By on May 30, 2018

It’s time for the third installment of our Crapwagon Garage QOTD series. The first part was all about the hatchbacks, while the second entry focused solely on sedans.

In today’s section of the garage, vehicles with open beds fill our peripheral vision. They are, of course, pickup trucks.

Browsing through the comments section of last week’s sedan inquiry, I had some Why Didn’t I Remember That feels for this:

It’s a circa 1990 Mazda 929S, as suggested by Gtem. This sedan was on my mind a couple weeks earlier when the foundation on this QOTD series was settling. It’s so forgotten that it slips from the mind very easily. Bonus for two-tone paint and lace alloys on three-box formal sedan.

On to the trucks!

Here are the Crapwagon Garage rules by which we must all abide.

  1. A crapwagon must be a vehicle which is relatively easy to find and purchase using an internet.
  2. All vehicles in the crapwagon garage must have been sold as new, in the North American market.
  3. Said vehicles must be obtainable to the casual crapwagon collector (CCC). This means in clean, running condition each one asks $7,000 or less on a normal day.
  4. Your suggestions must fit into the vehicle category of the week. If you don’t like the category, that’s tough. We’ll get to a category you like eventually.
  5. There are five rules to this garage game, and that’s the maximum number of vehicles you may submit for each section. Solamente cinco.

It’s pretty obvious what “truck” means, but I’ll remind everyone that this is not the place to list truck-based SUVs or other items of that nature. Your truck must have an open bed at the rear, with a tailgate. On to my choices.

I’d love to have a later GMT400-era GMC Sierra. They had nice five-spoke wheels, lots of two-tone, and many cab configurations. I’d probably find a black-over-pewter 4×4 example that had been well-kept by an elderly owner. They’re widely available in no-salt areas; you just have to search around for the one I want.

The second garage slot goes to a Toyota T100 today. I always liked the serious, no-frills styling. The T100 was also available in many colors and configurations, and is instantly recognizable as “late ’90s Toyota truck.” There’s something both comforting and competent about it. Desirable! They run forever, so they’re still around (again, in salt-free areas).

What are your Crapwagon Garage truck picks?

[Images: Toyota, Mazda]

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59 Comments on “QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part III: Trucks)...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    With regard to the lead photo, I generally dislike the idea of Toyota trucks. I feel that their offerings are no more capable/dependable than any other brand’s offerings and sell on past reputation alone… but a T100 supercab 4×4 is something I lust for.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      They’re still ridiculously long-lived. And while I don’t like the 3.5l V6 in the new Tacomas, they’re based on the V6 used in the Camry and Sienna, and they’ve been pretty good there. They’re just not truck engines like the 4.0 (the 1GR-FE).

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Just about everyone associated with classic Top Gear and most 3rd world insurgents and war lords strongly disagree with your general attitude towards Toyota pickups.

      There is even a war named after them, the Toyota War in which Chadian forces using Hilux and Land Cruisers soundly defeated the Libyan army, which had access to 800 fairly modern tanks.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “most 3rd world insurgents and war lords”

        “the Toyota War in which Chadian forces using Hilux and Land Cruisers soundly defeated the Libyan army”

        Yea, Toyota trucks are amazing in places with no water.

        Outside of the *actual desert* though, they suffer from rust cancer just as bad as anything else (arguably worse depending on the year).

        i.imgur.com/bM65Grz.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          Most of the trucks you see in those climates are ROW trucks from the 90’s- early 00’s. We didn’t get those same trucks. The Tacoma hasn’t really been much to brag about since it’s redesign in 2005- it only sold so well because Ford let the (equally capable and reliable) Ranger wither on the vine knowing it was going away and the Colorado/Canyon was not very efficient or reliable. The Frontier was really the only other option to the Tacoma.

