When is it safe to call something timeless? Or a classic? The subject is debatable, but whenever we see one of these these GMC Typhoons (or its pickup truck brother, the Syclone), we can’t help but wonder if these will be the next up-and-coming collectibles at Barrett-Jackson. We’ll grant you the fact that at their bare components, they’re nothing more than boxy S10 pickups and Blazers.
What made them so special, however, is the easily-modifiable, turbocharged V6 powerplant and all-wheel drive system that these trucks were so equipped with. When the Syclone was first presented in concept form, it was shown with a Grand National Turbo V6 under the hood. It’s because of this many enthusiasts today still think that these GMCs were powered by the Buick mill – nothing couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that they were actually powered by a turbocharged and water-to-air intercooled 4.3L Chevy V6, for packaging purposes and ease of installation on the assembly-line.
That didn’t keep at least one enthusiast from taking the truck back to its roots; ditching the Chevy small-bock-(minus-two-cylinders) and implementing a Buick powerplant. Reportedly, a man by the name of Jim Stokes built a total of three Buick V6s; bored and stroked to 4.9L, for a pair of Syclones and one Typhoon. This is the Typhoon.
Dubbing the SUV the “Typhoon-C,” the AWD Ty’ has a variety of custom mechanical and cosmetic touches throughout the vehicle, including Kenne-Bell headers and downpipe. The boosted and built Ty been making its rounds at dragstrips since the ’90s and is reportedly good for low-10s in the quarter-mile and pumps out 700 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque.
This recent video shows it in action racing everything from highly-modified Honda Civics to crotch rockets; laying waste to everything it comes across. Shot by GM EFI Magazine reader, Josue Villaseñor, he also shares additional information on the truck from the NWSTP Forum HERE.
Are there cars out there faster than this Typhoon? Yup. Are any of them as unique or as interesting? Maybe. But you have to admit that there’s something especially cool about seeing an early-’90s SUV hold its own against other vehicles that it should be outgunned by – and that, in our opinion, makes it a timeless classic.
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.