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Extra Long: 1988 Chevrolet C/K Pickup 3500

When you consider how rarely these extended cab trucks with room for six passengers show up for sale, it’s pretty amazing how popular this configuration is today. Back in 1988, customers clearly weren’t racing out to buy these four full door pickups with plenty of space to stretch out inside, at least not among the general public – plenty of them saw duty on-highway and contractor crews. That’s why this nicely preserved 3+3 is such a rare find, as it’s in bone stock condition and didn’t spend much time around the roughnecks on a construction site. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $15,100 and no reserve.

The long bed means there’s even more room beyond the bodies that can fit into the cab, and it makes me curious as to who the first buyer was. This is the sort of truck you order when you’ve got a real purpose in mind in terms of how you want it to be used, and most scenarios I envision involve heavy-duty work. Of course, it could also make for a fine tow rig if you’ve got a tow-behind camper and a family to shuttle around. Whatever the original intent was, the Chevy was apparently used with some level of care and mileage was kept low at 57K.

The blue-on-blue look is pretty typical for pickups and Suburbans of this era, and the front and rear bench seats are in excellent condition. Again, if this was used to haul around several warm bodies, they were all highly respectful passengers. The interior isn’t super luxurious, but that also wasn’t the point of one of these. The hardware underneath was what you wanted to see a first owner spend some money on, and this Chevy 3+3 doesn’t disappoint. It comes with the three-speed automatic, dual fuel tanks, 5.7L 350 engine, and the Custom Deluxe package.

The engine bay is super clean, and the seller notes that the 5.7L is a rare find in K30 trim. The seller doesn’t offer any specifics around the running gear and/or condition, other than to say it runs well. Seeing the bidding as it stands right now, there’s likely something to be said for the market around 1980s domestic trucks ordered in a special or unique configuration. The C10 of any era will always be a crowd-pleaser, but enthusiasts also like these rarely-seen models with extra doors, space, and heavy-duty equipment. Will this rare 3+3 break $20K?

Comments

  1. misterlou

    What’s the 3+3 mean here?

    Like 5
    • Bowsey12345

      Three in the front seat,three in the back seat.3+3

      Like 10
    • Zapp

      For many years, the Chevy crew cabs had a 3+3 badge on the C-pillar.

      Like 6
  2. Skorzeny

    This is a sweet one! I love the color and the contrast with the white wheels. Price (even up to 20K) seems very fair to me considering what you would pay for a new one. I also like the fact that it’s simple, no dang power windows or locks. Hope it finds a loving home.

    Like 12
  3. Steve Clinton

    A pickup you can park in 2 time zones at the same time.

    Like 29
  4. David G

    I can tell you without a doubt who the original buyer was. This is a USAF truck. I’d know that color anywhere (helps that I have served in the AF, and have a restored ’71 Ford Custom USAF Staff car). Rear bumper is a later style aftermarket piece. What a fantastic truck. Only things I would change would be the aforementioned rear bumper, and replacing the aftermarket valve covers with originals.

    Like 22
    • Elijah Walker

      David you are 100% correct. I too am a 20 year USAF veteran and remember this type of truck well . Bring back some fond memories.

      Like 5
      • Edd L. Brock

        Mr. Walker, I would like to take the time out of my day to thank you for you service.

        Like 2
    • Bryan Ogborn

      I was about to say the same thing. Strata Blue and barebones. We had one for our Disaster Preparedness mobile command post when I was stationed at McGuire AFB, NJ. Served us well

      Like 2
    • Steve-O

      Spot on! We had a whole fleet of these at Charleston AFB and McGuire AFB. Used them as alert force vehicles up until around 2004. Ours were diesels and ran like crap from a life of never going over 40 MPH!!!

      Like 2
  5. Jack M.

    It would probably be good to mention in the write up that it is four wheel drive.

    Like 9
    • Joseph Fair

      The K30 model denotes that. If a C30, it would be a 2wd.

      Like 9
    • Joseph Fair

      The K30 model denotes that. It would be a C30 if it were 2wd.

      Like 1
      • Jeff Cameron

        New for 1988 Chevy and GMC revealed a new rounded body style C/K series available in 1/2 ton light duty 3/4 ton and 3/4 ton and for the first time a two door extended cab to compete with the Ford SuperCab and Dodge Club Cab.
        What you see here is a V30 that ran this square body from 1988 – 1991. The 4WD was a V designation and the R was the 2WD version. The 88-91 square body crewcab,dually,Suburban and Blazer carried over until the 1992 models replaced them.
        Yes this does appear to be Air Force issue, the forest service also had thousands of these in a terrible frog green color.

