Chevy muscle trucks

Chevy muscle trucks DEFAULT

Classic Chevy Muscle Trucks Are Fun, Affordable, and Make Life Sweeter!

You can have fun, affordable performance that earns its keep.

As our lives hurtle forward, each of us shot from a cannon in an arc we can't even try to control, it's easy to look back at our younger selves and wonder what happened to our dreams and passions. As a lover of performance machines, you may have relinquished a cherished vehicle to start a family or go to school. Then comes the mortgage, minivan payments, home repairs, braces, the kid's college fund when does it finally end, you may rightfully ask? It doesn't—but there is an answer within your grasp that may surprise you: a Chevy muscle truck.

No one lives on a deserted island with just bread and water—we are sustained by the passions that burn inside us and that connect us to the world outside. If you're a gearhead, that means having a toy in the garage to tinker with that helps you connect with family, or alternately, to get away from them. Call it an investment in your mental health if you want, but the people around you will appreciate the new bounce in your step and your reinvigorated attitude, if you step into the right Chevy muscle truck.

Chevy Muscle Trucks Are Affordable

Trucks logically make a ton of sense. At the get-go, trucks are far less expensive than vintage muscle cars, and since a lack of money is the number-one reason folks push back, choosing a truck as a new project can help cut way back on the pain associated with the cost of entry. A Chevy truck makes even more sense because they made so darned many of them; for any given era, whether it's a Task Force (1955 to 1959), First Series (1960 to 1966), Action Line (1967 to 1972), Rounded Line (1972 to 1987, also called square-body), Old Body Style (1988 to 1998, also OBS for short), or a newer model, gearheads will find that it's a buyer's market when it comes to a common commodity like a Chevy truck. (See some killer deals we recently found on used vintage Chevy trucks for sale here.)

Parts for Chevy Muscle Trucks Are Everywhere

Hunting for and negotiating the purchase of the right Chevy muscle truck project is the first waypoint in your journey; you will also need to find replacement parts and performance upgrades to turn your Chevy truck project into a true Chevy muscle truck. Parts for Chevy muscle trucks can be found at Classic Performance Products (CPP), LMC Truck, PerformanceOnline.com, National Parts Depot, Classic Industries, Summit Racing, Speedway Motors, Brothers Truck Parts, and many others. Whichever parts house you choose, you'll discover in short order that relative to muscle cars, truck parts cost less because you're simply buying fewer of them. This brings us to our next selling point for building a Chevy muscle truck: simplicity.

Chevy Muscle Trucks Are Easy to Work On

Every gearhead has his or her own comfort level with performing basic repairs and more complicated modifications, up to and including fabrication. For those concerned about cost and complexity, the news is good: The choice of a Chevy muscle truck means you will be starting with a dead-simple vehicle composed only of a frame/chassis, driveline, and basic cab. It just doesn't get any simpler than this. Whether you plan on performing body work, refurbishing an interior, putting down a new coat of paint, or just dressing up the engine compartment and adding new wheels, there is no simpler or more cost-effective project to start with than a Chevy muscle truck. Would you rather have a pro handle the harder jobs like bodywork and paint? You'll likewise see the lower cost of a Chevy muscle truck reflected on your labor bill because of its easy assembly and disassembly.

Chevy Muscle Trucks Do Real Work

In the event you're still on the fence and need yet another excuse to pull the trigger on a Chevy muscle truck project, consider this: Trucks have an undeniable level of utility. Whether you need a truck to bring home that new side-by-side refrigerator or to tow a trailer, you won't need to borrow your neighbor's truck or rent one from the Home Depot. If self-reliance is a trait you and your family hold dear, you either have a pickup truck, or you need one. And if you could buy a Chevy muscle truck and build it up for the same price as a nice used or new truck, then why the heck wouldn't you? If the day ever comes when you need to sell, you'll make money on the appreciated value of a classic rather than take the depreciation hit on a used-up late-model truck. Let's look at some cool reader machines from years past, and don't forget to peek at the huge gallery of extra Chevy muscle trucks for more inspiration when you're done!

1959 Chevy Apache "Task Force Series" SWB Fleetside Muscle Truck

Typical project cost: $2,080 (parts car) to $23,400 (excellent condition)

Forget for a moment that Jeff Greening's 1959 Chevy Apache pickup is stuffed full of the best of everything, from a Roadster Shop chassis to a state-of-the-art LS V-8 with stacked fuel injection; all you need to remember is that since he picked it up for only $250 (in 1975) that it was at no time worth enough money to warrant selling it. By the time he got around to doing it up nice, he'd already spent 40 years abusing it like a rented mule. If you're the type who says, "But a '59 is way too pricey for me," all you have to do is type "1959" into the search box of eBay Motors or any other used car site like craigslist and sort for price; at the top of your cheap results is always going to be a Chevy truck.

1964 Chevy C10 "First-Series" SWB Fleetside Muscle Truck

Typical project cost: $2,080 (parts car) to $23,400 (excellent condition)

Those tall Hilborn injection stacks peeking through the hood of Darin Smith's 1964 Chevy C10 muscle truck notwithstanding, this example of Chevy's First Series (1960 to 1966) is a fine example of how easy it is to achieve the perfect look and stance for very little effort. If you are only running to the home improvement center for a load of pavers, you can bypass the full-on performance suspension from CPP and the Budnik 18-inch rollers, but that would be a shame come time to rip up the autocross or grab a timeslip from your local dragstrip. You can build a First Series Chevy muscle truck to look very close to Darin's (minus the heavy-breathing small-block V-8 beneath the hood) for about half what you'd pay for a newer used truck.