          The Tundra has never been able to compete with the big 3 in terms of overall truck capabilities. It’s always been outdone on towing capacity, fuel efficiency (oddly), and pricing. They’re the full sized truck for the guy that refuses to test drive something else. Nissan knows this about their Titan and offers STEEEEEP discounts to get buyers in the door. Toyota is reluctant to work with cash on the hood so they throttle back production to make it possible to “sell every single one they make”. That’s an easy accomplishment when you produce 1/5 of what the big 3 make.

          I don’t hate Toyota. I resent the snobby mentality of the brand as a whole, yes. As far as their trucks go, there’s better, cheaper, nicer options.

        • 0 avatar

          Mean to post this here
          I really love the late 80’s early 90’s toyotas (I like most of the mini trucks but the toy drives better then most of them). But they do rust bad. My 87 I bought in 99 had pretty substantial bed rust on it. I fixed it up and drove a few more years then the cross members started to rust thru. welded some angle iron in there. Then the bottom of the bed basically collapsed around 2004. At which point I found a Mitsubishi bed with no rust and bolted it on.

          That said if I could find a low rust one and bring it back home I would love too. But the value on none rusty ones it getting higher then the 7k number.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          They also love to blow head gaskets, and if your precious 22RE overheats, its usually done for. It amazes me how little it takes to crack the block.

  • avatar
    18726543

    I’ve always had a soft spot for late 80’s Nissan Hardbody pick-ups. I’ll take an extended cab with a manual…4cyl or 6…not picky. My “fun uncle” had one in the early 90’s…color-matched cap plastered with windsurfing company decals. My mom has 3 brothers and one was late to marry, never had kids. He spent most of his time between work and windsurfing on the eastern shore. He’d come to visit us now and then and we’d always hop in his pickup and explore the quarry a mile from my house on Sunday when they weren’t operating. Fun memories as a 7 or 8 year old. He may actually be a large part of why at the doorstep of 36-years-old I’m unmarried with no interest in kids.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      EDIT: Second choice would be a military cast-off CUCV 5/4 ton Chevy pick-up (M1008). I’ve always thought those things were cool given how bare-bones they are. I could add a Banks turbo to the 6.2L and still be well under 7k too.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      Those 80’s Hardbodys are tough little trucks. I bought a cheap ’88 2WD with an automatic transmission a couple years ago. Accidentally bumped my hand on the shifter while driving down the highway. I hit the shifter just right to depress the safety button and bump it into reverse. Only noticed after the tires started screeching. I still had my foot on the gas pedal. Quickly bumped it back into D and kept going. The truck never complained and the transmission kept working fine.

      It had the Z24 4 cylinder. Dual spark, dual-row timing chain and throttle body injection. Was always easy to start and didn’t burn or leak any oil.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      I used to work with a guy who daily drove a 4 cylinder, 2wd, auto Hardbody. His brother gave it up because he thought it “was getting old” at 160k miles. My coworker drove it to 271k and then sent it to the junkyard because there was hardly enough floor left to hold the seats in. Tough trucks indeed, aside from the sheet metal unfortunately!

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I need something that exudes performance, even if the actual performance isn’t that great.

    Give me a higher mile Syclone. When one thinks of performance trucks, it’s gotta be near the top of the all-time list.

    Obviously if I want performance, I will be comfortable with a 2WD truck. So, I would buy yet another (3rd) Dodge Dakota R/T. I had a nicely worked black ’99 and then because of that I bought a ’00 red one for hauling home project material from Home Depot. The black one was a hoot. It had been lowered and the motor massaged by the previous owner. Everything done right with quality parts. It was fast, much faster than the bone stock red one, but I owned it at a time when I didn’t necessarily have the means or location to properly maintain it and it suffered for it. I paid nearly nothing for the red one with very low miles since I appeared the be the entire market for a previously damaged 2WD truck of questionable overall quality. I sold it for more than I paid for it once the major projects at my new-to-me house were completed.

    Finally, failing the others, I’d be after an early to mid ’90s Chevy 1500 Sportside – 2wd of course. With the right suspension they look fantastic. Bonus points for one without rust on the rear cab corners. Slap on some Boyds wheels and I am living out my mid-teens fantasy when they were all the rage.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Edit:

      I just looked at the asking prices of Syclones. Looks like my list is down to 2, holy crap!

