This truck was built during “my” era; I was a voracious reader of all things automotive and, I thought, had at least heard of virtually every kind of American car or truck built from say 1987-1997 or so. But I’ve never heard of an S-10 Cameo pickup. Have you?
I did a cursory bit of research (cursory being my habit) and found that there isn’t too much to find on this Cameo, unlike most any other low production vehicle. What little I did locate seems to indicate this thing was built only from 1989-1991 in very low numbers, probably fewer than the GMC Syclone, itself a somewhat of a rare duck. The one production number I saw was less than 1300, but I don’t know if that was for all 3 years or not.
This truck did not get the turbocharged 4.3 V6 of the Syclone/Typhoon, so this is just a body kit on a S-10, mostly. Still, for something built 3 years I’m really kind of surprised I’d never run across one before.
Here’s to new discoveries…
I saw one in white about a year ago. It was in rough shape.
I had the same reaction; I’ve seen thousands upon thousands of S-10s over the past three decades, and this was the first Cameo I’d ever noticed or even heard of. Had to run home and hit the internetz for more answers. Sure enough, factory appearance package.
I remember those trucks well. Mostly an appearance package. They are very rare indeed. My dealer had about 3 or 4 of them at one time . Inside was pretty much based model though.
It was just a trim package, and wasn’t a big seller. i only remember them from Auto Shows.
GMC’s version was Sonoma, which became the line name.
Um wasn’t it actually Sonoma “GT” with all the looks and none of the performance.
Wow, an S-10 Cameo. Can that make the S-10 less of a GM deadly sin? I remember as a kid, being really excited when the S-10 came out. Finally, the foreign hordes are going to be beaten back by the superiority of American engineering and know how!
Then, at age 18, my dad and I went for a test drive, the reason being to replace our trusty 1973 GMC half ton, with something easier on gas. The first impression of the S-10 is the crappy, cheap, plasticy Rubbermaid interior. The Iron Duke rumbled to life in all its roughness. Acceleration was slow, really slow, especially when used to a 350 4V on the GMC. It was soon apparent this thing could hardly get out of its own way, let alone pull half a cord of firewood out of the bush.
The upshot as the S-10 was inferior to the GMC in every single way. The GMC was paid for, had the plush Sierra Grande cab and was actually nice to drive. The S-10 had an absurd price tag on it, like $17,000. It was not a hard decision to keep the GMC. So what if it got 15 miles per (Imperial) gallon.
Years later, my dad told me that test drive was the reason he never bought a new GM vehicle again. He was shocked GM could produce something so bad.
I remember these, they were like the grandpa of all the later GM factory pseudo custom small trucks like the ZQ8 S10/Sonoma, S-10 SS, S-10 Extreme and et al,
The rear roll pan and the body colored what not, these were kinda interesting for an S10. Crazy thing is that I saw the white GMC equivalent on the road last night.
They put these out late 80’s/early 90’s. They were quite popular in my area. Good point about it being the “grandpa” of later GM customized small trucks.
BTW the GMC Syclone/Typhoon only came along 1991 or thereabouts, the S-10 had had a facelift and the Cameo front end didn’t work too well with it.
Fun little tidbit on the Extreme…it was done by SLP who we all know is responsible for the 3rd and 4th gen (and G8) Firehawks and SS Camaros.
For many years, I have had an eagle eye to always notice old, odd, unusual, rare and custom models and I, too, have never seen one that I can recall. Didn’t even know they existed as a trim package.
Interesting. If I’d seen this I would have assumed an aftermarket body kit. Of course it probably looked better when new.
Every truck sold comes with a free Word Up cassette tape.
(better late than never)
I have a 91 S10. Never seen or heard of this one.
This was the sister truck to the Sonoma GT. We had a few of them around here but the base model 4 bangers were probably the most popular.
I had an 89 S-10 Baja for a while that was a great truck except for it’s habit of eating front CV joints.
That was my first car! 91 black cameo, tonneau cover, speaker box cut into the cab from the bed. That digital dash broke multiple times but I still loved her.