1967 Chevy C10 "Action Line" SWB Stepside Muscle Truck

Typical project cost: $2,080 (parts car) to $23,400 (excellent condition)

Looking for a Chevy muscle truck that has nearly as much cachet as a first-gen Camaro but only costs about 20 percent of the entry fee? The Action Line series of Chevy C/K trucks, particularly the earlier split-grille 1967-to-1970 models, just ooze muscle from their pores, and Rick Zipperian's 1967 short-wheelbase stepside C10 is a clear example of how sexy cool one can be. The stepside model gives Rick's C10 a more sculpted look with a vintage feel that a lot of folks dig over the slab-sided shape of a fleetside model. You can go retro high-tech like Rick did with a beautifully disguised fuel-injected LS that looks quite nearly like an old-school carbureted 327ci small-block, or just keep the old-school 275-hp 327ci small-block yours will come with.

1969 Chevy C10 "Action Line" SWB Fleetside Muscle Truck

Typical project cost: $2,000 (parts car) to $22,500 (excellent condition)

There's no denying the bitchin' appearance of Hugo Castillo's 1969 Chevy C10 muscle truck, or the fact you could put something like this together that at least looks this good for around $15K, but the real genius of it goes to shop Creations N' Chrome (CNC), which did a better than bang-up job at keeping the high-performance build-up on budget with the use of a mostly stock LS1 V-8, Hotchkis TVS suspension, Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners, and Eibach springs. Far from being an out-of-reach high-tech science project, Hugo's short-bed fleetside Chevy runs low 13s down the quarter mile with a 75-hp hit of nitrous, and it can also lap the Streets of Willow road course in 1.38:14.

1972 Chevy C10 "Action Line" SWB Fleetside Muscle Truck

Typical project cost: $2,080 (parts car) to $23,400 (excellent condition)

If nothing else, Gary Cooper's 1972 Chevy C10 muscle truck illustrates one of the best tricks used by car customizers to enhance the look of a muscle truck: lowering. For a full-size Chevy C10, it's an easy job to box the rear frame and bag it (Firestone airbags, in this case), and Cooper made the most of it with 18-inch Foose Monterey wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus rubber. If dumping your classic Chevy muscle truck on bags and bolting on new rolling stock is all you want to do, then a muscle truck like Cooper's is easy and inexpensive. If you want to go the full monty with a 6.2-liter LS3 powerplant, a detailed cockpit, newer disc brakes, and an overdrive automatic transmission, that can be done affordably over time, just like Cooper did in his own garage and with the help of some well-chosen local experts.

1986 Chevy C10 "OBS Series" SWB Fleetside Muscle Truck

Typical project cost: $920 (parts car) to $10,350 (excellent condition)

When you build your own Chevy muscle truck on the cheap in your backyard, you gain the advantage of controlling the budget, controlling the timeline, and controlling the quality, and that's exactly what Matt Ervin did with his 1986 Chevy C10 "OBS series" muscle truck. OBS trucks are hot right now because they are at their bottom in terms of value, but that only means they are about to go up, so now's the time to buy even if you're not ready to build. Ervin's OBS Chevy muscle truck is a perfect example of what you can build on a thrifty nickel; its sleek aero styling makes it even more exciting to modify, with Ervin and his buddies teaming up to build a Vortec-headed 400ci small-block Chevy V-8 backed by a 700R4 overdrive. Perhaps not so incredibly, Ervin has about $15K total in his Chevy muscle truck, including the 18-inch Foose Nitrous wheels, Continental tires, and PPG paint sprayed by Gamez Automotive.

Chevy Muscle Trucks

Chevy Muscle Trucks by Series

  • Advance-Design Series—1947 to 1955
  • Task Force Series—1955 to 1959
  • First Series (first-generation C/K)—1960 to 1966
  • Action Line Series (second-generation C/K)—1967 to 1972
  • Rounded Line Series (third-generation C/K, or square-body series)—1972 to 1987
  • Original Body Style (fourth-generation C/K, also called GMT400 or OBS)—1988 to 1998
  • New Body Style (also called first-generation, GMT800, or NBS)—1998 to 2006
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The first generation of Chevy C/K trucks began in 1960 and ran through 1966. A “C” truck designated 2-wheel drive, rear of course, while “K” designated a 4-wheel drive. Two body styles were available: the Chevy “Fleetside” (known as the “Wideside” in GMC models) which offered a smooth panel down each side of the bed; and the Chevy “Stepside” (which GMC labeled “Fenderside”) which provided a contoured panel outlining the rear wheel-wells and a “step” behind the driver and passenger side doors. These trucks rode very much like a long-wheelbase automobile due to the drop-center ladder frame and low-profile seats. There was no climbing up into the cab of one of these trucks unless you were under five feet tall.    

chevy ck truck

The 70’s model was still based on the Chevy Nova but 2inches longer. It got a longer, wider F-body and maintained its unibody structure, front subframe, A-arm front suspension and leaf springs on the rear axle - similar to the previous generation - but with lots of cosmetic upgrades and increased noise reduction. It’s proposed 454 engine never came to fruition so only the 350 and 396 engines were available. Oddly enough, 396 was actually a label for a 402 CID engine. Chevy kept the 396 label due to its widely recognized name.

C/K trucks were available in half-ton (C10 and K10), three-quarter ton (C20 and K20), and one-ton models (C30) with either long or short-beds. Trim line offerings came in base and custom. Under the hood on Chevy models, you would find the 135 horsepower 236 inch V6; 150 horsepower 261 inch straight-6; or the 180 horsepower 283 inch V8. The base engine for the GMC trucks was the 305 inch V6.

