rare pickup truck

6 Rare Pickup Truck Models That Defy Convention

The pickup truck is an iconic piece of American automobile history. Many pickups, like the Ford F-150 Lightning, are among the best-selling vehicles each year. Due to its variety of features, pickup trucks are popular with small businesses and families alike. 

While you may see many similar pickup makes and models on the road at the moment, there are some gems that have been produced over the years. These have been forgotten about or have not received the attention they deserve. This article looks at some of these rare pickup trucks and what makes them note-worthy. 

6 rare pickup truck models you didn’t know existed

Image source: 1959-gmc-100

GMC 100

If you are a hotrod enthusiast, this pickup will be very familiar to you. The GMC 100 has a distinctive old-school beater look and a six-cylinder engine capable of producing 130 horsepower. It came in three configurations: half, three-fourths, and one-ton vehicles. The GMC has a three-speed manual transmission, but a four-speed or automatic transmission could be added as an upgrade. Also, the wheelbase and chassis lengths could be upgraded. It contains features such as four-wheel disc brakes, power steering, and a slip-rear axle. Even in today’s resale market, it can still make up to $30,000, which shows it was ahead of its time. 

Image source: preview-928×522.jpg

Datsun 120 Series

The Datsun 120 is small in size and was in production for Nissan between 1955 and 1961. Nissan decided to develop this small pickup after the Second World War when Japan had a shortage of vehicles needed for light delivery. It was one of the first Nissan vehicles sold in Europe, with its first shipment arriving in Spain. It has an 860cc engine that can produce 25 horsepower and a four-speed transmission. Due to its size, its towing capabilities were not exceptional. Depending on what you were using the Datsun for, it came in three variations: the delivery van, the panel van, and the double cab. 

rare pickup truck

Image source: 1947-international-harvester

International Harvester Pickup

Along with icons like Chevy and Nissan, another name that cannot be forgotten is the International Harvester Pickups and, more specifically, the International Harvester Scout. For decades, they have had a name synonymous with quality and building study American pickup trucks. In particular, the K and KB models of pickups were known for their durability and were produced from 1947 until 1949. These were initially designed to be used in workplaces, but due to their retro look, they are now being driven by customers as well as businesses. Its stand-out features include the low grille at the front of the pickup that is inverted like a house roof and its L-head straight-six engine. 

rare pickup truck

Image source: 1950-chevrolet-3100-5-window

Chevrolet 3100

After World War II, the Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck was one of Chevy’s new and redesigned vehicles. Its exterior is sleek and rounder, giving it a modern style. On the front, it has a wide grille and a wraparound windshield, but it is under its bonnet where this truck excels. It has an inline-six engine capable of producing up to 123 horsepower and over 200 pound-feet of torque. The standard engine can be updated to include a 265 cubic-inch V-8 engine, which can produce 162 horsepower, or a 283 cubic-inch V8 engine, which can produce an extra 23 horsepower. In today’s resale market, this truck has a resale price of around $50,000 but can reach figures such as $120,000 on specialist Chevy auctions. 


Image source: what-makes-the-1978-dodge-lil-red-express-so-timeless-187195_1.jpg

Dodge Li’l Red Express

Unlike brands like Ford, which are critically acclaimed, several pickup makes and models have been solely underrated over the years; one of these is the Dodge Li’l Red Express. However, when researching rare pickup trucks, it just cannot be left out. It is incredibly detailed, with vintage graphics on the passenger doors, chrome trims and accessories, and vibrant red exterior paint. It is a pickup that will turn heads. And its allure is not just surface deep. Under its bonnet, it contains a 5.9-liter V8 engine that can produce up to 225 horsepower and 290 of torque. For Dodge pickup enthusiasts, the Li’l Red Express is a dream as only 7,306 vehicles were produced, making it a well-sought-after collectible.

Image source: 1976-jeep-j10-honcho-tribute

Jeep J10 Honcho

Another head-turner is the Jeep J10 Honcho. Like the Li’l Red Express, it contains exterior graphics and bright striping, making it unmissable when driving. The Honcho was only in production for seven years, between 1976 and 1983, and during that time, 1,264 Honcho trim packages were sold. This pickup is one of the unforgettable ones that demand our attention. It is tough with a 4.2 liter, six-cylinder engine that produces 112 horsepower and 230 torque. The Honcho has a third slip differential to distribute the engine power evenly, but in 1977, this was updated to the quadra-trac 4WD. It has a 7-foot bed sitting and a 119-wheelbase, making it useful for many projects and uses.

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Ryan Clancy
Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand. Ryan lives in Miami, and writes about everything engineering and tech at sites like Forbes, Engineering360, Clinked, MakeUseOf, Mechanical Engineering HQ, and many more.

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