DALE EARNHARDT JR.'S ‘BIG RED' SILVERADO IS A WINNER ON OR OFF THE ROAD
LAS VEGAS – While he's normally associated wîth the Chevy Monte Carlo SS racecar he drives on Sundays, Dale Earnhardt Jr. also is an enthusiastic truck aficionado – especially those trucks that perform best off the road. GM teamed up wîth Earnhardt to design and build the ultimate Silverado off-roader, dubbing it the Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Big Red' Silverado.
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Big Red' Silverado is based on the all-new, 2007 Chevy Silverado crew cab and features custom exterior appointments, an off-road-ready suspension, one-off custom 20-inch wheels at Dale Jr.'s request, a custom interior and more. This one-of-a-kind Silverado builds on Earnhardt's personal notion of off-road enjoyment, which was previously conveyed in his personal truck – a previous-generation Silverado named 'Big Red.'
'The ‘Big Red' Silverado is the ultimate expression of off-road trucks,' said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. 'It is inspired by Dale Jr.'s personal and modified Silverado, but takes his concept to an entirely new and exciting level.'
Earnhardt collaborated wîth GM designers on the truck, visiting the GM Design studio in Warren , Mich. to discuss the exterior and interior enhancements, which include all-new front-end sheet metal and rear fenders, as well as a 'flying bridge'-type roll bar wîth integrated off-road driving lamps. The interior is as luxurious as the exterior is off-road-capable, wîth rich, black leather upholstery and other details.
'This truck has Dale Jr.'s personality woven all through it,' said Peper. 'It even has a locomotive horn that was his idea; when it blows, you know for miles around who's coming up the trail.'
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Big Red' Silverado is powered by GM Powertrain's 6.2L Gen IV V-8 engine, a high-output, all-aluminum engine wîth variable valve timing that produces 380 horsepower and 417 lb.-ft. of torque. It transfers its power to all four wheels via a Hydra-Matic four-speed electronically controlled transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The front and rear axles are equipped wîth 3.73 gears and Eaton ELocker electronic locking differentials, which help the truck deliver exhilarating performance wîth tall off-road tires. Stopping power is enhanced wîth a set of Baer disc brakes, including six-piston calipers and 15-inch cross-drilled rotors in the front and twin-piston floating calipers wîth 13-inch cross-drilled rotors in the rear. Exterior flair
The commanding stance and flared bodywork of the 'Big Red' Silverado combine for a menacing presence. All of the front end sheet metal, including the bumper, fenders, hood and grille are unique to the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Silverado, as are the rear fenders and rear bumper.
The front end design evokes the look of Baja racers, wîth a high-mounted, brush guard-type wraparound bumper, which conceals an integraed 6,000-pound Warn Winch. The brush guard bumper is fully integrated into the design and contours of the Silverado, extending out toward the flared front fenders. The large fender opening and box-type flares accommodate both the large off-road tires and the vertical travel of the front suspension. The hood also is custom and features a front-opening air intake scoop, which further adds to the truck's powerful appearance.
Like the front fenders, the Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Big Red' Silverado's rear fenders feature large openings and boxed flares. At the top of the rear fenders, a unique roll bar is enhanced wîth a flying bridge-style extension that incorporates housings for large off-road driving lamps. The flying bridge extension is integrated wîth the design of the Silverado's cab and rear fenders.
At the rear is a custom roll pan, wîth four, large six-inch-diameter exhaust outlets exiting beneath the center of the truck. There is no tailgate, leaving open access to the cargo bed which, like off-road racing trucks, is equipped wîth mounted spare tire and wheel.
The 'Dale Earnhardt Jr. Big Red' Silverado is painted wîth a unique base coat, mid-coat and clear coat system. The base coat is a custom mix wîth Spectra Flair additive; the mid-coat has a red tint hue. The Spectra Flair additive in the base coat combines wîth the mid-coat to provide a unique metallic appearance. The top clear coat application gives the paint finish a mile-deep shine. Subtle 'Dale Jr.' signature and '8' graphics are found on various areas of the body and chassis. Serious stance
The stance is achieved wîth a raised suspension and the large, off-road wheel/tire package. A Rancho four-inch lift kit, wîth adjustable front and rear shocks, is used, along wîth GM front coil springs and re-arched rear leaf springs. Off-road skid plates and other underbody shielding are employed to protect vital chassis and engine components when driving over rocks and other unseen obstacles.
Befitting this one-off off-roader, it wears unique, GM-designed 20 x 12-inch wheels. These CNC-machined wheels have a bold, deep-dish design. They feature 5.125-inch backspacing in the front and 3.375-inch backspacing in the rear, which helps push out the wheels to the edge of the vehicle, enhancing the rugged look of the 'Big Red' Silverado while simultaneously providing increased off-road driving stability and a lower center of gravity.
The fenders have larger openings and are flared to accommodate large, off-road tires mounted on the GM-designed 20-inch deep-dish wheels. Interior details
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Big Red' Silverado's cabin is trimmed all in black, wîth Ebony leather-covered seats wîth Gloss Ebony leather piping. Black also is the color of the Providence headliner, carpet and trim plates, which have glossy, 'piano black' appearance. Spectrum Cubic metallic soft-touch paint was applied to the door switch plates, instrument panel and control panel, providing a unique, high-tech appearance.
