Pickup trucks are built to do one thing – be capable workhorses. Since the Australians in the 1910s and 1920s converted their Ford Model Ts and other comparable cars to Utes for use on farms and in businesses, the pickup has become an integral part of the automotive world.
Most pickup trucks are still built with the original basic philosophy in mind – a relatively powerful engine in the front, enough room for the driver in the middle, and loads of space for ‘stuff’ in the bed. In the 1970s and 1980s, the idea of a ‘normal’ pickup was challenged slightly when automakers started turning them into sporty versions of themselves. Chevrolet stuffed a 7.4-liter V8 in their C1500 trucks and called it the 454 SS. GMC went one further and turbocharged a Sonoma to create the Syclone and Typhoon. Lincoln, on the other hand, took a Ford F-150 and tried turning it into a Bentley with the Lincoln Blackwood – which went about as well as one would think.
There have been many instances where automakers have tried turning the humble and basic pickup truck into something else – only to be met with criticism, laughter, and failure. While there are some pretty cool pickup trucks out there, there are also some which should never have left the drawing board. Here are 8 of the weirdest ones we could find.
8th Lincoln Blackwood
The Lincoln Blackwood was an attempt by Lincoln to create a luxurious pickup truck/SUV hybrid. The Blackwood was a fancier version of the Ford F-150 Crew Cab, featuring luxurious add-ons on the interior, softer suspension, and a one-of-a-kind rear tonneau cover/bed situation. Instead of using the bed as a traditional bed, it was lined with carpet and was instead designed to be used as a trunk – with an automated tonneau cover and everything.
Unfortunately, Lincoln was just a bit ahead of the times. The Blackwood failed miserably as it was too expensive and had no market. Lincoln tried again with the Mark LT a few years later, but it too failed. Maybe they should try it again now that almost every pickup truck manufacturer offers a luxury trim?
7 Subaru Baja
The Subaru Baja was a Legacy Outback with the rear chopped off and replaced with a bed. Yes, it looks about as weird as it sounds. The Baja looks like an aftermarket chop-shop special when it is seen on the road.
Using the same platform, engines, interior, and most body panels from the Outback, the Baja was relatively difficult to distinguish from the front and front quarter, but the missing rear cargo compartment was immediately noticeable from any other view, giving the Baja a rather distinctive silhouette. It’s definitely one of the weirdest pickup trucks ever made.
6 Chevrolet SSR
Where the Australians have perfected the Ute design, the US tried to improve upon it – with comparatively zero success. One of the American attempts was the Chevrolet Super Sport Roadster (SSR), which was a convertible muscle pickup truck/Ute. Yikes!
At least, unlike the Plymouth Prowler, the SSR was fitted with a V8 engine. The styling was inspired by the 1951 Chevrolet Advance Design pickup – with a twist – and resulted in a retro-modern look that did not really work.
5 Dodge RAM SRT-10
The Dodge RAM is a great pickup truck. Every generation has been on par with the equivalent Ford and Chevy pickup and has sold in hordes. Before Ford decided to spice up their F-150, Dodge did an unimaginably awesome thing and stuffed the 8.3-liter viper V10 into their RAM.
The end result was the RAM SRT-10, a rear-drive-only version that could be optioned with either an automatic or manual transmission. The SRT-10 was only available in regular and extended cab body styles. It is a ridiculous model, but we are really glad it exists.
4 International CXT
International is mostly known for its huge hauling trucks and the Scout off-roader from the 1960s. What some may not know is that they also sold pickup trucks. Granted, these trucks were based on their Extreme Truck Series vehicles, which made them about the size of a house.
The CXT was the commercially available version and was fitted with a massive 7.6-liter turbo diesel inline-6. It also had a more luxuriously designed interior and weighed in at well over 14,000 lbs – twice the weight of a Hummer H1. Interesting fact, if the CXT was a mere 2 lbs heavier, any owner would need a commercial driver’s license to drive it legally.
3 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6
The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon is an amazing vehicle that originated as a military off-roader to compete with the UK’s Land Rover and America’s Jeep. Mercedes-Benz commercialized the SUV, and sold it like sweet cakes – even though it was really expensive.
In 2013, AMG took a G63 and added an extra axle and a bed, creating the G63 AMG 6X6. It is a 6-wheeled behemoth, powered by a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8, and was priced from around $500,000. Now, the G63 6X6 is worth over $2 million when they can be found for sale on the second-hand market. Thanks to Mercedes-Benz, the 6X6 trend has continued and 6-wheeled versions of other pickup trucks can be bought from specialist aftermarket companies.
2 Lamborghini LM002
Like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, the Lamborghini LM002 was a vehicle originally designed for the military. The LM002 was also technically the first Lamborghini SUV, produced all the way back in 1986. The original LM002 was fitted with the 5.2-liter V12 straight out of the Countach supercar.
The LM002 was produced until 1993 and was later available with a different engine – a 7.2-liter V12 used in marine applications. The Sultan of Brunei even had a one-off estate version made to enjoy his time in the sun. Quite a bit different from the Urus.
1 Dodge Dakota Convertible
The Dodge Dakota, later renamed the RAM Dakota, was a mid-size pickup truck that fell in below the 1500 in the RAM lineup, but was still larger than Ford’s Ranger and Chevrolet’s C-10. The Dakota was sold between 1986 and 2011, before being discontinued – however, there is a new Dakota model on the way.
The weirdest version of the pickup was the Dakota Sport Convertible. Available with a range of engines – including a Shelby V8 – the Dakota Sport Convertible was truly the answer to a question nobody in the motoring community has ever asked. We get that Dodge wanted to cash in on the Jeep Wrangler’s convertible off-road action, but it proved to be too weird of a vehicle for people to find useful or attractive in any way, shape, or form.