus, Lamborghini will bring us an LM003. That would be sweet!
The other twin-turbo V6 truck on the list, the Syclone is still fast even by today’s standards. At the time, Car and Driver compared its performance to that of a Ferrari in a very flattering way. A Borg Warner AWD system helped propel this twin-turbo rocket ship to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. That’s faster than most muscle cars today! It only made 280 hp but a monstrous 350 lb ft of torque. All of this in a truck the size of a S10! I have been lucky enough to see one or two of these in the wild and every time I get excited. Whenever I find a place to store my theoretical car collection I will have to hunt for one.
Chevy Silverado 454 SS
The Chevy 454 SS was introduced in 1990 as a short-bed only with black paint and a red interior. It came with a massive 454 cu in engine producing a paltry 230 hp but 385 lb ft of torque. This would eventually increase to over 400 lb ft but you kind of expect more from a 7.4L engine. It did have insane 4.10 rear gears increasing acceleration. Still, it took over 7 seconds to hit 60 mph, a full three seconds slower than the Syclone above. So why is this truck so cool if it is so slow? Well, it came with a giant engine, 2WD and it looked straight sinister in black. Did I mention burnouts? Enough said!
In responses to Chevy’s 454, Ford authorized the creation of the Ford Lightning in 1993. At the time, the Lighting had a 5.8L V8 making 260hp through a 4-speed diesel truck transmission. There were suspension and frame modification as well. To me, the Lighting really didn’t hit its stride until the second generation. The second generation, again based off of the F150, added a roots supercharged 5.4L behemoth that made 380hp. This is more or less a detuned version of what would appear in the Ford GT. The Lightning was an aftermarket warrior with simple pulley changes resulting in big horsepower gains. There is nothing like hearing the whine of a roots supercharger while you light up the rear tires!
Dodge Ram SRT10
Continuing our theme of stuffing giant engines in trucks, the Dodge Ram SRT10 was a Viper-powered giant. The 8.3L V10 produced over 500 hp and propelled this truck to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. It also got a Veyron-like 9 mpgs but if you are reading this blog I bet you don’t care. The truck set an SCCA and Guinness world-record for fastest production truck with an average speed of 154.587 mph. It also had gigantic brakes and a larger set of wheels styled similar to the Viper’s. With Dodge being ran by true gearheads, I fully expect a Hellcat powered truck to make an appearance soon and go after their own record. We need more ridiculous trucks in our life!
Now, I know what you are thinking, “every ‘cage fighter’ in my neighborhood has a Ford Raptor” but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. Introduced in 2010, the Ford Raptor was designed to be a Baja truck for the street. It was supposed to go 60mph off-road as easily as it could do it onroad. It accomplished this feat with long-travel Fox live valve shocks and a 6.2L V8. I don’t think they look half bad either with their blacked out front grills. Now, I am partial to the V8 because they just sound better but the twin-turbo V6 actually makes more horsepower. Unfortunately it sounds just like my Fiesta ST which is weird coming from such a large truck. It joins the Syclone as the other twin-turbo V6 truck on our list. Man if Parnelli Jones got his hands on this thing, watch out!