        Like 4
  6. Vance

    To put this into perspective, turning this truck would be like the scene in Titanic approaching the iceberg. Chevy trucks simply don’t turn that well to begin with, and being a long bed, crew cab, and 4×4, you will be walking a long way anyplace you can park this one. I sold Ford trucks from 1997-2007, and the turning radius with a Ford was amazing, especially half ton trucks. This is a nice vehicle , but you have to wonder why would they order a truck of this size and options with a 5.7 engine? This truck would struggle with 4 people, trailer and gear.The GWVR has got to be low and whoever buys it won’t be able to haul what they think they can.

    Like 2
    • Whynot Member

      Vance you are correct chevy’s took an acre to turn around. I’ve owned 19 crew cab . One Chevrolet was enough for me to not but another. With trucks this long and working off the pavement even without snow you needed 4×4 to not get stuck . I also like the simplicity of this time. Bumpers oh yes when bumpers could be used to bump at a crawl not set off air bags or spring front section of truck . 350 Chevy small block was in everything Chevrolet. Not for the 5th wheel double wides people pull around to go camping for the weekend. Did just fine hauling a crew with tools and fuel . This is a clean classic nice truck.

      Like 0
    • Jordan

      I own the same thing in an 86. Same wheels, same drivetrain, even same color. Still carbed 5.7. Doesn’t tow fast or corner well but always tows anything I put behind it. Hoping to upgrade to a more modern brake setup in the future. Absolutely love the truck and walked away from a 30k cash offer because well, it’s practically priceless to me. If I had the cash I’d grab this one too for my son to match me.

      Like 0
  7. Vance

    I should have included GVWR- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, GCWR- Gross Combined Weight Rating GAWR-Gross Axle Weight Rating. I always told customers you can pull anything but you can’t stop everything. Its not that hard to figure out, and being knowledgeable about this stuff can save your life and your wallet.

    Like 1
  8. Jan

    That’s not an 88. I have an 88. Mine is the first year of the new body style. The one shown above is the 73 and up Square Body.

    Like 1
    • Mr Dave

      It is indeed a 1988. The “J” in the vin, I believe the 10th position, denotes the year of 1988. I believe the C and K series of the 1 tons and Suburban carried the same sheet metal through 1991.

      Like 13
      • AZVanMan

        Yep.

        Like 0
    • Tom R

      GM always made the 3/4 and 1 ton wait one model year for update so yes the 88 1/2 ton was new.

      Like 0
  9. Mr Dave

    Former USAF truck. Pictures 9,15, and 18 clearly show the nomenclature plate that EVERY military vehicle has. I wish I could get it.

    Like 5
  10. DJ

    This truck is neither a k30 as the ebay page calls it nor a k3500 as barn finds calls it. In 1987 and up square bodies are known as R/V body trucks, the new body style in 1988 used the C/K name and were 1500/2500/3500’s. This is in fact a V30.

    Like 3
  11. Jason

    Back in the 90s, I had a summer job with a state road crew, cleaning ditches and grading berms along many miles of rural two-lane highways. The grader operator would do his thing, then we’d come along with a nearly identical truck—except it had a manual transmission—pulling a rotary broom to clean up the pavement. Backing that beast up with trailer attached to turn it around on narrow country roads was an absolute nightmare!

    Like 2
  12. Jeff C

    This truck is actually what is known as a V30. From 88 to 91 square body crew cabs, suburbans, dually and blazer/ jimmy carried the V/R designation 4wd/2wd.

    Like 0
  13. Karl

    First thing I thought when I saw the strata blue paint was Air Force that would likely also make sense only having a 350 in it! As you all know in the military if you need to pull something there many other trucks built specifically to pull whatever needs to be moved. I did not read in the description what the gear ratio was, some of these pickup had 456 gears which would be tough for general use.

    Like 1
  14. G Lo

    My guess: this sells at $39k.

    Like 0
  15. Val

    If it had a Cummin’s Swap it would be worth every cent they are asking but Gas . And as for Rare NO WAY it’s not Rare the Dodge crewcab are harder to find then the chevy is .but the dodge crewcab out sell’s this 1 when they both have a Cummin’s Swap . If you are around the swap board’s as I am you will see these are Great truck’s to diesel swap .

    Like 1
    • Barry Allen

      Cummins swap? Heck no, how about a brand-new 6500 Optimizer V-8 turbodiesel engine? Match it up with a 4-speed OD transmission and you’ve done a lot better than a stock 1980s 5.7.

      Like 0
      • val

        That’s the thing Nobody does v8 diesel swap’s compared to cummin’s swap’s [You can drop a cummin’s engine in and a built up 47rh trans and you can be making 700 hp easy and very reliable .I’ve got a dodge crewcab converted to 4×4 with a cummin’s engine with 450 hp over 900 tq that does Great with no problem’s and besides they are all Mechanical no need for computer stuff .

