If you mention the words classic trucks and four wheel drive vehicles to just about anybody, you’re going to hear six names more than any others. These six trucks and four wheel drive vehicles, more commonly known today as Sport Utility Vehicles, SUV’s, are the most popular makes and models with collectors of classic trucks. Two of these truck lines are from the Ford Motor Company. One is from Chevrolet, one from Jeep, one from the now defunct Willys Overland Company, and the last one is from the Toyota Motor Company.
Ford F-Series Trucks
The Ford F-Series truck was the most popular truck model for the first 34 years after it was first introduced in 1948. It was also the most popular vehicle in production for the first 24 years of its production life. With a variety of models in the F-Series lineup, there has always been a truck for every type of truck owner, including four-wheel drive and off road models. The most popular models are those produced between 1948 and 1955.
The Ford Bronco, first introduced in 1966, is one of the most popular four-wheel and off-road vehicles ever produced. The Bronco has been produced in both full size versions and scaled down mid-size versions. Die hard collectors of Broncos will collect pretty much models from any year of production, but the most popular version will normally be those from 1966 through the mid-70’s.
Chevrolet K5 Blazer
The Chevrolet K5 Blazer is a full-size four-wheel drive/sport utility vehicle that has a very loyal following among collectors of trucks and off road vehicles. The first Blazers, introduced in 1969, came out as Chevrolet’s answer to the extremely popular Bronco from Ford. Collectors as well as off road enthusiasts quote ground clearance, climbing ability and horsepower as reasons for the Blazer’s popularity throughout the years. Early models, through the mid-70’s are the models most popular with collectors.
Toyota Land Cruiser
Another sport utility/off road specialty vehicle with a very vocal and loyal following is the Land Cruiser from the Toyota Motor Company. First introduced in 1951, the Land Cruiser is a highly prized collectible four-wheel drive vehicle that can go just about anywhere the driver wants to take it. Older models are very popular with touring and safari groups and companies from Africa to Australia.
Jeep, now Chrylser/Jeep, was the maker of the first off road and four wheel drive vehicles for both the military and civilian markets. The Jeep Corporation was formed in 1951, when the company was granted the right to use the name Jeep. The Jeep Wrangler, CJ and Cherokee models have been the most popular vehicles of their type every since.
The Willy/Overland Bantam BRC was first introduced in 1941 to fill a need for the US military for a vehicle that could go just about anywhere in any type of weather. The Bantam was the first vehicle to carry the semi-official moniker of Jeep. This is the vehicle that evolved into what the world now knows as Jeep, in 1951.
While there is a fairly large number of other trucks and off-road vehicles that have loyal followings, the six listed above are, far and away, the most popular with collectors.