1990 Chevy 1500 SS With 2,068 miles

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For years, the American public has flirted with the idea of a fast pickup truck, often sacrificing some utility for raw speed. The F150 Lightning and Dodge Ram SRT-10 come to mind. While they still had a bed in the back, performance tires and high price tags meant you didn’t use these trucks for hauling lumber off the jobsite. This 1990 Chevy 1500 SS here on eBay is a survivor in the truest sense of the word with just a tick over 2,000 miles on the clock, and is listed for $32,900 or best offer.

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For a time, my brother had a stripper 1500 as a yard waste/dump-run truck, and it also towed home my project BMW E30. The body may have been the same, but the SS model packed more power and a number of other upgrades, including a fast-ratio steering box, Bilstein shocks, bucket seats and a front stabilizer bar. The special graphics and garnet red interior were also part of the package, along with the unique SS wheels.

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Hope you like red! I still think this is an attractive interior today. Incredibly functional, too, and I’ve always liked black on red color combos. The steering wheel looks more like a classic sport steering wheel than one found in a pickup truck, and the reclining bucket seats and center console make for a downright comfortable interior. Nothing fancy here, but very little to break.

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That engine used up every inch of available space in the engine bay, as you’d expect with a 7.4L V8 cranking out 230 bhp and 385 lb. ft. of torque. With so few miles on this one, it may not even be past break-in period. The engine was good for a 15 second run in the quarter mile, but you’ll likely only average about 10 mpg in the process. Worrying about fuel economy, however, is not the point of such a truck. With so many SS models used up and abused, this is great opportunity for someone seeking a virgin hot rod. Thanks to reader Jim S. for the find!

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Comments

  1. The Walrus

    My uncle had one. For all the hype and black paint that was applied to these they were a truly gutless wonder with an abhorrent late ’80’s GM interior with a severe case of ‘button-itis’.

  2. randy

    It’ll be interesting to see how insane the bubble has gotten. I feel his price is $5-10K
    too high. I went the other route with a fast truck, I got the first year Dodge V-10, 1994. It took 6 months to get it, and I was in Dallas. I probably had one of the first ones there. The Dodge was 3/4 ton, had limited slip. I remember it had 400lbs of torque, and 300 Hp. I never did line up with a 454SS with enough room to see who was faster, but I think the Chevy would have beat me.

  3. RayT Member

    My memory of these matches that of The Walrus. When I first picked one up, I was expecting to feel some serious horsepower coming from that 454. Nope. It seemed so choked-down that it couldn’t draw my attention from the abysmal gas mileage. And yes, GM cars of that era had poor interiors: materials and design both struck me as sub-par.

    I’m sure some judicious engine work would bump up the pony count and make this a fun truck. As it sits, a diehard Chevy fan should grab it and savor its survivor status. It wouldn’t “survive” — at least in unmodified form — very long with me!.

  4. DENIS

    I’ve had several and have one now. Headers, cam, and better-flowing heads and they will haul ass but the 91 had a 4spd auto w/410 gears instead of Turbo 400 and was more fun to drive on the hwy. Lotta dough for this one but nice.

  5. Charles

    Awesome find! Hopefully the next owner will maintain this truck in stock form in its current condition. It seems that there are people who live to trash vehicles built in the 80’s and 90’s as worthless gutless wonders. When the government made the industry measure HP in net HP compared to the previous gross HP, everything suddenly sounded enemic. Torque is more important than horsepower any day, and 385 foot lbs of torque from a smog choked 90 model V8 is nothing to sneeze at. We had a crewcab one ton dually 4×4 with a similar engine in it. It was also rated at 230 HP. We towed a 36 foot 5th wheel camper with all of the options including two slide out’s, a washer, dryer, and a 6k generator, plus a 17 foot boat behind the trailer. That 230 HP weakling would tow that rig all day long at 70 MPH.

    We currently own a 1990 22 foot sport cuddy boat with the same generation 454 engine. Mercury marine was able to change the camshaft to the same one used in the 68 SS 396, and get 330 HP from that engine still running 8.5:1 compression ratio with 87 octane fuel. That 4K boat will run 58 MPH with a 21 pitch prop. With a 17 pitch prop it will tow seven on the salom.

    If that SS454 is good for a 15 second quarter mile it is still faster than most cars on the road today.

  6. Jason Houston

    Here we go again, another 2,000 original mile car.

  7. Chebby

    While a remarkable example, I’m sorry, this is just stupid. With 2,000 miles you can’t drive it, and to stay nice it will have to be kept indoors in shrink wrap just like for the last 26 years.

    The price is ridiculous. Useless as a truck, or as a drivable classic. And if you want a fast pickup, you could build a much more powerful one to your liking for a lot less, and actually drive it around and haul with it.

    This beast is for display only, and they weren’t that special to begin with.

