1975 GMC Sierra Classic Gentleman Jim & Beau James

24 Rare Pickup Models That Are the Stuff of Legend

In the truck world, some pickups are a rare sight, produced in numbers so small they’re almost mythical. These rare pickups stand out not just for their uniqueness but for how seldom they appear on the market. With models like the Dodge Shelby Dakota and the GMC Railroad Crew Cab, we’re talking about trucks that you might never see in person. Have you seen any of these 24 rare trucks?

Dodge Rod Hall Signature Edition

Dodge Rod Hall Signature Edition
Image Credit: Navymailman/flickr.

In 1990, Dodge released the Rod Hall Signature Edition, a limited run of 33 trucks, after an earlier production halt. This edition was a collaboration with off-road racer Rod Hall and featured a Baja racing-inspired design. Each truck was equipped with a 5.2-liter V8 engine, producing 170 horsepower, paired with a three-speed A727 Torque Flite automatic transmission. The trucks also had Rancho shocks and springs, power steering, power brakes, and a light bar, making them ready for off-road adventures.

GMC Railroad Crew Cab

1962 GMC Railroad Crew Cab
Image Credit: Rodder Files/YouTube.

In 1962, GMC produced a rare version of its crew cab specifically for the railroad industry, with only six units known. These trucks, modified by third-party coach builders, had features like rear flanged steel wheels and retracting front steel wheels for track use. The rarity of these trucks is underscored by the fact that only one specialty-order Fenderside 1962 Crew Cab exists in the U.S., with three others identified in Canada, making them some of the rarest pickup trucks in existence.

Studebaker Champ

1962 Studebaker Champ
Image Credit: MercurySable99/WikiCommons.

The Studebaker Champ, produced starting in 1959, was part of an effort to revive the struggling Studebaker company. Based on the compact Lark, the Champ shared its chassis and front design with the car. It came with a flathead straight-6 or an OHV V8 engine, offering up to 210 horsepower. The Champ’s design featured a bed wider than the cab, sourced from Dodge. Despite its design, Studebaker’s financial troubles led to the Champ’s end in 1963, with around 25,000 units sold, making it a rare find in today’s classic car market.

Ford F-150 SVT Lightning (First Generation)

Ford F-150 SVT Lightning first gen
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Ford stepped into the sport truck scene in 1993 with the F-150 SVT Lightning, answering Chevy’s earlier call. With a 5.7-liter Windsor V8 engine, it punched out 240 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque, beefing up by 12% in power and 5% in torque over the regular F-150. Offered in stark black, red, or white, the Lightning ditched chrome for color-matched trim and accessories, rounding off its look with custom alloy wheels and Lightning-embossed bucket seats. Production wrapped in 1995, with just 11,563 units built, making it a rare find today.

Dodge D100 “The Dude”

1970 Dodge D100 "The Dude"
Image Credit: dave_7/flickr.

Between 1970 and 1971, Dodge rolled out “The Dude,” a performance pickup that predated the more flashy “Adult Toys” series. Sporting a 383ci V8 engine, you can recognize it by its C stripe and special badging. Produced in limited numbers, with only 1,500 to 2,000 units made, “The Dude” is a rare sight. Its design, which extended to the Canadian market under the Fargo brand, set the stage for performance pickups.

GMC Sierra Classic Gentleman Jim & Beau James

1975 GMC Sierra Classic Gentleman Jim & Beau James
Image Credit: ProtouringTexas/YouTube.

In 1975, GMC introduced the Sierra Classic Gentleman Jim and Beau James, targeting luxury truck buyers. Gentleman Jim featured a black and gold color scheme with premium features like air conditioning and an 8-track player, while Beau James sported silver and blue with velour seats and exclusive trim. Both models packed a punch with either a 350ci or 454ci V8 engine.

Chevrolet K10 Sno Chaser

Chevrolet K10 Sno Chaser
Image Credit: GR Auto Gallery.

The 1984 Chevrolet K10 Sno Chaser was a rare breed, built for cold climates with a production run of just over 2,500 units. Known for its red paint with a golden stripe and cab spoiler, it stood out with a Sno Chaser decal. While specifics are scarce, some were equipped with a 350ci V8, hinting at a performance edge for this winter-ready pickup.

Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS

Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS
Image Credit: Mecum Auction.

In 2006, Chevrolet paid tribute to racing legend Dale Earnhardt with the Silverado Intimidator SS, a special edition of its Silverado 1500. This model, limited to 1,333 units, packed a Vortec 6000 V8 engine with 345 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Its Black Onyx exterior, Intimidator branding, rear spoiler, and premium interior options, either cloth or leather, set it apart. 

Lincoln Blackwood

Lincoln Blackwood
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Lincoln Blackwood, launched in the early 2000s, aimed to redefine luxury in the pickup segment by merging the elegance of the Lincoln Navigator with the utility of the Ford F-150 SuperCrew. However, its attempt to prioritize luxury over functionality limited its practicality as a pickup, leading to its downfall. With only rear-wheel drive and a hefty price tag over $50,000, the Blackwood struggled to find a market, resulting in a short production run of just 3,356 units. 

Dodge Midnite Express

Dodge Midnite Express
Image Credit: Pinterest.

The Dodge Midnite Express, created in the late ’70s, was an exclusive and powerful variant of the Dodge truck line, limited to just 200 units. Unlike the Li’l Red Express, the Midnite Express wasn’t a factory model but a dealer-installed package. It started with a high-optioned Warlock, then received a sleek metallic black paint job and parts from the Li’l Red Express. What really set it apart was its larger 440ci V8 engine.

2013-2015 Mercedes-AMG G 63 by Brabus

2013-2015 Mercedes-AMG G 63 by Brabus
Image Credit: Crockett Max/Pinterest.

The Mercedes-AMG G 63 6×6, a product of extreme engineering, led the charge into the world of luxury 6×6 trucks. With more than 100 units produced, it’s a rare sight, especially the Brabus-tuned versions which pump out 700 horsepower. These beasts command attention and a hefty price, representing the pinnacle of off-road luxury.

Lamborghini LM002

Lamborghini LM002
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Lamborghini LM002, launched in the late ’80s, broke the mold as a massive off-road pickup, powered by a Countach-derived V12 engine. This machine, known as the ‘Rambo Lambo,’ was an unexpected turn from Lamborghini’s usual lineup, creating a blend of luxury and rugged performance. With only 328 made, it’s a rare sight. Its design divided opinions, but its legacy as a luxury off-roader is undeniable, making it a standout piece in Lamborghini’s history.

Chevrolet S10 EV

Chevrolet S10
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Chevrolet’s raid into electric vehicles led to the creation of the S10 EV in the late ’90s, an electric version of the popular S10 pickup. It was equipped with an 85-kW electric motor, echoing the technology used in the EV1. Despite its approach, the S10 EV saw limited success, with just 60 units sold before discontinuation. 

1991 Ford Skyranger

1991 Ford Skyranger
Image Credit: barnfinds/Pinterest.

The 1991 Ford Skyranger was a response to the performance pickup market, with only 17 units produced. This rare convertible truck was powered by a Cologne V6 engine and featured an all-wheel-drive system. The Skyranger’s design and limited production make it a memorable entry in the history of pickup trucks, showing off Ford’s creativity during that time.

Jeep J10 Honcho

Jeep J10 Honcho
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

The Jeep J10 Honcho, produced from 1976 to 1983, was a standout model with only 1,264 units made. This pickup was a statement on wheels, featuring a flashy paint job with eye-catching stripes and decals. It wasn’t all about looks, though—the Honcho was backed by solid performance credentials, including wide-track Dana 44 axles, 31-inch tires, and a powerful AMC 401cid V8 engine. This combination made it a favorite among truck enthusiasts.

​​Mazda REPU

Mazda REPU
Image Credit: Jorge Martin del Campo/flickr.

Mazda’s venture into the pickup market with the REPU (Rotary Engine Pickup) in 1974 showcased their dedication to the rotary engine, exclusive to North America. This truck, based on the B-series, stood out with flared fenders and quad circular taillights. Despite its high-revving rotary engine, the REPU struggled with torque and fuel economy, leading to its discontinuation after four years with only 15,000 units sold. Its rarity now makes it a cool find, especially for those looking to swap in more modern rotary engines.

