If you were above the age of 10 at the end of the eighties and beginning of the nineties you’ll probably remember the mini-truck/sport truck trend. The roads and high school parking lots were littered with lil’ tiny dropped pickups with ground effects and speakers blaring out Dallas’s own Vanilla Ice, or Pantera depending on your neighborhood. Well for ONE year only, GM decided to drop their own sport truck on the market and in 1991 introduced the Syclone.
Now the Syclone wasn’t your average little truck, it was a turbo-charged V6 powered BEAST that could go 0-60 in 5.3 seconds! This truck was available in the traditional Henry Ford paint scheme of “any color you want, as long as that color is black” and featured all wheel drive and that V6 pumped 280hp and 360 foot pounds of torque through a Corvette transmission. This truck was so hot, Car and Driver Magazine sponsored a drag race between the Syclone and a Ferrari 348ts! You read that correctly. They wanted to race an under $30k American pickup truck vs Italy’s finest $120,000+ heart-thumping-red painted, four wheeled sex machine.
And the pickup truck WON.
For real. The poor Ferrari driver got pretty familiar with the Syclone’s tailgate because he never even saw the Syclone from any other angle than from behind. According to the Sept 1991 Car and Driver magazine article on the race, the Ferrari demanded a rematch. Pickup said, “Nope”.
Then the pickup went on to beat the Ferrari at braking by coming to a full stop from 70mph in 183′ which was 4′ shorter than the Ferrari!
It should be pointed out in the spirit of full disclosure that the Ferrari does eat the Syclone’s lunch AFTER the 1/4 mile with a top speed of 166 mph vs the Syclone’s upper limit of 126 mph, and above 80 mph the Syclone’s pickup truck shape starts costing it speed. It’s the old story, a fast truck ain’t much but a streamlined brick…but this brick beat a Ferrari where it counts to us Americans: in “the traffic light Grand Prix” – to quote C&D Magazine.