AWD Project Red Tide
Someone forgot to remind this 1988 Chevrolet K1500 that it's a pickup truck. Somewhere along the way, it received a heart transplant that includes a beefed up 5.3L V8 motor, an athletic suspension, and a sporty and comfortable interior that makes it more muscle car than utilitarian hauler.
Finished in red paint, this truck would ordinarily keep a low profile. However, that all changed with the addition of oversized aluminum wheels set up with a wide, aggressive stance, a GMC front grille, and LED taillights, all of which transform this former work truck into something special. Workmanship is quite good, with a great shine to the finish and great attention to detail that includes the wheel arch trim, black mirrors, and AVS vent-shade window visors, all of which line up beautifully from panel to panel. The grille was borrowed from a GMC from the same generation, and the bumpers fore and aft are bright and substantial, complementing the bright wheels very nicely. Deleted decals give it a clean look, and the quad exhaust tips centered and tucked underneath the rear bumper help the burly motor breathe, but we'll get to that in a moment. Out back, the bed has been neatly finished with durable, spray-in bedliner, so not only does it look good, but it's ready for work too. With an aggressive stance, this slick pickup will make you forget about your chores and instead encourages you to head out and have some fun.
The interior is a sporty blend of standard Chevy pickup and a few modern upgrades, but it's not like that's a bad thing. With handsome black-and-red Corbeau buckets split by a center console, it is comfortable and attractive for long hauls and given its condition, it has always been well-maintained. Plush black carpets and original door panels reinforce that fact and it's also loaded with options: power windows and locks, a tilt steering column, all-wheel drive, and an Alpine AM/FM/CD/Satellite stereo system that still sounds good. A full set of original gauges are still in the original dash, augmented by a center-mounted EFI controller. The sliding back window helps with airflow, the four-spoke steering wheel is likely original, and the overall look and feel of the cab is very nice and comfortable.
The original engine was yanked in favor of a PowerTrain Products 5.3L LM7 long block that gives this truck plenty of pop. Topped with an LS Hi-Ram EFI system and intake manifold, the Holley Terminator multi-port controller manages the block superbly, so it fires up with ease and runs very well. The engine bay, even with the added long block, looks quite stock, which is always the hallmark of careful workmanship: preserving the OEM look and feel without going crazy with the shiny stuff. A giant radiator keeps it cool even under heavy throttle work, and the ceramic-coated long-tube headers feed through a Magnaflow exhaust that sounds absolutely wicked. The Gearstar 4L80E 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission with a transmission cooler is a great complement to the big engine, equipped for quick power placement and longer cruises as well, and the rugged GM 8.5” rear end with 4.10 gears won't complain about the torque. Beautiful polished aluminum OEM replica wheels add a performance look and carry 285/40/20 Nitto radials that fill the truck's big wheel arches perfectly.
A very neat truck with lots of power on tap and the suspension to use it. Yeah, it'll still haul, but it would rather be chasing Mustangs. Call today!