15k Mile Super Truck: 1991 GMC Syclone

There will always be moments in life where we have to compromise, and some of those compromises will be more palatable than others. If you are on the lookout for a classic to park in your driveway, and you can’t choose between a pickup or a muscle car, maybe a 1991 GMC Syclone offers that palatable compromise. It offers some of the practicality inherent in a pickup with performance that is sure to grab your attention. This Syclone has a genuine 15,000 miles showing on its odometer, and it is searching for a new home. It is located in Mesquite, Texas, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN has been set at $36,450, but the option is available to make an offer.

The Syclone was offered in the market in the 1991 and 1992 model years. The company sold a total of 2,995 examples of the vehicle in 1991, but only produced three vehicles during 1992. The 1991 Syclones subscribed to that old maxim of being available in any color, as long as it was Black. That is what this pickup wears, and the paint is in excellent condition. I can spot some minor stone chips on the leading edge of the hood, but that appears to be it when it comes to defects. The rest of the paint has a deep shine, while the panels are straight. The Syclone has never seen wet weather of any description and has remained rust-free. What we get to see of the bed suggests that this is a pickup that has never carried a load of any description, while the lack of marks and stains on the alloy wheels suggests that it also hasn’t worked hard for a living. The trim and decals show no signs of fading or deterioration, and the tinted glass seems to be flawless.

The automotive scene changed dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s, and manufacturers were no longer reliant on sheer cubic inches in their search for impressive levels of power and torque. There is probably no American vehicle that demonstrated this change more dramatically than the Syclone. Where GMC would have been relying on a V8 in the past to deliver the performance levels that buyers craved, the Syclone followed a very different path. Under the hood, we find a 4.3-liter V6. That doesn’t sound that exciting, but life gets significantly more interesting by adding fuel injection, a turbocharger, and an intercooler. Suddenly owners found that they had 280hp and 350 ft/lbs of torque at their disposal. There’s no point having that sort of power if you can’t get it to the road. The Syclone came equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system that sent 65% of the available power to the rear wheels and 35% to the fronts. Was the system effective? Just a bit! How does a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds sound? The ¼ mile could be absolutely blitzed in 13.7 seconds, which is not just muscle car territory but compared favorably with some impressive offerings from Europe at that time. Car and Driver magazine decided to put the Syclone to the test back in 1991 and lined it up against a Ferrari 348ts. The ticket price on the Ferrari was $122,000, but the Syclone cost $25,500. The Ferrari lagged behind the Cyclone by a full half-second at the end of the ¼-mile. Proving that it wasn’t a one-trick pony, the Syclone was also the first production truck to offer 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. This Syclone has a genuine 15,000 miles showing on its odometer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner holds documentation to confirm this. He does have the original Owner’s Manual and Window Sticker, so we might be lucky there. He doesn’t provide any specific information on how well it runs or drives, but visual impressions seem promising. While it has recently been fitted with new tires, the original tires are included in the sale.

Pickups are traditionally workhorses with little consideration given to comfort or luxury. Bite your tongue because life in this pickup looks pretty cushy to me. Occupants sink back into bucket seats that feature unique upholstery. The driver grasps a leather-wrapped wheel and faces a gauge cluster that includes a tach and a boost gauge. Entertainment comes courtesy of an AM/FM radio and cassette player, while there are also power windows, power locks, air conditioning, a tilt wheel, and cruise control. That seems like a comfortable workplace to me. The interior condition is all that you might expect in a vehicle that has been treated with complete respect. There is some slight wear on the seat upholstery, but no visible problems with the remaining trim or carpet, and no signs of any deterioration in the plastic.

