Everyone loves a good-looking truck. Modern-day trucks don't have the same adoration like those from the past. Trucks were generally considered manly, and a reliable one could last for years in a family, sometimes being passed down to the third generation. Old trucks from the past were engineered to last longer than vehicles. They would take all the beating and still outlive normal cars. That's why you see a lot of old trucks on the road compared to normal vehicles from the same period.
Muscle cars were dominant in the '70s, but not everyone could afford them, and they weren't functional. Trucks started gaining popularity as a result because they were spacious. Nowadays, trucks have what you'd call 'city-friendly' bodies, which might be appealing aesthetically but cannot be compared to vintage trucks. They were rugged and sturdy but still managed to look good. The change isn't necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, it's the renaissance of the truck automobile, and there are still some gems which are being currently produced. This heralded the decision to come up with a list of the coolest trucks of all time. The list might not be exhaustive, but it covers the best trucks to have ever been produced ever since the vertical was invented. Here are 25 coolest trucks of all time.
25 Chevrolet Suburban 1999
Chevrolet could be seen as the pioneer of the SUV platform. The Chevrolet Suburban has been in production since 1935, and it's still on the assembly line up to today. They've produced amazing trucks, but the 1999 model was a special one. There are still several of them running up to today. The 1999 model was the 8th generation of the Chevrolet Suburban. Not only did it look good, but it was also one of the most powerful trucks in its time.
It featured a 6.5-liter turbo V8 engine. The car had a top speed of 98 mph and could go from 0 to 60 in 9.3 seconds.
The Suburban is one of the most successful vehicles from General Motors, which is evident with its 8-generation production line.
24 Jeep Wagoneer
It's very hard to narrow this item down to a particular model because they were all amazing in terms of exterior design and performance. There weren't a lot of changes experienced during the 3 decades it was in production. The first Jeep Wagoneer came out in 1962. It had a totally different chassis body from its predecessor, the Jeep Station Wagon. The car included a straight-6 engine, which was rare in an all-wheel vehicle at that time. The Jeep Wagoneer also set design standards in the '60s and the '70S. The wood-grain body styling became a standard for SUV trucks at that time. There are still some Jeep Wagoneers running, although they're very rare. It may not be a collector's vehicle, but it was truly a special car.
23 International Harvester Travelall
This truck didn't have a big parent company behind it but still competed with big brands. It was on the assembly line from 1953 to 1975, with 4 generations being produced. The company decided to specialize in trucks. When it first launched, the R series was their project. The truck looked like an American school bus. The second generation, which was manufactured from 1958 to 1960, saw a departure in terms of design, and it looked more or less like SUVs at that time. The third generation is what brought the company into the limelight. It featured a 5-door with all-wheel drive. The car looked really good and had a V8 engine, which could produce up to 172 horsepower.
22 International Harvester Scout
This is my favorite in terms of looks. It had a futuristic look for a car that was produced from 1961 to 1980. They're super rare because of the high demand. The car was produced in Indiana and came with the option of a removable hard top. The 1980 model also had removable sliding windows. Sometimes, you can attribute some misfortunes to bad luck. The company was supposed to be successful, given the fact they produced one of the best trucks in the '60s and the '70s. The SUV has a fanatical following even after it was discontinued in 1980. There are owners who have pimped them with a modern look, which didn't take a lot because of the futuristic design already in place.
21 Jeep Cherokee XJ
There's a dedicated group of car enthusiasts who breathe and live the Jeep Cherokee XJ. The name is legendary, and it has everything to do with the performance and the design of the Sports Utility Vehicle. The car was first launched in 1974, but it would take another 10 years before it could be class-leading in the Crossover segment.
There's a big demand for compact SUVs, and it was the Jeep Cherokee XJ that set the ball rolling.
The '90s was a good period for the XJ in terms of publicity and awareness. The US government and police started using it as an official car. The car is still very popular today because it's reliable if it's well maintained.