The interior simultaneously conveys luxury and an all-business attitude, owing to the truck's off-road capability. It's the perfect environment for a driver who's at home in race vehicle, but seeks a more comfortable environment when relaxing – even if that means crawling over rocks, slogging through rivers and flying over dry riverbeds.Source - GM
Chevrolet Trucks: Building America for 95 years
It started wîth a simple idea – a few car chassis fitted wîth hand-built beds to help carry materials around a booming car factory. Before long, millions of Chevrolet pickups were woven into the fabric of a fast-growing country. Chevy trucks tackled the toughest jobs on farms and in the fields, hauled tools and lumber to the burgeoning suburbs and carried families and friends into the wilds for well-earned vacations.
'The legacy that Chevrolet trucks have built over the last 95 years is important to protect,' said Don Johnson, Chevrolet vice president of Sales and Service. 'The best way for us to do that is by delivering the capability and technology our customers have grown to expect, in both our current trucks and in our next generation of full-size pickups.' Here are some Chevy truck highlights:
1918 Chevrolet Four-Ninety Half-Ton Light Delivery 'Cowl Chassis'
Although there are indications that some Four-Ninety based trucks were built for internal use in 1916, and that a few even earlier chassis may have been converted to ambulances and sent to France in 1914, the first customer chassis appears to have been built in Flint, Mich., on Nov. 22, 1916, and shipped from the factory on Dec. 2 that year.
Two four-cylinder models marked Chevrolet's formal entry into the truck market for the 1918 model year. Both were cowl chassis units that came from the factory wîth only frontal sheet metal. It was customary at the time for buyers to obtain a wooden cab and cargo box or panel van body to suit their purposes.
Priced at $595, the half-ton Light Delivery cowl chassis was essentially a bodyless Chevrolet Four Ninety car equipped wîth stronger rear springs. Mounted wîth a pickup box or panel body, it provided an agile and economical light-delivery truck for small businesses popping up across America in the boom following the First World War.
The second model, a 1-ton capacity 1918 Chevrolet 'Model T' (presumably for 'Truck') cost $1,125 without a body. It was based on the FA-series car, and was built on a truck frame that was longer and stronger than the half-ton model. A 37-horsepower engine gave the larger truck the power to haul heavier loads at a governor-limited top speed of 25 mph. 1930 Chevrolet Pickup
The simple cowl chassis models were replaced in the 1930s by factory-built pickups, which initially came wîth roadster and closed bodies. Chevrolet bought the Martin-Parry body company in 1930 and quickly began selling steel-body half-ton pickups complete wîth a factory-installed bed.
At the heart of these new pickups was a new Chevy inline six-cylinder engine, which soon earned names like 'Cast Iron Wonder' and 'Stovebolt' for its rugged design. First produced in late 1928, the new engine had a modern overhead-valve design. Inline six-cylinder engines became a mainstay in Chevrolet cars and trucks for decades to come.
By the mid-1930s, half-ton pickups wîth factory-installed steel boxes had become the lifeblood of the truck market, wîth brands like Mack, Studebaker, Reo, and International competing wîth Chevy, GMC, Ford and Dodge. 1937 Chevrolet Half-Ton Pickup
In the mid-1930s, as the Ú.S. economy began to recover from the Great Depression, Chevrolet pushed for leadership in a reviving truck market wîth what were designed to be some of the strongest, most innovative models produced to that point.
For 1937, Chevrolet introduced new trucks wîth streamlined styling that many still consider the best designs of the era. The '37 also featured a sturdier body and a larger and more powerful 78-horsepower engine, among other improvements.
A 1937 Chevrolet half-ton pickup was sent on a 10,245-mile drive around the Únited States that was monitored by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Carrying a 1,060 lb. load, the truck averaged 20.74 miles per gallon. 1947 Chevrolet Advance-Design Half-Ton Pickup
In early 1947, Chevrolet introduced its Advance-Design trucks, the first completely redesigned GM vehicles to appear following World War II. Owners of earlier pickup models had asked for a roomier, more comfortable cab wîth improved visibility and a wider pickup box. They got all of that and more.
Designers sought to make the truck's styling clean, brisk and attractive. Headlamps were now set wide apart in the front fenders and five horizontal bars made up the grille. The design was produced wîth few major changes from 1947 through 1953, and was then continued wîth a new frontal appearance into early 1955.
During the Advance-Design trucks' run, there was a measurable shift among Chevrolet customers to trucks. Prior to World War II, the production ratio of the brand's cars to trucks had been about 4:1. By 1950 – the year Chevrolet became the first brand to sell more than 2 million vehicles in a single year – the ratio of cars to trucks was closer to 2.5:1.1955 Chevrolet Task Force Pickup
By the mid-1950s, the post-World-War II boom was under way, and customers were lòòking for style and performance even in pickup trucks. In mid-1955, Chevrolet introduced the all-new Task Force trucks, which shared design language wîth the 1955 Bel Air, and also offered the new small-block Chevy V8 as an option.
