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Five Convertible Pickup Trucks You Probably Forgot About
If you're into truckin' with the wind blowing through your hair, you're stuck with just one option as of 2022: the Jeep Gladiator. But that's only if you want a modern drop-top truck.

Five Convertible Pickup Trucks You Probably Forgot About

1926 Ford Model T Runabout Pickup1926 Ford Model T Runabout Pickup1961 International Harvester Scout1962 International Harvester Scout1989 Dodge Dakota Convertible1989 Dodge Dakota Convertible2004 Chevrolet SSR2006 Chevrolet SSR1967 Jeepster Commando Pickup1967 Jeepster Commando Pickup
If you're okay with something a bit older or maybe even a full-blown classic, here are five convertible pickups you probably forgot about.

Ford Model T Runabout - Introduced in 1908, the Model T was offered in a wide variety of body styles. However, a truck version did not become available until 1917, when the company launched the TT. The latter featured a longer wheelbase and a heavier frame for a one-ton rating.

Without an option to buy a lighter truck, many customers modified their own Model Ts to accept a bed. As a result, Ford began offering a Model T Runabout with a pickup bed in 1925.

The Runabout was a two-door model with a canvas roof, so the result was a convertible pickup truck.

It wasn't the first pickup of its kind, but it's a cool version of the Model T that people tend to forget about. It's rare too, as Ford ended Model T production in 1927, giving the Runabout pickup only two years on the market.

There's no data as to how many were built, but this drop-top truck might just be as rare as the Model T Delivery, of which only 8,604 were made.

Dodge Dakota Convertible - Built from 1986 to 2011, the Dodge Dakota spawned a few cool limited-edition models, including a revival of the Li'l Red Express, the Warrior, and even a high-performance Shelby version.

But none of them are as exotic as Dakota Convertible.

Converted to drop-top duty by American Sunroof Company (later American Specialty Cars), the Dakota Convertible arrived in select dealerships for the 1989 model year.

On top of a manually operated (and completely removable) folding top, it also came with a single-hoop roll bar.

Notably more expensive than the regular Dakota, the drop-top was anything but popular with only 3,700 units sold in 1989 and 1990. Dodge put together eight more trucks in 1991 before it pulled the plug on one of the first modern convertible pickup trucks.

Chevrolet SSR - Speaking of modern, the SSR is the most recent vehicle on this list. Produced from 2003 to 2006 as a retro-styled tribute to the Chevrolet Advance Design pickup (1947-1955), the SSR also flies under the radar. And that's mostly due to its polarizing exterior design.

A sporty pickup with a retractable hardtop and a covered bed, the SSR is, unlike the other vehicles on this list, a hot-rod underneath the shell. Originally introduced with a Vortec 5300 LM4 rated at 300 horsepower, it gained the LS2 V8 from the C6 Corvette in 2005. The latter provided 390 horses.

But that wasn't enough to draw people into showrooms and Chevrolet sold only 24,112 examples over three model years.

International Harvester Scout - Granted, the Scout is by no means anonymous, but it's nowhere near as iconic as the Bronco, which Ford introduced as a competitor in 1966. Built by a company known more for agricultural equipment rather than automobiles, the Scout debuted in 1961 as a competitor to the Jeep CJ.

Just like the Bronco that followed five years later, the Scout came in both SUV and pickup truck forms. And both had fully removable tops that left the cabin exposed beyond the windshield.

The engine lineup was quite diverse and ranged from the base 152-cubic-inch (2.5-liter) inline-four of the early 1960s to the 304-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) V8 that became available toward 1970.

While it remained available as a pickup truck, the redesigned Scout II, launched for the 1971 model year, gained a fixed top.

Jeepster Commando - Introduced in 1966, around the same time as the Ford Bronco, the Jeepster Commando was Kaiser-Jeep's answer to the Scout. It was also a spiritual successor to the Willys-Overland Jeepster, a late 1940s convertible crossover that went into the history books as America's last true phaeton.

Much like the Scout, the Commando pickup was fitted with a removable hardtop that covered the passenger section, but Jeep also offered full-length shells that extended to cover the bed. Engine options included the Hurricane four-cylinder (75 horsepower) and the Buick-sourced Dauntless V6 (160 horses).

Jeep kept the Commando in production until 1973, but dropped the Jeepster name after 1971. That's also when the vehicle was redesigned and overhauled with AMC inline-six and V8 engines.

Which of these convertible pickup trucks would you drive this summer? Let me know in the comments box below.

 
 
 
 
 

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