A throwback to the days of making big power with big displacement, all in a sexy truck body.
Back in the days before the Silverado existed, Chevy was busy building the American icon C-Series pickups and all was well. This bastion of the USA was as true to the American identity as apple pie. It makes sense then, that after the oil crisis of the 1970s all but killed the Big Block V8, it would be Chevy’s shining beacon of truckdom that would see the engine return to US roads.
This is the 1990 Chevrolet C1500 454 SS pickup truck.
If you are unfamiliar with this monster of a pickup truck, then you need to feast your eyes on this Motorweek classic review. It’s time for you to get an education.
Starting with the big numbers, you’re looking at a 454 cubic inch big-block V8. That is a full 7.4-liters for our metric friends. Power output from this fuel-injected rig is a modest 230 horsepower, but torque comes in at a meaty 385 lb-ft. In testing, Motorweek found this truck to hit 60 mph in just 7.7 seconds, which made the 454 the quickest truck they had ever reviewed. On top of that mighty motor, General Motors gave this special Chevy upgraded anti-lock brakes, a sport tuned suspension setup with Bilstein shocks and more aggressive tires. That translated into sedan-beating handling and stopping power. This was the recipe for the sports truck before that market every existed.
Visually, the 454 SS got several bonuses as well. Black trim, chrome wheels, and a front lip decorated the exterior, while the sports steering wheel and bucket seats freshened up the cabin. The only available color option was black paint on red interior cloth.
This truck is such a cool piece of automotive history, it’s hard to describe it all in words. So make sure you hit play and enjoy the next eight minutes of video footage. From burnouts and drag launches, to slalom tests and lots of exhaust noise, this video is full of more classic truck goodness than anything else you’ll see today. Launch yourself into the weekend with the revival of America’s big block obsession.