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Factory Hot Rod Truck: 1991 GMC Syclone

In the early 1990s, General Motors dabbled in the performance pickup truck market like Chrysler had done with the Dodge Lil Red Express in the 1970s. A one-year-only model, the 1991 GMC Syclone’s speed capabilities were on par with that of the Chevy Corvette and the Ferrari 348ts. Thus, it was the fastest production truck on the market that year and one of the quickest vehicles overall. One of only 2,995 produced, the seller’s truck is a one-owner vehicle with 101,000 miles. It may be ready to rock and roll except the oil pressure sending unit needs replacing. At an asking price of $30,000, why not fix that before listing? Another tip from Pat L., this rare truck is in Palo Alto, California, and is available here on craigslist.

GM hooked up with Production Automotive Services (PAS) to create the Syclone, which did not have a companion over at Chevy. The truck would be the launching point for other models including the 1992-93 GMC Typhoon SUV and the 1992 GMC Sonoma GT (a sport package with the looks of a Syclone but without the performance guts). While plans were in place to build a second year of the Syclone, they were dropped, making it a one-year wonder. These pickups came in any color you wanted as long as it was black.

The seller says this Syclone has been “freshly detailed” which suggests it may have been sitting around for a bit. After all, 101,000 miles isn’t a lot for 31 years, especially for a pickup that may or may not have been thought of as collectible back in the day. Said to run great, it has a turbocharged 4.3-liter V6 engine with a 4L60 4-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4WD. These babies could do 0 to 60 in just 4.3 seconds, the quarter mile in 14.1, and would top out at 124 mph. In 1991, that was pretty badass. The Syclone was the first production 4WD truck to come with anti-lock brakes.

We’re told that the turbo was swapped out at 70,000 miles. The truck’s original soft tonneau bed cover was replaced by the dealer with what the seller says was a superior hinged solid aluminum shell in black. Some TLC was exercised in the ownership of this truck as we’re told it’s never seen snow or salt. The body and paint look fine, although still wet from a wash job or rain. And no under-the-hood photos or those of the interior other than the odometer are provided. A shortcoming for a car the seller hopes to get $30,000 for. Would you be in at this price point knowing you can’t drive it home (remember the bad oil pressure sending unit)? BTW, I wonder what the “Fail GRP” means in the custom license plates?


  1. Ramone Member

    Needs an oil pressure sender? Not sure about that. Maybe low oil pressure due to a bad bearing or other issue? No way I would try to sell a car without doing this simple fix.

    Like 19
  2. alphasud Member

    I have only ridden in one when I worked at the dealership back in the 90’s. That launch hurt my eyes! I had never experienced acceleration like that before. Don’t expect any refinement with the V6 engine but in a sledgehammer to a tack sort of way it works. This truck looks really nice and as Ramone cautioned if you are going to drop 30 large pay for a proper PPI.

    Like 11
  3. Big C

    Would I be in? Unless I lived a couple miles from this truck, and could look it over with a fine tooth comb? The answer is a hard no. The “wet look” pics, the mileage and the only gauge that doesn’t work is the oil pressure? All for $30,000!

    Like 11
  4. Howie

    Needs a new oil pressure sender? Those are very cheap, and how many minutes to install?

    Like 14
  5. Roland

    I don’t know about the 4.3, but I owned a 1984 S-10 4×4 with a 2.8 and I spent the better part of two to three hours to get the oil sender out. It was right there, in plain sight, nestled between the frame, exhaust, steering linkage, front axle, and brake lines below the exhaust manifolds on the front, driver’s side side of the block. I should have just pulled the motor, it would have been easier and left more skin on my arms. I honestly would have preferred to swap the auto to a 5-speed again than go after that sender unit. That said, I would not touch the truck for any money without knowing what the oil pressure was.

    Like 9
  6. John

    Oil pressure? Hmmmmmmm?

    Like 6
    • Eljsyo

      Loved my Syclone #1777 but motor and transmission both needed rebuilt at 85,000 miles, wish I would of kept it.

      Like 4
  7. John D

    Many years ago the Ford Dealership I worked at took one of these on trade. Being the service manager I grabbed the keys threw a plate on it and took it out for a spin. I will say I was impressed with the launch on that truck. The acceleration was great. That said I also remember issues with the driveshafts being a weak point with all that torque. Would have been fun to own. 30k for this one with an oil pressure issue hard pass.

    Like 5
  8. Mark

    Way too many potential hard miles for 30k.

    Like 4
  9. Dwayne

    30k? Noooope. Especially the oil pressure prob. How long exactly has that been an issue on this truck? Syclone was awesome. 110000 miles and oil probs? Maybe 10k. 8k? Perhaps.

    Like 5
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    If you are familiar with Tyler Hoover, he did a recent episode of Car Issues where he bought one of these and tracked it against a similar year Ferrari. It was entertaining, as usual.

    He had a ball with this muscle truck.

    Like 3
  11. Peter

    Change the chip and it will do a 12.5 second quarter
    couldn’t park it without young guys in ratty mustangs circling in the supermarket parking lot and stopping by it as I walked away; always wondered if it would be there when I came out.
    On the highway, guys in the turbocharged Buicks of the same era wanting to race.
    Fun car none the less. It goes fast, without noticing it.
    Lent it a girlfriend, and it took only eight miles for her to get a Speeding ticket

    Like 5
  12. Jay Masterson

    Lots of sketchy info here…
    -Oil pressure sending unit is a $30 part anyone can change in an hour. Change it and show the oil pressure afterwards.
    -One owner truck? Prove it with a Carfax.
    Otherwise, buyer beware as this is maybe a 10k truck. High performance + high mileage = huge stack of maintenance & repair records. Where are they?
    Run away, do not walk.

    Like 2

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