Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

27k Mile Muscle Truck: 1990 Chevrolet 454 SS

Chevrolet almost managed to achieve a subtle approach with our feature Pickup. Its black exterior color scheme and restrained badges don’t scream that it is anything beyond a rather attractive 1990 C1500. The company then slapped bold “454 SS” decals on the side to shout to the world that this was anything but average. Our feature 454 SS presents superbly, courtesy of careful ownership and a genuine 27,000 miles on its odometer. It is an unmolested survivor that is destined to find a new home. The seller has listed it here on eBay in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Bidding has scorched its way to $20,100 but remains short of the reserve.

Chevrolet introduced the 454 SS in 1990 as a sports derivative of its existing C1500 single-cab short-box range. It remained in showrooms until the end of 1993, with 16,953 buyers handing over $18,200 (equivalent to $41,250 today) to drive one home. What makes the sales total particularly noteworthy is that 13,748 of those sales occurred in 1990. Buyers were left with limited choices when ordering these classics, with Onyx Black being the only paint shade offered in 1990 and 1991. Chevrolet introduced Summit White and Victory Red in 1992, but neither shade had the same visual impact. The 454 SS package included 15″ wheels, which were considered pretty cutting-edge on most passenger vehicles during that period, a blacked-out grille, a front air dam with integrated foglights, and Cheyenne exterior mirrors. There was no chrome or other bright trim beyond a couple of Red badges and had the company stopped there, this could have been considered a genuine sleeper. Slapping a set of “454 SS” decals on its flanks removed any doubt about this vehicle’s performance credentials. This SS presents exceptionally well for its age because we often see them looking rough around the edges. The paint seems deep enough to walk into, and the sparkling wheels offer a welcome contrast. There are no signs of damage to the panels or plastic, and the glass is flawless. Rust doesn’t seem to be an issue because there is none visible in the supplied photos or mentioned by the seller.

The 454 SS interior shares one key trait with the exterior; Buyers only received a single trim color. If you didn’t like Garnet Red upholstery and trim, you were out of luck. There are a few Black components to provide relief, but it is a sea of Red as far as the eye can see. It may have derived from a workhorse, but life inside this Pickup would be pretty cushy. The new owner receives air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player. The cloth seatcovers are free from wear and damage, while the remaining upholstered surfaces are spotless. The same is true of the dash, pad, and wheel, while the stain-free carpet is worthy of special mention. It shows no wear or damage, which is impressive for a vehicle of this type and age. It seems to support the seller’s mileage claim, and with no aftermarket additions, this interior needs nothing.

Chevrolet dug deeply into its heavy-duty Pickup parts bin to source the 454ci V8, three-speed THM-400 automatic transmission, and 3.73 locking rear end bolted under this classic’s skin. Power assistance for the steering and front disc brakes were standard inclusions, ensuring the driver didn’t have to work hard behind the wheel. The 454 SS tips the scales at 4,420 lbs, which is not light for a high-performance model. However, with 230hp and 385 ft/lbs of torque at the driver’s disposal, it could streak through the ¼ mile in 15.9 seconds. This Pickup is in excellent mechanical health. It runs and drives perfectly and has a claimed 27,000 genuine miles on the clock. The seller doesn’t mention verifying evidence, but the overall condition makes the claim seem plausible.

It is sometimes challenging to gauge the desirability of any classic, but the twenty bids submitted on this 1990 Chevrolet 454 SS leaves little doubt. I’m unsurprised it hasn’t reached the reserve with the current highest bid, and it may have some way to go before that happens. Values have climbed by nearly 10% over the past year, which is well beyond the market average. Where a low-mileage example would have cost $45,000 a year ago, that figure is pushing close to $50,000. A vehicle with a four or three-figure odometer reading can comfortably top $60,000. I don’t think this one will reach that level for one very sound reason. The listing text suggests the seller will consider offers of $45,000 OBO, which is competitive in the current market. Would you consider pursuing it further at that price, or will you sit back as an interested spectator to watch the auction action?


  1. Maggy

    The shop me and another co worker at Firestone I worked at started a shop in Sept. 1987 He put the $ up to buy a business condo with $ from his FIL to start the repair shop.We were located right next to a casting foundry which is still there . The foundry foreman bought one of these in 1990.He loved it.Cool truck I used to maintain it for him.He actually gave me his 75 Nova 3 speed stick 6 cylinder car with buckets and a console when he got that truck as the dealer didn’t even want the Nova.He special ordered the Nova and it had about 300k miles on it. Ahhh memories.Glwts .

    Like 10
  2. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Living in the Bronx when these came out was used for Chaser’s tow trucks… First one shows up at the car accident got the job to tow it back to the body shop! These trucks where not stock. Headers, intake, carb and cam shaft. These were brand new. The early ones where big block Chevy also … But if it came with a 350 small block out it goes in goes 427/454…. This truck is great looking. Asking $45,000 or better. Now your getting into Ram country which you can get a Hemi. But there will be one Chevy die hard fan who really wants it. Good luck to that person.. 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 4
    • Stan

      Rsther have the big block Bear 🐻🏁
      Perfect to tow the bass 🎣 boat.