1963 Chevy trucks received the all new coil spring front suspension. Engines for this model year included a 140 horsepower 230 inch L6 (otherwise known as a straight-6) and the optional 165 horsepower 292 inch L6.

1964 Chevy trucks revealed the elimination of the wraparound windshield and the addition of air conditioning. To this, on 1965 Chevy trucks, a 220 horsepower 327 inch V8 engine was available. The second generation of Chevy C/K trucks began in 1967 and ran until 1972 with the nickname “Action Line.” The half-ton (10) and three-quarter ton (20) models were tricked out with the new coil-spring trailing arm suspension which provided a far superior ride in comparison to the traditional leaf springs. All four-wheel drive models were equipped with leaf springs on both the front and rear axles. The standard drivetrain was the 3-speed manual tranny with two available engine options: The 250 inch straight 6 and the 283 cubic inch V8. Optional transmissions available were the 4-speed manual transmission; Powerglide; and Turbo-Hydramatic 350 or 400. Optional engines were the 292 inch and 327 inch V8

The 283 inch V8 was replaced on the 1968 Chevy trucks with the 307 cubic inch with 310 horsepower and the 396 cubic inch V8. For the 50 year Truck Anniversary, Chevy offered a white-gold-white paint scheme: white cab roof, gold body, and white rocker panels. The Longhorn model debuted this same year on the 2-wheel drive three-quarter ton trucks with a 133 inch wheelbase. In 1961, Chevy upsized the 327 cubic inch engine to 350 cubic inch displacement that netted 195 to 200 horsepower. 1961 Chevy trucks received new grille work, upright hood design while the K5 Blazer, a short wheelbase SUV was introduced this year. Few changes were made to the 1971 Chevy trucks. These models got the “egg crate” grille, the new Cheyenne trim package (known as Sierra on GMC models), and AM/FM radios. Front brakes on light duty trucks were switched from drums to disks. There were very minor changes to the 1972 Chevy trucks.

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10 great muscle trucks and SUVs that can’t be caged

One of my favorite vehicles of all time isn’t a car, but a truck. It debuted in 1978 with a stepside bed, massive chrome stacks, and a hopped up 360-cubic-inch small-block under the hood. At the time, it was the fastest vehicle produced in the United States. You guessed it, it’s the Li’l Red Express.

While there were predecessors, the iconic Dodge pickup was the one that showed me that you didn’t need a car to go fast. Over the years the muscle truck has evolved, and there have been some great ones—some great muscle-based SUVs too.

Here are my 10 favorites. Who knows, maybe you’ll see a Part II after I dig a little deeper. And hell, if you have suggestions, just leave them in the comments below and we’ll try to incorporate them into the next story.

1990–93 Chevrolet 454 SS

1990 Chevrolet 454 SS

Paint it black, give it a big-ass engine, and make it go fast. Until Chevy started building world-class sports cars like the modern Camaro and Corvette, that was General Motors’ go-fast formula for four decades. Just look at cars like the Impala SS and Buick GNX and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. When it came to performance trucks, however, the General always seemed to fall behind. That is until 1990 when it released the Chevrolet 454 SS. Fact is, Chevrolet had all the parts in its arsenal to build this out of the gate, and even though it wasn’t a rocket ship, it had an image that eclipsed everything else on the market.

A base C1500 short-bed pickup was chosen as the platform. Chevrolet then dropped in a 7.4-liter 454 big-block, upgraded suspension, and wide-for-the-time 275/65-series tires on special 15-inch chrome rims. The interior was bathed in a sea of red velour and contained a center console and comfy bucket seats. The motor had an uninspiring 230 hp, but it was the 385 lb-ft of torque that got everyone’s attention. Its 0–60 mph times were in the high seven-second range with later models (1991–93) getting an additional 25 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission and true dual exhaust were also added at this time.

2006–10 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8

In the latter part of 2006, a then-new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 arrived at my home on Long Island. It was black with 20-inch chrome rims, a center mounted exhaust, and new 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 that made 420 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. It sat with a bit of a rake and, from what I’d heard, Jeep claimed a 0–60 mph time of five seconds and a top speed of around 155 mph. As an automotive pessimist, I wasn’t quite sure how this 4800-pound barn door would hit those numbers—until I drove it. After stuffing three buddies into the SRT8, we went out trolling for fun. The night consisted of a disgruntled Porsche 911, multiple Long Island Mustangs, and even a new Dodge Charger SRT8. After returning home we sat on the couch drinking beer and discussed why Jeep decided to release such a creation. A buddy pointed out, “Maybe it was just for the hell of it”—a statement which I wholeheartedly believe to be true.

Built from 2006–10, the first-generation JGC SRT8 is still an absolute riot of a muscle SUV. It has a ride that will bounce your kidneys out of your body and fuel economy that’ll put you in the poor house, but when you combine the immediate power and torque of the 6.1-liter Hemi through a great all-wheel-drive system, you’ve got a rig that’s as much fun to drive today as it was 12 years ago. Power aside, the JGC SRT8 also benefits from reasonably impressive handling by way of specially tuned Bilstein shocks and springs, larger anti-roll bars, and staggered 20-inch wheels that run a 255/45-series tire up front and 285/40 in the rear. The transmission is a beefed up five-speed automatic with a sport shift function that works pretty damn good, and when combined with a set of big Brembo brakes, the JGC SRT8 is capable of surprising many an unsuspecting sports car.

