QOTD: Trucking Great Nineties Design in America?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd trucking great nineties design in america

Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed 1990s car design on Wednesday’s Question of the Day entry. We spent three weeks talking about the good and three weeks talking about the bad. But those discussions were limited to body styles other than trucks — and by extension, SUVs. Great news! The [s]Dacia Sandero[/s] restriction is now off the table.

The rules for today’s truck and utility game are thus:

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from a domestic manufacturer, even if sourced from an import (eg. Dodge Ram 50).
  3. The only eligible body styles are trucks and SUVs.

Your author’s truck pick today was easier than most of the selections for Nineties designs.

It is of course the GMT 400 series of trucks from General Motors. The replacement of the C/K trucks was a long time coming, as GM sold the platform between 1973 and 1991. 1988 saw the debut of the new GMT 400 pickups.

GMC offerings were now called Sierra, and Chevrolet’s C/K had trims of Cheyenne, Scottsdale, and Silverado. SUV models retained the old C/K platform through 1991, switching to GMT 400 in 1992. It was then GMC invented the new Yukon SUV, though Chevrolet continued with the K5 Blazer line. Yukon and K5 were all two-door versions at the time, while Chevrolet and GMC used the Suburban name for long-wheelbase four-door models. It wasn’t until the 1995 model year that K5 vanished, and the Tahoe and Yukon models both offered four-door availability on a short wheelbase. GMT 400 continued through 1999 for most models, and into 2000 for a select run of the Tahoe Z71 and Tahoe Limited. Common today, they’ve aged gracefully in areas with no salt.

Perhaps still common enough to slip under the design radar — but they’re lookers.

Let’s hear those American truck and SUV selections.

[Images: Ford, General Motors]

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  • Sundance Sundance on Jun 13, 2019

    My favorite was and is the GMT400. In 2000 I imported a 1996 Chevy Suburban 6.5liter turbo diesel in black with grey leather to Germany (from Canada), added Alcoa wheels with moderate all terrain tyres and was happy. Wonderful car. But with the fuel price of today (in Germany) I'm glad that I sold it years ago.

  • Luke42 Luke42 on Jun 13, 2019

    I'm of an age (40) where I'm supposed to be nostalgic for the 1990s. I'm really not nostalgic for this time in any way. I was an awkward teenager living in a part of rural America, where I didn't belong. I had dialup Internet, and a job configuring modems and Trumpet Winsock for people as a consolation prize. People liked it when I fixed their computers, but otherwise treated me like a nerd stuck in a redn#ck world -- which is exactly what I was. (I even pulled up the "1990s rock anthems" channel on Spotify, and disliked most of the music the same way I did in the 1990s, despite the better sound quality.) I left for college in 1997, and found my people. I haven't been back since, except for holidays. I never liked the trucks and SUVs of the 1990s. They were thirsty, dangerous (both to their occupants and for bystanders), and they were generally driven by people I didn't like who couldn't keep them shiny side up. About the only car I like from the era was the Honda Accord -- we had two Accords (1991 and 1997), and a 1995 Honda Civic sport. They made pretty much everything else I experienced automotively in that decade look obsolete. My dad was a GM & Volkswagen man from the time he got his driver's license the 1960s until he bought his 1991 Honda Accord, and he never too GM seriously again. The only valid reason to drive a truck at that time was if you actually needed one. I lived in a rural area and used trucks for truck things from time to time, and it's hard to imagine the level of personal and financial masochism required to daily drive one of those things when Honda made cars. I drove F-150s and F-250s on the farm, but couldn't fathom driving one unless I had a specific task which required that vehicle that day. The automotive landscape of 2019 is much better. We have 30 years of technological improvement, and it shows in every aspect of every vehicle. Plus, I have friends, family, sex, and a modest amount of money. I can't leave the 1990s far enough behind!

  • Bullnuke One wonders if this poor woman entered the US through Roxham Road...
  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish