These trucks were powered by a 4.3-liter turbocharged V-6 rated at 280 hp and a massive 360 lb-ft of torque. Power went through a 4-speed automatic and then to each wheel via a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. That setup allowed the Syclone to sprint to 60 mph in under 5 seconds – quicker than a C4 Corvette. Automobile Magazine reviewed one in 1991, along with its bigger (though slower) brother, the Silverado-based Chevy 454SS. I’ve wanted a Syclone ever since.
Lucky for me, I have a roommate with a similar childhood dream. He’s currently searching for a good Sy (as those in the know call them) and I can’t wait to take it for a ride.
Rumor has it that the truck got the unorthodox (wrong) spelling of cyclone because Ford owned the rights to the name (see Mercury Cyclone). No matter, it was built in such low numbers that very few school children (or copy editors) would have seen the badge, let alone been able to read it as the black blur hurtled by.
After a year of Syclone production, GMC switched to building the Typhoon, a two-door SUV based on the Jimmy. (Did I mention my roommate has one of those? It sits quietly in our garage waiting for spring to arrive.) There were plans to build a four-door Typhoon as well, though production ended in 1993 with no follow-up. Several test mules still exist today – nicknamed “Braphoons” for their Oldsmobile Bravada bodies.
Less than 3000 Syclones were built in 1991 followed by about 4700 Typhoons in 1992 and 1993. Soon enough, 0.03% of the production will be found at my house. Jealous?