The reason why sport-utility vehicles and crossovers have gained so much in popularity over the years is due to the fact that they compress into one vehicle what the buying public wants: storage space, cargo space, the ability to seat more than four, and still have a semblance of sporty driving and off-road capability. We can appreciate all of the effort that the manufacturers put into designing these types of vehicles, but let’s be honest: we aren’t exactly fans. That’s not to say that we can’t find a vehicle that ticks off multiple boxes for us…in fact, we found one that’s just about perfect! The seller claims that it’s a 1989 Chevrolet K-3500, but we aren’t so sure…we thought that the GMT400-style dually pickup didn’t appear until 1992. But that’s nit-picking a truck that we’d go nuts over. Let’s look at why:
It’s a classic: Even if it was a 1993, the last year of the GMT400 that didn’t have a third brake light, it still means that this big Chevy is 23 years old. Add the fact that the GMT400 was wildly popular when it was being sold, and you have a winner without doing anything. We dig the W/T front end instead of the more common split-bar grille and headlight assembly..it gives the truck an aggressive look.
It’s capable: From front to back, this truck came off of the line to work. A one-ton single-cab dually with the 454ci V8, five-speed manual, four-wheel-drive, the W/T package, bench seat, rubber floors and crank windows…if that doesn’t scream out “fleet sales”, we don’t know what does. Whoever ordered this dually new had plans for it from the start. And those plans were realized: look in the bed and check out that 5th wheel/goose neck kit.
It’s a muscle truck: 235 horsepower and 385 ft/lbs of torque might seem kind of weak, but that 454 has plenty to give, and it will perform all day long. And unlike a 454SS, you get a five-speed manual backing this one. It’s no Tremec six-speed, but you still get to row your own in this dually. And it’s a factory tow package model…any guesses as to what rear gears are in this beast? It’s no Chevelle, but it’ll still get up and rock with a few tweaks.
It is versatile: Where this K3500 fails at the ability to haul more than two in comfort (would you want to be in the middle of that bench?), it makes up for with multiple vehicle roles. It’s a one-ton pickup. It’s a tow pig. It’s a four-by-four. It’s a big-block Chevy with three pedals. It’s a desirable classic and it is right on the good side of the difference between “easy to work on” and “how many computers?!” The interior can be rinsed out with a garden hose and wiped down with a wet cloth. The only thing we don’t care for is the early-version gauge package, but that can be dealt with easily enough.
So what do you think…how does a useful big-block dually sound when you compare it to a seven-seat crossover?