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        The Syclone will always command some bucks, they were insane at the time they produced and a limited number were made.

        Glad my current ’02 Dodge Dakota (4.7 not the 5.9) already has crapwagon status.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      I think Sy’s and Ty’s are done depreciating. There’s been a white Typhoon out for sale on a guy’s lawn fifteen minutes from my house for about a month now. I pass it every weekend and finally decided to look at the asking price out of curiosity. The thing looks like it’s in pretty good shape, but it’s got 147k miles on it and the owner is asking $12,800! With that kind of mileage I’d have guessed 6-7k. I’d love to know what it’ll finally sell for.

      • 0 avatar
        Drew8MR

        Honestly, if you asked me out of the blue I’d guess a nice one of either at $15k or so. Considering what the Buicks sell for. That’s mostly because every time I see an ad for anything remotely cool,let alone cool and fast, it’s at least $15k.

  • avatar
    ajla

    1. ’87 GMC Caballero 4.3L
    2. Dodge Rampage
    3. ’96-’00 Chevy K1500 5.7L (some of these are actually quite close to the $7K limit)
    4. ’64 GMC C10 with 305ci V6 (classic trucks have gone way up in value, but the V6 isn’t really sought after yet so I think I could get one for under $7k)
    5. ’97 F-150 with 300ci I6

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Woooo, here we go. Already have:

    ’96 T100. Regular cab, longbed, 2wd, 4-cylinder, 5-speed. Base base base model, with enough bed to do full-size truck work.

    ’97 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins turbodiesel. Regular cab, longbed, 2wd, going to be a 5-speed whenever I get the swap done. Finding a “clean” one for $7k can be a challenge these days, but not impossible.

    ’66 GMC 3/4T 351E V6. Regular cab, longbed, 2wd (noticing a pattern?), close-ratio 4-speed. $7k requires some looking and maybe settling for a fixer-upper.

    **********

    I’ll put in another vote for the Nissan D21 Hardbody. Make mine a longbed manual with a TD27T swap.

    And because we need a stylish truck, I’ll finish up with an El Camino. I like the mid-60s best, but those are probably out of reach of our budget.

  • avatar

    I like most 90’s trucks but here we go.

    Ram club cab v-10 long bed. (easier to get a clean one then a cummins at that price)
    Dakota R/T
    Dakota 4×4 convertible
    T100 or early 90’s toyota one ton
    Rod Hall edition Ram 150.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Man, I had forgotten about those Rod Hall W-150s…they were awesome! I remember reading about them in Four Wheeler and Petersen’s Off Road back in the day. Kinda like Dodge’s “Raptor” back in the mid-80’s. They must be worth a few bucks now if you could find one!

      • 0 avatar

        The Rod Halls are a weird deal. Per a old friend of mine who worked at a Dodge dealer when they came out. Not sure how many they built in the first run in 87, but they were all recalled because dodge had lifted the truck and installed offroad shocks and I gather they had not done proper crash testing or something similar. It ended up being a buyback. Some of them never came back thou. Then they redid it in 1990 but only 33 were made. So yeah rare as can be but also very few mopar guys know they exist never mind the general population so they really aren’t crazy valuable. I looked at one around 1998 near Stafford motor speedway in CT. It was pretty beat thou so I passed and it sat there another 6 months before someone bought it.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    1. 78-87 Chevrolet El Camino
    2. 88 Chevrolet SS 454 short bed
    3. 87-95 Dodge Dakota R/T regular cab
    4. 89 Dodge Dakota convertible
    5. 2001-03 Nissan Frontier supercharged
    6. 88-95 Toyota SR5 pickup

  • avatar
    Feds

    D22 Frontier, 2003 or 4, in long bed, 4wd, crew cab configuration. Bonus for the supercharger. A little truck made too big.

