Can you tell the difference between generations of Chevy's iconic C/K line of pickups, or Ford's best selling F-series? Know which company was the first to introduce a coupe utility truck, or to offer 4WD in a compact pickup? If you consider yourself an expert on all things truck, take our quiz to test your trucking IQ!
Since it came out in the 1940s, the Ford F-series pickup has always been popular with buyers. By the '70s, it was the most popular pickup in the U.S. A decade later, it was the bestselling vehicle of any kind sold in America, beating out sports cars, compacts and sedans. Sure, there's something undeniably appealing about the Corvette, Thunderbird or Mustang, but you can't exactly use them for hauling or towing, and riding in a low-slung sports car is enough to make anyone nervous on a crowded road lined with larger trucks and SUVs.
In 2018, the Ford F-series was still the best selling U.S. vehicle, but it was followed closely by two more pickups from Ram and Chevy, which indicates that no matter how flashy the sports car or coupe, Americans live and die by the payload and power that can only come from a truck.
Think you know everything there is to know about some of the most famous trucks ever made? Prove it with this quiz!
Known affectionately as Effie by Ford fans, the second generation F-100 pickup was offered between 1953 and 1956. Equipped with a Power King V8 engine, it also came with optional seat belts, power steering and "Ford-O-Matic" automatic transmission.
Federal guidelines required car makers to use catalytic converters in muscle cars in the '70s, but Dodge didn't have to include one in its L'il Red Express pickup in 1978 because it was technically a truck. This loophole allowed the truck to accelerate from 0 to 100 faster than any other production car, including the Thunderbird and Corvette.
Jeep produced the full-size Gladiator, later known as the J-Series, from 1962 through 1988. Starting in the mid-'70s the company took things up a notch with the Honcho trim package, consisting of bold striping, limited edition interiors and the option for a roll bar.
A successor to the Datsun 720, the Nissan D21 was sold in the U.S. between 1985 and 1997. Its double-wall bed and sleek design earned it the nickname Hardbody, though this name was never used in any official capacity by Nissan.
Dodge produced the four-wheel drive Power Wagon between 1945 and 1981, then used the name for off-road Ram trucks starting in the '00s. Known by fans by its manufacturing code T137, the Power Wagon was the first mass-produced 4x4 in the U.S.
Ford F-250 trucks produced between 1967 and 1977 had a narrower frame and sat about 2 inches taller than previous F-series trucks. This tiny bit of height gain was enough to earn the truck the nickname Highboy. After 1977, that extra 2 inches was eliminated, so trucks produced from then on are called Lowboys.
The second generation of the C-10 came out in 1967. Known as the Action Line, this remodel transformed the truck from workhorse to comfortable ride. It was lower to the ground and easier to get into, and came with comforts like carpet and a radio.
The Mazda Rotary Pickup, or REPU, was a special B-series pickup sold between 1974 and 1977. It was the first pickup with a Wankel engine. Because the Wankel featured all parts rotating in one direction, it produced an exceptionally smooth and powerful ride.
The Dodge Ram pickup has always been popular, but Dodge took things to the next level with the SRT-10 in 2004. Produced through 2010, this truck had a Viper engine that allowed it to accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than 5 seconds, and enabled a top speed of 154 mph. Not bad for a pickup truck.
It's hard to top the F-150, which has been one of the bestselling vehicles in the U.S. for decades. Ford managed to impress even avid F-150 fans with the SVT Lightning. Produced by the company's Special Vehicle Team between 1993 and 2004, it came with a souped-up transmission and a 5.8 L V8.
The Hudson Big Boy C28 was a game changer when it came out in 1939. Strong and shapely, it was much larger than trucks of the period, and measured almost as big as modern pickups. It holds a special place in history for its female designer, Betty Thatcher Oro, who paved the way for women in her field.
Produced between 1955 and 1958 as part of the Task Force Series, the Chevy Cameo epitomizes '50s truck styling. Built with small tailfins, chrome hubcaps and whitewall tires, it managed to combine style and function in a way many of its competitors could not.
Datsun enjoyed brisk sales with its compact line of pickups, but it wasn't until the 720 came out in 1972 that buyers could fit the whole family in the truck thanks to the King cab option. Nicknamed "The Little Hustler," this pickup also features distinct winged trim along the sides.
Ford started using the Super Duty label on its F-250 and higher trucks in 1999. This first generation of Super Duty models came with a Triton V8 capable of producing 255 hp, as well as innovative telescoping mirrors to make towing easier and safer for drivers.
The two-door Ford Ranchero came out in 1957, and was so popular that it remained in production through the end of the '70s. Styles changed throughout the years, with early models equipped with tailfins and two-tone paint, and later ones built with coke-bottle styling and wood grain finishes. Ford sold half a million Rancheros in just over two decades.
