The Best Classic Pickups To Modify Into Performance Trucks

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Pick up trucks were always underrated vehicles in the car industry. Not only that they’re not appreciated for all the work they do, but also old ones are always either parked out back, sold for very cheap, or just left to rot. On the other hand, the collector community treats muscle cars and other sedans as artifacts.

RELATED: Every Gearhead Should Own One Of These Underrated Classic Pickup Trucks

But vintage pickup trucks aren’t just old trucks that don’t deserve your attention, most of the time they tell a story. Although lately, vintage pickup trucks are beginning to take off, there are dozens more that deserve to be saved, modified, and turned into your little project.

Here are 10 classic pickup trucks that you should think about modifying. They aren’t dirt-cheap, but at the same time, we believe that in a couple of years they are going to get too expensive.

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10 1967 Chevrolet C10 Cheyenne

1967 Chevrolet C10 Cheyenne

via hagerty.com

The C10 Cheyenne was sold only from 1967 to 1972. However, Chevrolet’s “Action Line” vehicles include some of the most beautiful American pick-up trucks ever built. The best ones were of course in the last years, when Chevrolet introduced more car-like features to the pickup.

1967 Chevrolet C10 Cheyenne

via pinterest.com

The Cheyenne had new disc brakes and a standard radio, which was quite unusual for the 70-s, special trim, and a very luxurious interior. All the Action Line pickup trucks are worth modifying and owning, but the Cheyenne out of all of them deserves to be resurrected.

9 1991 GMC Syclone

1991 GMC Syclone

via dragtimes.com

Late is better than never. That was probably GMC’s motto when they finally created a muscle car truck in the early ’90s. They fitted the Syclone with a turbocharged V6 engine that delivered 280 horsepower. And the result was truly fascinating.

1991 GMC Syclone

via youtube.com

They made a car that could keep up with the Ferraris of those days. Only around 3000 were produced, and most of them were saved. Which makes it an amazing truck to modify, and perhaps put a V8 instead of the V6. If you come across one, make sure to pay attention to it.

8 1979 Dodge Lil Red Express

1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express

via speedcars.com

Unfortunately, the ’70s weren’t a great time for muscle cars. Starting from high insurance rates, to the gas crisis and lastly the emission regulations, they all contributed to the dissolution of the muscle car in America. However, someone smart at Chrsyler found out that such laws don’t apply to pickup trucks, and they went on and designed the Lil Red Express.

1979 Dodge Li’l Red Express

via mecum.com

The Lil Red was based on the lightest Dodge truck, and fitted with a 360 inch V8 that delivered 225 horsepower, and it was the fastest American car to go from zero to 100. Although its styling might not be great, this pickup truck can be modified to an even higher performance version, and you’ll have a classic worth ten times more than the value you bought it for, in only a couple years.

7 1984 Toyota FJ40 Truck

1984 Toyota FJ40 Truck

via caranddriver.com

Who doesn’t love a classic Japanese pickup truck? Calling the FJ40 trucks icons is truly an understatement. They were launched in 1960 and built until 1984 in Japan, but continued until 2001 in Brazil. The FJ40 is one of the trucks that can literally go anywhere without a fear in the world.

1984 Toyota FJ40 Truck

via pinterest.com

However, the pickup model is much rarer than the famous 4×4. If you’ll ever find one, you should immediately keep an eye on it, since they are some of the most desirable classic pickups. However, some might need to restore, and with the modifications in your mind they can turn into gorgeous collector pieces.

6 1996 Ford F-Series

1996 Ford F-Series

via fordauthority.com

Sometimes the only way for classics to stay on the roads is through restorations and modifications. And although they are plenty of the F-Series from the fifth generation in the streets, some car enthusiasts will have to make sure things stay this way.  Because it’s truly one of the trucks that can be accepted as an ultimate classic.

