Hooniverse Asks: What's your favorite factory truck stripe package?

Two weeks ago, during our discussion about whether or not wagons should still have woodgrain, the comments drifted into a discussion of various malaise-era truck graphics. Black Steelies suggested that we make it a Hooniverse Asks entry for Truck Thursday. Today, we dutifully comply.

During the Malaise Era, truck manufacturers were eager to increase truck sales by pitching them as not just utilitarian cargo carriers, but “lifestyle enhancements” that would turn on the chicks, earn other guys’ respect, and provide all the fun and excitement that the post-embargo/pre-ECU world had to offer. But how? Increasing the horsepower or fuel efficiency of their emissions-strangled engines was pretty hopeless. But they could at least make them look fun and exciting. The solution? “Sport Stripes!”
Functionally neutral but visually entertaining, ranging from subtle to absurd — what is your favorite factory “sport truck” graphics package (of any era)?

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78 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's your favorite factory truck stripe package?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    For sheer ridiculousness it is hard to beat the Beau James GMC:
    <img src="http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg186/kernelofwisdom/doc13.jpg"width=500&gt;
    For actually cool, the Dodge Warlock:
    <img src="http://www.redvetteranch.com/red_vette_ranch/photo_gallery/1977_Dodge_Warlock_Truck/album/slides/CARLEY6.jpg&quot; width="500/">
    You could get a 440 Warlock.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Warlocks are cool, but the LRE makes more of a statement graphically.
      <img src="http://image.automobilemag.com/f/8430004+w750+st0/0712_02_z+1979_dodge_lil_red_express_truck+rear_three_quarter_view.jpg"&gt;

      1. P161911 Avatar

        OK then, how about a Midnite Express:
        <img src="http://www.internetclassiccars.com/photos/classics/13635500/13635572.jpg"width=500&gt;
        Apparently most LREs came with a 360 and most of the Midnite Expresses came with a 440.

        1. OA5599 Avatar

          How much hash can you fit in one of those?
          <img src="http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/pics/midnight-express-.JPG"&gt;

          1. P161911 Avatar

            It is a 1/2 ton truck.

          2. dukeisduke Avatar

            A lot more than Billy Hays tried to get out with. I remember seeing that film in the theater. Intense.

    2. citroen67 Avatar

      I forgot about the Warlock! Good one!

      1. P161911 Avatar

        The Gentleman is lacking Beau's whitewalls and wire wheel covers though.

        1. Tomsk Avatar

          But…but…BLACK GOOOOLD!

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        The green-and-brown example is making me a bit tingly.

  2. Alff Avatar

    Both Fords pictured above sport the "Free Wheelin" graphics. Those are my favorite but on a Bronco. Nothing says badass '70s like a black one with white wagon wheels…
    <img src="http://www.projectbronco.com/Show_Room/Readers_Photos/J_Sladek/JS_02.jpg&quot; width=500>
    A couple years later, another of my favorites came along…
    <img src="http://www.autopressnews.com/2006/m01/jeep2/1982_Jeep_Scrambler_CJ-8.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. GTXEliminator Avatar


  3. xomputer Avatar

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/mYQ5x.jpg"&gt;
    Words can't properly express my love for these

  4. citroen67 Avatar

    I would have to say that the Ford "Free Wheeling" stripe kit was one that I always thought was cool. Very dated look, but I think that is part of the reason I like it so much. It is probably one of the best recognizable '70's era stripe packages that I can think of.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Back in the day, a friend of mine replaced the dying 4-banger in his early '70's courier with a rotary liberated from an RX-7. After painting it resale red, he replaced the script on the tailgate. Instead of "ROTARY POWER" he went with "RAPPIN' CHAINSAW POWER". Not long later, he lost his license.

    2. Alff Avatar


  5. tonyola Avatar

    Though barely a truck in the technical sense, the "laser" side stripes on the Ranchero GT were sort of cool. However, I'm generally not a fan of tape-on graphics.
    <img src="http://www.santabarbaramusclecars.com/listings/sc15066/5.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. Alff Avatar

      Yes. Extra points for the t-tops.

