The Chevy El Camino is probably the best-known example in this category but the Ranchero was the first and is a pretty cool car/truck. The Ranchero was introduced in 1957 and was in production until 1979. A total of 508,355 units were produced and while we like the early models, they are all pretty sweet.
These may be the most common of all the Jeep mods you’ll see, even on vehicles that never leave the pavement. There are times when low light, night time, and bad weather are going to get in the way. Lighting the path ahead, and maybe behind as well, is a great way to help ensure safe travels.
Even if you can overlook the drab exterior, the cheap plastic interior of this used minivan can almost turn your stomach. Once inside, you will find average passenger space and less-than-stellar cargo space. These things could be overlooked if the Grand Caravan offered a smooth and quiet ride, but it doesn’t offer either.
Stoppe’s shop could further customize a Baja with a large selection of optional parts. Roll cages, winches, and off-road lights were popular, as were suspension upgrades. The Baja cost almost $2,000 more than the standard Bronco, which was big cash back in the day; its high price limited sales. While not a huge seller (only 650 were produced) this is one of the coolest old Ford trucks on our list.
It has 113-cc intake ports, 2.25-inch intake valves and 1.88-inch exhaust valves, a massive 1150cfm carb (yes, a carb), a solid-roller cam with 0.714 inches of lift, 12:1 compression, and it requires 110 octane fuel. Here’s GM’s succinct English translation of those stats:
While we still like the look of the original Bronco best (see the Baja further down the list), the second generation is more practical for most people, especially if you have toys to tow. This is what a pickup should look like, rugged, tall and bursting with attitude. This truck could handle 35-inch tires without lifting the suspension.
As if that wasn’t enough, GM then throws on a gargantuan 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger pushing a full 16 PSI of boost. All of that cast iron and forging means strength, and the COPO 350 can set dragstrip records day in and day out without breaking a sweat.
The single engine option in the latest models is a 3.6L V6 that offers 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant is mated to a six-speed automatic. The duo offers 25 mpg on the highway. That is solid fuel economy, if you can stand all of the cabin noise.
The Nite was a good-looking truck that sold well enough to convince Ford that there was indeed a market for performance pickups, leading to the Lightning, a true performance pickup.
Ford’s Special Vehicles Team (SVT) went to work on the 5.8-liter small block V-8 and managed to squeeze 240 horsepower out of it. A lowered suspension, new shocks, anti-roll bars and 17-inch tires put that power to the road and made the Lighting a great handling truck in addition to being a speed demon. The Lightning cranked up to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and blazed through the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds. The biggest complaint about the Lightning was that it gulped down gasoline.
It also takes more torque to get oversized wheels turning which saps overall output and drains the gas tank much faster than normal. Swapping to lower gears and increasing the number in your gear ratio may be enough to offset the difference. A notable exception here is diesels, which sometimes put out so much torque that the difference with larger wheels isn’t noticeable.
In 1969, when muscle cars were king, Chevrolet built a handful of Camaros and Chevelles specifically for drag racing in the NHRA Stock Eliminator class. Designated COPO, or Central Office Production Order, these specialty machines weren’t marketed to the general public.
We do have to point out that the Sedona offers less cargo space than several of the used minivans on the list and does not offer removable second-row seating on any trim level. Those shortcomings are overcome in our minds by the generous warranty, low sticker price, and long-term durability of the Kia Sedona.
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.
Put it all together and you have the monstrous mill that propelled the 2009 ZR1 to 60mph in 3.2 seconds, 100 in 7 seconds, and covered the quarter mile in 11.3 at 131 mph. Keep in mind this isn’t the spec list for a 2013 Gallardo, this was a 2009 Chevrolet Corvette. An all-aluminum supercharged V8 in a 200-mph American car that was faster than a GT-R, in 2009.