When pickup trucks came out back in the day, they didn’t have anything at all. There was no cruise control or even airbags. These trucks didn’t have seatbelts. They only had one mission in life, one aim. And that was to haul stuff from one place to another.
Things are way, way different now. Now brands like Mercedes-Benz and Rolls Royce are gaining entry into the truck segment. MB’s pickup looks good, and boasts plenty of power and one of the poshest interiors available.
While that’s how things are going in general and have gone in the past, every once in a while, a manufacturer introduces a pickup with a limited production run. These trucks have all had some unique features or connections, and most of them did fairly well on the market.
So let’s check out some of these rare pickups. Of note, all the price estimates are from cargurus.com, ebay.com or hemmings.com. Sometimes the car was not available anywhere online, at which point we took comparisons based on the model year, total copies and the uniqueness of the car.
18 “THE DUDE” ($1K-10K)
The ad for this literally says: “Works like a Wrangler. Looks like a ‘Dude.’” The Dude, or “Dude Sport Trim Package” as they called it, was basically a toy for adults, just like we have got the Raptor going for us.
You could have recognized them from far, far away with the “C” stripe that ran along the length of the truck on the sides.
Only about 1.5K-2K Dudes were ever made back in 1970 and 1971. Another characteristic of these trucks was the dog dish hubcaps. The asking price can range anywhere from $1K to $10K, depending on the condition.
17 DODGE RAM ROD HALL SIGNATURE ($8K-15K)
I’m always surprised to see the disparity in consumption and production. It’s easy to consume things, but to produce? That’s another world, a seemingly scary world. But Rod Hall wasn’t going to let any such fears hold him back. After having been in the car world for a long time as an off-road racer, he went ahead and made some of these bad boys you see in the picture.
Not a lot of things say “macho” as much as this picture right here. There were a lot of safety regulations, so only about 50 of these ever saw the light. You can expect to pay $8K-15K for one.
16 FORD F-150 NITE ($12K-15K)
The production number of these was limited, although it doesn’t look like there’s any data on the exact numbers. This was mostly a “show” piece. Perhaps Ford didn’t exactly know what buyers wanted, so no engine boost was given.
You could look from afar and tell this was a different horse in the stable. It had the Raven Black paint job, sport suspension, forged aluminum wheels and special stripes on the sides. It seems like a 6.3K-mile can be had for $12K-15K.
15 CHEVY K10 SNO CHASER ($11K)
If the GMC Sierra California Sundancer was available only in Southern California, this one was kind of the opposite, in that it was available mainly in northern states. It was for wintery areas, with a really low production number.
They all had the red paint with gold stripes on the top half of the car, while the lower half got the black paint.
The tires were huge, and the powertrain was sufficient. So now the name should make more sense, although I wonder why they didn’t add the “n” at the end. A 95K-mile was sold for $11K in the past, so that’s what the price of these things looks like.
14 GMC SYCLONE ($23K)
This truck would not be very useful today considering its payload was 500 lbs and tow weight 2000 lbs. Let’s take it one step further and say this truck didn’t have much of a use even back then in a capacity of a truck. But that’s why it was well liked.
It had the same turbo engine of the Buick Grand National, but with some sport-focused trim items, it managed to beat contemporary Ferraris.
While they are not super rare with 2,995 copies, you can still expect to pay about $23K for one of these. They can’t haul much, but they will haul pretty fast.
13 DODGE RAM 1500 HEMI GTX ($13K-16K)
About 900 of these trucks were made between the years 2004-2005. It was released in celebration of golden Mopar years, including the all-time famous 426ci Elephant V8 engine.
While Dodge initiated the project, the additional work was done by a third party. Some of the features included “honey-stick” stripes and blacked-out cowl hood. The engine itself was the 5.7L Magnum V8.
The color choices were all flamboyant, such as the Hemi Orange, Banana Yellow and Plum Crazy Purple. You can get one of these bad boys for about $13K-16K, depending on the condition and mileage. It’s a solid truck, honestly.
12 FORD F-150 FREE WHEELING ($5K-10K)
The Free Wheeling edition was a thing that wasn’t limited to Ford. But whoever made it, made it look cool. It was a couple of color schemes with some decorative stripes on the sides. It was pretty pimped-out, color wise.
While these things were famous back in 1978, they are not that high in demand now, unless you get one that’s intact.
The reason has to do with the colorful exterior. You see, that color scheme, which is what this car is entirely about, is not available anymore because no one makes those decals and stripes anymore. So if it’s not intact, it will be rusty. You can get these for $5K-10K.
11 GMC SIERRA GRANDE OLYMPIC EDITION YEAR ($5K-10K)
Back in 1976, there was the Summer Olympic going on in Montreal. Considering the market’s demand, GMC went ahead and produced the limited number of these Sierra Grande Olympic Edition. Only 630 of them were made and all had a distinct white and red color scheme. They look pretty cool actually. There was an Olympic logo that could be found in the car too.
Power was the courtesy of 165-HP 350ci V8. Since they were available in only Canada, it’s kind of difficult to find the price range, but you can expect to pay $5K-10K for one that’s in decent condition.
10 2006 CHEVY SILVERADO INTIMIDATOR SS ($27K)
This one was to pay homage to the late Dale Earnhardt, who unfortunately passed away in a crash in early 2010s, and recently his son, Dale Junior, retired from NASCAR. While NASCAR and we are currently looking for our favorite NASCAR racing driver, some people are buying this limited-edition bad boy for as much as $27K.
