Register now to get rid of these ads!

Art & Inspiration What's the best[-looking] pickup truck design?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sgtlethargic, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. I have 2.5 1940 Fords, 2 Ausie Utes, one 69 Chevy with a Alaskan camper, one 1959 ford Land Speed truck, and a OT diesel race car towing truck,,,
    I think I have all the bases covered
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  2. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,938

    stuart in mn

    You have to define what you mean by 'best'.
    Blues4U likes this.
  3. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,530

    41 GMC K-18

    The Powell, indeed is a cool ride, but in the world series of the weird, nothing compares to the " 1963, Studebaker/Westinghouse prototype pick up truck " The company only built one.
    63 studebaker prototype .jpg 63 studebaker prototype #2.jpg 63 studebaker prototype # 3.jpg
    But more on the serious side, my choice is the 54 Chevrolet trucks, great lines and thick metal, custom corners, single piece windshield.
    068 1.jpg

    I am also partial to 1956 IHC pickups. Very well built, thick metal, flat floorboards, single piece windshield, these trucks are very desirable and very underappreciated.


    The 1937 Studebaker coupe express, has some great lines as well.

    37 studebaker coupe express.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
    Lepus, VANDENPLAS, Chavezk21 and 18 others like this.
  4. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,641


    Since I use my pickup more as a car than a truck most of the time, I prefer the "Car-pickups" (el Camino's and Ranchero's) but the ones I have had are too new for here. That being said, I sure like the earlier Hudson and Studebaker versions shown here.
  5. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,145

    Dave Mc

    I am too big for it , but I like my 29 . 020.JPG Rosie's 1.JPG
  6. mcsfabrication
    Joined: Nov 26, 2006
    Posts: 933


    Trucks are cool. Adjustments.JPG Adjustments.JPG

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  7. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,530

    41 GMC K-18

    Not sure of the year of this cool GMC, I do believe it is a "NAPCO " DSC_3926 (2).JPG DSC_3915 (2).JPG DSC_3916 (2).JPG
  8. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,641


    That's a common problem with thirties pickups; they are really cramped. I have a friend with a nice '36 Dodge pickup that I can barely fit into to ride along. There is no way I could ever drive it for more than a few feet. He's about 5' 7" 145 soaking wet and doesn't have that problem.
    VANDENPLAS, catdad49 and Dave Mc like this.
  9. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the most revolutionary truck design of them all... the 1957 Ford styleside.

    Up until the late '40s, most truck designs were either rehashed car styling and/or very utilitarian. Ford generally used the styling from the previous year cars for their trucks, GM and Dodge did similar things. They usually tried to have some styling 'continuity' across their line. In 1948, Ford broke away from that tradition. The '48 was a clean-sheet redesign and had one feature that anticipated car styling by 11 years... headlights integrated into the grill design. This became a signature design element for Ford trucks. But the remainder was still the '40s separate fender/rounded look. There were efforts in the mid '50s to build a few sleeker models, notably the Chev Cameo and a few similar efforts by Dodge, but these were expensive top-of-the-line models, used basically 'add-on' panels over a standard box design and sold in small numbers. Serious truck buyers weren't interested in such frippery. Both GM and Dodge were still sticking the headlights on the corners of the fenders ala the '40s.

    Ford did another clean-sheet design for '57, and the last vestiges of the '40s styling were gone. Again, the design anticipated car styling by several years. A sleek, angular design, the 'round body' styling was gone, a full-width hood was fitted and the styleside bed design wasn't a high-cost option but available at every trim level and offered additional capacity. Sure, you could still get the step-side style bed, but it was usually relegated to buyers who wanted bare-bones or fleet sales where cost counted. As is usually the case at Ford, the first-year design is IMO the cleanest as the addition of quad lights in '58 never quite looked right.

    57 F100.jpg

    This is the truck that led to Ford's dominance in truck sales. They tried some things in the early '60s (the ill-fated unibody for one), but returned to this design in '67 and sold a zillion of 'em...
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,707


    Innovative, but it looks like a refrigerator.