The Kaiser Jeep M175 was often referred to as the 5/4 ton because of its 1-1/4 ton rating. Kaiser made around 30,000 units between 1967 and 1969, each with a top speed of 55 mph and a payload between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds.
Tractor company International produced the rugged 4x4 Scout II pickup in the '70s. Designed for off-road driving and equipped with a V8 engine, the Scout II is recognizable by its grille, which consists of three horizontal bars perfectly framed by the front headlights.
A high performance version of the GMC Sonoma, the AWD GMC Syclone was the fastest production pickup on the planet when it was released in 1991. Thanks to a 4.3 L Turbo V8, the Syclone could go from 0 to 10 in 4.3 seconds. Only 3,000 Syclones were made, and they are highly coveted by pickup lovers today.
Off-road racing icon Carroll Shelby souped up the already-powerful Dodge Dakota Sport in 1989 by replacing the standard V6 with a 5.2 L V8. Only 1,500 were made, with around two-thirds being red and the rest white.
Produced between 2010 and 2014, the Ford SVT Raptor was a powerful 4x4 designed for off-road performance. It came with a 5.4 L V8 and advanced suspension and electronics. Ford offered the truck in limited colors, but did allow buyers to choose a "Digital Mud" decal.
Pickup trucks aren't exactly a new creation. Way back in 1925, Ford was making 15 different styles of Model T, including a truck called the Runabout Pickup. This classic ride had an engine rated at 20 hp, resulting in a top speed of 45 mph.
Lamborghini got into pickups with the LM002 in 1986. Known as the Rambo Lambo, this rugged ride had 4-wheel drive and was equipped with a V12 engine from the Countach. Inside it was truly luxurious, with leather seats, air conditioning and high-end trim.
Jeep sold its CJ-8 Scrambler from 1981 to 1986. In addition to manual hubs that enabled 4-wheel drive, the Scrambler came with bold tape graphics and specialty wheels for added style.
Need to dump a load of gravel? No problem for drivers of the International CXT, a heavy-duty truck sold between 2004 and 2008. In addition to dual-rear whee;s ad a 7.6 L turbo diesel engine, it gave buyers the option of a hydraulic lift bed, plus interior comforts like leather seats and a DVD player.
The Ford Ranchero was such a hit in the '50s that Chevy introduced its own version, the El Camino, in 1959. Half muscle car and half pickup, it was finally discontinued in 1987.
Rod Hall is a legendary name in racing, so buyers were excited when he teamed up with Dodge to produce a signature pickup truck. Released in 1990, it features a V8, racing stripes and some powerful light bars for off-road riding.
The Chevy Colorado was chosen as the platform for the Hummer H3, which was produced between 2005 and 2010. Equipped with an I5 or V8 engine, it offered a payload between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds depending on conditions. Hummer also offered an Adventure package that came with huge tires and a fully armored undercarriage.
Suzuki introduced the compact 4WD Samurai in 1985 to take on the more expensive Jeep Wrangler. Sadly, a 1988 "Consumer Reports" article accused the Samurai of rolling over too easily, which scared off buyers and resulted in a major lawsuit between Suzuki and the publication.
The Ford F-150 Harley Davidson Supercharged pickup was produced between 2000 and 2011. Complete with a 5.4 L V8 and monochrome black trim, later versions also offered leather seats made from the same leather workers who produced Harley biker jackets.
Known as the Action Line, Chevy's second generation C/K pickups were produced between 1967 and 1972. Starting in '71, buyers could choose the high-end Cheyenne trim package, which came with a plush interior that included wood-grained inserts and advanced comfort features.
Produced between 1956 and 1965, the Forward Control 150, or FC-150, intrigued buyers with its boxy, cab-over design. Despite having only an 81 inch wheelbase, this Jeep pickup managed to include a 78 inch bed thanks to its innovative style.
Produced between 1947 and 1955, the Chevy 3100 was a half-ton pickup sold as part of the C/L line Advance Design series. Chevy 3100's produced starting in 1954 are easy to distinguish from earlier models thanks to a one-piece curved windshield, which replaced the original two-piece windshield design used previously.
Named for a combination of the words high and luxury, the Toyota Hilux came to the U.S. in 1969 to take on the Datsun pickup. It was the first compact pickup to offer 4WD, and was famous for its high ground clearance, which made it a durable and rugged off-road ride.
Before introducing the Ram, Dodge spend decades making sturdy and reliable D-series pickups. The third generation D-100 in particular was prized for its modern, rounded styling combined with a tough, galvanized body to resist rust and corrosion.
Introduced in 1947 and designed to serve primarily as an agricultural vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog is one of the toughest and versatile trucks ever built. Briefly imported into the U.S. in the '70s, and again from 2002 to 2007, the truck has been used for everything from civilian recreation to military, deliveries, fire fighting and more.