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The 1980s were a strange time for cars and trucks. However, GM took the trends and really went for it by building a number of strange vehicles. The strangest of the bunch had to be the GMC Syclone; one of the fastest muscle trucks the likes of which the world had never seen. We expect things like this from Ford and Dodge, but GM? Not so much. The GMC Syclone is the perfect example of this strange time in truck history when OEMs wanted to build very powerful road trucks. Here is everything you need to know about the GMC Syclone and what makes this cool old truck so special. 

How many GMC Syclones were made?

Black 1992 GMC Syclone performance truck on dirt
1992 GMC Syclone performance truck | GM

Despite the Syclone’s collectability today, it was not a success in its time. 2,995 GMC Syclones were built between 1989 and 1994. In fact, GMC didn’t even build the Syclone. An outside company, Production Automotive Services in Troy, Michigan, was responsible for the hot little pickup. 

Think about it, in 1989, when the Syclone debuted, who was going to GMC for speed? While the Buick Grand National was a bad little mama jamma, it was also not a huge sales success which is why they, too, are collectible today. Actually, the Syclone and the Grand National are connected, as a matter of fact, but more on that later. 

How fast is the GMC Syclone?

The GMC Syclone is one of the fastest pickup trucks ever made. It tops out at 126 mph. I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to go that fast in a small pickup truck. Nevertheless, this is what GMC did. Not only could it do 126 mph, but it got there pretty quickly. 

The GMC Syclone does its 0-60 mph run in only 4.6 seconds. This was blistering at the time. For instance, CarHP organized the fastest cars of the ‘90s. To show you just how quick this truck was, the Dodge Viper GTS did its 60mph sprint in 4.0 seconds. While the Viper was certainly faster than the Syclone, it wasn’t that much faster. 

What engine is in the Syclone truck?

GMC used a turbocharged 4.3-liter V6 to power the hot little truck. The Syclone’s V6 makes 280 horsepower at 4,400 RPM and 350 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. This engine was a bit more than just a turbo V6. This powerplant got its nuts and bolts tweaked some to make this power. The Syclone’s engine featured lower-compression pistons, bespoke intake and exhaust manifolds, a gnarly multi-point fuel injection system, a larger twin-bore throttle body borrowed from the C5 Corvette’s 5.7-liter V8, and the TD06-17C turbocharger from Mitsubishi with a Garrett water-to-air intercooler.

Remember we mentioned the Buick Grand National earlier? Well, the GMC Syclone nearly inherited the Buick’s turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine. Since the Grand National died in ‘87, the designers scooped that engine and slammed it into a Chevy S10, dressed it up with Grand National styling, and even put on an enlarged hood to poorly hide the beefy engine. Ultimately, Chevy and GMC declined this version, although GMC dug the idea of a Grand National pickup. 

How much is a GMC Syclone worth today? 

GMC Syclone promotional photo
GMC Syclone | GMC

The Syclone truck wasn’t cheap in its day. In 1991, the GMC muscle truck started at $25,970. Considering the strangeness of the truck and the high price, not many Syclones sold. That, along with the reality that many were crashed or otherwise incapacitated over the years, the few survivors are now far more valuable than when they started. 

Most examples today are selling for something between $30k-$50k, depending on condition. However, BaT sold a 1991 model with 250 original miles for $108,000. That is certainly an outlier, but it goes to show that people are willing to pay big numbers for a nice original example. 

You’ll never find the rarest GMC Syclone Special Editions

For a truck that is already very rare, GMC made two far-rarer special edition models. GMC only made 10 examples of the 1991 Syclone Marlboro Special Edition truck. These 10 trucks were finished in Marlboro red instead of the standard black paint. American Sunroof Company (ASC) added some other unique features like Boyd Coddington wheels, Recaro leather seats, a Momo steering wheel, and a removable roof panel. 

There was also a limited Editon Indy Syclone used for the 1992 Indianapolis 500. 

Is GMC bringing back the GMC Syclone? 

Black 1992 GMC Syclone performance truck studio shot
1992 GMC Syclone performance truck | GM

It is very unlikely that GMC would bring back its muscle truck. This is really not in GMC’s wheelhouse. The classic firm is known for its hard-woking pickup trucks, not for speed and performance as found in this cool old truck. Given the massive popularity of performance trucks today, we can’t say it’s impossible that GMC would resurrect the Syclone, but it isn’t likely. 

We’ll just have to make do with the ones we already have buzzing around the world.