First dual-rear wheel pickup truck
Chevrolet/GMC C/K 30 Big Dooley
Beginning with the third generation, Chevy and GMC C/K pickups started offering the dual-rear wheel configuration in order to tow more load and stabilize the same. The “Big Dooleys” were optional in one ton C trucks (and K trucks since 1977), and they could tow up to 10,000 pounds thanks to the famous 454ci V8 among other things. Big Dooleys can still be seen roaming the roads, but their modern counterparts are now part of the heavy duty lineups.
First muscle truck
Dodge Lil’ Red Express
Powerful pickup truck wasn’t the unknown by the late seventies, but Dodge Lil’ Red Express elevated the muscle pickup truck term to an entirely different level. Specially tuned 360ci V8 surrounded by performance parts was able to generate a hefty 225 horsepower which was more than most vehicles made at the time. As its name suggests, it only came with red paint. Moreover, it featured a wooden-covered bed and 18-wheeler styled twin exhaust pipes. That way it both looked and sounded menacing which is no less than what one of the most revolutionary pickups deserved.
First compact 4WD truck
Toyota Hilux 4X4
Third generation Toyota Hilux saw the introduction of the all-wheel drive to the lineup. 4WD was far from the new concept at the time, but it was a new thing for the compact pickups. 4WD Hilux wasn’t only one hellishly capable off-road truck, but one of the most reliable ones as well. This is when Hilux earned itself “the indestructible truck” moniker and with good reason at that. Moreover, Hilux was quite efficient having only 4-cylinder engines in its bay. It was really an amalgam of pros which helped cement not only Hilux’s, but Toyota’s reputation as an automaker for the years to come.
First mid-size pickup
Although we’re mostly talking about the compact pickup segment, it’s worth noting that compact truck segment doesn’t actually exist. At least not in the US. We have Dodge Dakota to “thank” for that. It was the very first mid-size pickup which started “killing off” the smaller competitors. Dakota came in many interesting forms during its 24 year production stint including the Sport Convertible and Shelby performance editions. Although it’s not being produced at the time, every single current mid-size pickup carries over its legacy.
Arguably the most revolutionary diesel pickup
Dodge Ram W250/W350 Cummins
It wasn’t the first diesel pickup in the US. It wasn’t even the first Dodge pickup in the states, but it did earn itself a status of one of the most revolutionary pickups to date. 5.9L straight-six turbo diesel was built to last, it had more torque than any of its competitors, and it was more fuel efficient at the same time. What’s most important, it helped propelling the Ram nameplate to what it is today. Ram-Cummins cooperation is still sound today which probably speaks the most about W250 and W350 heavy duty diesels. Moreover, other manufacturers use diesels in their own heavy duty lineups now too.
First specialized heavy-duty pickup
Ford Super Duty
It wasn’t until 1999 that Ford figured out something had to be done with their heavy duty pickup lineup. Up until then, all manufacturers used the same chassis and bodywork on both half ton and one ton pickups, even though they were intended for different purposes. New Ford Super Duty lineup at the time changed all that and offered the first dedicated HD trucks. They finally had the new bodies more capable and better suited for what they were actually intended for – towing.
First performance-oriented off-road pickup
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Second generation Raptor sales are just a whisker away from commencing, but it was the 2010 SVT Raptor that started it all. Unique pickup truck to date emphasized on extreme performance and even more extreme off-road capabilities thanks to the powerful engines and custom long-travel suspension. Performance-oriented off-roader started off with 310-horsepower 5.4L V8 engine and continued with 411-horsepower 6.2L V8 unit soon enough. It even spawned the extremely powerful Shelby and Hennessey performance editions along the way. As if it wasn’t powerful enough as it was.
Read more: 15 Of The Most Revolutionary Pickups Ever Made (Part One)