Jeep FC

84-96 Jeep Cherokee
Image Credit: IFCAR/WikiCommons.

The Jeep FC, produced for about eight years until 1965, was a unique vehicle with Forward Control, maximizing space and maneuverability. Built on the CJ5 chassis, it offered various engine options, including the Hurricane four-cylinder and an L-head six-cylinder. Its compact design and tight turning radius made it adaptable for many tasks, selling around 30,000 units. Today, the FC is a rare collector’s item, especially sought after for its unique design and historical significance.

Dodge Rampage/Plymouth Scamp

Dodge Rampage
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Dodge Rampage and Plymouth Scamp, introduced in 1982, were derived from the Omni/Horizon hatchbacks, transitioning into light trucks with a 2.2-liter engine producing 84 horsepower. These front-wheel-drive trucks offered practicality for light hauling tasks but saw limited success, leading to their discontinuation after three years. The Shelby-modified versions, particularly in California, are extremely rare and sought after.

Chevrolet 1500 454 SS

Chevrolet C1500 454 SS
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Chevrolet’s 1500 454 SS, produced from 1990 to 1993, marked a significant moment in truck history by introducing performance-oriented features in a pickup. With a 7.4-liter 454 V8 engine, it offered substantial power and torque, making it a standout model in the truck market. Initially available only in Onyx Black, this model combined performance with luxury amenities, leading to its iconic status. Today, the 454 SS is a collector’s item, with values significantly higher than its original price.

GMC Syclone

GMC Syclone
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

When the GMC Syclone hit the scene in the early ’90s, it was a game-changer. It looked like a regular Sonoma pickup but housed a beast within: a 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine, pushing out 280 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an all-wheel-drive system, the Syclone boasted sports car-beating performance, accelerating from 0 to 60 in just over five seconds. Its sleeper status and limited production run have since made it a legend in the automotive world.

Dodge Li’l Red Express

Dodge Li’l Red Express
Image Credit: sv1ambo/WikiCommons.

The Dodge Li’l Red Express, released in 1978, was a standout in the ‘adult toys’ lineup, thanks to its distinctive look and powerful performance. Despite the emissions restrictions of the era, it featured a modified police V8 engine with 225 horsepower, bypassing the need for catalytic converters. This made it one of the fastest vehicles of the 1970s. With its eye-catching red paint and wood paneling, the Li’l Red Express offered speed and style in an era when both were hard to come by.

Dodge Shelby Dakota

1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Dodge Shelby Dakota emerged in the late 1980s as a product of the collaboration between Dodge and Carroll Shelby, aiming to revive the muscle truck segment. With Shelby graphics and a blacked-out aesthetic, these trucks were hard to miss. Powered by a 5.2-liter V8 engine producing 175 hp and paired with a four-speed automatic transmission, the Shelby Dakota was a force to be reckoned with. Only 1,475 units were made, each equipped with performance-enhancing features like an electric fan, limited-slip rear axle, gas-pressure shocks, and a front stabilizer bar.

Dodge Ram 1500 GTX Hemi

Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi GTX
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

The Dodge Ram 1500 GTX Hemi, customized by LA West of Indiana between 2004 and 2005, stands out as an unforgettable muscle pickup. Available in colors like Hemi Orange and Plum Crazy Purple, this special edition sported the powerful 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine, delivering 345 hp. With only 866 units customized, features included 20-inch chrome wheels, distinctive side stripes, and a blacked-out cowl hood. 

Ford F-250 Bigfoot Cruiser

Ford F-250 Bigfoot Cruiser
Image Credit: Robert Karafel/flickr.

In the late ’80s, Ford capitalized on the popularity of the Bigfoot monster truck by releasing the F-250 Bigfoot Cruiser. This special edition package, resulting from a partnership with Bob Chandler, was limited to about 300 units and included unique Bigfoot graphics, a Warn Enforcer front bumper, a three-inch lift, heavy-duty shocks, 33-inch tires, and a double-hoop roll bar with off-road lighting. However, finding an original Bigfoot Cruiser today is challenging due to safety recalls that led to the removal of many aftermarket parts, making those that are still around even more rare.

Author: Abbie Clark

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