WOW! That’s usually the initial reaction when people learn about the next Goodguys Rod and Custom giveaway vehicle. Known for throwing some of the biggest car shows from coast to coast here in America, the Goodguys crew recently opened up their classic car events to vehicles that were built in ’97 and earlier. Hence, why the truck seen on these pages was built.
Not only does this open the floodgates to newer vehicles that can be a part of these shows, it also redefines what is considered classic. For those of you who are old enough to remember when the GMT400 (’88-’98 OBS) GM trucks were new on the road, it’s kind of shocking to think that some of these trucks are over three decades old and are now thought of as vintage iron. But this is a sign of the times and the trucks we took for granted are now highly desirable. While interest in them has gone up prices have raised from thousands to tens of thousands.
When Goodguys approached the Roadster Shop to build a remarkable vehicle that could be giveaway for promotional purposes, there was an opportunity to utilize a newer platform that could pave the way for enthusiasts who want to see these trucks built to a higher level. Roadster Shop has been on a roll when it comes to being ahead of the curve on many projects including their line of full chassis and suspension products that have revolutionized the market.
One thing they did not have in their arsenal was an offering for OBS Chevy trucks. Though there was not an immediate demand for a full chassis to be created for the sake of building these trucks to a high-level, the folks at Roadster Shop knew that it was only a matter of time before swarms of builders would be requesting them. The thought process was that if they were to develop a system now, customers will come for it.
Unlike the other airbagged chassis they offer, the goal of the new laser cut OBS Low-Pro frame was to not only slam these trucks, but to do so without the need to raise the bed floor. Making this all possible is an independent rear suspension (IRS) system that has a GM limited slip center differential, trailing arms and billet multi-link arms. The independent front utilizes rack and pinion steering, a set of stout control arms and C7 Corvette spindles. Double convoluted airbags are used in the front and back along with sway bars and a cantilever shock absorber system for the ultimate in ride quality.
Additionally, this chassis was made to roll on a set of 22 and 24-inch Billet Specialties wheels. Bringing them to a halt is a beefy set of Baer brakes that were color matched to the theme of this build. The chassis was also equipped with two air compressors to feed the dual air tanks and AccuAir height management system. Before the final assembly of the chassis took place, all parts were either powdercoated or anodized pink or teal to match the color scheme.
Powering this truck is a 430hp / 425 ft-lbs Chevrolet Performance E-Rod LS3 engine supplied by Gandrud Chevrolet. Since these trucks still run under emissions testing in California, this unit will meet the state requirements if the winner of the truck resides there. Making this engine look retro is a set of old school small block valve covers and an intake and throttle body from LS Classic, which is topped by a Holley air cleaner.
The power unit was set up with a Bowler Performance Transmissions Tru-Street 4L60E transmission to help deliver rotational force to the rear wheels. Letting out exhausted gases is the Ultimate Headers that run to the E-Rod’s catalytic converters and 3-inch exhaust and mufflers made by using parts sourced from Borla. Keeping the engine cool is a C&R radiator and electric fan to prevent a total meltdown while anyone puts the hammer down on this truck. As if that wasn’t enough, the whole thing was dressed in white and given custom plumbing and wiring to match the retro theme.
Next on the list was to fit the body on the fully equipped chassis. Starting with the cab, it received a custom firewall, and the rear seams were filled in for a sleek appearance. Up front, the fenders were modified for wheel clearance and got custom inner fenders. The front end was upgraded with a smooth bumper, ’94-’98 grille and custom radiator cover. The sheet metal work under the hood was also painted in a light pink and has a laser graphic design for a distinctive look.
The rest of the body was worked smooth with extra attention paid to make the bodylines sharp. On the back, the tailgate handle was shaved, and the smoothed rear bumper was notched for the exhaust tips. Inside the bed is an aluminum sheet floor that’s topped with a custom cut SeaDek covering with cup holders on the tailgate. New wheel tubs were made to cover the massive rear wheels and the inner bed sides were customized for style and to fit a custom Kicker audio system. The body was topped off with bright white BASF paint and Goodguys logos on the doors.
Completing the truck was the interior, which totally gives us a flashback to 1988! The inner cab was covered in DEI Boom Mat material for its insulation and sound deadening qualities. Then, LMC Truck helped with a new dash, carpet, headliner, door panels and an upholstery kit for the bench seat. It was dressed with a Billet Specialties steering wheel, Lokar billet pedals and custom Dakota Digital gauge cluster. The interior was even decked out with a custom Kicker system and a faux equalizer finishes the styling on the dash.
Seeing this truck gets us excited about the possibility of others to be built like it in the future. It still baffles our minds that these Chevy trucks are old enough to be called classic, but they sure do give us fond memories of a simpler time. We can only imagine that owning and driving this truck must make for an even more of emotional experience. On top of all this, one lucky person will get to win it all when Goodguys gives it away at their 2023 event in Columbus. Check out the full details on how to be entered in the contest on their website, good-guys.com!
GOODGUYS • ‘88 C1500
- Chevrolet Performance 430hp and 425 ft-lbs E-Rod LS3 engine from Gandrud Chevrolet
- Wegner Motorsports serpentine-belt accessory drive system
- Rock Valley stainless fuel tank
- Intake and throttle body assembly from LS Classic
- Holley Performance air cleaner
- Small block billet valve covers
- C&R Radiator with custom-built hard radiator lines
- Electric fan
- Bowler Performance Transmissions Tru-Street 4L60E transmission
- Ultimate Headers
- Borla mufflers and 3-inch stainless steel exhaust
- DEI exhaust wrap
- Roadster Shop OBS Low-Pro chassis with IRS and cantilever RS Smooth Valve shocks from FOX
- Chassis powdercoated white and fully detailed with teal and pink anodized accents
- AccuAir management
- Energy Suspension Bushings
- Baer Brakes
- Wilwood master cylinder
- E-Stopp electrically controlled emergency brake actuator
- 22x9.5 and 24x12 Billet Specialties SLC75 wheels
- 275/35ZR22 Pirelli tires and 355/25R24 Vredestein Ultrac Vorti tires
- Optima Batteries
- Custom front inner fenders, rad cover and smooth firewall painted light pink with laser graphics
- Billet hood hinges from Eddie Motorsports
- Custom rear wheel tubs inner bed panels that hold the Kicker KRC55 digital remote controller for the Kicker KM60 6.5-inch marine coaxial speakers
- Aluminum bed floor with a custom SeaDek covering
- Shaved cab seams and tailgate handle
- Smoothed rear bumper with notches
for exhaust tips
- BASF bright white paint
- Custom Goodguys lettering on doors
- Custom LED lighting
- Vintage Air climate control system
- LMC Truck dash, carpet, headliner, door panels and upholstery kit for bench seat
- Billet Specialties steering wheel and billet
- Lokar billet pedals
- Custom-faced Dakota Digital HDX gauge cluster
- American Autowire harness
- Kicker Audio
- Faux light-up EQ mounted on dash
- DEI Boom Mat