Not long ago, rusty vintage trucks were viewed as trash. But thanks to amazing restorations like these, they’re now considered serious treasures.
In the automotive world, restoration has been popular for decades now, with almost anyone able to hold a wrench dreaming of restoring their favorite classic. As with anything, taste is very subjective, and the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” could not be more applicable when it comes to automotive restoration.
In recent times, something that many enthusiasts considered trash not long ago has become a serious treasure; old trucks. They are now some of the most sought after projects. Not only that, but they have also become increasingly collectible. As a result, we are now blessed to have endless choices when it comes to beautifully restored trucks. There are two distinct approaches to restoration.
There is the purist ground-up restoration where every part of the vehicle is restored to its period-correct self. Then there is the restomod, where the beautiful exterior is restored and the internals are updated to make a more suitable, safer daily driver.
Here is a look at 8 restomods and 8 amazing ground-up restorations that have rescued these trucks from the junkyard.
16 Icon Dodge Power Wagon: Restomod
This beautifully restored truck ditched the old slant 6 and upgraded to a 5.7-liter supercharged HEMI V8. All the running gear is off a 2007 Dodge Mega Cab 4×4 and an iPad Mini is seamlessly integrated into the dash for modern infotainment.
15 1954 Dodge Power Wagon: Restoration
It is almost impossible to look at restored trucks and not look at the post-war Power Wagon. These military trucks have become some of the most desirable (and valuable) on the market today, even with the low compression flat head 6 they still produce enough torque to go anywhere (albeit slowly).
14 RTech Chevrolet K50 Crew Cab: Restomod
This looks almost period correct at first glance, then you will realize Chevy only started making Crew Cabs in the late ’70s! This re-imagined 60’s truck known as The Ponderosa and is built to spec, with a modern drive-train of your choice and top-notch suspension this isn’t just some showpiece, RTech’s mantra is to “build trucks to do truck things.”
13 1977 Chevrolet C20 Crew Cab: Restoration
Unlike The Ponderosa, this really was the first Chevy Crew Cab. It is otherwise not necessarily the most desirable truck on this list but just with that bit of historical significance can still sell for over $20000!
12 Zerolabs Bronco: Restomod
Bronco’s, especially from this era, have made a huge comeback. This one has gone fully electric, something that a lot of purists will grumble at but there is little doubt it is the future for most restorations; with more power and no emissions.
11 1968 Ford Bronco: Restoration
For the true purists, this restoration may not be the benchmark, but the race-tuned 302 V8 is a big upgrade that is still period correct. It has also got a few other creature comforts, in truth they really just make it personal as opposed to modern.
10 Chevrolet C10 Pro Touring: Restomod
This C10 has been upgraded with modern suspension, brakes, and an LS3 that pushes out over 500 horses! It is really a show truck, which is finished to perfection inside and out.
9 1968 Chevrolet C10: Restoration
Arguably even better looking than the slammed SEMA restomod, this only gets some modern wheels and tires. The lines of these old trucks are quite something, brought to the fore by the simple yet perfect paint job.
8 Ford F-100: Restomod
This is a serious build, taking the “mod” in “restomod” up a notch. This F-100 has a Mustang front end and a very new 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine out of an F-150 Raptor producing 365 horsepower.
7 1955 Ford F-100: Restoration
This period-correct restoration has a 302 V8 that produces only 5 horsepower less than the Raptor sourced lump in the above restomod. It is unlikely to keep up though, the ’50s suspension might have been restored but the F-100 will handle just like it did back then; like a truck!
6 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45: Restomod
Already widely regarded as the toughest truck in the world, this one gets even tougher with a little American muscle. An LS1 finds a home in the engine bay and is mated with a 5-speed manual, as well as a modern off-road suspension to add some comfort.
5 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45: Restoration
This might well have rolled off the production line yesterday, not 1974. It is a very well executed build right down to the bare floorboards exposing its beautiful period-correct paint to the elements!
4 Land Rover Defender D130: Restomod
Land Rovers are famed for being the least reliable yet best off-road vehicle. That is why this LS3 engine swap is the best kind of bad idea. Its 480 horses will get you into, and then drag you out of all sorts of trouble.
3 1987 Land Rover Defender: Restoration
Even the biggest Land Rover fans out there will admit these turbo-diesels were not the best engines, even when new. So it is clearly a labor of love getting this back into original condition, well worth it, as it looks fantastic.
2 Ford F-150 Hoonitruck: Restomod
With more power than anyone could really actually use, this is less about the vehicle and more about pure fun. It is a good example of the different reasons for a build; it really can just be for enjoyment, or “hooning.”
1 1977 Ford F-150 Ranger: Restoration
When you look at this truck, the first thing that comes to mind is: what’s missing? The truth is, there is nothing missing, even Chevy fans will struggle to find reasons why this isn’t the perfect truck.
Next: Ranking The 15 Best Ford Pickup Trucks Ever Built
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