    And in the almost opposite end of the spectrum: 10th gen F150 with a crew cab and a short bed. A big truck made too little.

    Early Titans are under the cost bar. I’d rock one of those for sub $5 g’s.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    In my own case, if it’s full-sized, there’s simply no interest. I’ll get one if I ever need one (like I did the 1990 F-150 I bought back in ’12) but after three years and only 4000 miles added to the clock, it wasn’t worth it. I much prefer smaller and honestly, nothing after 2004 floats my boat. So…

    The rules of the game make this somewhat more difficult. Most of the trucks I would name are long gone or, with very limited exceptions, totally trashed out. Those limited exceptions aren’t likely to fall within the price limit set. That does, however, leave five specific vehicles available, if you wrap cab styles into their respective brands.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of Ford. For me, their reliability has been questionable from day one, no matter whether it was car or truck, though admittedly the Model A and Model T could be fixed with a bit of chicken wire and duct tape to get you rolling again. As such, I’m currently driving a pre-2000 Ranger standard cab though I really need an extended cab. Still, you can’t argue with a mere 26000 miles on the odometer.

    I’d follow this up with both the GM S-10/S-15 “mid-sized” (now compact) trucks and the slightly larger Dodge Dakota. Strangely, the Dakota seems to be the most reliable one of the bunch as I see several of these rolling around my region even though their bodies are in terrible shape (with exceptions). And no, I wouldn’t ignore the pre-2000 Toyota or Nissan trucks as the old Nissan Hardbody was quite popular (my vet still has one in pretty clean shape) and I know one woman who has owned no fewer than three of the smaller Toyota trucks–absolutely refusing to buy newer because they’re too bloomin’ big! (Yes, her words; I use them myself more in reference to full sized trucks than current mid-sized models though I do agree with her opinion.)

    So for me, if it’s an extended cab, pre-2000 “mid-sized” truck, I’d add it to my garage. Their modern iterations have lost almost everything for which people once bought those “smaller” trucks. That’s why they’re not selling as well as they did.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Whatever the import trucks were or weren’t, they were rust buckets without equal. Toyota was the worst offender. Unless you live on the West Coast or some Southern Tier areas, finding one isn’t even an option.

    No I don’t want a Dodge back in that era. We sold them new- could keep a transmission in one, along with other issues. The Cummins was great- the rest of the truck would disintegrate around it.

    Choice #1- Ford F-Series, 9th Gen (’92-97) 4×4. I don’t think anyone even knows what the usable life expectancy of these trucks are. Odds are you’ll still see them on the job.

    Choice #2- GMT400/480 Pickup. Preferably prior to ’96, which predates OBDII, the Electronic Power Steering controls, and the pushbutton 4WD controls. As often happens with GM, the more complex the vehicle, the less reliable it’s bound to be.

    As you can tell, I’m a full-size pickup guy. Extended Cab 4X4 please, and if it isn’t 4WD, don’t bother.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    I’d love a T100 4×4 with the 3.4L 5MT. The one pictured in above would do just swell.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      I drove one a few years ago. Slickest shifting manual transmission I’ve ever experienced in a truck. Much better than the 6spd in the second generation Tacoma in my opinion. The throws felt shorter and much tighter. The 3.4L V6 in the later T100’s and 1st gen Tacomas is also a gem of an engine. The T100 has a fully boxed Japanese-made frame and doesn’t have the same rust issues that plagues the Tacomas.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        FWIW the fully boxed Japanese-made frames on the 3rd gen 4Runners are very actively rusting out and taking otherwise totally not-rusty looking trucks off the road en-masse as of a few years ago. So not as bad perhaps as the Dana corp. Tacos, but the fully boxed in design just makes it harder to wash the insides out, and they rot from the inside-out. Thorough oil-based rustproofing the frame including inside of the rails is the only way to protect them.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    —Ram 1500: Ill take anything from the ‘70s D/W series up to about ‘07-ish. Single cab is mandatory. 4×4 preferred, and a manual takes top pick in anything with the 318. No grampa colors (dark grey, maroon, fecal brown, emerald green etc) or tutones. Id rock the right 2wd too: something that would look good lowered a bit and wearing torq-thrusts and RWLs.