1991 GMC Syclone

1991 GMC Syclone

Misunderstood, underrated, and ungodly fun, the GMC Syclone was one of the hardest-accelerating vehicles on the street when it was introduced in 1991. One look at its black paint, oversized wheels, and flared fenders told onlookers that it was something special, but when parked next to one, it was the lack of a V-8 grumble that had everyone confused.

Under the hood was a 4.3-liter turbocharged V-6 that produced 280 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Power came through a four-speed automatic transmission to an advanced all-wheel-drive system. Build a little boost and load the converter and the Syclone would sprint to 60 mph in less than five seconds and trip the quarter-mile in the high 13-second range. As a sleeper hot rod the Syclone was fantastic, but as a pickup truck it was actually quite terrible. Payload capacity was a paltry 500 pounds, thanks to the sport-tuned suspension, and while the handling characteristics were better than average, the Syclone proved itself to be more of a straight-line hooligan than a back-roads handler. Either way, this little GMC is and will always be one of the baddest muscle trucks ever produced.

2009–13 BMW X5 M

2010 BMW X5 M front 3/4

Right. So if there’s an oddball amongst this bunch, this is most certainly it. This is the BMW X5 M, and in my opinion it’s one of the best-used muscle SUVs you can currently purchase. First off, it’s fast—like stupid fast. We’re talking about four-seconds flat to 60 mph, 12.6 seconds in the quarter-mile, and 100 mph in just 10 seconds. That’s rolling!

Speed aside, the X5 M also seems to overcome physics in a manner I’ve never seen before by utilizing sheer power, brute force, and some pretty trick technology. Tucked neatly under the hood is an all-aluminum twin-turbo V-8 that generates 555 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque from just 1500 rpm. That means acceleration that’s unheard of for an SUV that weighs in at 5329 pounds. The suspension? It’s made up of multilink coil springs in the front, with another multilink system in the rear that utilizes airs springs in place of coils. It’s also equipped with launch control and a smooth shifting six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually via steering wheel mounted paddles.

So, while the BMW X5 M may be the oddball, it’s also the fastest, most-powerful, and best-handling muscle SUV on this entire list.

1978–79 Dodge Li’l Red Express Truck

1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express front 3/4

Did I mention that I like the Lil Red Express? You can’t have a muscle truck list without the inclusion of what is perhaps the most famous one of all, the Li’l Red Express Truck that was built by Dodge from 1978–79. Back in the day this was the truck to own. Based on the D150 Adventurer short-bed pickup, the Li’l Red Express was the saving grace to the anemic muscle cars of the late 1970s. When released in 1978, it was the fastest American made vehicle from 0–100 mph, beating out the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette and Pontiac Trans Am.

Due to a loophole in the 1978 emission regulations, the ’78 Li’l Red came equipped with what was essentially the same 360-cubic-inch small-block that was found in the police interceptors of the day. That meant unrestricted airflow, no catalytic converter, a four-barrel carburetor, massaged cylinder heads, and a special camshaft that allowed for 225 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Then there were its looks. Between the brilliant chrome semi-stacks, staggered 15×7 / 15×8 wheels, red paint, and gold graphics, the Li’l Red was truly like nothing else on the road.

1999–2004 Ford SVT Lightning

2001 Ford SVT Lightning

When the original Ford Lightning debuted in 1993, power output was a respectable 240 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque from the 5.8-liter V-8 that lived under the hood. And while it was, in fact, a great truck, the Lightnings built between 1999–2004 were the real champions. These were equipped with a 5.4-liter Triton V-8 with a roots-type Eaton blower on top. They were open-bed hot rods that produced 360 hp and a tire melting 440 lb-ft of torque (2001–04 models got a bump to 380 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque). Ligntnings’ 0–60 times were in the mid five-second range and it would trip the quarter-mile lights in less than 14 seconds.

From a styling perspective, the Lightning was sporty but not over the top. A lower front fascia with integrated fog lamps is aggressive, as is the twin-tipped exhaust port that exits behind the passenger door. With a towing capacity of 5000 pounds, it is also useful as a truck. The best part is that Lightnings are thoroughly modern inside and out and make for great daily drivers.

2006–09 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS

2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS

The Trailblazer SS is one of the most overlooked muscle SUVs on the used market and is based on the standard versions that were built between 2003–09. Base models were already a good looking with handsome lines. However, in 2006 the Trailblazer had looks that were becoming stale, thus the SS was born. Armed with a bulletproof LS2 small-block that produced 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, the SS could be had with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. It was governed at 130 mph from the factory, but it could still sprint from 0–60 in around 5.5 seconds.

Underneath Chevrolet installed upgraded shocks, sway bars, springs, and bushings, along with a limited-slip differential. I remember driving one of these when they first came out and while the ride was stiff, my God, was I ever impressed with the handling. When it was introduced there were other, faster muscle SUVs on the market, but if you were willing to sacrifice a little power, the Trailblazer SS was an outstanding and extremely entertaining family hot rod.

2004–06 Dodge Ram SRT-10

2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10

If there was ever a WTF moment in the history of the muscle truck, this was it. The RAM SRT-10 is hilarious. Short-bed models came from the factory with a six-speed manual transmission, Viper-derived 8.3-liter V-10 that made 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed just shy of 155 mph. It was the fastest production pickup in the world at the time of its release, and from the driver’s seat it was an absolute giggle-fest when you put your foot down. Everything on the SRT-10 was oversized: 22-inch Speedline wheels wore 305/40-series tires at all four corners; the brake calipers were 15 inches in the front and 14 in the rear; and that front end—with that massive lower fascia and AAR ’Cuda inspired hood—was one of the most intimidating things you could ever see in your rearview mirror.