20 Dodge Power Wagon
The Dodge Power Wagon was in production from 1945 to 1981 and is one of the coolest trucks ever produced. You just have to look at it once to appreciate the work that went into the exterior. The first generation of the Power Wagon was called the 'Flat Fender' and was produced for use in the military in World War II. The car looked nice for a truck of its time, and the successive models were even better. There are some units that are still alive today, and one would think the truck was recently manufactured. It was the perfect farmhouse track and even contributed to the success of some empires like the United Arab Emirates. The Dodge Power Wagon has had a couple of variants over the course of its production.
19 Lamborghini LM002
The Lamborghini LMOO2 has featured on so many lists I've written. It's one of the most reliable SUVs ever built. There's a new version coming out, but it's the first generation truck that's of interest to us. Lamborghini surprised the car world when it announced it was going to be producing an SUV. The company had been known for producing luxury supercars, and SUVs weren't their stronghold. Sceptics were doubtful if the company could deliver. Lamborghini managed to produce a powerful SUV that was just as good looking. The car came with a V12 engine, which was a game changer in the SUV segment. The LM002 has since become a collector's item because not a lot of units were produced.
18 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon
There's no way the Mercedes Benz G-Wagon was going to be missing from the list. The car has been produced since 1979. There haven't been a lot of changes to the exterior after all those years, which is phenomenal, given how good the G-Wagon looks. There were rumors that Mercedes was going to discontinue the G-Wagon, but the latest information is there's a new model coming out soon. Car enthusiasts don't want to let the love story end. The box-like design is something that'll remain synonymous with the G-Wagon, and that's why other car manufacturers can't dare copy it. 40 years of continuous production is a big achievement for a car that looks good and performs like a champ.
17 Third-generation Toyota Hilux
There have been several generations of the Toyota Hilux over the years, and it's the third generation that deserves the special mention. The third generation saw the introduction of the all-wheel drive in the Toyota Hilux. What was more appealing was the ground clearance, which made it the perfect truck for an off-road experience. There was also a new body design, which saw the introduction of round headlights.
Toyota went into a partnership with Winnebago Industries for customization so as to make the Toyota Hilux more appealing to the North America market.
There was a limited production (3,500 units) of the Toyota Hilux, which was called the Mojave and was specifically tailored for the American market. It was more of a luxury truck and featured bucket seats.
16 Suzuki Samurai
I'm pretty sure you must've confused this vehicle with the Jeep Wrangler because they look similar, especially with the newer generations. The Suzuki Samurai is one of the lightest SUVs to have graced the US market. The 80-inch wheelbase meant the vehicle only weighed 2,060 pounds.
Despite its size, the Samurai had a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine, which could produce up to 60 HP.
These were impressive numbers for such a small SUV. There were a total of 47,000 units sold, and the car had a base price of $6,000. You could choose the hardtop or the convertible version. The car was the subject of a lawsuit when some people claimed it was unsafe and prone to rollovers. The lawsuit was never conclusive.
15 Datsun 620
The Datsun 620 was on the assembly line from 1972 to 1979. There were no Japanese trucks in the US market before the Datsun 620 arrived. The Datsun was the first of its kind to offer a long bed. The car was given a facelift in 1978 to include a more good-looking front bumper and grille, which represents the face of the Datsun 620 as we know it today. It had a 2.2-liter engine, which could produce up to 66 HP.
You can find the car for around $10,000 on eBay, which could be the correct valuation of the car.
Don't expect it to have the same power and performance it did 30 years ago. You should only buy it for its heritage and some light driving.
14 Toyota Land Cruiser J40
The Toyota Land Cruiser of today looks nothing close the J40. The J40 was in its own league in terms of design and performance during its era. It was in production from 1960 to 1984. The 2-door version was the most popular, and it was slightly bigger than the Jeep CJ. There are some similarities with the Jeep Wrangler. The first generation was launched with a 90-inch wheelbase. The 1980 model had a 4.0 6-cylinder engine. The Toyota Land Cruiser J40 will be remembered not so much for the performance but for the way it looked. This car is still a chick magnet up to today although they're very rare. The car was Toyota's best-selling model in the States from 1961 to 1964.