    • Jason Houston

      Excellent advice. Some cars, no matter how stone-mint, just are not collectible at all, and this is one. The best use would be as a piece of living room furniture. Drain the tank and disconnect the battery and it’s a novelty.

    • randy

      When muscle cars became collectable, people tried to plan ahead. This person bought the wrong car to shrink wrap, as well as many others we have seen here.

      The only “modern” car from the US to collect off the top of my head would be the Prowler and Viper. There were the GNX’s and some ‘vettes as well. What other ones did I miss?

      • Jason Houston

        I can’t imagine what post-1980 Corvettes would ever become collectible, since every one has been either a “Rare!” Pace Car or otherwise run up the forced-collectible flag pole.

        Perhaps some of the Saleen Mustangs?

        Prowler and Viper for sure, but they had such limited distribution, how many will ever fondly remember them as a car from their youth?

  8. skloon

    With the low mileage you will be able to watch the interior vibrate apart while driving

  9. randy

    You are going to hurt somebodies feelings, by exposing the truth!

  10. JW

    I had one pretty fast truck a 78 Ford F-150 short bed stepside 4×4 with a 400 and a auto trans, with it in 2 wheel drive I could spin those 33’s half way down the block and in 4 wheel drive I could haul butt up some pretty steep hills, also I could keep up with the Camaros / Trans Ams / Mustangs of the day. But I still used it as a pickup hauling stuff to remodel my first home and my Honda Odyssey buggy. So me buying this one would be a mistake on my part.

  11. Charles

    Agreed the asking price is too high. If one could buy this for a reasonable price, one could drive this truck 3 to 5k miles a year as a hobby car. As long as the condition does not change the truck’s value should hold steady. There is a ass for every seat.

  12. Charles

    I owed a 1973 Ford F-150 Ranger. Yeah, once the Ranger was a sport package for an F-150. That beast came with a 460 V8, c6 Trans, and a 3.73 limited slip diff. It would pass anything but a gas station. It was also a farm truck, and was run into the ground.

  13. JimmyinTEXAS

    It is truly amazing what a few years in the Texas sun does to paint. I worked with a guy that had one in the mid nineties. I wasn’t impressed with the power or speed and the paint was at least 25 points below this, and I kinda doubt it was ever this shiny…

  14. Karl

    $32,900 for a truck you can never drive like a truck, or at all. I’ve got a better idea. Go down to your local truck dealership and tell the salesman you’ve got 32.9 large burning a hole in your pocket and what can you get for that. I’ll bet you’ll roll out in a better, more useful truck than this (admittedly beautiful) museum piece.

  15. Donnie

    These where a joke / a 454 only making 230 horsepower it is like a 70s smoger engine/

  16. krash

    Gaawd, that interior looks cheaper than cheap….feel like i’m looking at the the interior of a Celebrity or a Citation…

  17. erikj

    Ive said it before. My 73 gmc stepside with a factory 454 /t400 and 1/2 ton rear optioned with a dana 4:11 posi and 1 ton springs. built that way. and its fast for what it is. same thing as a later offered,street coupe package. Does any body ever heard of these our the cheverolet version -sport coupe

  18. randy

    What?

    • Jason Houston

      I second the comment: What?

  19. Tundra/BMW Guy

    I have not been able to comprehend what happened to Chevrolet’s ability to produce an aesthetically pleasing vehicle. If you want boring, buy a Chevy. You would think that their SS line of vehicles would look the part even if they cannot perform the part! But no, they throw a couple of little prices of “bling” on an ordinary i.e. boring vehicle, slap a little more power under the hood, and call it a SS! Heck even Hyundia can build vehicles that look appealing. (talking looks only, not getting into quality, which is another rant) For the “die hard Chevy fan”, sorry, no offense meant just my HO.

  20. erikj

    I quess randy does don’t get it.lol

    • Jason Houston

      Sorry, but I don’t either.

    • randy

      Read what you wrote, and imagine you are trying to piece together what is being said, not know the history of erikj or his trucks?

      • Jason Houston

        You took the words right out of my mouth…

      • randy

        “It must have been while you were….” lyrics by Meatloaf

        trying to be comical. Don’t get any ideas!!

        I key on songs when they are easily associated with phrases.

        Music and cars! What a great combination.

  21. Jason Houston

    Music and cars – or, cars and music, in preferred order. And don’t forget cooking and writing, too.

  22. dj

    I’m sorry but no. 1991 was the last year I was a GM Tech before moving on. These trucks were a big pile of crap. The seats didn’t adjust so you were forced to sit straight up. They had a 3:73 rear end and were tached out the butt when running down the road. The 454 of that time was a big block that was about it. They didn’t appeal to me then and dang sure don’t now. Folks here bought them thinking they could make money in the future. A guy tried to sell me one last month with 25k on the odometer for $13k. I said no thank you.

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