Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (2024)

Getting into classic trucks can be just as rewarding as classic cars, if not more so. Vintage pickups tend to be affordable to buy and to restore, and they’re easy to work on and to modify. For the right restorer, they can be a blank canvas for deciding between patina and creativity. They’re also not as common in Canada, making them excellent conversation pieces.

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (1)

What is Considered a Classic Pickup Truck in Canada?

There are varying definitions for what qualifies as a vintage pickup truck in Canada. CAA defines a classic vehicle as being unmodified and at least 20 years old for the purposes of its insurance. Once a vehicle is 30 years old, it will qualify for a historic plate in most provinces.

To meet the broadest definition, we’re staying within the 30-year timeframe for this list of the best vintage trucks to buy in Canada in 2023. This therefore means a truck needs to be from model year 1993 or earlier to be considered a classic. When considering trucks for this list, we’ve looked at factors like the cool quotient, fun factor, and general availability. There aren’t generally as many vintage trucks on the market at any given time as there are cars. As a starting point, you can consult’s curated online listing for classic trucks.

Here are the best vintage trucks you can buy in Canada in 2023.

  • Chevrolet C/K
  • Chevrolet El Camino
  • Dodge Power Wagon
  • Ford F-Series
  • Ford Ranchero
  • GMC Sonoma / GMC Syclone
  • Jeep J-Series
  • Mercury M-Series
  • Toyota Pickup
  • Can I Import a Classic Truck to Canada?
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (2)

Chevrolet C/K

These were Chevy’s everyday trucks, the predecessors to today’s Silverado. They have a reputation among classic truck enthusiasts for reliability and durability. They’re comfortable. plentiful on the used market, and cheap to purchase and maintain. When shopping, note a model starting with “C” (as in C10, for example) denotes rear-wheel drive (RWD) while a “K” model is equipped with a four-wheel drive (4WD) drivetrain. However, it’s common today to see these trucks listed simply as “Chevrolet C/K,” so you may need to do a bit of homework to figure out exactly what you’re getting. The third generation built from 1973 to 1991, known as the “rounded line” generation, is the most widely available. From 1971 onward, they even came with front disc brakes.
Search for a Chevrolet C/K on CarGurus

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (3)

Chevrolet El Camino

Is the El Camino really a pickup truck? These coupes were based on Chevrolet’s two-door station wagon front end and had an external bed, so if that’s the extent of the definition of a truck then the El Camino would qualify. General Motors produced these off and on between 1959 and 1987, and the nostalgia value alone would be enough to motivate many buyers. Various six- and eight-cylinder engines, big block and small block, and a variety of 3 and 4-speed manual and 2, 3, or 4-speed automatic transmissions were offered over the years. However, the El Camino was sold only with RWD. As a result, and without modern-day traction control systems, it could be a bit of a handful in Canadian winters.
Search for a Chevrolet El Camino on CarGurus

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (4)

Dodge Power Wagon

One long-standing nameplate for the Dodge Ram brands started life as a military vehicle. It was originally based on Dodge’s WC series of trucks from World War II, and it was the first 4WD medium-duty truck sold in a civilian version by a major manufacturer. The original run of these durable and capable trucks spanned model years 1946 to 1980. The name was later revived and continues as an off-roading package for the Ram 2500.

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (5)

Ford F-Series

It’s understandable that there would be plenty of options on the market for buying the best-selling truck on the continent for nearly half a century. Within our prescribed timeframe that defines 1993 as the newest we can go, there are nine generations of Ford F-Series to choose from, beginning in 1948. From the first-generation Bonus-Built Ford model that entered the brand’s previously car-based line-up to the power steering that launched in the mid-1950s, and later the ninth generation that heralded the return of the flareside bed with large fenders, there’s something for everyone. Among the CarGurus listings as of this writing, there are Ford F-100, Ford F-150, and Ford F-250 models of Ford pickup spanning several generations to browse.
Search for a Ford F-150 on CarGurus

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (6)