    —Dodge Dakota: again, preferably a single cab and a 4×4 with V8/manual. Crew cab would be nice too, extracab…nope. I like the older square body Daks about equal to the mini big rig ones up to ‘04. The ‘05-‘07 is fugly. ‘08-up recalls the square body to my eye but no way it’s gonna be $7K.

    —Jeep Comanche: could a clean 4×4 shortbed w/ 4.0L/5spd be had under $7K? HIGHLY doubt it but it’s not totally out of the question.

    —Jeep J series: here out west one of these in clean not rusted to shit condition IS attainable. Not easy but they come up. One of my all time favorites, especially the stepside.

    —79-87 El Camino or Caballero: I just love the body style and they make a good hotrod that’s actually useful.

    *honorable mention—Dodge Rampage. Even less of a truck than the Elky, but I have a sick obsession with these. For some reason a lot have survived in good condition in the PNW. I would love to transplant a Neon SRT-4 engine/trans into one…

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I already own mine, a 2002 Avalanche 2500 with the 8.1L and 4L85E. They aren’t exactly easy to find, but I snagged mine with a plow for under the price limit. 460 lb-ft with the all around versatility of the Avalanche. 10K plus towing capacity with the best ride quality of any 3/4 ton I’ve ever driven. 12 mpg highway, 11 city, 10 towing. Great truck, I’d buy a brand new one today if GM put them back on sale.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Ford Ranger: Cheap runabout and DD.
    Chev Silverado HD(any generation available at our price): For working purposes and plowing. Preferably with the available diesel engine.
    Dodge L’il Red Express: For fun.

  • avatar
    Hellenic Vanagon

    Please repeat your question after 100 years. Then you will understand my answer: vw t3 Syncro.

    The Syncro Heresy

  • avatar
    swaghole

    I’ve always liked the slightly off-beat trucks. My list is:
    Mazda B2600 – good-looking (at least when compared to the lowly B2200) and V6 power!
    Toyota T100 – I always loved the proportions on this one. Make mine 4×4 regular cab with the V6.
    Nissan Hardbody. The one with the Hustler decals on it.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      B2600 was a large displacement I4 btw, my brother has one with 250k in his ’89 MPV. And it’s not Mitsu’s silent shaft motor as is commonly thought. 12 valve head, Good low down torque, good workhorse of a motor although they tend to start burning oil by the time you get to 200k. Chain driven too, without the tensioner/guide issue’s of Yota’s famous 22RE.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The B2200 was the mini truck to have when I was in high school (84-89). Lowered, multiple subwoofers, graphics, tonneau cover, neon, alarm that flashes the turn signals and dark tint windows. Oh… it must be painted in 80s teal green metallic, but a white one with enough pink, yellow and purple graphics works too.

  • avatar
    Kalvin Knox

    1997 K1500 in burgundy
    2003 Silverado 2500 HD in battleship grey.
    My grandfather owns one. Extended cab, long bed. I swear the thing should say USS Saratoga on the side.
    1989 F-150 in teal

    Can’t think of any others

  • avatar

    I really love the late 80’s early 90’s toyotas (I like most of the mini trucks but the toy drives better then most of them). But they do rust bad. My 87 I bought in 99 had pretty substantial bed rust on it. I fixed it up and drove a few more years then the cross members started to rust thru. welded some angle iron in there. Then the bottom of the bed basically collapsed around 2004. At which point I found a Mitsubishi bed with no rust and bolted it on.

