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The Chevy Kodiak and the GMC TopKick Are the American Pickups You've Never Heard Of

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author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2017

If you're any sort of decent car enthusiast, you probably think you know all the recent American-made pickup trucks. After all, there aren't that many of them: the Chevy Colorado and Silverado, the GMC Canyon and Sierra, the RAM trucks and the Ford F-Series. That's all of them, right?

Not quite. Although you might think the General Motors truck lineup only goes as high as heavy-duty versions of the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado, there was recently something bigger. Something much bigger.

Above is the Chevrolet Kodiak, which was also offered as a GMC version called -- inexplicably -- the TopKick. While they were primarily sold as a stripped-chassis commercial truck that underpins dump trucks, tow trucks, ambulances and the like, you can buy one as a pickup. It's shown here, it's enormous, and it has a Chevy Silverado dual bed on the back.

Under the hood, the TopKick and the Kodiak had enormous engines befitting their enormous size: an 8.1-liter gasoline-powered V8, a 7.8-liter diesel 6-cylinder and GM's 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8. You know you're making a huge vehicle when the smallest engine you're offering is GM's Duramax diesel.

Unfortunately, after going on sale all the way back in 1980 and being offered for nearly 30 years, the TopKick and the Kodiak were discontinued following the 2009 model year -- which means you can no longer buy one new. Surely, this is a tremendous loss for anyone who has ever wanted to purchase a pickup truck the size of a light commercial aircraft.

With that said, there are naturally still a few used models for sale on Autotrader -- and while they're generally offered in commercial guise, some pickups are available, virtually all for $50,000 or less. That's a lot of money, but apparently it's the price you'll have to pay in order to laugh in the face of your neighbor with the heavy-duty Chevy Silverado.

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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.
The Chevy Kodiak and the GMC TopKick Are the American Pickups You've Never Heard Of - Autotrader