You probably know that major U.S. auto manufacturers overhauled many of their truck designs in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Fans of the previous look referred to this distinctive era as “OBS truck”, which is an abbreviation for “old body style” pickups. But that’s a pretty loose definition. This car reviews article will provide insight into “what does OBS truck mean” and some of the most notable examples on the market.
Most Common OBS Trucks
As mentioned above, most old body style trucks are American-made, with the top models coming from manufacturers like Ford, GMC, and Chevrolet. Let’s highlight some of these models and focus on essential information about each of them.
The iconic Ford pickup trucks that can be considered old body style are parts of the seventh, eighth, and ninth generation of the F-series.
Some would argue that the seventh generation is too old for an OBS truck and deem it OOBS (old-old body style), but the look fits the category perfectly. The seventh-generation models were produced during the 1980 to 1986 model years, and the most desirable options are powered by V8 engines, though they were also available with V6 and Inline-6 layouts.
The best examples of this generation are F-150, F-250, and F-350 regular cab, super cab, and crew cab configurations.
The eighth-generation Ford OBS Trucks were built using the same cab and chassis of its predecessor but with a heavily improved design. Streamlining the truck’s components meant that maintenance was more straightforward and cheaper than with previous generations. Composite headlamps, circular fenders, and a more aerodynamic front end were the most prominent exterior updates, while the interior was completely redesigned.
Engine options remained largely the same but were updated with an increase in power and fuel economy. F-150, F-250, F250-HD, and F-350 are the most common examples in a 2-door pickup or chassis cab configuration.
The final Ford OBS trucks come from the ninth generation F-series, still based on the same seventh-generation formula. It received a facelift and several minor improvements to the exterior and interior look but maintained that classic OBS appeal.
The new, slightly rounded design sits on the edge of the OBS category. Still, it deserves a spot on the list, thanks to older design cues and drastic differences in appearance compared to the tenth-generation. Models F-250 and above departed from the F-Series into Ford Super Duty trucks, with the F-150 remaining the only model of this generation.
The shared fourth-generation C/K platform, internally known as GMT400, was used as a foundation for some of the most popular OBS trucks today. All of these vehicles share the same design features and the class-defining platform to be considered proper OBS models:
The C/K nomenclature was used only by Chevrolet, while GMC initially named their full-size pickup trucks Sierra. Originally produced as a full-size pickup truck and chassis cab, the GMT400 platform expanded into full-size SUVs after a few years in production.
Like the Ford F-series’s 10th generation, when the GMT800 platform followed the GMT400 platform, it did not receive a positive reception, instead only reinforcing people’s desire for an old-school look they could only get from OBS models.
What Are The Criteria For OBS Trucks?
Apart from their retro looks, another criterion for OBS trucks is they are manufactured in America. They are also referred to as the trucks designed between 1988 and the late 1900s by some enthusiasts. With so many different definitions and criteria, the term OBS can vary for different individuals and is a little blurred. It is mostly used by old-school truck lovers who enjoy its retro feel.
Modifications For OBS Trucks
The design of the OBS truck itself popular but many people add their own touch of modifications to enhance the features of this classic beauty. Most enthusiasts keep the original engine and other major components of the truck while modifying the external parts.
Repainting the truck is one of the most common modifications practiced as the original paint of the trucks might not last that long.
Adding a new color instantly brightens up the entire look of the truck.
Some common paint modifications are:
These painting modifications can change the entire look of the car and give a new feel to it and are loved by the buyers.
Upgrading the original headlights and taillights with the newer ones, like LED lights, provides better visibility to the customers and can make the overall appearance of the truck better.
Many customers prefer to update the features of the truck while keeping its interior intact for better performance with the OBS look.
Window tints are preferred by a lot of customers to change the look of the truck into a more eye-catching one and can instantly change the feel of the car.
Matching with the truck color or contrasting with it can be the two choices for your car and will both give an enhanced charm to the car.
Many owners prefer to swap their old exhausts with chrome-plated exhaust tips. This increases the power of the vehicle and adds a sturdy feel to it.
Another group of owners prefers upgrading their tires to oversized ones which raise the suspension system of the vehicle and give an eye-catching look to the truck.
Though many OBS lovers prefer keeping the classic interiors, a few of them decide to customize their seats and upholstery for a modified interior look.
This comes down to personal preferences and the modifications can be done according to your taste and budget.