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1991 GMC Syclone – Saluting the Original Sport Truck

Okay, I’ll admit it. I just flat-out dig the 1991 GMC Syclone. It is not remotely practical, an odd statement for a pickup truck. But the Syclone's brazen dedication to performance is exactly what is so endearing, and it challenges you to forget any preconceived notion you have of trucks. It lacks ground clearance, you can barely put anything in the bed, and you certainly can’t tow anything.

But what the 1991 GMC Syclone lacks in practicality it makes up for in badassness. All wheel drive and a turbo can make just about anything cool. But what is so special about the Syclone is that it existed in an era when not every manufacturer had such capabilities. Matter of fact, it was outrunning many sports cars thanks to a Garrett air-to-water intercooler, Mitsubishi turbocharger, and a Tuned Port Injection 4.3L V-6. While the old 90-degree V-6 was no engineering marvel, you add Tuned Port Injection and a healthy turbo system and it becomes an animal with 280hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. But the all wheel drive system is what put it over the edge. The 1991 GMC Syclone would hook up anywhere. Literally anywhere, which is what made it such a beast on the street.

Case in point:

Better yet, it would hook up on pretty much any track, too. And with some work (larger turbo, suspension, converter, etc) you can go low 10s and even high 9s on a consistent basis without ditching the factory block.

And if you are a baller, you can do some really cool stuff. Like set records.

Handling? Sure, they were designed to do that, too. The Syclone received unique leaf springs and a number of suspension upgrades from the factory. But of course you can take it even further than that to build a radical, death-defying hill-climber and top-speed racer known as Syborg.

And for all wheel drive haters, yes they can do burnouts, too.

But what they do even better than that is the coolest donuts you’ll ever see. (Pardon the language towards the end.)

And on occasion they even make really great cameo appearances on sit-coms.

Last but not least I'd like to leave you with the original commercial. Truly, the 1991 GMC Syclone truck was ahead of its time.

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69 comments
Joel Walters
Joel Walters

My old friend in indy had one of these, VERY FAST

Peter McGough
Peter McGough

Quick truck... Pain in the balls to work on.

Pedro Perez
Pedro Perez

It's just to bad these trucks didn't hold together very well or I might have one. All haters still have to thank dodge for any performance FULL SIZE truck they were the first. I miss the srt 10

Dallace Brandon
Dallace Brandon

Wrong! Dodge Lil' Red Express was the the first "Sports Truck"

Dave Woods
Dave Woods

For you guys screaming shelby dakota i got a stock all wheel drive bravada that runs circles around my shelby dakota

Cody Joe Brown
Cody Joe Brown

my '89 4.3 short bed S10 was rockin' that digital dash

John Metteer
John Metteer

my sy killed your chevelle easily and WILL kill your Trans Am, no matter. its not a S10.. u just jealous it did beat your big block.lol!!

Roy Ellis
Roy Ellis

This truck is bad.but in 1962 dodge made a 100 with a max wedge 440. That is considered the frist muscle truck ever.

Joe Willman
Joe Willman

Yves, it only does if you're running just regular tires. If you run proper drag tires you don't need awd, which is just a parasitic waste of power by that point. 2wd is the way to go for drags. Try again, bub.

Shaun Maynard
Shaun Maynard

I did an oil change and emissions test on a typhoon last year. Was a memorable suv

James Thompson
James Thompson

Lil red express! Lmmfao The syclone and even the typhoon would smoke its ass. And I highly doubt it (lol red express) terrorized corvettes of that era!!!

Yves Dubois
Yves Dubois

Awd makes a big différence when you want to put that much power to the pavement!

Nasario Birrueta Jr
Nasario Birrueta Jr

None of other sport trucks can compete with a syclone awd boost launch. Low 13 sec 1/4 mile stock and 4.6 zero to 60.

Jason Mitchell
Jason Mitchell

WRONG. The original sport truck was the Dodge Lil Red Express, second in line is the Dodge Shelby Dakota - first factory V8 in a compact truck. GM was still playing catch-up in the 90's

John Metteer
John Metteer

sport truck mean it can do autocross, dragstrip, daily drive even rain and suspension were built ready. . I am owner of sy. its badass!

Barry Friend
Barry Friend

Yeah the little red express ran a whopping 15 second quarter-mile. Now that's muscle LOL

Jim Gillgam
Jim Gillgam

The little Red Express of 1978 and 9 was the first sport truck.. It also put Corvette to shame. It had a high performance 360.

Tom Balm
Tom Balm

En gewoon er mee blijven rijden toen. Die van jouw was ook heel mooi. Good times Mario .

Gary Foley
Gary Foley

Who cares what came first....the lightning is by far the best sport truck and needs to come back

Mario Stufkens
Mario Stufkens

Zeker weten ik had een typhoon 3jaar mee gewerkt automaten vervoeren soms drie keer per dag tanken dat waten nog eens leuke tijden

Barry Friend
Barry Friend

Muscle trucks would be a different argument

Barry Friend
Barry Friend

Chevrolet cameo and Dodge's sweepside were the first sport trucks! This could go on forever!!

Lee Smith
Lee Smith

as long as they didnt stick a V8 in.. kooool Syclone 4.3 boosted

Jeff Wood
Jeff Wood

I see a lot of people don't even know the meaning of "Sport Truck".

Tom Balm
Tom Balm

Ik denk dat jullie dit wel leuk vinden: Arjan Franken Mario Stufkens

David de la Torre
David de la Torre

The little red express was actually the first "sports truck" it was faster than the lambo in acceleration and top speed in its time. Not only that it had the coolest factory exhaust ever

Hans Nicoll
Hans Nicoll

Every time I see one (which is once every 3 or 4 years) my neck gets all twisted up and I almost crash.

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