It had a Black Onyx paint job and had some specially embroidered seat headrests. It also had a 6L V8 that produced a respectable 345 horses. Only 933 were made. You can actually see the “Intimidator” custom badge on the tailgate; it looks superb.
9 1987 FORD BIGFOOT CRUISER ($26K)
While some people were roaming around in their normal Fords, others were going after this Ford Bigfoot Cruiser. Ford’s Bigfoot had oversized wheels, a light bar, and an awesome front bumper.
Initially, they were fine. However, over time some of these started catching fire and some were getting caught in accidents at a higher frequency than normal. People sued Ford, and Ford was forced to recall the 300 units made.
While you wouldn’t want to get those before the recall, you might want to get the one that had some of the aftermarket parts removed after the recall. It can cost upward of $26K.
8 GMC SIERRA INDY 500 ($25K)
GMC became the official car for 1977 Indy, and to share that enthusiasm with fans and customers, it went ahead and produced a limited number of the Indy 500s. These trucks were available in both 2WD and 4WD; both wideside and fenderside models were produced too. The bed was 6.5 feet in both the wideside and fenderside.
The exterior was a colorful contrast of black and white with some red pinstripes. The production number can’t be ascertained, but it looks like they had V8 engines. It’s rather difficult to find one, so prices can range from $5K-10K for decent condition and $25K-plus for those in top condition.
7 DODGE JEAN MACHINE ($7.8K)
If you looked at this and thought of jeans, you’d be on the spot. Dodge actually tried to make profits from the jeans craze that was going on back in the mid ‘70s. TV shows and films had made them popular, and Dodge wasn’t going to let that opportunity slide. So they created this car that had the crazy stitching on the outside in orange and the blue paint throughout the whole body. There wasn’t much to it though besides what the exterior showed. The interior was nothing fancy and neither was the engine. One was sold for $7.8K in the recent past.
6 FORD SKYRANGER ($25K)
As the name might have alluded, this was actually a special edition of the Ford Ranger, which was a good truck. The car was an extended-cab Ranger with a 4L Cologne V6 and all-wheel drive, which was then converted into the SkyRanger via the services of American Sunroof Company. The ASC essentially added the removable top.
Everyone was excited about this—who didn’t want a convertible pickup with a superhero name?—but the end result was that either 17 or 19 were made. There was a 7.5K-mile SkyRanger on sale for $25K. Jalopnik and readers thought it was a little overpriced.
5 1981 CHEVY C10 ROLLIN’ REBEL ($5K)
While the picture of the truck might lead you into thinking this is a piece of art from the ‘70s, it’s actually from the ‘80s. Square body pickups were picking up the pace in the special edition department during this time, hence the square shape of this bad boy.
It was based on the Chevy C10 chassis but customized by a third party manufacturer.
The body color was silver and gray, with some red pinstripes. The interior was also modified with some custom upholstery. The hood had a 305cu V8. One of them was on sale for $5K; it had 91K miles.
4 1983-1987 CHEVROLET EL CAMINO SS CHOO CHOO ($15K)
Here’s a pretty neat one. While “Choo Choo” might be highly suggestive of a train elsewhere, here it refers to the third party custom shop that was responsible for changing the looks of this car. Unlike the others on this list, this one is not that rare, as a total of 4,950 units had been produced from 1983 to 1987.
The “SS” moniker might have been a bit of deception though as they were just standard cars. It was just the outside that was all beefed up for appearances. It looks good. You can have one for as low as $15K.
3 1989 DODGE SHELBY DAKOTA ($15K-35K)
This is probably one of the best rare pickups out there. Only 1.5K copies were made, 640 of which were white and the other red. It had 15-inch 5-spoke hollow alloy wheels, special bumpers and fiberglass lightbar. The exterior looked different and good.
But as good as the exterior looked, perhaps the engine was the gutsiest feature of this car. It wasn’t the average four-banger or even a V6.
This beast had the 5.2L Magnum V8 that produced 175 horses and 270 lb-ft of torque. The price of this beast can range from as low as $15K to as high as $35K.
2 CHEVY S10 EV ($2K-4K)
GM didn’t have much luck with EV cars back in the late ‘90s. In 1997, GM produced the electric version of this pickup. That’s such a weird combination of words. “Electric” and “pickup.” Unless it was the coolest and most powerful pickup truck, even now that combination of words is not going to be digested by a lot.
Anyway, while 492 were made, only 60 were sold to customers, while the rest were leased.
Those that were leased were completely destroyed in a few years by Chevy. No one liked this car. You can probably find these for $2K-4K, as they aren’t exactly capable of sporting more than a 72-mile range.
1 1977 GMC DESERT FOX ($25K)
This is one macho looking car. Whether it’s the front grille and bumper or the light at the top of the roof, or just the overall body of the truck, it looks like it was ready to take on all the adventures off the road. The car cost a decent $1,731 when it came out in 1977.
Some other stuff, like AC, cruise control, etc., weren’t factory installed, but I’d imagine people were just so ecstatic about this vehicle that they didn’t care. The production number information is not known, as it’s kind of difficult to find nowadays. We estimate the price to be somewhere around $25K.