Trucks are literally a cornerstone of everything we know and adore. The houses we live in, the empty bag of chips that’s tucked in between our couch cushions, the frozen TV dinners in our freezers—all of it was moved by a truck at some point, in order to make its way into our lives.
Trucks are a resounding symbol of practicality and utility; they are tools. You don’t always have to use them as tools, though—and they are great for having fun, too—but your truck should be like a Swiss Army Knife, ready to deploy under all circumstances.
Sometimes, however, people have a very different idea of what a truck should be. Sometimes, people prefer trucks that actually make life more difficult! We could ponder the reasoning behind this behavior all day, but it’s immaterial to the fact that useless trucks are becoming more and more popular.
Do you have a useless truck sitting in your driveway? Don’t be ashamed, there’s nothing wrong with useless trucks! In fact, we love useless trucks…but what happens when you actually need a truck? Are you really trying to huck a king-size mattress five feet up onto your tailgate because you had to be able to see the sun rising in the next state over? Maybe you like your useless truck Hoonie-style; not one of us is about to argue with Ken Block’s useless truck, it’s practically the dopest truck we’ve ever seen.
But, that still doesn’t change the fact that Ken Block will be calling you and your truck to help him move when he maxes out Hoonitruck’s payload with his Playstation.
20 THE 1949 FORMULA
Street Outlaws isn’t the only act in town that has a proclivity for turning farm trucks into track rockets and trucks like this prove you don’t have to be all nice and shiny to be a show-stopper. (You do, however, have to know what you’re doing!) This 1949 Ford is as rugged as it comes on the outside, but it also isn’t shy about the 5.9L Cummins—or the Industrial Injection compound turbocharger setup.
The sequential transmission bangs you through the gears quicker than you ever thought a farm truck would need to shift and the exposed roll cage provides a rigid bit of insurance that you just might be safe if something went wrong…(maybe). But don’t hope to fit any lumber in the back.
19 THE SNOOP DOGG
One thing led to another…next thing you know, we’re watching Tacos, on spokes, bouncing around in the park like a Snoop Dogg video. We still can’t figure out the point of all this, as it’s essentially the equivalent of the Baja 1000 on the frame—but while driving exactly zero miles. It’s basically wearing the truck out for no reason, and getting nothing out of it in return.
18 THE TRIPLE-AXLE KING
There are three reasons to add a “helper axle” to anything you own: maybe you want to increase your load capacity, maybe you want to increase your roll stability, and maybe you want to increase your load capacity. None of those reasons include that you need a place to put an extra set of rims and tires.
What this guy did was effectively make his mini-truck corner like a big rig and eat up tires faster than stance nation could only dream of. The plus side, though, is that he still has room for one more axle (which is good, because he can’t use the bed for anything else).
17 THE DOUBLE-AXLE HAS-BEEN
At 140 horsepower, the Ranger was hardly dangerous; add another axle, two more rims, and an extra three-feet of bed and frame on it, and you’ve just sealed your performance alongside the ranks of student drivers and grocery-store grannies. To make matters even worse, it’s painted like a bar of gold!
16 THE BED DANCER
It sounds like a premium service you have to pay extra for in a foreign country but it’s actually a lowrider nation special. If you like your hydros in doses of more than four, then you need a mini truck with a multi-actuating, triple-pivot bed elevator, hydro-electric motors, pumps, hydraulic rams, and a whole lot of time to dump into your beater.
If it’s not enough to destroy the driving and towing capability of a truck, now we’re going and filleting the bed out into a rotating carnival ride. What gain was ever accomplished by this nonsense is beyond the scope of conventional understanding, so we just let it play quietly in the corner, with its helmet on, until the short bus comes to take it home.
15 THE SUPER CUSTOM KODIAK
If it looks super rugged, that’s because it is. Nothing underneath those frame rails is pick-up grade. While all of this is well and good, some people tend to think that their Topkick is, all of a sudden, the biggest truck in the entire world. Air horns, massive side pipes, and diamond plating aren’t making it any harder, dude!
14 THE SEMICHEVY
What’s bigger (and more useless) than a Topkick? A Super Topkick, of course! While we’re not exactly sure what a Super Topkick even is, we’re certain it would look something like this! Never mind the medium-duty, this guy went hardcore and mated his pickup with an actual semi-tractor!
Anyone could tell you that 100% of a semi truck’s utility comes from the fifth-wheel (now effectively rendered useless). What you’re left with is five miles per gallon and throwing your back out every time you have to unload something heavy.
13 THE SLAMMED C5500
Custom paint wraps the custom body kit, which wraps around the custom air-ride suspension. Just about everything on this truck is custom; about $100,000 worth of custom. That’s cool and all (and you may get a few likes on your news feed), but what are we even supposed to do with so much truck?
12 THE STRETCHY TRUCK
The luck would finally fizzle out when Stretchy Truck would end up tangled on its roof, halfway through a biffed run, some years ago. Stretchy Truck was never to race again, although many remained hopeful that it would. We can still remember it in videos, which is almost as good as the real thing, right?