13 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning
The Ford-150 is one of the most reliable trucks ever built, and it's also a strong contender in the 'cool' department. The SVT Lightning is so popular that a Ford dealership, Georgia, decided to build its own by raising the performance to 650 horsepower. The car is currently being sold for $49,661, and it won't be long before someone buys it. The F-150 was a tough car even if it had beautiful exterior design cues. The car went through two generations before it was finally replaced by a new version in 2004. It came with a 5.8-liter, which could produce up to 380 HP. The 150 nameplate is still one of Ford's best performers, and you can never go wrong if you buy one, even if it's a second-hand car.
12 GMC Syclone
The GMC nameplate was synonymous with high-performance pickups in the '90s. There were a total of 2,995 units produced, which goes to show how the name was legendary with such few vehicles. The company must've shifted all its effort into making the few units the best pickup trucks at that time.
The GMC was the fastest pickup in the world during its time. It had a 4.3-liter Turbo V6 engine, which could produce up to 280 HP and pull 350 lb-ft.
The GMC Syclone could go from 0 to 60 in a record 5.3 seconds, which was faster than some Mustangs and supercars that were produced during that time. This car could beat a Ferrari in 1991—how cool is that?
11 Land Rover Defender
This list wouldn't have been complete if it didn't have the Land Rover Defender. The Defender is the quintessential British SUV and is one of Queen Elizabeth's II favorite vehicles. A couple of them made it to the US. The Land Rover Defender is one of the rare vehicles whose value appreciates. Land Rover is all about finding the perfect balance between comfort and off-road capabilities. The company ended production of the Defender in 2016. It's said there'll be a new version with a V8 engine and that it'll be able to produce 400 HP. Many car enthusiasts are, however, more interested in Defenders from the past. The car has aged gracefully, and it's hard to imagine that there's someone who doesn't like its exterior.
10 Jeep Wrangler TJ
There have been several Jeep Wranglers over the years, but it's the second-generation Jeep Wrangler TJ that deserves a spot on this list. The car was in production from 1996 to 2006. It paved the way for exterior aesthetics, as it was the first Jeep Wrangler to use circular headlights.
The car was in conception mode for close to 5 years, and the company had allocated $260 million toward the research and development of the TJ.
The Jeep Wrangler T was also the first car from the company to rock the Rubicon trim package. There aren't so many Wrangler TJs, and getting one that's in good condition could mean paying around $20,000, which is a few thousand dollars shy off the new model.
9 Hummer H1
This car had its moments and generated a lot of debate among car enthusiasts. No matter what you think of the Hummer 1, one thing we can all agree on is that it looked good for a car that came out in the late '90s. The car had 16-inch ground clearance, which is still rare in vehicles up to today. The ground clearance means it can go as high as 22 inches over obstacles. The car doesn't come cheap, even now, as you'll have to part with around $200,000 going by the listings on eBay. The car was originally meant for military use, but it found its way to Hollywood, and the rest, as they say, is history. The car was popular among celebrities, which was like free publicity to the company.
8 Ford Super Duty
The Ford Super Duty is another reliable truck on the list. It's popular with NFL players because it's easy to customize, and it looks good to the eye. The Super Duty is a versatile pickup, which can be used as a family vehicle or a work SUV. You can customize the power to get more performance, which isn't always necessary because the car is already packed, even without modifications. The car was first produced in 1998 and was seen as the natural successor of the F-150. The design has been consistent over the years, and the newer models still look good and have improved performance. The 2018 model starts at $32,890 and comes with a 6.2-liter V8 engine.
7 Willys CJ-2A
This doesn't sound like the name of a truck—if you get my drill. The car was produced between 1944 to 1986 during which 1.5 million units were sold. What attracted consumers is the open body. An open-bodied SUV with off-road capabilities is enough to catch the attention of car lovers. The CJ-2A came after the company had learned lessons from the past failures. There was a need for a post-war off-roader that would still look good.