    Sent from my Trimline
    rockable, clem, rod1 and 10 others like this.
  11. Maybe so, but both GM and Dodge ended up copying them.... LOL

    And coming from a guy who owns a '55 Chevy... LOLOL
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
    VANDENPLAS and Randall like this.
  12. Hard to beat a good looking 40 Ford pickup. HRP

  13. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,379

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA


    1938 Plymouth truck
  14. This thread got me thinking that maybe the big 3 need to take a look at this thread. With the new garbage they produce today maybe they could at least throw in some styling for the money. Lots of great trucks here.
    Deuces, catdad49 and Atwater Mike like this.
  15. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,745


    catdad49 likes this.
  16. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    Roger O'Dell

    I have 2 Chevys, a gmc, and diamond t. But the best is a 56 Ford big window. Never owned one but love them. You want a truck that’s it. Early hod rod 32 Ford, custom car 49-51 Merc
    283john and Baumi like this.
  17. I like most pickups. My list of trucks I don't like us shorter. My top favorites are 32-34 Ford pickups, 55-72 Chevy trucks, 48-56 Ford pickups.
    MO_JUNK likes this.
  18. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 729


    I like '33-'35 Dodge pickups the best , '40-'41 fords next . Here's my '38 Plymouth. 20200430_123111.jpg
  19. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,416


    The late 20s early 30s look the best. Started going down hill late 30s. Looking at the late 40s it's like, did the pick up truck designers all die in The War?
  20. papa's 39 koop
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 199

    papa's 39 koop

    Have owned 2 36 fords,and a 35 IH..still have this sketch of a 36 that I would love to build one day 1270593-e99891880f2ea203a1a476b2d2c32d3a.jpg 1270593-e99891880f2ea203a1a476b2d2c32d3a.jpg 1443124-5d5c12a8ef9f52224f80ff66b7716e65.jpg
  21. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,374


    I really like the pre WWII truck body styles, but they just don't work for us big guys. I was past 150 lbs and over 6' when I got out of HS. You have to get past the redesign of the late 40s to get into something I can drive comfortably. If I can't drive it, a truck is pretty useless to me.
    I'm a Dodge guy, so naturally I lean towards the Dodges, but some of them have a style that has to grow on you.
    I like most of the mid to late 50s trucks, but those Studes have a pretty well thought out style. The box trucks of the 60s doesn't thrill me, but as far as trucks were concerns, I think they were much more useful. Since then, everyone copies a design change that seems to happen about every 10 years or so. One company makes a change, then within a couple years, they all look about the same again, until someones changes a design, then the process starts all over again.
    My current build is a 49 Dodge (48-53 style), but it probably isn't going to be HAMB friendly either. I will need to actually drive it with today's modern traffic. Gene
  22. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,293

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Even though I've built 4 deuce pickups if I could end with one truck today it would be a 55 Chevy 2nd series big back window pickup, lowered with late drive train, nice paint and interior and some killer wheels.
  23. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,565

    from So Cal

    Best at what?

    Best at actual use as a truck, hauling loads in the bed, pulling a trailer, surviving days of work in a field, I would say the best truck is unquestionably an IH.

    Best Styling? Well that is subjective, but I don't think many here would pick IH pickups for best styling, especially of the HAMB era. I do like my little A pickup, and at 6' 200#'s I still fit in it. But there are so many great styles over the years, hard to choose 1 as best. 40 Ford? 55 - 59 Chevy/GMC? Plenty of others, and since I brought up IH, how about this nice 37 IH?
  24. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,565

    from So Cal

    I've always been partial to Studes too
  25. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,693


    Don't forget the Cameo and the 58-59 Fleetside. Beats the 57 Ford hands down, IMO, and by 2 years.
    Torkwrench likes this.
  26. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,530

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    I have to admit there are many very nice truck designs both pre and post war, but I'm partial to the '35 Ford.
  27. I specifically mentioned the Cameo, but a truck with fiberglass bedsides wasn't exactly a hit with real truck buyers; between that and their cost, that's why they're relatively rare today.
  28. I like this '50 Ford that my cousin inherited from our Great Grandfather. It's one of those you would probably never restore. 33,000 actual miles.

  29. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,565

    from So Cal

    Careful with non-HAMB friendly pics, it could get the thread closed.
    Deuces likes this.
  30. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,707


    Yup....the 55-56 Chevy pickups looked great, and they went downhill from there. Ford and Dodge never got their pickup truck styling as nice as those Chevys, unfortunately.
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.