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Would You Rather: Do You Choose The Classic Restoration Or The Late-Model Restoration?

Would You Rather: Do You Choose The Classic Restoration Or The Late-Model Restoration?

Here’s an interesting thought for you to consider with today’s round of Would You Rather: the 1988 Chevrolet/GMC truck, the epitome of “sport truck”, is 31 years old. That’s only five years younger than yours truly, and that pits them as a modern classic. Happily, these trucks are still plentiful, still wildly popular, and still have an aftermarket filled to the brim with options for anyone who is looking at putting together a solid custom, a nice daily, a period custom, a rowdy-assed romper, or maybe just wants to restore one back to a nice, OEM look. You can’t go wrong with a GMT400 truck…

But, here’s option two: say you’re cruising your favorite online buy-and-sell medium and you come across a 1967-72 Chevrolet or GMC that needs love. There will be more work involved than the newer truck, probably…paint, electrical, and rust are all things to consider, but think about the finished product for a moment. You still have a solid GM truck, but instead of the modern classic that will be just fine everyday, you now have a fifty-ish year old truck with iconic lines and a soul that the new truck just can’t come close to touching.

So…which do you choose?

You can thank my buddy Scott for this, because this is his dilemma right now. It’d be nothing to find another 88-98, fix it up with help from an LMC catalog and be done. But there’s a farm-fresh Chevrolet C-20 that’s just calling to him right now as well. I’m playing the devil’s advocate, but my opinion isn’t wanted here, it’s yours. It’s 2019, which do you choose: the easy modern-day clean-up job or the easy-to-restore classic that’ll have a higher return on investment?

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8 thoughts on “Would You Rather: Do You Choose The Classic Restoration Or The Late-Model Restoration?

  1. Matt Cramer

    Last time I was confronted with this choice myself, I went for a ’72 C10. Buy-in wasn’t any higher, and the older trucks are a bit easier to work on (not that the ’80s trucks are especially difficult, unless you need to hit California emissions goals with a feedback carburetor).

  2. Brett

    There will always be more old trucks that need work. But if he needs something to drive to work tomorrow, a late model will get him there.
    But having had a ’95 G30, ’97 C2500 reg/lb, ’99 C2500 Suburban, ’99 Tahoe, and now a ’93 C1500 extd/sb, I could be a little partial to that era of GM trucks…

  3. Scott

    So, this is my dilemma: I don’t need a truck to drive to work tomorrow. I would like a truck to haul my bike once in awhile, and something cool that will roast tires every so often. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and I don’t mind doing work. I’m not really looking for return on investment, either. Something that will get lowered, be a bit rowdy and functional at the same time. I’ve had the GMT-400 platform before (my red 93 was in another article posted by McT), and I am partial to them as well. The reason I’m considering the 72 is the style stands the test of time, followed by the availability of parts and simplicity.

  4. Weasel1

    People will holler, but I would take the C20 for looks and power it with a LS for reliability.

  5. Arild Guldbrandsen

    Im actually restoring a 2003 Avalanche while i use it daily.Its freshening to fix things,before it rust too much.

  6. Jeff

    C20 for sure
    Nothing wrong with the newer truck, it\’s a fine vehicle and will get the job done. If you live in the south and plan to daily it the A/C would be welcome.
    Otherwise, the C20 will do everything and look better doing it. Plus easier to work on, and at least just as many aftermarket parts.
    Still upset my dad got rid of his c10……

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