The car came with an Inline 4 engine and weighed just 2,100 pounds, which was exciting for an SUV.
The car was intended for countryside living and came only with the driver's seat and one side mirror. The lively color combination contributed to the uniqueness of the vehicle.
6 Jeep Gladiator
This vehicle is special because it's a rare breed from Jeep. The company is known to produce SUVs up to today, and no one saw the pickup coming. It's taken more than 52 years to see such a truck, and we're likely to wait even longer to see a full-version pickup truck from Jeep. The Gladiator shares a lot of body parts with the Jeep Wagoneer, which is also featured on the list. There were sub-categories, depending on the wheelbase. The 1964 J-200 was of interest, in particular, because it had a 4-wheel drive, which was made possible by dual front hubs. It's very unlikely you'll see a Jeep gladiator for sale because there are very few that survived the 20th century.
5 Ford Bronco
The name "Bronco" even sounds cool, and the car didn't disappoint when it came to the looks department. Ford announced they would be reviving the Broncho in 2020 due to popular demand. There are concepts in design already in place, but 2020 seems to be too far to wait for the Bronco. Right now, all we can do is to bask in the past glory of this great truck. The car was first introduced in 1966 and was meant to take on the 4-wheel compact SUV market. The Bronco is widely popular because it was involved in the public broadcast of the car-chasing drama of O.J. Simpson, who's one of the most controversial figures of our time.
4 Shelby Dakota
The Dodge Shelby Dakota is a rare vehicle, as only 1,475 units were made. The car was produced for one year in 1989.
It came with the option of a 5.2-liter V8 engine or a 3.9-liter V6 engine, and the total output was 175 HP for the bigger engine.
The car was available in only red and white colors. Such unique features make it an exclusive truck, which was the whole point of its production. There was only one that was made in 2-tone colors, and that's red and white. The car had a base price of $15,813. The Dodge Shelby Dakota was one of the best-performing pickups in the '90s, and the company wanted to keep it exclusively for the chosen few.
3 Second-generation Chevrolet C/K
The C/K line of trucks has been very successful, but it's the second generation that propelled it to glory. It was the first time the trucks were getting a modern facelift. It was also the first time that the trucks were equipped with rear suspension. The drivetrain was a 3-speed manual transmission, which came as standard. The truck came with a 4.6-liter V8 engine. 1968 saw Chevrolet release an exclusive package, which was meant to commemorate its 50th birthday. The package included a gold-white paint scheme, which stood out from the rest of Chevrolet C/Ks that the company had produced. There was a utility variant introduced in 1968 that featured a shorter wheelbase and a more premium interior design with a 2-spoke steering wheel.
2 Ford Model T Runabout Pickup
This could be said to be the grandmother of all pick-ups. It still looks good, even by today's high-design standards. The truck was in production from 1908 to 1927. There were over 16.5 million copies sold during the time period. There are only 8 vehicle models that have surpassed that figure even up to today. The success of the Ford Model T was based on the revolutionary design. The car was relatively cheap when vehicles were seen as a luxury meant for the privileged in society. There were 15,000 orders placed even before mass production could begin, and right there and then, Ford knew it had struck gold with the T Runabout Pickup Truck. The car had a 2.9-liter engine and could produce 20 HP.
1 Mercedes-Benz Unimog
The Mercedes-Benz Unimog made its debut immediately after World War II and has been on the assembly line for the last 74 years. Only a Mercedes truck can have such a long record of consistency and quality. The first model of the Unimog was designed to be used in the agricultural sector. It featured all-wheel drive with very high ground clearance. The car is currently used by a lot of militaries because of its off-road capabilities. The portal-gear design makes the high ground clearance possible. New designs allow the driver to shift from the left-hand drive to the right and vice-versa, depending on where it's convenient. The car can overcome almost every obstacle thrown at it, which makes it one of the best off-road trucks in the world.
Sources: gearheads.org; jalopnik.com; consumerguide.com