The alternative is to either rebuild an old engine yourself, have an engine builder do it for you, or buy a custom-made engine directly from an engine builder. Each of these options has a fair share of hurdles, and often it’s cheaper to order a crate engine than it is to go those other ways.
Ford has built some beautiful, fun and powerful trucks over the years, and we thought it might be fun to have a look back at some of the coolest old Ford trucks they ever put on the road. We’ve compiled a list of cool old Ford trucks so if you love the original Bronco, have a “Highboy” in the garage, or have always wanted a Ranchero, you have come to the right place.
If any car was worthy of carrying the original ZR1’s torch, it was that one. The numbers are huge: 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft, with 90% of peak torque available from 2600 to 6000 rpm. Translation: lots of power on tap, whenever you want it.
This is the beginning of the pickup truck era for Ford, and while not the most exciting choice on our cool old ford trucks list, it was one of the first mass-produced trucks out there and helped build the foundation of the truck market we know today.
It’s not that we’re going in cost order here, the LS9 crate engine ranks near the top because of its insane rarity. According to GM they aren’t building any new ones, they’re just selling the leftovers from the 2009-2013 Corvette ZR1. You know, the first Corvette to ever exceed 200 miles per hour. The one that lapped the Nurburgring four seconds faster than a Nissan GT-R way back in 2009. Nevermind that this happened nearly a decade ago the 6.2-liter LS9 is still insane today.
Forged steel rods. Forged steel crank. Forged aluminum pistons. Aluminum heads. Mechanical roller cam. Huge valves. A 7100 rpm redline. A massive 13.1:1 compression ratio that’s well into diesel territory. It all combines to make 776 horsepower, 649 lb-ft, and a whole lot of noise from its 7.4 liters of absolute fury. I’ll let GM explain what that all means.
This has been but a taste of the vast GM Performance Catalog. GM crate engines run the gamut from affordable and economical four-cylinder mills to gallon-per-mile big blocks that sound like the devil gargling Listerine. And the future is bright: Chevrolet is bringing back the COPO Camaro and the newly-launched 2019 ZR1 packs 755 horsepower and a 210-mph top speed.
The Nite was sort of a half-assed attempt at a special edition. The upgraded features were an upgraded paint and decal job along with some forged aluminum wheels. A blackout trim on top of a black paint job made it stand out and a decal running down the side that transitioned from blue to magenta gave it a menacing look, but that is where the upgrades ended. The suspension was also tightened up but this was hardly a performance pickup.