Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

One of the most popular used trucks for sale, a red 2010 Chevy Avalanche, is shown parked off-road.

Forgotten Trucks That Deserved More Time on the Streets

There have been some wild designs in the automotive industry over the decades. Whether it’s the fins of the Chevy Bel Air or the quirky Saab designs, the vehicles that have graced the roadways over the past century have been interesting, to say the least. Of course, there are vehicles out there that many drivers wish would make a comeback, gone too soon from our lives as we hold onto hope that they’ll be revived again. Many of these are pickup trucks, some of which have featured unique designs as well as extreme functionality. As you take a look at the used trucks for sale on the lots near you, could you envision some of these favorites returning to these lots, ready to offer their features and capabilities to the industry once more?

Chevy Avalanche

The stylish (and massive) Avalanche said its final farewell in 2013. Since then, drivers have been wanting it back. Not only was it large and equipped to handle up to six passengers, as well as virtually anything you needed to haul or tow, it was also surprisingly smooth and agile on the road. Residing on the Silverado 1500 platform, this truck was full of innovative features, including an accommodating midgate. This was essentially a tailgate between the front of the bed and the back of the cabin, enablin drivers to stick lengthy cargo from the bed into the cabin instead of hanging off the back. It also showcased a wonderfully spacious interior, which added even more value to its presence in the industry. Unfortunately, all of this wasn’t enough to keep the Avalanche in the bowtie brand’s regular rotation, leaving us instead with the full-size Silverado and HD versions, as well as the midsize Colorado in its wake.

A black 1991 GMC Syclone is shown parked near a store.

GMC Syclone

When you wanted to go fast, you wanted to be behind the wheel of the GMC Syclone, which was only in production between 1991 and 1993. This pickup truck broke boundaries when it came to performance, able to jet from 0-60 mph in a cool 4.3 seconds, something we didn’t see much of back then. Its turbocharged V6 was responsible for its talents on the track, borrowed from the famous Buick Grand National. Its 280 horses beat out some of the fastest sports cars of that era, even the famed Porsche 911 Turbo. This truck was meant for performance, not to haul heavy loads across the construction site, or take on unruly terrain in the wilderness. However, we don’t see too many trucks these days designed for maximum speed, which means the world could use another dose of the Syclone.

Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

Technically, the Lightning name is back in the Ford arsenal once again, but the modern electric version is a far cry from its predecessors. The SVT Lightning originally debuted in 1993, returned after a brief hiatus in 1999, and was eventually discontinued in 2004. Ford fanatics were left wondering why. Another high-performance truck, the F-150 SVT Lightning had one thing on its mind: speed. Its supercharged V8 engine was able to compete head-to-head with rivals like the Syclone, and provided drivers with an awe-inspiring experience on the road and track. Some think of it as a precursor to the famous off-road performance Raptor model, which is stomping out the competition on the streets and the trails today. Unlike the Syclone, though, the SVT Lightning could also haul like a true F-150, which made it ideal for drivers who yearned for thrills, yet needed a vehicle that could still work like a truck.

Subaru BRAT

You may know Subaru as one of the most reliable brands on the market, with over 96% of its vehicles still on the road after ten years. But did you know that this automaker had a brief stint making trucks? Its BRAT model hit the streets in 1978, and almost made it ten years in the industry before it was discontinued in 1987. This light-duty truck was compact and capable, offering drivers superior all-wheel drive capabilities, plus a durable build. It was able to conquer off-road environments with confidence, exhibiting true Subaru reliability and performance, both of which we have come to expect from the brand to this day. It was ideal for those who weren’t in need of a hulking hauler, instead a smaller, more agile truck worked for them. Unfortunately, this truck didn’t work for the market. and we had to say our goodbyes. Subaru tried to bring back this concept in the Baja, but the bed was too short, and unlike the BRAT, the back seats faced forward inside the cabin, not rearward in the bed of the truck!

Jeep Comanche

Everyone expects Jeep vehicles to soar higher than the rest out on the trails, getting into tough situations and navigating them with effortless poise and agility. Back in 1986, Jeep decided to launch its Comanche pickup truck, which featured best-in-class cargo capacity as well as an efficient and capable engine to deliver the thrills, no matter what adventure you were taking on next. Based heavily off of the Cherokee SUV, this truck was perfectly capable of accommodating your journey, whether that consisted of the pavement or the mud, where it showed its true colors, blasting past its rivals off-road. Short and long-bed models were available, with a “Big Ton” package available for the long-bed that beefed up the suspension and increased its payload capacity from 1,400 to 2,205 pounds, making it a truly capable truck as well as an off-roader. Although there’s still a pickup truck available in the Jeep lineup today, the popular Gladiator, having another truck in the mix wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Dodge Rampage

Although it was only in production from 1982 until 1984, the Dodge Rampage left a lasting impression on its audience. From the front, its appearance was coupe-like, based on the front-wheel drive Charger of the time. However, its truck bed provided added utility to this unique vehicle. Its small size delivered a level of efficiency that was difficult to find in trucks of the time, and with its accommodating bed, drivers were able to quite literally have it all in their everyday vehicle. At the time, the Rampage was able to get up to 29 mpg on the highway, which is still impressive to this day. It was perhaps the most versatile truck around, and one that would benefit from making a comeback in the modern era.

BONUS: Chevy El Camino

Vehicles these days all look the same, so wouldn’t it be cool to drive this iconic truck around town? The El Camino stole the show wherever it traveled throughout the late 50s and into the late 80s. It was part car, part truck, and was fueled by Chevy performance throughout, making it one of the most impactful models in the bowtie brand’s existence. Not only did it exhibit a bold, athletic charm, it was also powerful, with a slew of engines available throughout the years, ranging from V6 to V8 options. You won’t find another truck that looks quite like the El Camino. In the age of being able to express yourself, perhaps we could use some El Camino vibes in our lives again.

Making a Comeback?

Which trucks do you think we should see on the streets in this day and age? From small, light-duty options like the BRAT to performance icons like the Syclone and SVT Lightning, there have been many trucks throughout the ages that have helped shape the industry as we know it. The beauty is that many of these trucks can still be found used, so they’re never really gone from the streets, even if we don’t see much of them anymore. Every brand has experimented with different models over the years. Some work, and some just don’t. The cool part about it is that they existed at all. You never know, maybe we will be seeing some of these influential trucks back on the scene in the upcoming years.

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