Crapwagon Outtake: GMC Syclone and Typhoon
Like I mentioned last week, turbocharging and all wheel drive were big selling points in the early ’90s. GM didn’t want to miss the party and commissioned a limited run of turbo 4.3 V6s, threw some monochrome cladding on their compact pickup and SUV, and created a hotrod sensation for the new decade.
The newsstand rags were so excited. Anyone else recall Car and Driver’s comparison between the Syclone and a Ferrari 348? Those silly Ann Arbor boys tossed a Confederate flag plate and a gun rack in the Ferrari, and ran the only test (1/4 mile) that the truck had a chance of winning.
This pair, offered in Akron for $15k, honestly looks to be a bargain. As an Ohioan, I know one must always assume Uncle Bondo has paid a visit to the salt-vulnerable areas. The market for high-performance, limited edition GM products is as strong as ever, so if these are as clean as described, these should be as good of an investment as one can make off Craigslist.
I wanted one so bad. I had a friend who's parents had a Typhoon in the early 90's. At the time I thought it was the fastest street car I had ever been in, a lot of power off the line with the AWD. Now a new Escalade will probably run with it. I actually though the interior was pretty posh, but this was the 90's and the car was like new. I's sure after a few decades these things look like garbage with jagged and warped plastic panels. It's a shame, I just don't think you're going to see GM have fun with skunk works like this anymore. I would love a modern day version of something like this.
As a side note, this is one thing that I miss about old cars - cool names. If I were in charge of a marketing department at an OEM, I'd be naming cars things like Typhoon, Interceptor, Broadsword and Samurai Twin Turbo. Inspiring, awesome names. Names you could've hung on an 80s Hair Metal band. None of this Euro-inspired business of dishwater names like Punto and Twingo or meaningless alphanumerics like 330i or 790SXT.
These were the days, i had a Grand National, a buddy had a Typhoon, we had all sorts of other cool cars. The Sy/Ty trucks were popular with the drag racers the old school hardware plus AWD was hard to beat. The whole thing was built up from the parts bin other than the turbo system which i believe was developed for a camaro. Astro AWD, Corvette shifter, Sunbird turbo guages were highlights i remember. I was just discussing with with a friend recently, with the benefit of looking back now i think these GM outsourced specials built by PAS and ASC McLaren will be sort classics, a rare treat to see even now. This includes the legendary GNX, Turbo Trans Am, Turbo Grand Prix, as well as these super trucks. The SLP specials might be considered here too in the same light. Nobody including GM does third party specials any more so these are of a time. But imagine if there was a PAS building special enthusiast runs answering the "what if we put this motor in that one?", making vehicles wih no good business case. The business has changed all product must be rational. easy to build and support, and move in volume, none of which describes a Syclone or Typhoon!
They are turds people. Kudos on the concept, but absolutely no room under the hood to do basic upkeep. A knuckle buster for sure. All for only 300hp? 100% stock Tys are a joke. I picked up my 1st and last ty in 2016. A low mileage (under65k)92ty. Had to put $1800 dollars in it, but I sold it for 5500. So I only made 3k, oh well. What would be cool is a Black 96-98 Chevy Tahoe / GMC Yukon 2dr 4wd then lower it, homemake the cladding and call it "Hurricane". Turbo a LS for engine & call it a day