Ford Ranchero

If we’re going to call the El Camino a pickup, then we’d be remiss to leave out the Ford Ranchero. Seven generations of Ford’s two-door coupe with a bed for a rear end were produced between 1957 and 1979. Over that time, the nameplate went through several iterations: the first generation was called the Meteor Ranchero in Canada, the second generation was named the Ford Falcon Ranchero, and the third was dubbed the Ford Fairlane Ranchero. Those latter two shared a platform with the bedless Ford cars of the same names.
Search for a Ford Ranchero on CarGurus

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (7)

GMC Sonoma / GMC Syclone

Based on the same platform as the Chevrolet S-10 compact pickup, the first generation of the GMC S-15 launched for 1982 and ended at our cutoff year of 1993. The truck took on the Sonoma name in 1991, which is the same year the GMC Syclone was introduced. This short-lived performance pickup was the quickest production truck of its time with its 280-horsepower, 350 pound-feet 4.3-litre turbo V6, power that could compete with the muscle cars of the era. Only 2,998 Syclones were ever produced, so those are rare. But any model year of the GMC Sonoma remains a favourite classic truck, especially along hot rod and restomod builders.
Search for a GMC Sonoma on CarGurus

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (8)

Jeep J-Series

Long before the modern-day Jeep Gladiator came to be, a truck with that same name had already established an off-roading reputation. The Jeep J-Series trucks included the original Jeep Gladiator, which was produced from 1962 to 1971, although the truck lived on under J-series designations for years afterward. The Willys-Overland was the predecessor to this series of trucks. The original Gladiators were available with RWD or 4WD and could be optioned as dually trucks with four wheels on the rear axle. They also offered an independent front suspension instead of a solid front axle when 4WD was equipped.

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (9)

Mercury M-Series

Want to own a piece of Canadian automotive history? Seek out the Mercury M-Series of pickup trucks, which were badged as such exclusively for the Canadian market from 1948 to 1968. The Auto Pact brought an end to most Canadian-exclusive branding after it was signed in 1965. Before then, it was advantageous for automakers to ship vehicles across the border disassembled, put them together here, and sell them with unique branding. The Mercury M-Series aligned with the Ford F-Series, which was also sold in Canada during that period.

Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (10)

Toyota Pickup

If you buy a North American Toyota pickup from prior to 1976, it will be badged as a Toyota Hilux. If you buy one from 1976 or later, it’s known simply as the Toyota Pickup. Either way, you’ll have a coveted piece of history from the Japanese brand. The Hilux launched in 1968 as a regular cab two-door, engineered and assembled by Hino Motors in Japan and then Long Beach, California, to circumvent the chicken tax. It was discontinued just after our cutoff year of 1993. For a few years in the late 1980s to early 1990s, a badge-engineered version of this truck was sold in Europe as the Volkswagen Taro.

Can I Import a Classic Truck to Canada?

If you have your heart set on a particular truck and can’t find it within Canada, it’s possible to import it. Vehicles that are at least 15 years old don’t need to meet the same strict importation regulations as newer vehicles. There are a number of steps involved, such as arranging shipping, proving the vehicle’s age and your ownership of it to customs, having it inspected, and paying duty fees. If you’re driving the vehicle back to Canada from the U.S., it’s an easier process than shipping from abroad. For a fee, you can hire a professional importer to take care of much of this for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What are some popular classic truck models?
Some classic trucks that are popular and plentiful include the Chevrolet C/K, GMC Sonoma and GMC Syclone, and the Ford F-150 and Ford F-250. If you’re willing to dig a little deeper, consider a Dodge Power Wagon, or something eccentric like a Chevrolet El Camino or a Canadian-exclusive Mercury M47.

Is it hard to restore a classic truck?
Classic trucks tend to be easier to restore than many vintage cars. It’s often easier to access parts that need to be replaced within the truck, and the process is typically more affordable.

Where do you find parts for classic trucks?
There are numerous retailers selling parts for classic trucks, both brick-and-mortar and online. You can also scour auctions for trucks with interchangeable parts, or try salvage yards that let you pick and pull parts.

Related Topics:

  • How to Buy a Used Car in Canada
  • Eight Future Classic Cars to Buy in Canada Now
  • The 10 Cheapest New Pick-up Trucks in Canada
Best Classic Trucks to Buy in Canada (2024)
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