In 2020, high-performance production pickup trucks are all about off-road performance. That’s cool and all, but I see a lot of these trucks engineered for off-roading like the Ford F-150 and Jeep Gladiator Rubicon doing their daily duty as regular commuters and grocery getters pretty regularly. Off-roading is great, but let’s face it, most of these trucks are spending most of their time on nice, smooth pavement.
There was a time when performance pickups were designed for street performance. One great example of that idea is this 1990 Chevrolet Silverado 454 SS for sale in Roseville, CA with only 750 miles on the clock. With an asking price of $41,000, it’s about the same price as a V8-equipped, double cab 2020 Silverado 1500 in the sporty RST trim.
So what makes the 454 SS special? It was the first time the "Super Sport" moniker was used on a truck and its engine size and styling made it worthy of the SS badge. The V8 under the hood (sourced from the HD line of Chevy trucks at the time) had a massive displacement of 454 cubic inches and it actually wasn’t all that different from the big block found in Chevrolet muscle cars of the mid-1970s aside from being fuel injected rather than carbureted.
However, the Silverado 454 SS really didn’t make that much power. In this truck, this huge engine is rated at 230 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. That torque number is pretty impressive considering the era, but 230 hp is not, even by 1990 standards for such a big engine.
But you’re not buying this truck for the hp, you’re buying it for the retro-cool factor. Every 454 SS version of this truck was black and red inside and out. In the ’90s, red trim meant performance for Chevy and this truck has plenty of it. It has red bowtie emblems, red "SS" badging on the bed, red center caps on the wheels and red "1500" badges on the doors. It’s an aesthetic that is certifiably rad in an understated way and looks pretty cool 30 years later. Other SS-specific upgrades include a front air dam with fog lights, Blistein performance suspension and a 3.73 rear axle ratio.
Also, this truck has barely been driven. There aren’t any good pictures of the odometer, but the listing claims it only has 750 original miles on it and has spent its whole life in a garage (aside from those 750 miles it was driven). The interior is still wrapped in plastic and the bed is so clean it looks like it’s never seen a single sheet of plywood.
This would be a great truck for a Chevy collector, but we wouldn’t call it a great value. The aforementioned Chevrolet Silverado RST is probably the closest thing there is to a spiritual successor to the 454 SS and it’s capable of much stronger performance plus technology and amenities that are 30 years newer. That said, this truck bleeds ’90s cool and you may never find a cleaner example of it for sale. Find a Chevrolet silverado 1500 for sale