11 THE DUMPER DODGE
Sure, it’s fun for about five minutes, when you see how long your buddies can hold on (and pound a Blue Ribbon), while you try to dump them out of the truck but “real” dump trucks don’t have lift kits (or chrome rims).
10 THE MINI SEMI
He didn’t want a real version of the fender-flapper this one was modeled after, though, just the impression. What he ended up with was a funny-looking ¾-ton, with lowrider wheels and a tuner wing. Sure, it’s a tribute to old-school trucking but this is the equivalent of paying tribute to the 1980s and it just doesn’t look good any way you park it.
9 THE ROAD RAPTOR
What does de-clawing a raptor look like? Pandem says it looks like this! A $5,000 aero kit that you can bolt onto your Raptor and tame it for the streets! Does it give you any extra horsepower? Nah. But you do get increased aerodynamics; aerodynamics that will start to benefit cornering performance at approximately 400 mph.
Don’t have five grand to fritter away for some bolt-on composite hardware? Neither do we; but then again, we don’t even have the money for a Raptor in the first place. You can tell how successful this kit sold, though, by how many you see on the streets and in magazines.
8 THE DUALLY SLAMMER
To do this, you cut up the bed, channel things into other things, and spend a whole lot of money that you could have bought a boat with. This is one dually, however, that you’re never going to see on a boat launch—not like this!
7 THE SUPER DUALLY FLAT ROD
Rat rods are in full bloom; they are prime, ripe, and getting overused by the dozens. That’s not to say we don’t like them. They’re awesome! But some things just look funny when you mix them, like flatbeds. Yes, we understand the “look” and it’s an urge to get it as close to the ground as possible. We know.
But when the tops of the tires are pushing your payload into your headache rack because you dumped the bags a little too far, it then becomes a silly design. Would it have tortured him to fabricate a little box to cover this nonsense up?
6 THE SKY CABIN
In case you don’t get enough of the view at Knott’s Berry Farm, you can sky-jack your crew cab and never again be hampered by that pesky big rig in front of you! Don’t worry about all those cars in the immediate vicinity (those ones that you can’t see for hundreds of feet in front of you), they have insurance.
They should have known better than to let you pull up behind them, anyway! What this truck really amounts to is a glorious celebration of impracticality, the kind you can’t even jockey comfortably around your farm without it being a hassle.
5 THE HOONITRUCK
The Hoonitruck rides a fine line and it’s a polarizing build no matter how you look at it. One might say that it’s an atrocity to pull a big-block V8 out of a vintage F-100 and replace it with an EcoBoost V6. (In many ways, it is.)
However, in many other ways, the Hoonitruck is the meanest Ford you’ve ever laid eyes on. And we’re not arguing with an excess of power—which is exactly what the Hoonitruck is. The whole entire premise of the build is to be able to light all four tires up, simultaneously, from a stop, and keep them spinning, somehow, for 10 to 20 straight minutes.
4 LINCOLN BLACKWOOD
The Blackwood was the biggest rip-off trim line anyone has ever seen; it was one of the first production trucks with an in-dash navigation system but they put it next to the floor—in the form of a 3-inch screen!
3 THE DODGE RAM DAYTONA
The Daytona isn’t just a name, it’s an institution—and one not to be taken lightly, either. Non-race fans merely know it as having something to do with racing, but the well-read racing enthusiast knows there’s a bit more to it than that. That’s exactly why the Ram Daytona leaves us a little bit confused. Who built this thing?
Rather than powering it with something massive, they put the 5.7L Hemi in it! That’s a great motor but only for the base Ram! The unfortunate reality is that the Daytona designers put more emphasis on aesthetics (like the 11-inch spoiler on the bed) and nearly none on performance.
2 THE CHEVY SSR
This one has been beaten to a pulp, as you are well aware, but that’s no excuse to exclude it from this list. It’s the epitome of bad ideas ruining a pickup truck. In fact, the SSR idea was so bad, it managed to end two designs in one fell swoop!
It was too much of a pickup for the people who saw it as a sports car and too much of a sports car for people who saw it as a pickup! It was stuck in between two worlds, unable to bridge the gap. It didn’t help that the actual truck bed was covered by a hard lid from the factory.
1 THE HUMMER H2
The Hummer wasn’t necessarily GM’s bad idea, it was what we did with it that made it look so bad. Rather than use the H2 for what it was actually (kinda) designed for—off-road wranglin’, outdoor-tanglin’ action—we put 26-inch wheels on it, blacked out all the windows, and stuffed more subwoofers in the back than you’d find at a Flo Rida concert.
If the H2 would have been used as a truck rather than a tacky status symbol, it would have been fine. But environmentalists were naturally perturbed to see swatches of these 5-MPG Hummers, most of which were slammed, bagged, and not even able to take a speed bump squarely.