Short-bed models would hit 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds, which made them favorites at the stoplight drags. Then in 2006, a Quad Cab version was released. It came with a towing capacity of 7000 pounds and could only be had with a four-speed automatic transmission and a 4.56 final drive for towing. This isn’t a truck for weak personalities or people who shy away from attention. If you can live with that—and the atrocious mileage (only 8–10 mpg)—then you’ll be treated to one of the craziest vehicles Ma’ Mopar ever produced.

2004–13 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner

Toyota Tacoma X-Runner 2005

Yep, that’s right, there’s a tiny little Toyota on this list. What some may not know is that the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner is one of those freaky little sleepers that’s highly overlooked by performance enthusiasts. Being a Toyota means that the X-Runner is not only reliable, but 100-percent usable on a daily basis. Motivation comes from a 4.0-liter V-6 that produces 245 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission (that’s the fun part). Keep in mind that a factory-developed and dealer-installed supercharger option that bumped power to around 300 hp is still available.

The rear-drive-only X-Runner is based on the extended cab Tacoma and it was developed in conjunction with TRD Racing. That meant the inclusion of 18-inch wheels with performance tires, stiffer shocks, and, of course, a rear stabilizer bar. And while some may find that ancillary body cladding a bit gaudy, keep in mind that this was a truck produced to entice 20- and 30-somethings into the sport truck market. The cool part is the X-Runner is actually pretty strong on performance, as it will hit 60 mph in just over seven seconds and bring a smile to your face every time you press in that third pedal.

1986–93 Lamborghini LM002

1989 Lamborghini LM002

What you are looking at here is the original badass SUV—the Lamborghini LM002. Unfortunately, and for the vast majority, they must be filed under wishful thinking due to their rarity and $400,000 price tag. Believe it or not, early versions of the LM002 were originally destined to be used for military applications. However when they proved to be overly complicated to maintain, the program was scrapped. Lamborghini felt strongly that there was a market for these and gave them a bit of luxury, the biggest engine it had, and a look that made the LM002 an icon.

Under that bulbous bonnet is the same 5.2-liter V-12 that was mid-mounted in the legendary Countach. It was rated at 444 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque and would propel the LM002 to 60 mph in around 7.7 seconds and to a top speed of 118 mph. It had a five-speed manual transmission, cost about $120K when new, weighed a fatty 6700+ pounds, and wore absurdly-sized 345/60-series Pirelli tires on 17-inch wheels. In short, this thing was and still is bat-shit crazy. And if I ever win the lottery it’ll be the first thing I buy!

From a collectability standpoint LM002s are unicorns, but if you ever get the chance to see (and hear) one in the wild, you’ll understand just why they’re so special.

Hagerty covers all kinds of collector cars, trucks and modified vehicles. Let’s talk about your special ride.

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10 Most Badass Muscle Trucks We'd Love To Drive

On paper, muscle cars and pickup trucks have little in common. The former are machines meant for hefty drive and horsepower with plenty of torque. The latter is for hauling plenty of items and are more about strength than speed.

However, the "muscle truck" phenomenon does go back a long way and many companies tried their hand at producing sturdy pickups that can tear up the drag strip. A lot of great modern trucks utilize this power, but it's better to look back at the old-styled muscle trucks pulling it off, especially when some of these trucks are faster than the sports cars of their era.

But despite having supercar-beating performance straight from the factory, several of these muscle trucks never really sold well. Others were hits that paved the way for the great muscle trucks of today. However, they all succeed in packing in a lot of power on the road while still fulfilling a pickup's needs. Here are ten fantastic muscle trucks many would love to drive to prove a pickup can tear up the road as well as a regular car.

10 Chevy Big 10

A surprisingly forgotten entry in Chevy's lineup, the Big 10 was offered from 1976-79. A base version wasn't too bad, with a 110 hp straight-six. But better were the options of either 165hp 350-cu.in. V-8 with a four-speed or a 245hp 454-cu.in. V-8 with the Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic transmission.

For 1976, a pickup going from zero to 60 in under nine seconds was terrific, and the Big 10 also had sufficient hauling power. It's great for collectors to modify to nearly 400 hp as the Big 10 remains a top number.

9 2004–13 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner

A Toyota listed among muscle trucks? Believe it. Somehow, the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner slips through the cracks when the best muscle trucks are mentioned. It may look small, but under the hood is a 4.0l V6 with 245 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

Plus, an optional charge can push it to 300 hp. It goes zero to 60 in seven seconds and, better yet, because it's a Toyota, its reliability is much better than other trucks. It's no "sport" truck but also a muscle machine that deserves attention.

Related: 10 Pickups That Are Faster Than A Muscle Car

8 2004–06 Dodge Ram SRT-10

The Ram has seen a lot of generations, good and bad. Yet somehow, the 2004-06 SRT-10 stands out. Everything about it was oversized from the 22-inch wheels to the front end. And the engine? An 8.3-liter V-10 that made 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque with a top speed of about 153 mph.

It was the fastest production truck ever created in its time, able to hit 60 in 5.2 seconds yet carry a 7000-pound payload. If you can put up with the crummy mileage, this is a truck meant to command the road.

7 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota

A regular Dodge Dakota was already a good pickup truck. When you put a name as important as Carroll Shelby to it, it has to be good. Shelby took on the challenge of making a truck into a muscle machine with a 5.2 L V8 that produced 175 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.

