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Old 11-05-2013, 03:00 AM   #1
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Default 1991 GMC Syclone

I bought this truck new in 1991 just before GM announced that a 1992 Syclone would not be built, so I was lucky to get it. The country was in a recession and the Syclone was not selling well due to their impracticality. They were heavily discounted as they sat on the lots waiting for the new models to arrive, then their value jumped when the 1992 never materialized. The Syclone was only built for one year. (except for a rumored 1992 one-off that got delivered before Syclone was cancelled.)

Mine is */N 2331 of 2995 built. Amazingly quick, and still the fastest production pickup truck ever built. A GMC Syclone took the world land speed record away from Porsche at Utah'* Bonneville Salt Flats in 1991.

The Syclone is an enigma that demonstrated the dysfunction that GM was experiencing at the time. The most expensive vehicle GM was building should have been a flagship Cadillac, but it was instead a Corvette ZR-1. The quickest of GM'* vehicles should have been that same ZR-1, but this GMC Syclone pickup was quicker, at about 1/3 the price. 0-60 was documented at 4.3 seconds.

The Syclone has a 4.3 liter turbocharged V6. It is not the same turbo V-6 that Buick used in the Grand National and GNX. Instead it is basically a Chevy V8 with two cylinders cut off and a turbocharger with a liquid intercooler that the Buick engine did not have. This design makes the Syclone an inherently rough idling engine, prone to stalling. GMC recalibrated the programming mid-way through production to rectify this. Again, I was lucky to get a truck with this fix in place.

The Syclone was the first pickup with 4 wheel anti-lock brakes. It was completely loaded with AC, power everything, inflatable lumbar seats, full time AWD and a 4 speed automatic transmission borrowed from the Corvette. The only available option was a CD player in lieu of the standard cassette deck. It is an amazingly comfortable little pickup, but quite useless as a truck. There are warning labels in the cab and bed warning not to use the truck to haul, tow, or offroad. Doing so would void the warranty.

I can attest to the power of this pickup truck. I never lost a street race. I never lost a race at the track. And, with the AWD I never broke the tires loose. This beast would just pin you to your seat with incredible thrust. You must always keep the tank at least 1/4 full or you experience fuel starvation under acceleration because the fuel is pinned to the back of the tank and the feed is upfront. This is a really fun and affordable little rocket.

In 1992 and 1993 the GMC Typhoon was manufactured instead of the Syclone. It was heavier and posher. Even though it utilized the Syclone drivetrain, it was significantly slower. But, The Typhoon had much more useful utility with a back seat and air suspension so its sales were stronger.

Many Syclones of the 2995 were exported to Saudi Arabia because they had money for this kind of frivolity when American'* didn't in that era, and 10 of them were modified by Marlboro and given away as prizes. So there are actually many less of the original spec Syclones out there than the 2995 production number indicates. All Syclones were black with black corduroy interiors except for the Marlboro prizes which were red.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:41 AM   #2
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Cool truck! I wonder how much of a burn out you could do if you removed the front driveshaft?
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:02 AM   #3
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Man, that thing must be loads fun to drive. Great shape for its age. Please keep her that way!
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
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Nice write-up, thanks for taking the time to post it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #5
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What an awesome car. It'* great that you have kept it in such great shape.
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