If I asked you to name the quickest-accelerating vehicle you could buy in 1991, which car would you pick? A Ferrari 348 or Testarossa? A Porsche 911 Turbo or 928? A GMC Sonoma pickup?
If you guessed either of the Ferraris or the Porsches, you’d be wrong. In fact, the quickest vehicle you could buy twenty years ago was a GMC Syclone, a (heavily) modified GMC Sonoma pickup that featured a turbocharged 4.3-liter V-6, good for a (rated) 280 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. The Syclone was good for a 0 – 60 time of around 4.5 seconds, and could turn a quarter mile in the low thirteens.
As you’d guess, the Syclone didn’t handle like a sports car and wasn’t much of a truck. With a payload capacity of just 500 pounds, even a trip to the local home mega-mart could tax the truck’s capabilities. Still, it was great fun to point the nose at the horizon and mash the fun pedal, and if you’ve never had a chance to drive a Syclone (or it’s SUV cousin, the GMC Typhoon), do what you have to to find one.
Jay Leno’s owned his slightly-illegal pre-production Syclone since it was new, and he’ll fill in the details in the Jay Leno’s Garage video below.