10 Best Pickup Trucks Ever Made…that Nobody Bought
Whether you use them for passenger transport or hauling and towing, you can’t go wrong with a pickup truck. Small to large, classic or modern, there’s a pickup truck that can effortlessly meet your daily driving needs or workload. The most popular and powerful pickup trucks have sold nearly a million units year after year, while some equally great trucks have only managed to sell tens or hundreds.
Some trucks have done poorly in the market, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad at their job. Many of them were not properly marketed given the competitive segment they were in, while others were simply introduced at the wrong time.
Regardless of what was responsible for the poor sales of these trucks, they were excellent on their own. Let’s take a look at the top 10 pickup trucks that no one wanted.
ten GMC Caballero
Many people may still remember the Chevy El Camino, but few remember its mechanical twin called the GMC Caballero. It was a series of coupe utility vehicles that replaced the GMC Sprint in 1971 and were completely redesigned for the 1978 model year.
Built on GM A-Body and G-Body, the GMC Caballero offered two engine options: V6 and V8. But sadly, around 37,719 units were sold for over a decade. You might think the sales numbers aren’t that bad, but when you compare it to the Chevrolet El Camino which sold over 317,163 units, you get a clearer picture.
9 chevrolet ssr
With decades of experience building pickup trucks, Chevrolet has put its expertise to work on the Super Sport Roadster, an unusual blend of roadster and utility. Chevrolet offered a 5.3 liter V8 engine in the initial base models of the SSR and in 2005 a 6.0 liter V8 was introduced, increasing power from 300 hp to 390 hp.
However, due to limited carrying capacity and the price of $42,000, the Chevrolet SSR only managed to sell 12,156 units from 2005 to 2008. In fact, in 2008 only two units were sold before Chevrolet discontinued the SSR.
8 Lincoln Blackwood
The Lincoln Blackwood is perhaps the shortest and rarest Lincoln model lineup, with only 3,356 units available in the United States and Mexico. In terms of power output, the Lincoln Blackwood was pretty good, offering a 5.4-liter Triton V8 engine with 300 horsepower.
However, the Blackwood’s sales flop was due to the $54,495 price tag, which was crazy at the time because luxury pickup trucks were not used as daily commuters. The Blackwood pickup would fare better today if Lincoln could work on a few features.
7 Dodge C-Series Sweptside
The C-series Sweptside was marketed by the Chrysler Dodge division from 1957 to 1969 as a replacement for the Dodge B-series pickup trucks. The Sweptside was the first all-new post-war pickup designed by Dodge, featuring a wrap-around windshield , a 3-speed automatic transmission, as well as power steering and brakes.
The base engine for the Sweptside was a Flathead I6 offering 120 hp, while the most powerful engine option was the 315 cubic inch Red Ram V8 which delivered 204 hp. Unfortunately, only about 1200 people were ready to jump on the Dodge C-Seriesforcing him to take early retirement.
6 Jeep Comanche
Jeep Comanche was offered from 1985 to 1992 and was praised for its rugged reliability and off-road capability. AMC offered three engine versions for the Comanche: AMC 150 2.5 liter 150 CID I4, Renault 2.1 L I4 turbo diesel and, of course, the GM LR2 2.8 liter V6 which delivered 110 hp and was ported to 173 hp with a 4.0- liter inline 6.
There really weren’t any major red flags for the Jeep Comanche. AMC just didn’t have enough resources to market it properly, so the Comanche only sold 190,446 throughout its 7-year runwhich is pretty dismal compared to rivals like the Ford Ranger which sold over 1.5 million units in the same period.
5 Chevy Avalanche
GM’s Chevrolet Avalanche was widely praised for its flexibility, thanks to the integrated crate that came with it. It also fared well in terms of reliability and performance. At some point in the early 2000s, the Avalanche sold nearly 100,000 unitsand no one expected it to hit rock bottom so quickly, selling just 92 units in 2014.
One of the reasons for Avalanche’s failure was GM’s poor business strategy which involved supplying more vehicles than was actually demanded by the market. To keep the Avalanche ship afloat, GM had to introduce deep discounts, promotions and a refund policy. Unfortunately, this blueprint only got to work for so long before GM announced the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Avalanche line.
4 Subaru Baja
The rather obscure Baja compact pickup was marketed by Subaru from 2002 to 2008. The Baja unibody design shared many similarities with the Outback and Legacy Subaru model lines. The Baja’s power rating was decent on its own, with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine that develops 170 hp and 176 lb-ft.
The 2005 model year produced up to 210 hp with a turbocharged engine. However, sales declined until Subaru killed off the Baja model line in 2008 after selling just 1,127 units the previous year.
3 Studebaker Coupé Express J5
Many still consider the Studebaker Coupe Express J5 to be one of the finest vintage pickups available from 1937 to 1939. It looked better than even its more expensive Ford or Chevy contemporaries, with side windows, a 3-speed transmission and a double – Murphy bed.
However, throughout its journey, less than 5,000 people boarded the Express J5 and he died a natural death just before the start of World War II.
2 dodge dakota
The Dodge Dakota midsize pickup truck was introduced in 1986 and had an impressive run until 2012. What is even more interesting is that the Dodge Dakota is one of the first midsize pickup trucks to feature an engine. V8 as an option, and it received a nomination for the North American award. Truck of the Year in 2000.
In 2005, the Dakota sold over 104,051 units in the USA. However, 7 years later it struggled to sell only 629 units before being discontinued.
1 Chevrolet C1500 454SS
Before the supercharged Ford F-150 Lightning and turbocharged GMC Syclone dominated the muscle truck brand, there was the Chevrolet C1500 454SS that ran well from 1990 to 1993. Under the hood of the C1500 454SS, you’ll find a 454-inch cubes V8 engine rated at 230 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque.
Of the total 17,000 units produced, 75% of that figure was for the 1990 model year, so it’s safe to say that the C1500 454SS started well, but no one really wanted it after the first year of production, largely partly because of its retail price of $30,000.
Since most truck enthusiasts are drawn to the F-150, we decided to list down the biggest trucks that they miss.
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