1996 Ford F-Series

via pinterest.com

Moreover, the fifth generation with its clean and boxy look went on and defined the entire upcoming generations of the F-series. It was revolutionary in the sense of comfort, safety, and engineering. Finding one nowadays can be pretty easy and affordable, so the only question you need to ask yourself is how crazy you can go with it.

5 1981 Jeep Scrambler

1981 Jeep Scrambler

via hemmings.com

Okay, before you go on and read what we have to say, we have to warn you that there aren’t so many cheap Scramblers left anymore. But, their value will surely go only up, so modifying one and selling it in a few years can be very profitable, if that’s what you want.

1981 Jeep Scrambler

via blog.jeep.com

Keeping it for yourself and modifying it to your own taste isn’t a bad choice either. The CJ-8 is a legend among trucks that can do anything, but at the same time serves as a performance vehicle. It’s a Jeep, after all.

4 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

via art.branipick.com

Probably the truck with the cutest name ever! And looks! After all, Volkswagen couldn’t miss on the thousands of compact trucks being built during the ’70s. It’s surely a weird choice, but also eccentric, and with the right modifications it can really make you stand out.

1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

via info-vw.blogspot.com

The Rabbit pickup was produced in the U.S. only until 1984, but it kept on going until 1992 in Europe. Usual customizations include swapping out the 1.5-liter diesel engine for a bigger gas engine, or changing the suspension, and anything that can make it more performance-oriented. We’d definitely suggest changing the wheels, and bumper for better looks.

RELATED: Rumor: Volkswagen Pickup To Be Unveiled

3 1978 Dodge Power Wagon

1978 Dodge Power Wagon

via mecum.com

Just like many other famous trucks, Dodge started its life in the army during World War II. It launched in 1941 as the WC, 1/2 ton, four-wheel-drive truck for the U.S Army. Only after the war ended, the Power Wagon began selling in Dodge dealerships, becoming also the first factory-built 4×4 truck.

1978 Dodge Power Wagon

via youtube.com

This truck was sold in the United States until 1968, and after it couldn’t meet emission regulations it was built only for export for at least another 10 years. They are great vehicles for modifying not only because they are extremely durable and reliable, but also because they are historic.

2 1955 Chevrolet Cameo

1955 Chevrolet Cameo

via classiccar.com

The Cameo Carrier was truly revolutionary for the ’50s. Back at that time it was crazy to think that a truck can be more than a vehicle for work. But instead, Chevrolet introduced a car that was fast, beautiful and comfortable to drive and work. To say the least, it influenced almost every pickup truck we know to exist.

1955 Chevrolet Cameo

via fastlanecars.com

It was fitted with a chrome trip, carpets, a radio and quite a powerful engine-at least more better than anything in the market. However, although its sales peaked in the beginning, after a while due to the increasing competition the Cameo was discontinued in 1958. Unfortunately, most of them available are either very rusty or very expensive. If you happen to find one in a very bad condition, and modify it to the maximum-we can only congratulate you.

RELATED: 1955 Chevy Cameo Pickup Wows Crowd In Glendale

1 1966 Dodge Custom Sport Special

1966 Dodge Custom Sport Special

via pinterest.com

So you’re still nostalgic about the ’60s era of the muscle cars. You’d love to get one, but those beautiful pieces can be challenging to own due to the crazy collector market. And at the same time, you need a truck for work. Well, we have some good news for you. And that’s called the Dodge Custom Sport Special, a rare pickup truck offered by Dodge during the glory days of the muscle car.

1966 Dodge Custom Sport Special

via indianflipboard.online

Most of them are fitted with a 426 cubic inch V8 engine which could deliver 365 horsepower, and as much torque as you need. It’s truly an underrated truck, that if people are smart enough, are going to start wanting pretty soon. Now it’s a better time than ever to buy this classic, restore it first, and then modify it to your taste. And boom! You have everything you’ve ever wanted.

NEXT: 15 Pictures Of Abandoned Classic Pickups That Move Us To Tears


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These Modified Muscle Cars Are Worth A Fortune



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