The Syclone was cool, but let’s not overlook this high-performance pickup form the 1990s!


Truck culture is one of the most interesting niches of automotive enthusiasts. The passion seems to start with small mods like seat covers, a tonneau cover, and cold air kit, and can go into full blown builds. When you think about performance trucks from GM, especially as it pertains to the 1990s, the GMC Syclone is probably the first model that comes to mind. However, the 1990 Chevrolet 1500 454 SS was one bad pickup. Ones like this one example remind us what we miss about 1990s performance truck culture.

While the GMC employed a turbocharged V6 for power, the Chevy instead had a 454 cubic-inch, 7.4-liter Big Block Chevy V8 - this massive engine is mated to an automatic transmission. While it’s a bit underrated at 230-horsepower and 280 lbs/ft of torque, many road tests have shown that’s plenty to carry the truck to figures like a 7.7-second sprint to 60 mph, and a 15.9-second quarter-mile. On top of having respectable track times for the 90s, the 1500 454 SS was actually useful for what trucks were made to do - work.

This sharp looking model came with the same load and tow rating as the 1500s, and has a fully functionally truck bed, side steps, and truck tires. If you waned a work truck that could get out of its way in 1990, this would be the one you’d pick.