The GMC Syclone is a hot rocket pickup from the early 1990s that invented the term, muscle truck. Some may have came before it, technically, including GM’s own 454SS, but the Syclone of 1991 certainly set the bar for years to come.
With a single turbo mounted on a 4.3L V6, which was essentially, a small-block Chevy V8 block with two cylinders lopped off, it cranked out 280hp and quarter-mile times that could touch the high-13s. With a few bolt-on speed parts, 12s were easy work. The high sticker price at the time ($25,000) kept these trucks on the lot longer that GMC had hoped for, making the Syclone a one-year only vehicle. The engine would live on in the ’92 and ’93 GMC Typhoon SUV, but
Fast forward a couple of decades, and many owners of these trucks, who have long destroyed their original 4.3L V6 blocks or simply wanted to go a different route, have done so via an LS conversion. More modern tech and the additional two cylinders have certainly increased the capabilities of these trucks, and modern speed parts have taken things much further.
One such Sy owner is Chris Germano, of Fort Mills, South Carolina brought his example to Holley LS Fest East back in September, and it drew a lot of curious stares from us and even Holley themselves. Packed chock full of impressive hardware like a Dart block, a BTR turbo cam, a set of CNC-ported LS3 heads are the key components of the long-block, but an 88mm billet wheel turbo with 19-psi of boost and nitrous is what really wakes this truck up. Underneath, a Moser rearend, an Upstate Pro-built transmission round out the drivetrain, while a set of QA1 shocks sit at all four corners.
The overall build lends the correct Syclone aesthetic for curb appeal, but handles, accelerates and stops like a much newer vehicle, thanks to its modern technological improvements.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.