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Barn Find Hauler: 1980 Chevrolet Silverado Ramp Truck

I don’t believe there’s a more famous ramp truck for sale right now, at least not in terms of YouTube celebrities. The channel known as Vice Grip Garage, which many of us have followed since its inception, routinely brings home decrepit cars and trucks, typically attempting to make them just roadworthy enough to drive a fair distance back to the shop. One of the more roadworthy vehicles Derek Bieri has brought home on his channel is this sweet 1980 Chevrolet Silverado ramp truck, currently listed here on eBay with no reserve and bids sitting at $13,400 – and the auction ends today.

Vice Grip Garage has been a favorite of mine since the early days of the channel. The episode where in Derek gets a white Cadillac Sedan DeVille unstuck after years of sitting (and unstuck refers to both the engine and how far it had sunk into the ground) is how I discovered him, and it remains one of the best hours you can waste on YouTube. As the show has progressed, so, too has the variety of cars and trucks Derek has brought home, and a ramp truck made an awful lot of sense both as fodder for a rescue episode as well as for being potentially useful to move cars around with.

This ramp truck features four full doors and plenty of seating inside, making it a home run for anyone who drags projects home with a few buddies in tow, or a very bored wife and children. The interior is tired but that’s not all that important when you’re covered in grease and dirt after wrestling with an old rig for the last three hours. The question is, do you leave it like this or do you transform this into a high-end hauler? I have some objection to making things too nice, but it also doesn’t take much imagination to picture this Chevy sitting on polished wheels with a bagged suspension setup and jet-black paint.

Of course, one of the truck’s best features is its 454 powerplant, which provides roughly 230 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. There’s a reason that people still buy old motorhomes to break them down and snatch out the 454, as the engine is both eminently useful and also worth a bit of scratch on the open markt (though I can’t envision a scenario where even $500 is worth the stress of scrapping a vintage Winnebago in your backyard.) This old ramp truck will draw a crowd wherever it goes, and hopefully, continue hauling some forgotten classics back from the brink.


  1. Avatar photo HoA Member

    Not sure about classic car transport, although eliminates a trailer, but be an expensive ride. Too bad ANY recovery or transport of any kind isn’t cheap. The most popular use for these was a drag racer hauler. All the big names started out with ramp trucks, before the ultimate behemoth transporters of today. Today, to be competitive, you have to have a mobile shop with triple of everything. Back then, it was run what you brung, and if it blew, the fun was over,,,for the weekend, anyway. Hobby racing, really, and all but kaput today. I suppose, it could transport a family and a_____________( fill in blank for non-compliant cars), but I wouldn’t go too far.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Dave Peterson

      Howard, didn’t Garlits and his peers mostly start out driving tow trucks for scratch during the week? I cannot recall flatbeds until I was middle aged. I do remember the difficulty of mounting a Holmes 440 to the chassis of a one ton cab and chassis.

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Driveinstile Member

    When I first saw this on Fast Finds, I couldnt believe it. I said, wow Derick from Vice Grip Garage has one thats identical to this!!!. THEN, I started reading. This is one very solid truck. Even the toolboxes are solid with no rust. At that time, the best you could get was the 454 with these. And they worked very well too. I sure hope it goes to a good home. Id love to get a chance to meet Derick in person one day. If anyone here hasnt seen his show Vice Grip Garage I strongly encourage you to see it.
    I’m with Jeff, one of my episodes was him resurrecting that White Caddy that was sunk up to the axles. He got it cleaned up and running and had his whole family in it.

    Like 11
  3. Avatar photo Azzura Member

    Betty White!

    Like 4
  4. Avatar photo Bill W.

    Years ago, I’d have been bidding on this truck aggressively. I could picture driving it the 500 miles to the Pomona swap meet 6, 7 or 8 times a year. Always took a car to sell. Used my wife’s Tahoe and my tilt bed trailer instead. Now, at 77, I’m happy to go once a year with friends who are sellers. Hope someone younger has the same type of plan for it.

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Al camino

    Paint the insert burgundy,redo the interior,clean up under the hood,and you have a sweet truck!

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Big C

    According to Derek’s FakeBook site, this truck was sold, then the “buyer” backed out at the last minute. That’s why they call it EvilBay.

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Shuttle Guy Member

    These Chevy’s got 8 mile to the gallon whether empty with a tail wind or in this case loaded with a vehicle. :) Honestly I like to have it.

    Like 4
  8. Avatar photo J

    This is maybe the second coolest that has come up for sale in the last few months. Finnigan’s garage just sold his square body ramp truck. That thing has a twin turbo 12 valve cummins and it can fly!

    Like 4
  9. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    I know most people would want to leave this as stock as possible but I would have to upgrade everything and make it less expensive to use. Upgrade meaning a 6 liter LS and transmission and modern suspension. A lot of people in SLC pay top dollar for an in state tow and this would be a great gimmick to get business. Bummer I missed it by a day

    Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Carbob Member

    I really enjoy VGG. Derek is so unassuming but I wish I would have had his skills back in the day when I was messing around with old cars. He’s genuinely funny too. I love that he doesn’t take it too seriously.

    Like 6
  11. Avatar photo Steve Widlund Member

    Well, I’ll be dipped!!

    Like 5
  12. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    Years back, at least 22 or so I was fed up with car trailers and paying for guys to move or get units for me. I went looking and started with these. If you have the room to navigate the Titanic, perfect. These things are ridiculously long and fit nowhere less than where a tour bus goes. After driving and looking at several, I went with a 1982 F350 with a Jerr Dan aluminum bed. For car hauling, ease, it’s a no brainer. I knew I would get old and screwing with trailers and winches or 30 foot long behemoths was a no. I knew several with these. A rollback is so much nicer. My 59 limo fits fine. The winch is bullet proof, mileage is twelve or so, and it fits where this unit here could never go. No tires, good tires, a small tree growing through it. V hook it, block the rear wheels and its all coming, not to mention the ease of removing fuel tanks and if you don’t have a lift doing lower body work without killing your lower back and knees is eliminated. These look cool but for me are not very functional. For this now aging car head however the old Bullnose sits ready whether its and old car, odd job or a pallet of bricks, most of what cannot be done with these ramp units.

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Mister mopar

    Looks like it could be a Hodges hauler.they where built in Paducah kentucky.in the eighty’s they were the hot ticket for drag racers

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo david kirschnick Member

    is it gone ? could use it moving from missouri . two cars

    Like 0

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