Photos by Evan Sears
Probably the most gorgeous looking pickup in the GM booth during the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show was a classic bumper-to-bumper restoration of an 1978 K10 Silverado. During the five months leading up to SEMA, a select team of GM Performance guys went through every inch of this truck with a metal polishing brush and fine-tooth comb.
The restoration team bought the old 4×4 from a farmer in Wisconsin and thought the project would be a great complement to all the brand-new 2014 Silverados and SUVs GM was showcasing at the Las Vegas show.
The idea was to make every aspect of this truck better than before, so the first thing the engineers did after stripping and upgrading every inch of the frame and suspension was to stuff a brand-new 5.3-liter E-Rod V-8 crate motor (336 horsepower and 350 pounds-feet of torque) from the GM Performance catalog (Part No. 19258004) and mate it to a corporate 4L70E automatic transmission. The rebuilt truck uses the same New Process gear-driven manual-levered transfer case that came stock with the original truck, but all the brake parts and lines have been fully reconditioned. The suspension has the truck sitting about 2 inches taller than the stock height, and it wears fit 305/70R16 tires and 16-by-8-inch wheels.
Just as impressive as the details underneath, the inside and outside of the truck are highlighted by a two-tone black-on-red-theme. The bench seat is re-trimmed with simulated leather along with red-and-black houndstooth cloth. It cannot be overstated — the interior is immaculate, complete with all the proper, fully restored deep-barrel gauges and plastic air-conditioning and heating controls.
Of all the trucks on the GM floor, this was the one that got the most oohs and ahs. There’s no question this truck made it into quite a few SEMA highlight news stories.