4 Unique Old Pickup Trucks You Can Buy for $20k
I always say: everyone loves a classic pickup truck. While new trucks and even vintage muscle cars can be divisive, no motorhead can walk past a well-loved old truck without smiling. Why? They’re beautiful, they’re cool, and some of them are very unique. Here are four old trucks you can get into for under $20, and a couple cost less than $10k.
GMC Caballero utility coupe
You’ve heard of the Chevrolet El Camino. But did you know there was a GMC version? The 1978-1987 GMC Caballero is one of the most unique coupe utilities you can buy. Like the El Camino, the GMC Caballero was a muscle truck built on the Chevelle’s chassis. You could order it with any engine from an I6 up to a 454 cubic-inch V8. It also came with either an automatic or a manual transmission. Note that from 1971-77 the GMC version of the El Camino was called the “Sprint.”
How much are these unique old GMC Caballero pickup trucks worth? They don’t come up for sale often. But in April 2023, a 1986 GMC Caballero with a 5.8-liter V8 upgrade came up on Cars & Bids (pictured). GMC fans bid the truck up to $19,000 even. On other sites, GMC Caballeros have gone for everything from $3,300 to $27,500 with the average value being about $13k.
Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter truck
The Volkswagen bus–also known as the Volkswagen Transporter (or T series) is an icon. But did you know that VW cut some of these vans down into factory-built trucks? Yes, a rear-engine, RWD truck. The first-gen (T1) vans and buses are commanding stratospheric prices. The T3, released in 1979 is a bit more of a square body. Your best bet for cool-looking old VW Transporter pickup trucks is probably shopping for the T2 generation, released in 1967. Note that in 1971, VW offered a 1,200 cc engine upgrade.
In November 2022, a Volkswagen Type 2 double cab pickup truck with a diesel engine and 4-speed transmission (pictured) was bid up to $15,250 on Cars & Bids. These are relatively rare trucks, but the T3 version lists a little more often, with examples advertised currently for $22k and $24k.
Jeep Comanche pickup truck
The current Jeep Gladiator is far from the brand’s first 4WD pickup truck. The 1986-92 Jeep Comanche was a series of old midsize pickup trucks built on the beloved Cherokee chassis. These are one of the most unique old trucks around, but they can be bought for a bargain, and any mechanic familiar with the Cherokee should be able to service it.
The lovely red 1989 Jeep Comanche pioneer trim (pictured) sold on Cars & Bids for $13,400 in January 2022. A 1990 Jeep Comanche modified for better off-roading was bid up to $10,200 in February 2022, and another 1990 sold for $12,100 in March 2023. The average sale is $11k, while the highest sales come in at $25k, and projects still move for under $4k.
Jeep Gladiator full-size truck
The Comanche was not Jeep’s only old pickup truck. The SJ-generation Gladiator was a full-size full-frame pickup truck Jeep built from 1962 through 1988. This truck was originally built on the Wagoneer platform, but its name went from the J-series to the Gladiator. It actually bridged the eras of Willy-owned Jeep, AMC-owned Jeep, and even Chrysler-owned Jeep (when it was canceled to not compete with Dodge trucks. So over the years you could order it with engines ranging from a 230 cubic-inch “Tornado” I6 to AMC’s 401 cubic-inch V8. These are some of the most unique full-frame old pickup trucks around, and you can still buy one for a bargain.
In June 2021, a beautiful 1983 V8 Jeep Gladiator (pictured) sold on Cars & Bids for $5,432. That’s near the bottom end of the market, with $6k representing the lowest-dollar projects. The average resale is closer to $26k.
Next, find out the discontinued pickup truck brands you’ve never heard of or see more affordable classic trucks in the video below: