47K Miles From New: 1990 Chevy 1500 Pickup

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

The fourth generation of the Chevrolet C/K pickup is perhaps one of the best recognized trucks on the road, thanks to its longevity and popularity with American truck shoppers. Sporting a handsome upright design with multiple configuration options, it found immediate favor among consumers of light- and heavy-duty trucks. Find this low mileage example here on eBay where bidding is over $6K and a little over two days remains on the auction. 

Although the interiors were still fairly rudimentary, the seats were comfortable and controls were straight-forward. The all-red interior was not uncommon on this era of trucks, and seems unfathomable given today’s $50K and up pickups sport woodgrain trim and leather. The seller claims it was a non-pet owner and non-smoking vehicle, so that interior should smell as good as it looks. Carpets appear unmarred and the dash looks to be crack-free.

A 5.7L 350 V8 resides up front and the engine bay appears spotless. Parts availability is one of this model’s greatest strong suits, making it easy to keep this one in the same cherry condition it’s in right now for the next decade or more. Given its longevity, it’s not uncommon for these rigs to cycle through multiple owners, which is why it’s so rare to find one like this that has just one original owner. We’d expect this clean Stepside-bodied C/K to give its next caretaker many years of cheap ownership and practical utility.

It’s amazing how much those flared sides can improve the looks of these trucks. Although it limits your passenger intake, we like the single-cab configuration with the shorter bed. The alloy wheels still look sharp, and the seller notes the tires are new. Other than a recent battery, no other service updates are mentioned, but given the condition, it seems likely service records would be quite detailed if still available. The bidding is already strong on this minty Chevy 1500; it will be interesting to see if it clears $10K.

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  1. jwinters

    these trucks ALL had the same issues.
    1.) tailgate latch breaks
    2.) door hinge pins wear so the door sags.
    3.) the windshield wipers always stopped working.
    4.) the AC blower motor would break and go THUMP THUMP THUMP all the time.
    5.) they leaked oil
    if you could accept the poor build quality and cheap plastic they would run forever though

    • F.A.G.

      I owned 2 of these, an ’88 and also a ’92 (the ’92 for 12 years and 250,000 miles) without those issues. Both of mine had tail light wiring issues however.

      I loved the look of the “Stubbys” and they were more maneuverable with a plow than the long box extended cab models.


      My 98 door hinge pin on driver side did West out. Think it was $10 for the pin and about 45 minutes of work. Wipers good when sold 6 months ago. Never leaked any oil. Did have to replace the a.c. compressor 2 years ago, but the blower never thump thump thumped. Tailgate worked great too. Never any rist, but all it’s life was California and Nevada.

      The radio lost it’s memory every time I turned the truck off, so it was noon every time you started it up. That always amused me
      Loved the truck for 17 years. I’m sure I will wish I had it back soon

      • Wade Anderson

        I had a 97 with over 200,000 on it never had any of those problems till a neighbor stole the starter off it

    • Kevin

      You forgot to mention front differential actuators, starters, alternators, and fuel pumps. Be sure and carry spares. Door hinges are welded on, so keep a good supply of pins on hand, as the door latches are extremely fragile, and real mother to replace.

  2. F.A.G.

    When I looked at the add 1 particular memory came back to me, those oddball gauges. The gauge needle was not really a needle but it swept across the gauge face, strange. Then there’s the stereo…

    One would think the dealer would take an hour or two and repair that typical GM headliner.

  3. alan

    And don’t forget how they rust.

  4. Sam

    Is anyone else getting a Securi denial when trying to attach an image to a comment? Or is it an ad trying to sell something?

    • leiniedude

      Hi Sam, same here for over a week. I have seen other posts with people having the same problem. Not a computer guy, Jamie gave me some advice but out of my league. Also the notify me of new comments via email option has not worked for me for a couple of weeks. Best of luck, Mike.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We added some security features and it’s causing some problems, but we are working on a fix. Thanks.

      • F.A.G.

        U suck

  5. gregwnc

    I’ve had three trucks of this generation:
    #1 1994 5.7 2WD, one transmission replacement, 360k miles when I sold it 15 years ago and still running last I checked.
    #2 1996 5.7 2WD again, low mileage truck that I didn’t keep long. One intake manifold gasket.
    #3 1998 5.7 4WD, 240k at sale one year ago. Just general wear and tear for something of that age (a/c compressor, various sensors, etc.).

    Overall, good trucks that all keep that looks well if maintained. Typical 90’s GM quality, but I always found them to be reliable and (mostly) cheap to keep on the road.

  6. Fred W.

    Likely to go up in value just like the SWB C-10’s did. Stick in a garage and watch it appreciate. Also, just a great looking truck.

  7. JohnD

    These are such reliable, solid trucks that I could live with the interior. But the Japanese mfgrs did cloth seats and plastics SO much better back then…

  8. ChevyTruckGuy

    It’s missing it’s tailgate applique. Repaint?

    • John

      I think you are right, mine has the alum. panel that says Chevrolet on it.

  9. Nick G.

    I grew up around these throttle body f.i. trucks and really liked them… but then I drove my first Vortec V8 in a 96 model. It was night and day.
    Now that I’m used to the 2nd-gen Vortec motors, it’d be very hard to go back to a t.b.i. truck.

  10. Dave Wright

    I still own a 93 3500 6.5 4X4 crew cab flatbed that I bought 12 years ago from the Washington state motor pool. It is pushing 300,000 miles, all of which the first 65,000 I put on. I had to do a transmission that was painful, but otherwise runs and drives like it did with 65K. It doesn’t compare with my Duramax LBZ but is a wonderful vehicle, goes straighter down the road than anything I own, doesn’t have a hint of rust. The biggest problem with these years was the paint. Mine had already been repainted from blue to white before I got it but the factory paint was terrible. We have two of them in the shop right now for a sandblast and repaint.

  11. Joe Haska

    I had one of these with over 200k miles, and it just kept going, if I remember right , I sold it for more than I paid for it! I wish I would have talked to jwinters, i could have saved myself from such a terrible truck.

  12. Bbuz

    Needs the headliner replaced.

    • CaCarDude

      Headliner was an easy job, did several in these type trucks, cost was minimal for material less then $10 and time to r&r was under 2 hr, well was easy when you work in an auto Upholstery shop part time…

  13. Neil

    Not to sound too nit – picky, but… advertised as a non- smoker car, I see at least 2 small burn holes on the drivers side floor carpeting.
    Thats typically where someone flicking out the window has a hot tip fall. Also, lighters don’t get that ashy look, unless their used.

  14. Superdessucke

    Too pretty for me. I’d end up trashing it. Low mileage minty trucks have always puzzled me. My friends alone would have ensured several dings, scratches and dents by trading me pizza and beer for moving services over the years.

  15. John

    Wow! I have almost the same truck! 91 full size Silverado, 2wd. 5.7 auto, red with black trim, 8 foot bed, I ordered it new, always garage kept, 70k miles, I am going to put antique car plates on it since I hardly drive it anymore and it is now 26 yo. std. cab. fully loaded. The bidding is up to $9100.00 on the one above! My headliner is sagging too, they didn’t use the right glue on it or didn’t put enough, did change the wiper motor, had a A/C switch issue, other than that just regular maintenance. I’ll be keeping mine for a while yet. Located in Pa.

    • JohnD

      I think you’re right about the glue. The cloth headliners on pretty much all the GM products of this era eventually sag, possibly due to heat and/or humidity exposure over several years

  16. S Ryan

    Oh. Yea ah. Have owned several. And still have 2 a 95 and 99, stone cold reliability. Can’t find anything better.
    Anyone have info on Shaking new Chevys suffer from? $40 K and I’m back to driving a 99.

  17. steveland

    I put over 300,000 km on one of these up here in BC, all it ever needed was a starter and a water pump. Oh and the headlight switch had to be re-attached after letting go. Never broke the tailgate handle. The guy I sold it to ten years ago still has it….one of the best trucks I ever owned, and there have been lots.


    Sold for 12K congrats to buyer and seller

    • Kevin

      Like they say, a fool and his money easily parted.

  19. CaCarDude

    Had a ’90 fleetside SB with the 350 and only issue I had after several years and less then 80k on the truck was the valve guide seals had to be replaced, truck would smoke like a big ole chimney when cold start ups, never had an issue after the seals were replaced. Overall a great pick up IMO.

  20. Tyler

    Ugliest stepside bed GM ever put on a truck, fleet sides looked so much better in this era. And this from a guy who loves stepside bed trucks. Other than that, these were great looking solid built trucks. I put over 200k miles on my 90 Z71 & the only issue I had was the paint flaking off. Never touched the drivetrain other than routine maintenance.


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