6 May 2016

Here’s a truckload of your favorite pickups

America, you love your trucks. And boy, are you loyal.

We asked for the greatest truck of all time – make, model and year – and you did not disappoint. From a 1932 Plymouth to a super-fresh 2016 Ford F-150, you went with what you’d like but mostly what you already have.

With comments that ranged from serious to heartfelt to … ahem … slightly suggestive, you gave us plenty to chew on this week. So without further ado, here are your top 10 favorites in chronological order (each of which received several mentions):

1937 Studebaker Coupe Express – A truck ahead of its time, the Coupe Express offered car-like styling and comfort. It was based on the 6-cylinder 5A Dictator chassis and shared front-end sheet metal with the passenger car. But the public wasn’t ready for it – only 5,000 or so were built in three model years.

1941-42 Chevrolet – Chevy’s 1941 model received a stylish, all-new front end, which was fortunate considering that World War II ended civilian automobile production in February 1942 and it didn’t resume until August 1945. For that reason, there were about one-third as many ’42 models built. Jeff Dobbins, who owns a 1941 Chevy street rod, nominated his truck despite the fact that “there are many other pickups that have greater styling and are sharper looking. I don't want to hurt my own feelings, though.”

1946-48 Dodge Power Wagon – Introduced in 1946 as the first civilian 4x4, the Power Wagon was a non-military version of the Dodge 3/4-ton trucks used by U.S. troops in World War II. According to George D’Aloia: “It set the standard for a strong, powerful work truck.”

1949 Diamond T – The Diamond T Motor Car Company, founded in Chicago in 1905, began building touring cars but found its sweet spot building trucks. Look no further than the gorgeous 1949 Diamond T, which has been referred to as “the Cadillac of trucks” for its front-end styling (inspired by the 1938 Cadillac).

1951-52 Ford F1 – The 1951 and ’52 Ford F1s both have that iconic toothy grin up front. In fact, except for a couple of obvious styling differences – the ’52 has different hood trim and grille is white instead of silver – they have a lot in common. Bill Swiss wrote: My ‘52 ford F1 was the last of that body style, nearly the last with a flat head V-8. Sweet ride at speeds 55 or less.”

1955-59 Chevrolet Apache Cameo Carrier – By the mid-1950s, trucks buyers were a little more accepting of car-like styling, and Chevrolet’s light trucks were advertised as “Modern Trucks for Modern Hauling.” Part of Chevy’s “Task Force” generation, the Apache/Cameo Carrier featured a wraparound windshield and perhaps its best-known design feature – hooded headlamps. A high MSRP kept new sales down, but the truck is popular among collectors today. According to Matthew Abela, the ’55 is “one of the first pickups that crossed into the realm of car-like styling and made a pickup into more than a workhorse. Great looks with truck purpose.”

1956 Ford F100 – The 1956 F100 is only year of this generation with a wrap-around windshield. While long-legged owners have to pay attention getting in and out without bashing their knees into the dogleg door frame, the truck’s unique styling rules the day.

1967-72 Chevrolet C10 – Many of you nominated the ’67, but others found it too difficult to choose just one from 1967-72. We get it. Building on the successful first series of C/K pickup, Chevrolet launched a revised version in 1967. The availability of Stepside and Fleetside carried over from 1966, and revised grilles represented new model years through 1972.

Honorable mention

Michael Hagler nominated his own truck, a 1981 Chevrolet C20 Camper Special, which he claims “is pretty hard to beat. She’s ugly, but tough and reliable.”

Rodney E. Schuette wrote: “I don't know if it's the best or not, but it's my favorite – 1970 CST-10 (350 with a 3 speed manual transmission). My dad stored it behind the barn until I was old enough to drive it. You could see the road between the door bottom and where the rocker used to be. We had a lot of good times working on that truck. I had many ‘firsts’ in that truck. Of all the vehicles I've had I wish I had that one back. I'd return it to Dad.”

Joshua Akin wrote that his 1985 Chevrolet C10 454 is “still a work in progress, but it reminds me of the good ol’ days and runs like nobody's business.”

Abraham Valadez teetered between old and modern: “Don't know which one – a 2004 Ford SVT Lighting Concept or a 1936 REO Speedwagon? I like both.”

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