Who says that you can’t have everything? The 1991 GMC Syclone would seem to suggest that maybe you can. Actually, you can’t because there is one area of the Syclone that is a compromise. The load capacity was capped at 500lbs, which isn’t a lot for a vehicle of this type. Still, I suspect that there wouldn’t have been many owners who would have treated these as a workhorse at the original ticket price. That raises the question of what this vehicle could potentially be worth today. There are plenty of enthusiasts who would like to get their hands on one of these. It’s easy to see why. It is 29-years since this Syclone rolled off the production line, but its performance levels are still impressive today. The low production total also helps to make these a coveted classic. The BIN on this one is not cheap, but it falls into the right territory when you look at recent sales. It’s also worth remembering that values have been creeping up slowly but steadily over the past 5-years. They are still relatively affordable today, but if the trend continues, you have to wonder how long it will be before they are out of the average person’s reach. That could make this one well worth further investigation.

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Comments

  1. Matt

    Even though I think they’re both overpriced by about $5k, for the same money I’d much rather have this than the red ‘93 Cobra that was just posted on BF. This truck is faster, has fewer miles (but not so few that you couldn’t drive it on the regular), and is much more exclusive. It’s the perfect weekend toy that no one would think twice about seeing in Home Depot’s parking lot…until you did a 4-wheel burnout on the way out :-)

    Like 4
    • MrBZ

      Couldn’t agree more, Matt. While I might prefer a Typhoon, if I can still squeeze into that S10 cab I would take this one in a heartbeat.

      Like 4
      • Matt

        If this were a Typhoon it’d already be in my driveway!

        Like 3
  2. Doug from MD.

    I remember these when they showed up at the dealership I once worked. They were the rage at the time but the fit and finish left alot to be desired. The interiors were the same old GMC interiors at 25k a pop you’d have thought it might be updated just a tad. But what you really were paying for was the power train. They ran very well though today’s turbos kick in faster. As for the price its not me.

    Like 3
  3. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    Would buy this in a heartbeat if I had the spare cash.

    Like 3
  4. Justin Charles

    Not really useful as a truck, but still cool as hell nonetheless.

    Like 2
    • Dave

      Using this as a work truck would be like using Scotch for paint thinner!

      Like 5
  5. Tom K

    I have loved these trucks ever since I realized what one was. I had a manager about 15 years ago that used his as a daily driver. 40 miles one way to work everyday. We thought he was crazy. He ended up getting rear ended by some moron texting and it was totalled. He immediately went and bought an 87 GNX and that became his daily. Terrible boss but he sure had style.

    Like 5
  6. David

    Is anyone else curious as to how there has been 6 owners and only 15K miles? Is the carfax wrong?

    Like 3
  7. karl holquist

    My friend was the head engineer for the motor. He brought up the FACT that the coating used on the pistons was not holding up on the testing bench. About 15k-25k thousand hours simulated mileage they WOULD fail. Some would take longer. So be prepared to drop so coin on a stock motor. I LOVE these trucks wish I had the funds to buy one. 5-minutes for the willow run hydramatic plant-Ypsitucky.

    Like 1
  8. martinsane

    Seems an utter waste to trade 25k for 35k 30 years later. Especially after storing and the like.
    Those 90s GMC and Chevrolets were also quite disposable and bland.

    Summation. I see no point and would have spent that money on 25k other things.

  9. David Bailey

    Sweet Truck. Had a ’93 TYPHOON that was almost as fast. Leather EVERYWHERE!! Very cool interior. I think C&D ran a test that tyhe Typhoon was fastest vehicle IN THE WORLD going from 30-60mph!! Really tight , cushy car/suv . Mine had over 65,000 miles without any issues. These TYPHOONS and SYCLONES could really stop as well. Great, fast, vehicles.

    Like 2
  10. pigneguy
    • Chuck Dickinson

      With substantially more miles as well.

      Like 1
  11. Claudio

    In the early nineties, my worktruck was an s10, same thing as this with v6 and auto , 2wd
    Boring drive and no space …
    Fast forward to 2020 and no way i would/could enjoy the cramped feeling of these
    But i can drive my z3 with the top down !
    I certainly cannot deny the performance of these little rockets …

  12. John Bloom

    I owned one for about 10 years. Restored it and stored it . Sold it about 5 years ago. Love the truck but the antilock brake module gave me fits, never did get that right… Enjoyed the performance… Really quick out of the gate!

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