One of the many good things about this site is that it makes me aware of automotive aberrations that I knew nothing about. If I had come across this fine ride a day or two ago I would thought it was a JC Whitney body kit whose owner had a hell of a time installing on his well used S-10. And I would have been wrong……sort of.
GM had alot of very low production (for various reasons) cars and trucks in the 80’s and 90’s that would surprise alot of people. Some of them were regional too, so unless you lived in that region, chances are you never even heard of it.
My first car was a hand-me-down Cavalier “CX Sport”… what made it a “CX Sport”? Nothing… except the badge that said “CX Sport” below the taillights.
S-10 Cameo? Never knowingly seen one in person – although I’m positive I’ve seen them in classified ads a few times and thought to myself “is this friggen redneck trying to say he has a ‘CAMERO’ engine in his S-10?!?” They always spell it “Camero”…
Anybody who bought one of these, or the later S-10 XTREME ridiculous piece of crap – I really have to question their character. Why? WHYYY?? What kind of terrible, soulless person are you? What a great victory for the human race it would have been if GM hadn’t even sold ONE of these…
These pictures also beg the question: what’s the absolute worst factory body kit GM ever unleashed on the world? My vote is Celebrity Eurosport VR but I’m sure there’s some I’ve repressed from my memory banks.
I don’t know, I’d have to say that even the Eurosport VR isn’t any worse than what Toyota throws on its Camry SE and Corolla S currently. Both look like they’ve been attacked by a JCWhitney catalog…
Nissan is guilty of this with various 2000’s Maximas and the Nismo edtion Z’s
The Sonoma GT was more than body cladding. The GT’s had the Syclone dash & instrument cluster(minus the boost gauge); it was completely different than any S/T style dash. The interiors had bucket seats and console-shifted 700R4. They are very rare & I’ve had the good fortune to check one out locally. GM went to a lot of trouble to design the unique instrument cluster/interior for just these vehicles. The console is my favorite part as it flows into the dash kind of like the ’73 & newer RWD Grand Prix cars did.
I’m not sure if the Cameo was available with similar features but I believe an even greater victory for the human race would be if the haters would cease spewing disparaging comments about vehicles that do not meet their discerning expectations.
Its nice to think GM would have gone to the trouble of the “special” parts you talk about, unfortunately they are just parts bin finds. The instrument cluster is grabbed directly from the Pontiac Sunbird GT turbo, and I believe the console is out of the G-body Monte Carlo, or someother divisions g body.
cool trucks though.
I have a 1989 s-10 cameo with 227,000 and I am the 2nd owner. I put a flowmaster super 44, cut the cat out and put 2.50 fresh pipe all the way out. Remote start/7″ flipout/1200wt amp/two 10″ alpine subs/17/18 American racing torque thrust/fresh tint/alarm and was made in 3/89.A very rare truck. Go to 89 cameo on youtube to see the truck. The paint is 24 yr old stock
i HAVE A RED 1989 S 10 CAMEO ALSO 2ND OWNER WITH 128,000 MILES RUNS AND DRIVES GREAT,,COMPLEAT,TRUCK FRONT BUMPER COVER AN FOG LIGHTS..WITH ALL THE GROUND EFFECTS,,.1 OF 37 MADE,,,HIGH BACK BUCKETS SEATS, MOON ROOF , 4.3 V6…$4500.00…..CAN DRIVE IT ANY WHERE….THIS IS NO JUNK,,,can see pics..if requested
this truck is forsale $4500.00
1989 cameo $4500,00 128,000 miles
I have one of the 37 1989 S-10 Tahoe/Cameo pickups. I bought it in 1992. It has 70K miles.
I had one I bought it new. I went to the dealership just looking for a plan S10 I could build and the dealer talked me into the cameo. It was black bucket seats digital dash V6 manual transmission better stereo i lowered the rear end and put after market wheels on it and a few other things. Oh and it did have a 4.3 but but no turbo. I may have a pic I’ll have to look.