Big Block Hauler: 1990 Chevrolet C1500 454 SS Pickup

The layer of dust that coats the front of this 1990 C1500 454 SS Pickup indicates that it hasn’t moved for a little while. In fact, the car has been out of service for around a year and is in need of some mechanical work. Rather than get it up and mobile again, the owner has made the decision to sell the vehicle. It is located in La Salle, Illinois, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $6,900 for the Pickup.

The photos that the owner supplies are quite frustrating, because they provide some tantalizing glimpses of the vehicle, but don’t provide an overall view of it. What they do show looks fairly promising, with no obvious signs of rust or major body damage. There are a couple of photos showing the inside of the bed, and this is a Pickup that doesn’t look like it has carried many heavy loads during its life.

Overall, the condition of the Pickup’s interior isn’t too bad, with one glaring problem. There is a nice big hole in the center of the dash where the factory stereo should be, and the owner offers no explanation about this. The rest of it actually looks quite good and is in keeping with the owner’s claim that the vehicle has only traveled 72,000 original miles. The Pickup also features a few niceties such as power windows, power locks, a tilt wheel, and air conditioning.

There are no photos of the engine, but we know that it is the venerable 454ci big-block, and in this case, it produces 230hp. It’s when we get to the transmission that we get to the reason why the Pickup has been idle for a while. It isn’t clear exactly what the issue is, but the 3-speed THM-400 transmission is in need of a rebuild. The owner does say that he has been quoted $1,000 to do this, but has decided not to go ahead with it. In addition, the Chevy will also require new pads and front rotors, so there are a few items to be addressed.

On the face of it, this C1500 454 SS Pickup is an interesting proposition, as it does have a lot of potential. Given the fact that the values for these have held up reasonably well, I would be very interested to know why the owner has chosen not to spend the money to get the vehicle mobile again. After all, as anyone with any experience in selling cars will tell you, it’s much easier to sell a car when it runs and drives than when it doesn’t. At the BIN price of $6,900, is this a vehicle that you would consider taking on?


  1. Matt steele

    Honestly the ss 454 was not that awesome..I like them but $7000 can buy you something that runs & I’m in the next town ..

    Like 10
  2. Matt steele

    Like the next car a 66 toronado

    Like 2
  3. Steve R

    They get horrible gas mileage and are slow, a 99 and newer short bed standard cab with a 5.3 will walk all over it. The only saving grace is that it’s has a 454 and black paint, which are its only real selling points. They look menacing, but there is nothing to back it up. Modifying one for better performance will kill the value, it’s hard to justify the purchase unless the decision is purely sentimental.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  4. Jeremy

    The factory stereo is there, it’s the bunch of buttons just to the right of the dash cluster. The “nice big hole in the center of the dash where the stereo should be “is just a cubby hole to hold change, cassettes, etc. However, that IS where an aftermarket stereo normally gets installed due to the funky factory stereo design

    Like 3
  5. irocrobb

    I might be off base,but, I do not think you rebuild a transmission for 1000 bucks these days. I could not afford the gas anyway,so pass

    Like 3
  6. Bakyrdhero

    That cubby/hole in the dash is also where the optional factory cassette tape deck and graphic equalizer would be installed. Things from the past..

    Like 4
  7. Bodyman68

    This is a $2500 truck , i dont believe its a turbo 400 in it as they had 700r4s at least mine did . Its a truck and 2wd is easy tranny swap just fix it ! It was a disappointment to have less hp then a small block chevelle. Yes it was gutless and was a bad idea from chevy. Ive never seen another color either just black. Its value isn’t worth it and it would be better off with an LS swap . Good luck selling it for 6g !

    • Marty Parker

      If your’s had a 700r4 it didn’t come from the factory with it. All 90’s came with Turbo 400’s. 91-93 had 4L80E.

      Like 1
  8. Tyler

    Carfax is showing 125k miles in 2007 when it was run though an auction, so there is a red flag with this one.

    Pristine examples of these bring big dollars these days, but this one is far from pristine. Had the seller done a real auction instead of a buy it now, he might have had better luck.

    Like 1

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