      1. LTDScott Avatar
        1. Alff Avatar

          Did they all have that? I spent many hours riding around in my buddy Dave's Brat and never knew about it, if he did.

          1. LTDScott Avatar

            Nope, a rare option from what I understand.

      1. muthalovin Avatar

        Agreed. Goddamned T-Tops + 'Murica stripes = Subaru Brat Win

        1. LTDScott Avatar

          The last new episode of Cops featured a man getting arrested after pulling a baseball bat out of his T-Top Brat and hitting another guy with it.
          America, fuck yeah!

          1. muthalovin Avatar

            That is right up there with apple pie and the constitution.

          2. Deartháir Avatar

            I thought beating people up with baseball bats taken from the back of your T-Top Brat was your Constitution?

          3. muthalovin Avatar

            It is. For freedom.
            Also, I will have you know that Americas Founding Fathers drove Brats. True story.

          4. jjd241 Avatar

            I beg to differ…
            [youtube Ezk0e1VL80o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezk0e1VL80o youtube]

          5. ptschett Avatar

            I thought you were supposed to beat on the Brat with a baseball bat.

          6. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

            Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

          7. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

            It certainly shows that you have constitution.

      2. engineerd Avatar

        I thought her boobs were real?
        Oh, the truck you mean.

  6. OA5599 Avatar

    Q: When is a wagon not a wagon?
    A: When it's a mini van.
    <img src="http://www3.sympatico.ca/guinnessd/pinto/mpcpinto2.gif"&gt;

    1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

      Also available in super-size…
      <img src="http://thatcarguy.typepad.com/.a/6a0105355ab3fc970b01116853fb80970c-pi&quot; width= "500" />

    1. engineerd Avatar

      A buddy in college had one. I love that thing.

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Froot Truck! These are the less-radical versions.
      <img src="http://i50.tinypic.com/2bqyo9.jpg&quot; width="600/">
      <img src="http://i.imgur.com/xvBp7.jpg&quot; width="600/">

  7. OA5599 Avatar

    I wish the LSR graphics had been carried over to the production Syclones.
    <img src="http://assets.bankspower.com.s3.amazonaws.com/tech_article_images/gmgas/mid_01.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. texan_idiot25 Avatar

      It looks like the paint scheme from my first R/C truck. Glorious early 90s flames.

  8. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Some of the Indy Pace Trucks have had tasteful graphics packages.
    <img src="http://members.tripod.com/~poisonpinto/00058050614.jpg"&gt;
    *img from PoisonPinto's Tripod page

    1. Alff Avatar

      Don Knotts may have been a "Dude" but Norman Fell was "Mr. Roper".

  9. Black Steelies Avatar

    Huzzah! The Royal Kuh-niggut El Camino gets my pick. And any LUV with factory graphics is undoubtedly cool, but pics are hard to come by.
    <img src="http://www.ucapusa.com/oneadmin/_files/photogallery/7b1e8_1983_chevrolet_el_camino_royal_knight.jpg"&gt;

  10. LTDScott Avatar
    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I know that BLACK GOOOOOLD is cheesy, but I love it, 100% completely, every time.
      <img src="http://hooniverse.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/new-showroom-150.jpg&quot; width="480">
      Perhaps we need an Encyclopedia Hoonatica entry of all the vehicles that were done up in black and gold?

      1. CptSevere Avatar

        My Norton Commando had the black tank and gold graphics. I don't think it looked cheesy at all. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that Bultaco, either.

    2. ZomBee Racer Avatar

      It's like Chocolate AND Peanut-butter!!

      1. Deartháir Avatar


  11. Corvette_Poncho Avatar

    Golden eagle packages on the full size and CJ Jeeps.
    <img src="http://www.jeepaholics.com/support/files/TexTJ209/20060502164408_DSC00049.JPG

  12. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Well, ripping it up UK style, I have to confess to nursing a wholly inappropriate semi when one I see one of these:
    <img src="http://www.itsmymarket.com/images/copy/4570.jpg"&gt;
    2002 Ford Ranger Martini WRC. An actual factory package artfully draped over a most unimpressive Mazda B200 clone.
    Still rocks though.

