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5 Ridiculous Pickup Trucks That Actually Exist

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2016

The world of pickup trucks is typically defined by functionality: Work people need work trucks to do work things. So when it comes to pickups, there usually isn't much in the way of weirdness or strange decisions -- except for these five bizarre pickup trucks that actually made production.

Chevrolet SSR

Chevrolet SSR

Ahh, the Chevy SSR: another byproduct of the era when crazy General Motors seemingly approved every idea, including a Saturn VUE with a Honda engine, a Pontiac Solstice with a coupe roof and a Pontiac GTO that was imported from Australia. The SSR was arguably the craziest of the bunch because it was a convertible pickup truck with a bed cover, ridiculous retro styling, only two seats, a V8 and an available 6-speed manual transmission. This is the kind of car that will make our kids wonder what humans could have possibly been thinking back in the early 2000s.

Dodge Dakota Convertible

Dodge Dakota Convertible

I'm not sure why it happened, and I'm not sure how it happened. I am sure it happened, however, because I've seen several. Yes, there was a convertible version of the Dodge Dakota from the factory, complete with a roll bar that looks like it would probably collapse in a slight wind, or even if it had to carry a large enough insect. Sadly, the Dodge Dakota convertible was available for only 2 model years before some Chrysler executive must have seen one in the parking lot and asked: "Wait, why are we making this thing?"

Lincoln Blackwood

Lincoln Blackwood

We covered the Lincoln Blackwood in its own post a few days ago, but it's certainly worth mentioning here. It's one of the most ridiculous trucks of our time: a rear-wheel-drive-only 4-door luxury truck that was little more than an F-150 with a different grille, a new interior, a payload capacity that could barely support four adults and -- inexplicably -- a trunk that covered the bed. Not surprisingly, the Blackwood only lasted for a single model year, and only a few thousand units were made before Lincoln called it quits.

Plymouth Scamp

Plymouth Scamp

Who remembers the Plymouth Scamp? Probably no one, because virtually no one purchased it, which made sense considering what it was. Also offered as the Dodge Rampage, the Scamp was effectively Plymouth's response to the Chevrolet El Camino, which had debuted in the 1950s but gained significant popularity in the late 1970s. The only difference was that, unlike the El Camino, with its big available V8 and big rear-wheel-drive chassis, Plymouth offered the Scamp on the compact, front-wheel-drive platform of the Dodge Omni. The result: The Scamp had a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine that made all of 96 horsepower, along with a minimal tow rating and a 1,000-lb payload capacity. Although the Rampage lasted for 3 years, the Scamp made it just one before succumbing to automotive death.

Kangoo

Renault Kangoo Z.E. Pickup

Ever want to cut the top off a van and turn it into a pickup? No? Well, apparently Renault has, because they actually did it. Behold the Renault Kangoo Z.E. pickup, a fully electric version of the brand's Kangoo van -- except it has a pickup bed. My personal favorite thing about the Kangoo Z.E. is that the standard Kangoo's brake lights are mounted about halfway up the rear pillars, yet they couldn't be moved to make the truck version. So you have a pickup bed, a pickup tailgate, a pickup shape and ... random brake-light-holding half-pillars sticking up in back for no apparent reason. Ahh, French cars.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
5 Ridiculous Pickup Trucks That Actually Exist - Autotrader