Tag: Jason Cammisa

The GMC Syclone was the world’s quickest pickup | Revelations with Jason Cammisa | Ep. 13 @Hagerty

The GMC Syclone was the world’s quickest pickup | Revelations with Jason Cammisa | Ep. 13 @Hagerty

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The GMC Syclone wasn’t just quick — in its day, it was among the quickest vehicles ever tested. And that success was lingering: the Turbo Truck was, by a significant margin, the quickest pickup truck in the world for a staggering 30 years. That’s nearly twice as long as the McLaren F1 held the top-speed record.

Surprise: it also handled well, keeping up with the supercars of its day.

What’s not a surprise: the Syclone, and its SUV-bodied brother, the Typhoon, were not conceived through the regular product-planning channels at General Motors: they were dreamt up by a Real Car Guy — Kim Nielsen — and pushed through using the help of outside consultants.

To get into production quickly, before the S-15 Sonoma pickup and Jimmy SUV ended their product cycle, Nielsen worked closely with ASC/McLaren and then Production Automotive Services to develop the turbo truck. And then PAS won the contract to engineer, certify, and build the SyTy (Syclone and Typhoon.)

With just a little wheelspin off the line, the Syclone blasted from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, quicker than the then-brand-new C4 Corvette ZR-1 and almost as quickly as the Ferrari F40.

30 years later, there are many fast SUVs on the market, but until the 702-hp 2021 Ram TRX, there’s never again been a pickup this quick. And certainly none this good-looking: available only in black, with black trim that includes a deep air dam and (of chief importance) integrated fog lights.

Learn everything you need to know about the GMC Syclone in this entertaining episode of Revelations with Jason Cammisa.

The Taurus SHO is the fastest, most expensive Ford sedan | Revelations with Jason Cammisa @Hagerty

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With a development budget of $3.5 billion, the Taurus was Ford’s most expensive project ever. It was also a Hail Mary for the company, which was in financial trouble.


And the SHO was the fastest version of the Taurus.

If the Taurus failed, so, too would Ford. It was so important to the success of the company that Ford restructured the engineering and design teams to work together on the new family sedan.

The Taurus’s design was so revolutionary that Ford kept its previous mid-size sedan, the LTD, in production at the same time, just in the new car failed — as the other American car executives predicted it would. Instead, Taurus was an enormous success, eventually becoming the bestselling car in America. The performance version, the Taurus SHO, used the same basic 3.0-liter Vulcan V-6, but instead of pushrods, it used four overhead cams and 24 valves. The DOHC 4-valve heads were designed, manufactured, and assembled by Yamaha in Japan.

The SHO used a Mazda-sourced 5-speed manual and was the most powerful front-wheel drive sedan in the world. The only four-doors quicker or faster in America were the BMW M5 (E34) and 750iL. It was a performance bargain.

But although Ford sold around 400,000 Tauruses per year, it didn’t come close to its target of 20,000 SHOs annually. Except for the first year with the new, optional automatic transmission and larger 3.2-liter SHOgun engine.

Why didn’t the SHO sell? Well, because it looked like a Taurus — then, the de rigueur family sedan for the person who didn’t care about performance.

So the SHO was a victim of the Taurus’ success.