That may sound low, but it was married to a fantastic suspension that could make zero to 60 in eight seconds. Add to that a stunning interior and its low production numbers, and this truck should be remembered for kicking off a new era for muscle trucks.

Related: 10 Greatest American Trucks That Aren't An F-150

6 1970 Chevy El Camino SS 454

Many "car/truck hybrids" were flawed as it's hard to make two vehicle types work together. But the 1970 El Camino SS 454 bucked the trend. It looks for all the world like a muscle car with a flatbed instead of a trunk so some may sniff at it as a "pure" pickup.

But it's also an El Camino, meaning which means it’s got a 360hp 454-cu.in. V-8 with 500 lb-ft of torque. Anything in that flatbed had to be tied down to keep from flying out when this monster tore up the road with style.

Related: 10 Sick Customized Chevy Pickup Trucks

5 1970 Ford Ranchero GT

The "muscle car/truck hybrid" trend could be annoying in many ways. But now and then, it produced beauty. The 1970 Ford Ranchero GT looked like a truck and station wagon's mishmash, but under the hood was nothing but muscle power.

A standard version had a 220-bhp 302 V-8 for some excellent performance. But there was also the option of the legendary 429 Cobra Jet V8 for 370 hp and superb handling. This didn't last long but should be remembered as one "truck car" that could outpace anything on the road.

4 1990 Chevrolet 454 SS

There was, in fact, another amazing speedy muscle truck in 1990. The Chevrolet 454 SS has an obvious name but still a fantastic performance. It utilized an old-school 7.4-liter big-block V8 that could produce 230 hp.

That's low today but outstanding for 1990 along with the 385 lb-ft of torque. It also had a useful payload, much better than the Syclone or other trucks. The high price led to its swift demise, but it should be better remembered for its extraordinary power on the road.

3 1978 Dodge Lil Red Express

The name may sound like a kid's toy, but the 1978 Dodge Lil Red Express was a purely adult machine. It was one of the last of its kind, a classic hot rod design married to a pickup, and the developers used a few loopholes to make it work.

Those 2.5-inch thick exhaust pipes made it stand out and aided the 360-cubic-inch V-8 to produce 225 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It's a rare case of smog control not hurting a truck, so this "Lil" ride made a big impact.

2 Ford SVT Lightning

Mention "muscle trucks," and the Ford SVT Lightning is what comes to mind. What's impressive is that there are multiple fine generations of this baby to pick. The 1993 version featured a 351 CID Windsor V-8 rated 240 horsepower.

The 1999 model upped the ante with a supercharged 5.4 V8 and larger intakes. At 380 hp, it was the highest-powered American car for its time, capable of achieving a whopping 147 mph. When it came to fantastic muscle cars, the Lightning truly struck twice.

1 GMC Syclone

For a truck that didn't last long, the GMC Syclone has become an icon. This was a truck that, in 1991, managed to beat a Ferrari in a head-to-head race. The 3.8l V6 may seem low, but it worked 280 hp with 350 lb-ft of torque with a zero-to-60 time of 4.3 seconds.

There were top-of-the-line muscle cars of the time that couldn't come close to that. It's one of the best cases in the auto history of a vehicle that bizarrely flopped, but its recent revival proves why drivers can't get enough of it.

Sources: Motorbiscuit.com, hemmings.com, autowise.com, caranddriver.com

Next: The Best Classic Pickups To Modify Into Performance Trucks

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These Blisteringly Fast Sports Cars Are Surprisingly Affordable

Let's take a quick look at some really cool, stunning to look at, high performance Sports Cars that won't break the bank.

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About The Author
Michael Weyer (195 Articles Published)

Long-time writer online on sports, celebs, entertainment, etc. Enjoy cars in movies and various TV shows (reality and fiction) and enjoying learning more about them even as I share that with others.

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Sours: https://www.hotcars.com/most-badass-muscle-trucks-wed-love-to-drive/

Muscle trucks chevy

Hot Rod Trucks: 17 of the Best Muscle Pickups They Ever Made

Pickup trucks are one of the definitive American car classes. Even if they weren’t invented in the U.S., it was there they were perfected, gaining enormous popularity. Another typical American car class is the muscle car segment. So, it was just a matter of time before muscle cars and pickup truck crossed paths to create an interesting muscle truck hybrid class.

Even though you might be familiar with the recent models, such as the Ram SRT-10 or Ford Raptor, muscle trucks date way back to the ‘60s during the original muscle car era. So, keep reading to find out more about the 17 most interesting and infamous hot rod trucks. These are the special pickups that can tow and carry big loads, while also burning rubber.

  1. Dodge D-Series High-Performance Package

Back in the early ’60s, the Dodge lineup of trucks was behind Ford and Chevrolet. That was because their competitors offered newer models, more options, and wider engine choices. But Dodge didn’t give up. Instead, they introduced an interesting special edition, available from 1964 to 1966, that took the pickup world by storm.

They called it their High-Performance Package and it featured a lot of go-faster goodies from Mopar. First, there was the mighty 426 Wedge V8 engine with 375 HP. At the moment, it was the biggest, most powerful engine they ever installed in a pickup truck. Also, it came with bucket seats in the interior, a 6,000 rpm tachometer, racing stripes and a high-performance transmission.