      Like 2
  3. Bick Banter

    Bring your own oil refinery. These are massive guzzlers. Surprised at the bids but what else is new these days? But then again 27,000 miles is pretty low.

    Like 4
  4. Frank Drackman

    Had a Black 89 C1500 with the 350 TBI (210HP), 5 speed (Salesman kept telling me it “wasn’t available” it was the standard transmission!!!!
    Got the “Scottsdale” trim with vinyl instead of carpet, the console, same ugly color interior, put a Tach on the column, bucket seats were awful. Got the 3.08 rear axle,, 3.41 would have been better, should have got the engine oil cooler, didn’t, got the engine block heater which I never used, $11,500 out the door. put 130,000 on her with minimal problems until had to sell, which was when the clutch started slipping, stupid push button radio controls that would get stuck and you’d have to hit the dash with your fist to get it to stop scanning…
    Oh, the paint faded like a Mo-fo in the first year, unfortunately was in Saudi Arabia and couldn’t try to get a warranty repair.

    Like 5
  5. 1980flh1200

    Back 1993 my friend bought one exc condition He loved that truck 1998 he bought a new motor higher compression alum heads big cam bigger TBI. Msd ignition It dynoed a little over 600 HP He passed two years ago left the truck to one of his grandsons who is a HORRIBLE driver he gave it to another grandson to them it is just an old truck in a few years it will be all beat up scratched and dented probably rusty SAD

    Like 5
  6. Denny Tuttle

    Bought a 90 SS 454 off the showroom floor for 18,795 and is now all original with under 10 thousand miles on it ,never in the rain or snow .Covered in the garage. Yes it loves to suck gas at 10 miles per gallon.

    Like 8
  7. MarveH

    To those that love these and the Lightening; I wish you all the best, may you have long, fruitful lives surrounded by loving family.
    But…as for me I don’t get “performance” pick-ups and SUVs.
    The dynamics are horrible, the weight rivals an ocean liner, they all have auto-tragic transgressions, and roll dynamics and center of gravity are terrible for performance driving.
    Again, if this is your bag daddy-o, live and be well but they have never made sense to me.

    Like 1
  8. Glenn Schwass

    Clean. The red is tough but I’d get used to it. I had an 89 350/ 5 spd 4×4 but it was a lemon. Front axle leaked and burned a bearing and GM would not replace it. They offered to after the warranty was done on my dime. Drove it that way. Last GM I’ll ever buy unless it’s a restoration toy. They’re worse now. I drive a 2015 2500 for work and it rides / handkes like a trash truck. LS is great. Nothing else on it is.

    Like 1
  9. C Force

    Saw of these at a memorial day weekend car show on route 66.It’s only a few hours from me.Truck has great potential in the power building dept.great for straight line performance.

    Like 1
  10. Davey Boy

    Does anyone here think this truck is worth $45,000? Seems a bit extreme to me even as nice as it is. Maybe I’m not well enough informed

    Like 2
    • Stovebolt

      Nice to look at. That’s about the extent. Has old style interior. Horrible gas milage. To heavy to be a performance truck. But if you have $45,000 to waste and you like it then buy it

      Like 1
    • Harry 1

      I agree. Its not even a 4×4. But it boils down to the Seller & Buyer getting in
      agreement on the price. 45g is a bit much even with the low mileage. The buyer probably will get the reserve. Depends how bad they want this bad boy.

      Like 0
  11. MoparMike

    I cannot recall the magazine but I read a review on these when they were new and I remember them saying the 318 powered Dakota of the era outperformed it and cost considerably less.

    Like 4
    • Smokey Smokerson

      Without having to revert to the Google machine to confirm, I do believe the V8 Dakotas were rocking somewhere near 230 herspers.

      Like 2
  12. vrwalk

    I have a 1994 K2500 Silverado extended cab, grey velour interior with bucket seats console and all the bells and whistles. mine has full gauges with factory tach and a factory equalizer for the am/fm/cassette stereo and four speaker system. has 350 with 4spd auto. love this truck one of the most comfortable vehicles I’ve ever owned. An extended cab is far better than a standard cab any day.

    Like 0
    • MoparMike

      That’s a matter of opinion. Put your 350 powered extend cab with the factory equalizer up against this truck and you’ll probably find most will disagree with you. Resale prices of regular cab short bed trucks tend to fetch more than the extended cab equivalent.

      Like 5
  13. Tyler

    If you walk into your local GM dealer & buy the equivalent & it will cost $65k or more. So all things being equal, $45,000 is not bad for a slick classic truck.

    A friend of mine had one of these new, I opted for the Z/71 4×4. He used it to pull his bass boat & you never knew the boat was behind it. But empty or towing, it got 10 mpg. You could press the pedal & it lit the tires with ease. In 91, they put a 4l80e transmission in them & that helped mileage on the highway a little bit.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.