Buying any vehicle as an investment is a risky gamble at the best of times. But sometimes, it pays off. Limited-edition trucks can make for extremely valuable purchases. More often, though, that special-edition truck won’t command a premium on the used market. Here are 4 things that don’t necessarily improve limited-edition truck values.
Being a truly ‘limited’ edition is often a requirement for additional value. For instance, the GMC Syclone is already a valuable truck. But, the 10 Marlboro Editions are even pricier. But there are situations where a low production tally can work against you.
For example, the 1979 GMC Sierra Mule. Offered with any engine choice, this was mostly a cosmetic package. The upgrades included special wheel covers, external pinstripes, and solid oak side rails on the bed. But it’s rarely mentioned in collector circuits. That’s because it was only offered at select GMC dealers in and around Chicago, Illinois. Dealer-specific editions like the Mule aren’t unusual, but geographic limitations mean such special editions go unheard of and unvalued.
Picking certain colors can have an effect on your truck’s resale value. However, a limited-edition truck that only offers minor visual changes, inside or outside, most likely won’t be worth more.
Minor Visual Changes
In the late 90s and early 00s, many automakers were partnering with apparel and lifestyle companies to make special edition vehicles. There were the Ford Eddie Bauer Expeditions, the Subaru L.L. Bean Outbacks, and Mercury Nautica Villagers. Today’s Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Edition is a legacy of that.
Chevrolet had a previous partnership with North Face, to make the Avalanche North Face Edition. Built between 2002 and 2003, the only real differences were a few North Face badges, special floor mats, and green seats. And today, they’re not worth any more than ‘normal’ Avalanches.
Lack of Historical Significance
Sometimes, special-edition trucks honor significant moments in history or someone’s memory. For instance, the Chevrolet Silverado Intimidator SS produced in honor of the late Dale Earnhardt. Or, when a manufacturer is chosen to provide a pace car for an important race, like the Indy 500. Indy pace cars are often more valuable than their showroom counterparts, especially if the vehicle in question was actually at the race.
However, not every anniversary is significant. In honor of a GMC pickup being the official 1977 Indy pace vehicle, GMC commissioned Indy 500 versions of their C10 and K10 pickups. But the 1977 race was the 61st running—not a particularly significant year. Even worse for resale value, GMC also likely commissioned 500 1976 and 500 1975 trucks be converted into Indy trucks. And the Indy package itself was mostly cosmetic. Few of these Indy 500 GMC pickups have allegedly survived, and even exact production numbers differ between sources.
This will most likely happen to trucks like the new Ram 1500 Kentucky Derby. It’s basically a Ram 1500 Limited with a few external graphics, built to commemorate the 144th Kentucky Derby. Not an important race, and while the Ram 1500 is a well-reviewed truck, this special-edition isn’t particularly special.
The Chevrolet SSR may draw strange looks as a convertible pickup. But it wasn’t actually the first truck with such a feature.
Both Ford and Dodge have offered special-edition convertible pickups in the past. From 1989-1991, Dodge offered the Dakota Sport Convertible, with a fabric convertible roof installed by the American Sunroof Company. ASC would later build the Ford SkyRanger, a Ranger pickup with soft-top. Neither truck was particularly popular—supposedly, only 17-20 SkyRangers were ever made. And even today, despite their rarity, neither truck is particularly valuable.