When you think of a car cruise, you think of hot rods, muscle cars, and a few vintage oddballs. You don’t think trucks, but then you don’t know the Dream Cruise. We spotted nearly as many trucks rolling down Woodward this year as cars, and we’ve picked out 13 of the most interesting examples.
More 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise coverage:
- Camaros, Mustangs, Mopar, and More: 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise PHOTOS
- Best Cars of the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
- Classic Ford Broncos Corralled at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
- Weird and Wacky Cars at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
- Classic Emergency Vehicles at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
- Last Ride: Classic Hearses at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
- Cruising with Fiat-Chrysler/SRT’s Mark Trostle
- Cruising With Ford/SVT’s Hermann Salenbauch
- Cruising With Mr. Camaro, Al Oppenheiser
1950s Chevrolet 3100
We spotted this Advance Design series Chevrolet 3100 pickup several times during Dream Cruise week and every time we couldn’t help but stop and swoon at its gorgeous two-tone paint. Launched in 1947, these trucks went head-to-head with Ford’s new F-1 pickup competing for the attention of laborers caught-up in the post-war building boom, a rivalry alive and doing very well today.
1950s Ford F-1
The Ford F-1 pickups were out in force this year, and this especially clean example features only light (visible) modification. The F-1 launched the F-Series pickup line, which has since spent decades as both the best-selling truck and best-selling vehicle period in the U.S. Its latest progeny is our Truck of the Year, the 2018 Ford F-150.
1950s Chevrolet Delivery Truck
This subtle custom truck started life an Advance Design-era Chevrolet pickup, but this long-wheelbase model has been fitted with an uncommon enclosed cargo box. The diamond plate running boards and LED marker lights definitely didn’t come from the factory, and the axles look suspiciously later-model as well, but we appreciate how much effort has been put into making it look period-correct.
1963 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Rampside
Copy/pasting the Volkswagen Beetle/Bus game plan, GM expanded its better-known Corvair coupe/sedan into a range of vehicles by adding the Greenbrier passenger van in ’61 and the 95 Loadside/Rampside pickup and Corvan panel van in ’63. The Loadside was your standard-issue pickup with a tailgate (with the exception of a two-tier bed necessitated by the rear-mounted, air-cooled flat-six), whereas the Rampside had a section of the bed side hinged at the bottom to drop down as an access ramp to lower forward section of the bed. This Roadkill-approved example has had its anemic flat-six replaced with a small-block Chevy V-8 in the bed ahead of the axle, which also required the ramp be replaced with a radiator.
1970s Cushman Truckster
More than a few car companies got their start building scooters and three-wheeled mini-trucks, but Cushman was happy to stay in its niche. Introduced in 1958, the Truckster was America’s take on the popular Piaggio Ape (pronounced ah-pay, it means “bee” in Italian). Trucksters were produced for light commercial work all the way up to 2002, but this painstakingly restored example is a 1970s model.
We can’t talk about vintage trucks without giving a nod to the “trucklet,” as this second-generation Ford Ranchero’s license plate puts it. Dreamed-up in Australia, the Ranchero was a hit back home in the U.S., too, and spurred GM to respond with the Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Caballero. Chrysler even got in on the action too late in the game with the less-successful Dodge Rampage. This two-tone, Ford Falcon-based ’64 Ranchero is a clean example, regardless of how you feel about the underbody neon lights.
There were jacked-up trucks galore cruising Woodward, but this one gets the shout-out for its uniqueness. The front fender used to say GMC, and the grille says this C1500 was an early ‘70s model, but with so many mix-and-match body panels, it’s tough to know what year this truck is without checking the VIN, and even then, it may be only partially correct. We particularly like the diesel swap with the hater pipe, the old-school skinny off-road tires, and the intercom headsets the driver and passenger must wear to hear each other.
1940s GMC truck with 10-bolt wheels
Here’s a truck we wish we’d gotten a closer look at. The bodywork suggests it’s a 1940s-era C or E Series GMC truck, but there’s clearly something much newer underneath. The dual rear wheels and ten-bolt big rig wheels all around suggest something seriously heavy duty underpinning this truck, and the massive, sooty tailpipe screams high-power diesel motor. We’re hoping it’s a proper medium-duty commercial truck under there.
1955 Chevrolet Truck with Entertainment Center
The “Task Force Series” Chevrolet pickups are both wildly popular and widely available, which likely contributed to this guy finding a patina’d example he could turn into the life of the tailgate. At first, we thought it was a dump truck conversion, but as it rolled by, we suddenly knew who was blasting Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits in tribute. It may not be able to bring anything else, but this truck will always bring the party.
1940s Dodge Truck with Portable Living Room
The best view of the Woodward Dream Cruise is from the road, where you can get up close and personal with the cars on the move. If you’re not driving, a tall, comfortable perch in the middle of the action is unbeatable. Being able to enjoy the Dream Cruise without leaving your living room is also a win. Combine the two and you’re really cooking with fire. This 1940s Dodge truck is either a V- or W-series, and its flatbed has been outfitted with all the comforts of home. What the driver saved on a paint job he’ll likely spend on fines when the police see this.
GMC Sierra convertible
GM declined to follow Dodge’s lead on convertible pickup trucks, likely after reviewing the dismal numbers. That didn’t stop this guy from engineering his own conversion on a mid-90s GMC Sierra. Let’s face it, the rear seats in that extended cab weren’t good for much anyway and took up just the right amount of space for a folded soft top. If you need to haul but still want the wind in your hair, this is the way to do it.
Max Max Truck
The spectacular rat rods of the latest Mad Max movie, Fury Road, have inspired people with access to welders and rusty sheetmetal everywhere. There was no Ford F-1 tow truck in the movie, but if I told you this one was a real movie prop, you’d have believed it. It reportedly shoots flames 20 feet in the air from a pile of propane cylinders in the back, but the driver didn’t indulge us.
1989 Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible
Everyone loves Wranglers, and those are convertibles. And that Scrambler pickup lasted six years. A Dodge Dakota Convertible would definitely work, then. So the thinking must’ve gone at Chrysler in 1989, two years after its acquisition of Jeep’s previous owner, AMC. As it happens, people did not, in fact, want a single-cab convertible Dakota, and sales were slow . This particular example sports a 3.9-liter V-6 and we didn’t look close enough to see if it had the optional four-wheel-drive powertrain.
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