  13. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    While not exactly factory per se, when I think of stripes on trucks I still immediately think of these 3 monsters.
    I find them both fascinating and horrifying, mostly because I still expect them to come crashing through the wall to murder me.
    (/obscure nightmare-post reference)
    <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_de_GBRoOV_0/SxAwjqrFGsI/AAAAAAAAAUU/hwzZSS_uRvM/s1600/Truckin+Nightmare+Fords.jpg&quot; width= "500" />

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Whoa, wait, they make 40-channel CBs now? Might be time to think about upgrading from the ol' 23-channel Johnson Messenger 130A.
      <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4149/5434276480_4181e360d7.jpg&quot; width="350">
      Ha, no, just kidding. Nobody needs that many channels and I'm quite sure the Messenger will never go out of style.

  14. Plecostomus Avatar

    Man, this is a great thread. I'm gonna pinch some of this (with hat tips) on Chevy/GMC truck Tuesdays on the Classic Industries Facebook fan page ( http://www.facebook.com/classicind )
    We actually have reproductions of these stripe packages including the Beau James and Gentleman Jim.
    I always wondered whatthe hell those looked like!

  15. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Ford had good and bad stripes on the Ranger, this is one that I did really like:
    <img src="http://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/spring2008/stx/stx_88.jpg"&gt;

  16. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    There is one of these things not too far from where I live. Has sat for a long time, and I'm just waiting for the "For Sale" sign to go up. Pretty sure I'll be forgiven for dragging it home.
    <img src="http://www.rmauctions.com/images/cars/o109/O109_r074_01.jpg&quot; />

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      That's PURDY! If I were your wife, I'd totally forgive you for bringing that thing home. And in fact I think you may have just called the winner, as I think that's my favourite in the thread so far.

    2. ptschett Avatar

      Do want.

    3. Alff Avatar

      You win

    4. 4DoorNoMore Avatar

      It seems like just last week I was talking about the Macho Power Wagon. Oh yeah, it was!
      Pure 70's urban cowboy cool.

  17. Black Steelies Avatar

    Oh man I forgot about the S10 Baja. Always wanted to see one in the wild, they are almost always trashed.
    <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2007/02/rrotd_021507_01.jpg"&gt;

    1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      I still want a Baja S10. They are getting pretty rare. I overpaid for a rough one several years back, but I was living in a city where my neighbors decided that I didn't need my wheels or radiator. And when the city issued a warrant for my arrest for failure to maintain my property (having a truck with no wheels in my driveway), I had the wrecker tow it away.
      I live in a better area now, so I'd love to find a nice one, preferably without the troublesome digital dash.

  18. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    I feel your pain. 60s A100s are NOT cool everyone. Not cool at all. Utter trash.
    /Until I find mine.

  19. James Avatar

    <img src="http://i453.photobucket.com/albums/qq257/seang0503/1590819290_498ea224c8.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="D21 Desert Runner Pictures, Images and Photos"/>
    Nissan Desert Runner. (hope I posted the pic right)
    Not really my favorite. Just surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet.

    1. packratmatt Avatar

      I was just thinking about this truck. Good one!

    2. Black Steelies Avatar

      Never heard of it. I love it!

    3. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      That explains this Hot Wheels…
      <img src="http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090220055226/hotwheels/images/6/69/Nissan_Harbody_WhtRd.JPG"&gt;
      <img src="http://images.wikia.com/hotwheels/images/d/dc/Nissan_Hardbody_Wht.JPG"&gt;
      I had the former at one point. Not sure where it got off to.

      1. James Avatar

        That's awesome. I've got a whole bunch of odd Nissan die-cast from back in my 510-nut days. But I've never seen that one!
        I wonder if that engine is supposed to be driving the wheels, or just being delivered to the racecar shop?

  20. Feds_II Avatar

    Just doing my weekly check of "classic" cars for sale within reasonable rope-tow distance, and came across this:
    <img src="http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/kj/110117/098r1/1659243_20.jpeg&quot; width="500/">
    Ranger Knight Stalker, apparently a factory-built?

  21. idiotking Avatar

    And let's not forget the Super Scout:
    <img src="http://www.idiotking.org/pictures/superscout.JPG"&gt;

    1. ZomBee Racer Avatar