        Like 1
  16. 433jeff

    The 350 is good, will always get you home, for the 454, I would rather the carb than the tbi ect. 4 speed or th 400 instead of the other options. For my money, 12 valve , nv4500, you can get the older dodge transfer case that will work. Then you get the narrow Dually( nothing against big fenders, less for me to smash) cuz I like the way they look. I would probably go with the 4.11 gear and just go 65. There’s a something wood edition of these that come with a overhead wood console. Some had the 6.2 also, I think the black one last week on eBay went 12k or so , for my pocketbook 20k buys a lot of rocker panels doors ect. Great truck

    Like 0
  17. Mountainwoodie

    What a truck! A MAN’S TRUCK! :)

    Boy what I’d give to pull up next to one of those F350 duallys, heated seats twelve cup holder slushboxes, with some..cough.cough…geezer (person my age)…with a Handicapped tag hanging from the rear view mirror,,and just look at him with pity in my eyes! lol

    Other than the slushbox I would actually like to have this……..and I’m not a fan of the squarebodies. I wonder if there are any of the ’67-’72 variants built like this.

    Any way….too cool for school

    Like 2
  18. John

    Sold in a high rent used car lot, used to get a few of these in on trade, took up a ton of room and a football field to turn in

    Like 0
  19. Azplumber

    Definitely an Air Force truck I worked on the Gila Bend Gunnery Range in Arizona in the 70s and 80s the color gives it away, but I remember more Dodges than Chevys, when the quit running, they’d drag them out to the desert for target practice.

    Like 2
  20. vintagehotrods

    Cool truck, but a mile long and impossible to park, plus severely underpowered with a 350. It definately needs to be repowered, with a Duramax or the great Vortec 8.1L. I had several square body Suburbans but when Chevy started building these in the new body style in 1999 with a crewcab shortbox, I bought one. Mine was a 7.4L 454/4L80E trans, with single rear wheels, lowered 4″, all white, grey leather interior with bucket seats and a console. I loved that truck, it was the best truck I’ve ever owned and when I sold it a few years ago it had 160,000 miles on it. The only time it let me down was at 117,000 miles when the fuel pump went out, plus a starter once. Probably because with the 454 and just a 26 gallon tank, I ran it to “empty” a lot, especially when towing. I think I put almost 80,000 miles on it with a enclosed trailer hooked up to it, and the engine and trans had never been touched, except for oil and filter changes.

    Like 3
    • Val

      9 times out of 10 Nobody does dura scrap (Max) swap’s it’s Cummin’s by Choice .they fit nice make easy power and a Heck of alot Easier then a v8 diesel swap . and with the new tech. out there you put crossover steering on it and it will turn better then a New truck Parking is Simple if you can drive it you can park it .

      Like 1
  21. Catie H

    We had one of those to haul my husband’s pit crew and racecar in the early 80s. Ours was a 70s vintage but I don’t remember the exact year. It was our only vehicle for a while and I hated driving it. I had to park it on the perimeter of a parking lot so I didn’t have to maneuver it. I am only 5′ tall and I used to get a lot of comments when I got out. It also cost as much a month for gas as our mortgage payment. As soon as I could afford it, I bought a used Toyota. It was good for the intended purpose but it was a terrible only vehicle.

    Like 2
  22. Edd L. Brock

    Jeff, I hate to tell you but this truck’s a ’83, not a ’88. I’m saying this with certainty, because I cross-referenced the eBay listing with Google searches. I also know my stuff about trucks. Also, the grills are different for the ’83-’88 model years. Here’s a link for anyone who’s curious to know the changes and differences between the model years:
    https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/square-body-chevy-identification-guide

    Like 1
    • Joseph Fair

      The “J” VIN code will certainly beg to differ. If a ’83, it would be a “D” instead. It’s an ’88.

      Like 2
    • Mr Dave

      Edd, newsflash for you. That J in the vin means 88. You’re welcome.

      Like 2
      • Edd L. Brock

        Then why the ’83 grille? Replacement? Is that just how they were made? And where are y’all seeing the VIN? eBay? I’ll be honest, I don’t know the first thing about VINs, but a friend of mine who knows more about these old trucks than I do even said that it was an ’83. Is this what y’all are talking about?

        Like 0
  23. Mr Dave

    It’s in the EBay ad where it showed the build sheet sticker

    Like 0
  24. Greg Bates

    I had a 81 long wheel base GMC 3,/4 ton crew cab brown I loved that truck had the brush guard on it 8ft side tool box ladder rack I’m looking for another one There hard to find I’d like to have 4×4 lock out hubs

    Like 0

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