Sours: https://motor-junkie.com/hot-rod-trucks-the-17-best-muscle-pickups-they-ever-made/17750/
600hp Custom Chevy C10 Pro-Touring Truck

Automotive fans are crazy about muscle Cars, both classic and modern. Detroit automakers have spent billions of dollars to recapture the same magic in modern versions of Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers. But every once in a while a manufacturer would release a truck that had equal and sometime higher performance of the same brand’s muscle car of the era – a Muscle Truck. Here’s our pick of the Top 10 American Muscle Trucks that were the equal of virtually any Muscle Car of the same era.

Ranking The Top Muscle Trucks Of All Time!

10. 1993 Ford Lightening

1993 Ford F-150 Lightning Muscle Trucks

Entering the Muscle Truck marketplace just 5 years after the Shelby Dakota, the 1993 SVT F-150 Lightning brought a balanced approach to high-performance pickups.

Rather than focusing purely on acceleration, the Lightning added sporty handling allowing it to lap a road course as fast or faster than a 1993 Mustang GT. Developed by the Ford F-150 team and marketed by SVT, the 1993 Lightning featured a 351 CID Windsor V-8 rated at a respectable 240 horsepower, good for 0-60 mph launches in the mid 7-second range and quarter-mile times in the mid-15s. A true gem from the Ford Motor Company.

9. 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota

1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota

In retrospect, the 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota isn’t all that impressive, unless you consider that it was built almost 40 years ago as a one-year only model with just 1500 of the small pickups built.

Certainly the Shelby Dakota wasn’t a pavement-burner, because it wasn’t. The run-of-the-mill Dakota came with either a four-cylinder or a V6 engine. The Shelby was fitted with a 5.2 L V8 that produced 175 hp. The heavy-duty suspension was from the the Dakota Sport while the Shelby was fitted with a limited-slip differential. The Shelby could hit 60 in about eight second and run the quarter in 16.5.

8. 1978 Dodge Lil’ Red Truck

1978 Dodge Lil' Red Wagon

The 1978 Dodge Lil’ Red Truck was sort of like the last Neanderthal – a type of vehicle whose time had come to an end, and this was the last big hurrah. Half hot rod, half pickup truck, these classic cars have become prized project vehicles among car restoration enthusiasts lately.

While engineers at all the automakers struggled to meet emissions regulations (much looser than today – and look at the progress they’ve made) Dodge engineers discovered a loophole in the EPA regulations. These would allow them to build one of the last of their “Adult Toy” models (which included a full-size van easily-outfitted for hanky panky).

The engineers installed the Police Interceptor engine, which was already EPA qualified, plus made some allowed changes under the rules. They swapped out the camshaft, valve springs, and retainers to 1968 spec. The exhaust used Street Hemi mufflers feeding two vertical pipes behind the cab. Power was 225 horsepower with a quarter-mile time of about 15 seconds.

7. 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 LS6

1970 El Camino 454 SS LS6

The 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS LS6 offered an engine with  the highest horsepower rating in a production car, up to that point, the new solid-lifter LS6 version of the 454 CID V8 that produced 450 HP and 500 lb-ft of torque.

However there was more than just a big engine. Available were the F41 performance suspension, cowl induction, dual exhaust, and power front disc brakes. The engine was backed by the heavy duty Muncie M22 close ratio “Rock Crusher” four-speed matched to a heavy duty 12-bolt rear axle. On the strip the 1970 El Camino SS 454 LS6 could run 13.1 and 108 mph.

While it did have some cargo capacity, it still was essentially a coupe with a small bed. Still, we wouldn’t turn one down.

6. 1999 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning

1999 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning

SVT engineers were able to extract an additional 20 horsepower and 10 lb-ft of torque from the supercharged V-8 through the use of a larger mass airflow meter, a larger intake-air opening in the fender well, and an optimized intake manifold. At 380 horsepower it was the highest-powered vehicle built in America at the time. The Lightening clocked a best run of 13.8 seconds at 104 mph.

The suspension set-up was reported to be truck-like, especially with the stiff Bilstein shocks.

5. 1990 Chevrolet 454 SS pickup

1990 Chevrolet SS 454 Pickup

Every other truck on our list so far (excluding the El Camino) has been powered by the manufacturer’s small block engine. From its name it’s clear that the 454 SS pickup features an engine of greater displacement. Although the 454 produced only 230 horsepower, its 385 ft-lb of torque powered it into the 7s on a 0-60 run. Suspension was upgraded with stiffer anti-roll bars and Bilstein shocks, along with fast-ratio steering gear.

For 1991, there were a number of upgrades. Out was the three-speed auto, replaced by four-speed 4L80E. Power and torque both climbed, 255 horsepower and 405 ft-lb, respectively. A lower 4:10 replaced the 3.73). As a result a dual exhaust was added. 1992-1993 model year models. Except for additional color options, the 454 SS remained mechanically the same.

4. 1991 GMC Syclone

1981 GMC Syclone

Up to this point, all the trucks we’ve reviewed have following the simple recipe of: drop a big engine under the hood, upgrade the suspension and brakes, and throw some stickers on it. The GMC Syclone couldn’t be more different. The only vehicles to compare it to at the time were Porsches and Ferraris. The Syclone was a Sonoma mini-pickup with sophisticated AWD system, ABS brakes (a first for a truck), and an intercooled, turbocharged V6 producing 280 horsepower and 350lb-ft of torque. It wasn’t just the power of the Syclone that made it special — it was its ability to put the power down without dramatics. In fact, in a heads-up drag race, a Syclone trounced a Ferrari 348ts. Now that’s the kind of truck we can get behind.

3. 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

2010 Ford SVT Raptor

Introduced in 2010, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor was the most capable off-road, mass-produced vehicle available. For the 2010 model year, the base engine was a 5.4 L V8 producing 310 horsepower. A 6.2 L V8 was an option added mid-model year.

