Classic trucks have come into their own over the last 7 years, with prices and demand climbing steadily. The utility of a pickup is undeniable, and the bare-bones ruggedness of a vintage model can be desirable for certain jobs, or even for just stoking the warm fire of nostalgia inside so many enthusiasts’ hearts. We asked those on the Hagerty Forums to tell us their favorites—and here are the top five.
When we asked the question last week, one answer came as no surprise—the ’67–72 C10. The simple and timeless Chevy is one of the most popular pickups in the vintage market, and the aftermarket support is seemingly endless. The large engine compartments and basic ladder frame enable endless engine swaps and suspension setups. Building a C10 that is competent on an autocross course or dragstrip is only a few phone calls away for the right parts. Luckily, restoring one can be just as simple.
The FJ40’s 24-year production run is highly respectable, but the really impressive part is the model changed very little from its 1960 introduction to its mid-80s replacement. As durable as the 135-horsepower Toyota straight-six is known to be, it was and is quite popular to yank the reliable-yet-underpowered mill from under the hood and drop in a small-block Chevrolet, giving the rig go-anywhere power to match its go-anywhere attitude. The market seems to be settling a bit on these tough Toyotas, so if you want one it might be time to take the plunge.
The Power Wagon was born for military use, but much like the CJ2A Jeep, public interest and demand brought Dodge to build a civilian model. Dodge didn’t soften the hard-working truck either, as the Power Wagon was nothing if not utilitarian. Early civilian versions packed a basic flathead inline-six engine to move the beast of a pickup. A PTO (power take-off) on the transmission allows the use of various implements, such as a winch or tow-behind mower deck. The Power Wagon’s durability and timeless design won it favor among many commenters, and we find it hard to argue with their choice.
Modern trucks are a no-compromise affair, with comfort and features once reserved only for luxury cars. That trend can be traced back to the 1955–59 Chevrolet pickups. The lineup at the time was called the Task Force series and, along with bringing the new-for-’55 small-block Chevrolet V-8 to the truck line, it sported a redesigned exterior and a plethora of upscale features. A Cameo model equipped with the NAPCO 4x4 kit would be our choice for exploring in vintage style, but all the chrome trim and fiberglass bedside treatments would make us worried going too far off the beaten path...
The only year of the 1953–56 Ford F100 to have a wraparound windshield, the ’56 model is the most coveted among truck enthusiasts. Much like the C10 above, the ’56 F100 is a very popular platform to modify, even though the truck received the Y-block V-8, which was a good step up from the flathead V-8 Ford retired in 1954. These trucks weren’t based on car chassis; they were built to work, and the survival rate of stock examples shows that. Finding good, unmolested models is getting tough, but rising values have made less-than-perfect examples worth saving in recent years.
Think the community is missing your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and, while you are over in the Hagerty Forums, be sure to tell us your automotive New Year’s resolution, since we will be compiling those responses for next week’s Answer of the Week.