Do you have $1,125 in spare cash lying around? In 1918, that was a small fortune, but it would’ve paid for the Model T, Chevrolet’s first-ever truck (not to be confused with the better-known 1908 Ford Model T). Capable of reaching a governor-limited top speed of 25 mph and running on a 37-horsepower engine, the Model T was considered a powerful workhorse. Fast forward to the present day, and the Model T pales in comparison to new and used Chevy trucks that deliver as much as 445 horsepower and offer impressive towing, hauling, and off-roading capabilities.
Comparing the Model T to modern Chevrolet trucks like the Silverado HD led us to wonder, “What are the best Chevrolet trucks of all time?” Chevrolet’s rich history gives us plenty of options to choose from, and the durability of the Chevrolet brand means that many of these models can still be purchased used. So, which models made our list? Stick around and find out.
2017 Colorado ZR2
The Ford F-150 Raptor raised the bar for off-road capable trucks in the mid-2010s, which is why all eyes were on Chevrolet in 2017 with the release of the Colorado ZR2. Priced new starting at $40,995, the ZR2 was designed to be an off-roader’s dream thanks to its many all-terrain options like independently lockable front and rear differentials, Multimatic shocks, modified bumpers, off-road tires, and more. This is what makes it one of the most highly sought after used Chevrolet trucks among consumers today.
With a variety of trims, powertrains, and configurations to choose from, the 1999 Silverado won the hearts of millions of Americans to become one of the best-selling trucks in the country. The first-generation Silverado was introduced as a light-duty truck and gave drivers plenty of options with three cab styles, three different bed lengths, and three engine options. Add in the fact that Chevrolet built the Silverado on a stronger modular frame, and it’s no surprise why there are still plenty of first-generation models still running like a dream.
1990 454 SS
Built between 1990 and 1993, the 454 SS was Chevrolet’s performance truck and was named as such because of its 454-cubic inch, 7.4-liter engine that delivered 230 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 383 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. The big-block V8 engine was a powerhouse on the road, but the 454 SS’s popularity extended beyond the engine. Only available in Onyx Black with a Garnet Red interior, the 454 featured the Silverado trim (not to be confused with the Silverado truck). The trim package included cruise control, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and bolstered seating that made it one of the most luxurious Chevrolets on the road at the time.
Because of its big-block engine and its reputation among Chevrolet fans, the 454 SS is a popular buy for collectors. Over the years, it’s become increasingly popular as car enthusiasts are anxious to get their hands on a used model to fully customize on their own. Some collectors are even willing to pay top dollar, with the most paid for a 1990 model coming in at $40,700 during a Florida auction.
Affectionately known as the “Square Body” because of its boxy design, the third-generation C/K is one of the most popular trucks in Chevrolet history. It was first introduced in 1973 and remained in production for 14 years, during which time it was even manufactured for military use. But what made the C/K a favorite? Drivers were given plenty of options to customize the C/K from short or long-bed models and crew cabs to various powertrains that delivered anywhere between 100 to 230 horsepower. The interior was also luxurious for the time, thanks to an available air conditioner and radio, wood trim accents, upgraded door panels, thicker carpeting, premium upholstery, and an optional bucket seat with a center console.
1959 El Camino
Is it a car or a truck? It’s both! With the success of the Ford Ranchero, Chevrolet joined the competition and gave drivers the best of both worlds with the debut of the El Camino in 1959. Built on a car chassis, the El Camino proved it was more than a car with an impressive payload of up to 1,200 lbs depending on powertrain and suspension. This capability made it a workhorse of the 1960s and an icon among used Chevrolet trucks today. That’s why one collector paid over $126,000 for a custom 1960 model in 2017.
While trucks were synonymous with work even in the 1950s, Chevrolet set out to change that with the debut of the Cameo in 1955. The Cameo was designed to give drivers the utmost in comfort and luxury. To do this, it offered the unthinkable – a carpeted interior complete with a cushioned bench seat and a radio. While the Cameo was only available in Bombay Ivory with commercial red accents, drivers didn’t mind – especially since they could choose between the V6 engine or the all-new V8 engine that delivered a jaw-dropping 145 horsepower.
Between its level of power and the interior luxury, the Cameo quickly became a fan favorite and remains as such among hotrod enthusiasts of all ages. Today, classic collectors take great pride in their Cameo models while many others are desperately on the hunt for an affordable model. Prices have a wide range, with one 1957 model selling for an astonishing $159,500 in 2007.
1947 Advance Design
Following World War II, drivers were looking for larger trucks with more comfortable and spacious interiors to serve a wider range of purposes, from hauling people to transporting equipment. Chevrolet responded to that need with the debut of the Advance Design Half-Ton truck in 1947. The newly designed model featured more headroom and legroom with space for up to three people as well as ventilators to circulate fresh air. The truck also offered more insulation as well as a larger bed with a stronger tailgate to meet the growing demands of drivers around the country.
The Advance Design became a popular model among drivers throughout its production from 1947 to 1955. Today, it remains an icon among hotrodders and collectors who are happy to pay a pretty penny for the model. With their rugged design and reliable engines, these trucks remain a great option for drivers looking for a classic Chevy.
Did Your Chevy Make the Cut?
Whether you’re in the market for a used Chevrolet truck or perhaps you have one of these classic models sitting in your garage, one thing is true – Chevrolet knows how to build a reliable truck. Since debuting its first Model T in 1918, Chevrolet has spent the last century perfecting its truck designs and giving drivers everything they want in a vehicle. That’s why Chevy remains one of America’s leading truck manufacturers.
Chevrolet has also proven its commitment to innovation by offering consumers the latest in powertrains, exterior features, interior amenities, safety, and technology. This commitment is what makes it easy for so many drivers to buy a used Chevrolet truck because they know that it’s not only reliable and durable but that it will also hold its value over time. So, if you’re in the market for a truck, don’t shy away from a used Chevrolet. After all, it’s America’s favorite truck brand for a reason!