    That said if I could find a low rust one and bring it back home I would love too. But the value on none rusty ones it getting higher then the 7k number.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I loved the $1900 1998 T100 extended cab I bought from a co-worker. Even with 202k miles on the clock and an automatic, it ran like a champ and had a real solidity that I expect in a truck. Rust in the bed and rear wheel wells but it just added – ahem – character. The interior was quite dated – hello 1980s! – but with the side runners off and a set of snow tires, it was a real beast in the winter. It was also pretty slow – decent get up and go from a dead stop (those 3.9nnn or whatever gears!) but after 70 there wasn’t much left. Gearing, Gearing. Still managed to get ~20-22mpg on the highway. I sold it to a friend, where it still soldiers on providing winter wheels for his wife.

    I also loved my 4-cyl 1994 Nissan hardbody truck. Again extended cab but with a 5-speed manual that helped wring out what little power there was. Was dependable. Only sold it because of the baby in the house and the whole car seat with three people in the truck was a PITA. Always lusted after the (ha!) faster V6 version.

  • avatar
    BoogerROTN

    1998-2002 Ford Ranger.

    – 2wd.
    – 4cyl.
    – stripped XLT version (A/T, A/C, crank windows, no power locks).
    – Add a bed liner.
    – Add a tool box.
    – Drop the transmission pan, install drain plug.
    – Give it a tune up (8 stupid spark plugs, cheapo filters, Motorcraft 5w20, serpentine belt, PCV, clean MAF censor, etc.).
    – Coolant drain & fill.
    – New rotors, pads, shocks.
    – Grease those greaseless fittings w/gobs of white lithium grease.
    – Seat covers, NuFinish and Calvin sticker.

    Man, that thing would go another twenty sweet years for like nothing (~$4K).

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      If you’d pay $4K for that, you’d love mine at $7K. 5sp and only 26K miles on it. Hydraulic clutch rebuilt at 20K miles and ready for a spray-in liner. And yup… 8 spark plugs.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    1. ’89-’93 D300 Ram longbed dually Cummins, bonus for extended cab.
    2. ’79-ish W200 Ram Power Wagon
    3. Chevy 2500HD with an 8.1/4L80
    4. ’96 F250 crewcab Powerstroke
    5. Dodge A100 pickup.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I’d want a late model 4cyl Ford Ranger in RWD with a 5spd. Regular cab, nothing on it but A/C. A truck to use to do truck things. Though reality is a utility trailer towed behind my GTI is a lot more useful and a ton cheaper.

  • avatar
    Aron9000

    7k doesn’t buy you much truck around where I live, but its a doable budget for older stuff(or a Nissan, but those are pieces of junk)

    1. 1995-2004 Tacoma, 2wd, 5 speed, the low rider model, not a pre-runner. Good cheap truck, costs half of what a 4wd one does, so you can pick up something pretty nice for the budget. 4wd ones are all going to be ragged out pos’s at this price. Plus the 2wd is low to the ground, easy to load/unload the bed.

    2. 1995-1998 Toyota T100 Basically a slightly larger Tacoma. Get one with the sweet 3.4 V6. 4wd will be pushing the price limit unless its a ragged out pos.

    3. 1984-1988 Toyota pickup, 2wd, 5 speed with the 22RE 4 cylinder(fuel injection!). I have a soft spot for this body style truck, learned to drive on one, family had several of these over the years. Rust isn’t a problem if you live down south and don’t go mudding in them. Plus they look cool if you customize them a bit in period correct wheels/graphics.

    4. 1988-1998 Chevy truck. Make mine 1/2 ton, 350 V8, reg cab, short/straight bed, two tone paint scheme please. Probably have to go with a 2wd due to budget unless its a pretty beat up 4wd.

  • avatar
    DCwiexplorer

    This is SO easy.

    Obviously, the 2003-2006 Subaru Baja.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Thanks for the shout out Corey. And as far as trucks are concerned you’ve covered the bases beautifully: GMT400 and T100s are both at the top of my own list.

    T100 with a stick shift and 4wd in green over lighter green two tone for me.