For the 2011 through 2014 model years a 411 horsepower 6.2 L V8 matched to a six-speed automatic were the only drivetrain choices available. The Raptor features a long-travel suspension with unique springs and shocks. To accommodate its larger tires, the Raptor shares only the cab with a standard F-150; the pickup bed, hood and front fenders are sized to fit the Raptor.

2. 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

2017 Ford 150 Raptor

For 2017 technology was added to brute power. Aluminum dropped the weight by 400 pounds. New Fox Shox helped add two-inches of ride height and increased wheel travel. A Terrain Management System with terrain-specific powertrain calibrations switches between two-, four-wheel (locked) and AWD modes based on the mode selected, along with three steering modes.

The twin-turbo V6, and engine similar to that in the Ford GT, develops 450 horsepower. Power is delivered via a  10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. If not the best muscle truck, the 2017 Raptor is certainly the most capable.

1. 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10

2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10

Perhaps the most audacious of all the muscle trucks on this list is the 2004 – 2006 Dodge SRT-10 Ram. If you want to define a muscle pickup you can’t get much closer than one powered by a 500 horsepower 505 CID Viper V10. Unlike the cast iron truck V10s, the SRT-10 utilized the Viper aluminum engine, with an increase in bore and stroke. Custom-tuned suspension featuring Bilstein shock absorbers and performance-tuned springs mount to a unique hydroformed frame Combined they lowered ride height of the SRT-10 by one inch in the front and 2.5 inches in the rear.

Available later as a Quad Cab, the Regular Cab was the one that hit all the performance marks: 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, and a 13.7 second quarter at 106, darn close to the 1970 El Camino SS. And surprising for a full-size truck with real-world payload and towing capacities. On the skidpad it generated a sport car like 0.86g.

Finally, to seal its title of King of the Muscle Trucks, under the watchful eyes of the Guinness World Record officials NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan set a top-speed record of 154.587 mph for full-sized product pickup trucks that still stands. Now that’s a muscle truck.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to buy a new car, why go for a conventional sedan when you could have one of these stunning muscle trucks instead? These are our favorites, but other car reviews will mention other models, such as the Toyota Tacoma or the classic Chevrolet C10 muscle truck, still, we like our choices. But do you agree with our choices? Let us know in comments!

 







Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them, but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. I founded GearHeads.org and then built and ran AutoWise.com until selling it to Lola Digital Media in 2020. I look forward to watching AutoWise grow as part of the AllGear group.

Sours: https://autowise.com/top-muscle-trucks/

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THE SILVERADO FAMILY

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Requires Silverado 1500 Double Cab Standard Bed 4x4 or Crew Cab Short Bed 4x4 and Duramax 3.0L Turbo-Diesel I-6. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires Silverado 1500 Double Cab Standard Bed RST 4x4 with available 6.2L V8 engine, Max Trailering Package and 20-inch wheels. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • EPA-estimated 15 MPG city/21 highway (2WD), 15 MPG city/20 highway (4x4), 14 MPG city/18 highway (Custom Trail Boss 4x4).

  • Effective March 2021, the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 (L82) engine with YK9 is not equipped with Active Fuel Management EPA-estimated 14 MPG city/21 highway (2WD), 14 MPG city /20 highway (4x4), 14 MPG city/18 highway (Custom Trail Boss (4x4).

  • EPA-estimated 17 MPG city/23 highway (2WD), 16 MPG city /22 highway (4x4), 16 MPG city/21 highway (LT Trail Boss 4x4).

  • On certain 2021 model year vehicles, the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 (L84) engine with YK9 is not equipped with Dynamic Fuel Management. EPA-estimated 15 MPG city/21 highway (2WD), 15 MPG city /20 highway (4x4), 14 MPG city/18 highway.

  • Requires Silverado 2500 HD Regular Cab Long Bed 2WD with 17-inch wheels and available fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires Silverado 3500 HD Regular Cab Long Bed WT 2WD DRW with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine, Max Trailering Package and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Class is Half-Ton Full-Size Pickup segment.

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  • Read the vehicle’s owner’s manual for important feature limitations and information. Some camera views require available accessory camera and installation. Not compatible with all trailers. See your dealer for details.

  • Requires 3500HD Regular Cab Long Box 2WD DRW with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 and Gooseneck hitch. Regular Cab Late Availability. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Long Bed models. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Requires available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine.

  • Requires Silverado 1500 Double Cab Standard Bed RST 4x4 with available 6.2L V8 engine, Max Trailering Package and 20-inch wheels. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed 2WD with 4.3L V6 engine. For comparison purposes only. See the Owner’s Manual and the label on the vehicle door jamb for the carrying capacity of a specific vehicle.

  • Long Bed models. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • With available Duramax 3.0L Turbo-Diesel I-6 or 6.2L V8 engine.

  • Requires 3500 HD Regular Cab Long Bed WT 2WD DRW with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine, Max Trailering Package and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 3500 HD Regular Cab Long Bed 2WD DRW. For comparison purposes only. Regular Cab has late availability. See the Owner’s Manual and the label on the vehicle door jamb for the carrying capacity of a specific vehicle.

  • Long Bed models. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Requires available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

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  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

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  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service plan and paid AT&T Data plan. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android(TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

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  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

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  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

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  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam automatic high beams on/off, Following Distance Indicator.  Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

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  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • Sours: https://www.chevrolet.com/silverado-pickup-trucks


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