10 great muscle trucks and SUV that can’t be caged


One of my favorite vehicles of all time isn’t a car, but a truck. It debuted in 1978 with a stepside bed, massive chrome stacks, and a hopped up 360-cubic-inch small-block under the hood. At the time, it was the fastest vehicle produced in the United States. You guessed it, it’s the Li’l Red Express.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/10/31/10-great-muscle-trucks-and-suvs


Fun article! I can’t help but mention my friends at Italian Design and Racing that have an LM002 on display at SEMA right now…


First off, i love receiving these emails and the quality magazine you guys put out. However, i can no longer sit silently by as you continue to ignore the Hummers. I have owned an H2 for 7 years and after owning many gmc sierras, yukons etc. I can honestly say that they are the most comfortable, rock solid vehicle and the view out the windshield is like no other. I have ever owned. I paid $16000 for it 7 years ago with 140k. I customised it a bit but kept it clean and tasteful with the premise that they would be collectible one day I haven’t lost a dime in 7 years and in fact the market has been going crazy over them lately and ive already made thousands over what i paid.

They had really low production numbers with the 2003- approx 38000 up to the 2009 with only 900 produced in their last year. All were made in the U.S., Russia and Africa. (According to wikipedia). Not Mexico.

A trailblazer ss or the choked out 454 ss. Really???
How about the H3t alpha? Love them or hate them.You guys cant ignore them forever.

I only wish i could have a stable full of Hummers. Maybe, one day


Maybe just me, but I think you might have missed the point of this article. The H2 might be a nice truck, but it is not (by any means) a muscle truck. It would have to actually have some street performance with regard to handling or straight-line performance.


Don’t have a photo, but I was smart/lucky enough to purchase a Mazda Rotary-Power pickup in the year and a half they produced them before introduction of the RX7 siphoned all the rotary engines Mazda could produce.
Redline was 8,000 RPM for the Rocket-Twuk, but first gear would wind to 10,000. Busting second gear produced satisfying scratch, and third would still chirp the tires. She handled great too!
During my daily commutes between Fort Worth and Arlington, the Datsun 240 and 260Z’s simply couldn’t resist that in-your-face “ROTARY POWER” tailgate, and would always challenge me on the turnpike. Dropping the hammer from 70 MPH, I’d slowly open a gap to top-speed (125 MPH) before they’d slowly claw me back.
Not quite as dumb as I look, I took to leaving the tail-gate down; whereupon I not only out accelerated them from 70 MPH, but they could no longer bring me back at top speed (128 MPH?).
Damn I miss that little Rocket-Twuk! You NEVER see them now, so it would be my collector-truck Holy Grail.


Maybe this Hummer H2 will help to get your attention on performance and the ability to go anywhere you want.
What we have here (tas9617) is a 2005 Hummer H2 with a corvette Z06 LS6 block stroked to a 427 with a giant magnuson supercharger on top of it producing over 600 horsepower and running a 14 second quarter at low altitude.


What production vehicle in 2003 came with 315hp, 35" tires, the best ascent and departure angles and a factory locker in the rear diff plus the most ground clearance? Oh, yeah. The Hummer H2. The muscle.Nothing was even in the same league


My 2016 audi SQ5 will go 0-60 in 5 sec and get 29 mpg it a crazy sleeper. Every-time I drive it l cannot believe it a SUV. It fast and sound great.


Very nice deuce. I have toyed with the idea of a supercharger and researched the heck out of a duramax swap which is the way i would probably go. However, with the prices skyrocketing. Im keeping this one original. One day when i come across the right basket case. I will attempt it.
Keep her they are $$$


Uhhh? I’m not sure how else to explain this… what don’t you understand about the whole concept of the trucks in this article being oriented to street performance?


Great article. May I suggest for part 2; the 2006-2010 Mercedes ML63 AMG. @500 bhp from the NA 6.2 liter AMG designed engine. I have an ‘09 and regularly take lunch money from people. Mid $90k new they are now in Camry territory. Mercedes dropped this engine in to the R class. Sort of a mini van (Keyuykeyuh). Also, the Porsche Cayenne of the same vintage in GTS trim you could get an honest to goodness manual transmission. A little (lot?) more coin.

Good stuff. Hagerty is becoming my favorite source for car nut reading. Please keep up the great topics and quality writing!


I have the very limited cousin of the SSTrailblazer…2008 Saab 9-7x Aero LS-2, 6.0
AWD Rocket ship. Only 442 in 2008 , and 109 in 2009. All Carbon Black except 10 Silver 2009’s. I love watchin the little screaming angry Hornet cars turn into a dot in my rear view mirror. Luxury, Bose super sounds, Rocket ship performance and get 17-18 MPG constant.
The 9-7x has numerous I-6, and 5.3 similar to the Envoys. But I’m in the 4-4-2 club.
When it gets tired, time the feed the beast with a turbo.


After looking through the list, I thought, “How could they have missed the 1999 Dodge SP360 Shelby Durango?” I’ve owned two 4x4’s (#81 from new for 64k miles and #48 recently). Fun+, and, with less than 300 built, you didn’t ever meet yourself on the road. I’ve also had two '79 Lil Red’s- also distinctive and fun, but you really didn’t want to use it as a truck as you might a Lightning unless you were willing to cover up the polished wood bed…

You’d think I’m a MOPAR guy, but those four were the only ones in a collection that’s mostly Ford, Lincoln, and British.


What about the 90’s Dakota 5.9 R/T? Ever notice Chevy in 09 offered a “sleeper” by putting the 5.3 into the Colorado? Optioned right could have 4.10 gears and tow 6000#. Only clue was the little V8 badge on the fenders!


I did not know these were a thing. Now I want one.


I think the biggest knock on the Hummer is the image of excess it portrays to many, still. It wasn’t all that many years ago that environmental activists thought it would be a good idea to set fire to a bunch on a dealer lot. I think the majority of people still need to get over the stigma of Hummers and accept that not every Hummer owner is a “Bro Dozer” enthusiast and I think that image still needs a while to soften…

Just my two cents.

I also agree with @tas9617, the Hummmer doesn’t fit the profile of vehicle, they’re trying to talk about in the article. I don’t think the H2, Tahoe, Yukon chassis really fits the profile, even though they have a decent engine.


Those Hummers are just “Re-boxed” Suburbans. They are not high performance.
I used to live in Vegas. These were a “Status” vehicle. 99% of them, Never saw a dirt parking lot, decorated with bling, 26" wheels , bike tires and all accessories chromed.
It was quite funny


1970 El Camino SS454. Some might argue whether it’s a car or a truck, but I think this pinnacle of the marque and its 396 siblings from the years before and after should be on the list as well.


Agreed one of my personal fav,s silver/black stripes/cowly with a lottery win I would be on the hunt for a concours quality one to add to my garage to take out and wring its neck on weekends,jus sayin.R


Tall tails from our youth, my buddy had a rotary truck .top speed 90. the 240z’s were way faster. Rotary’s are cool they even put one in a motorcycle .The fastest car i ever had was 69 Chevele SS , i bragged that it was a 12 second, when it was 13.9 car.My 1971 $100 Audi beat my buddy’s truck and a toyota gt. he ended up stuffing a v-6 in that truck