    GMT400 I’d do either green or black over pewter two tone, Extended cab, 4wd with floor-shift transfer case and Z71 package, if such a configuration is possible. Stick shift for this one as well. This gen GM truck in my mind is perhaps the best truck anyone has offered for sale in our country. Sturdy as all get out, capable, repairable, handsome, and civilized, powerful, and efficient enough even by modern standards for daily driver duty.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I don’t have anything to add because Corey picked the right trucks.

    I’d like to do a restomod of the GMT400. Those clean lines cry out for further cleaning up. Choose a single body color and make door handles, mirrors, and grille trim that same color. Fabricate clean, simple fiberglass bumpers. Then stick a Gen IV 6.2 and matching 6-speed under the hood.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Any V8 Dakota (4×4 preferred) from 1986 to 1999
    Any V8 D100/150/Dodge Ram/FCA-era RAM) 1/2 ton (4×4 preferred) from 1964 to 2004
    Any V8 Chevy C10/15/Scottsdale/Silverado 1/2 ton (4×4 preferred) from 1964 to 2004
    Late model Studebaker pickup (the one with the Lark cab and the totally unrelated Dodge bed)
    Dodge Rampage; make mine a Shelby clone, just for fun…

  • avatar
    paxman356

    Subaru Brat. I like the style from after ’82, but any will do.
    Fourth Gen Chevy El Camino (Hello, I’m boxy!)
    Any “Shelby” version of the Dodge Rampage (are you sensing a theme?)
    Fourth gen Mazda B-series (prefer the 89-93 B2600i)
    Chevy 454 SS… because I’ve driven one, and while it’s thirsty, it had power for it’s day.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    1979 F250 extended cab or regular 4×4
    1967 Ford Fairlane Ranchero
    Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45 pickup
    Unimog
    1970 Ford F series pickup

  • avatar
    ptschett

    I tend to think the best pickups are the ones currently in production, but if I must pick older ones available for a given price, then:

    ’05-’07 Dodge Dakota Quad [crew] Cab, 4.7L V8/auto/4×4. It seems to me the Dakota was a victim of its own success, considering that most of the other small pickups but the Ford basically became Dakota equivalents in ’04-’06. I loved my ’05 Club [extended] Cab that I ordered new and that cab/box ratio was my preference at the time, but if I could go back to late-2004 with what I know now I’m not sure I wouldn’t have gone with the Quad Cab.

    ’98-’01 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW 4×2 extended cab / long box with the 24V Cummins. Though I’d prefer a later model with the common rail engine if a decent one were attainable for the price limit. Need something to pull trailers with, right?

    I have to concur with the nomination of a later GMT400 K1500. There are still some good-looking ones left even in the state where I live that borders the 49th parallel.

    Early ’90’s Dodge Power Ram 250 regular cab / long box 12V Cummins / manual / 4×4.

    ’78/’79 Ford F-150 4×4 Regular cab / Styleside box. If it’s a ’78, a midlevel or higher trim level so it gets the square headlights. 400/C6 powertrain is OK with me.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Can’t believe I didn’t see this earlier.

    Anyway, on to my picks. I’m excluding my 1969 F-100 (which I finally was able to get to my house this week). I would take a T-100 as a work truck, but it isn’t my first choice.

    Toyota Stout yes I’ve seen these under $7k in drivable condition

    1966 or older Ford F-100 with Inline 6 and 4spd

    1992-6 Ford F-150 4×4 manual 300 (4.9L) I-6, like this one:

    https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/d/1992-ford-150-4×4/6584694063.html

    (yes I know it needs a clutch and other TLC, but even completely restoring its mechanical condition would keep me way under $7k)

  • avatar
    richthofen

    Way late to the game as usual. Anyway:
    -1979 Chevy El Camino Royal Knight
    -1995 Ford F-150 Lightning
    -late GMT400 Sierra, agree with the article on this one
    -Jeep Gladiator/J10/J20 in whatever configuration gets it within budget
    -late 90’s Ram 2500/3500, extended cab/Cummins/DRW. Might as well have a tow rig for all these other crapwagons…

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