Also new to the 1955 truck line was the Cameo Carrier, a high-styled gentleman's pickup more at home in a trendy suburban California bungalow driveway than on a farm or in a factory yard. The Cameo Carrier was only produced through 1958, but it set the stage for new generations of well-equipped personal use pickups, including the El Camino, Avalanche, and Silverado crew cab.
A major engineering advance wîth tremendous future implications was announced for 1957, when a factory-installed 4-wheel-drive system became available for the first time on select models.
Chevrolet continued to offer the Task Force trucks wîth annual updates through 1959. During 1958, a new slab-sided Fleetside box option provided an alternative to Chevrolet's traditional step-side pickup box. 1959 Chevrolet El Camino
The original El Camino introduced for 1959 combined the dramatically finned styling of that period's Chevrolet cars wîth half-ton pickup utility. But the excitement was short-lived. After 1960, the El Camino went on a three-year hiatus.
Chevrolet revived the El Camino 'personal pickup' concept for 1964, wîth a new version based on that year's new mid-size Chevrolet Chevelle. During the 'muscle car' era that followed, El Camino buyers could order their truck wîth a Chevrolet high-performance big-block V-8 powertrain, creating a sport pickup that could 'haul' in more ways than one. By 1968, a complete Super Sport package was available.
The Chevelle El Camino enjoyed a devoted following and was produced through two more styling generations (1968-1972 and 1973-1977). For 1978, the El Camino was successfully transitioned to that year's new, smaller Malibu platform. The final El Caminos were 1987 models. 1961 Corvair Pickup
Although there had been a number of small pickups prior to the 1960s, the compact car boom that kicked off the decade brought wîth it a new crop of forward control trucks, including the Corvair 95. With its unitized body structure and rear-mounted engine, the 95 offered a lot of cargo space in a compact maneuverable package. The Rampside model offered a side gate on the right side of the vehicle, which allowed easy access to the low load floor at the front of the bed. Although clever in design, the Corvair 95 never caught on in the showroom, and in the final model year of 1964, only 851 were sold. 1967 Chevrolet C-10 wîth Custom Sport Truck Package
It took only one glance at any of the 35 Chevrolet C/K models for 1967 to see that Chevy trucks had a new look that year. The exterior profile, which would characterize Chevrolet C/K models through 1972, featured a lower-silhouette cab and large, rounded wheel openings. The new chassis had coil springs front and rear.
A new-for-1967 Custom Sport Truck package was a trend-setting option that included deluxe, car-like upgrades inside and out. The package could even be ordered in combination wîth bucket seats.
By 1967, the Federal Interstate Highway System was giving Americans unprecedented access to the nation's natural wonders and recreational areas. Customers who enjoyed such pursuits appreciated the small-block and big-block V-8 power choices that gave Chevrolet trucks the torque needed to pull trailers up grades, and horsepower to cruise comfortably wîth a camper at Interstate speeds. 1972 Chevy LÚV
In spring of 1972, Chevrolet started selling the LÚV pickup on costal markets. Built by GM partner Isuzu, the LÚV featured a 75-horsepower four-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
Although the specs were modest, the LÚV was a fully functioning pickup, wîth a ladder-style frame, a six-foot bed, and a payload of 1,100 pounds, plus room for two passengers. Within a few years, soaring gas prices would make compact pickups like the Chevy LÚV a major factor in the Ú.S. truck market, and it wasn't long before Chevrolet started work on a home-grown small truck. 1982 Chevrolet S-10
The Chevrolet S-10 was the first domestically produced compact pickup, larger than the imported Chevy LÚV but smaller than the full size C/K model. An 82-horsepower four-cylinder engine was standard, wîth an available 110-horsepower V6 – the only one in the class. Properly equipped, the S-10 could haul 1,500 pounds, and tow 4,000. The roomy cab and high levels of standard and optional equipment gave the S-10 a broader appeal than that of earlier, bare-bones small trucks, and it quickly became a mainstay of the Chevrolet lineup, appealing to everyone from young customers lòòking for a first set of wheels to businesses seeking a rugged work truck. 1988 Chevrolet Pickups
Pickup trucks had been slowly migrating from the worksite to the suburbs, and the 1988 Chevrolet C/K pickup accelerated that trend, bringing the aerodynamics, electronics and materials that had revolutionized the automobile over the past decade to the full-size pickup. Extensively tested to make sure it met the high bar for dependability set by previous Chevy pickups, the new truck also featured advanced aerodynamics for improved fuel economy, including a narrower cab for lower drag, flush side glass, and a sleek front end wîth integrated lamps.
A full range of powertrains was offered, from a 4.3-liter V6 through a 6.2-liter diesel V8. To enhance durability, the trucks featured extensive use of galvanized steel for corrosion resistance, and a full welded frame wîth a boxed front section for strength and rigidity. Civilized driving characteristics and styling moved full-size pickups closer to being the family vehicles they are today. 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet's all-new 1999 full-size pickups were the first to carry the Silverado nameplate. The new trucks resulted from the most intensive development program yet undertaken by General Motors and they arrived just in time for a boom in truck sales. The styling of the new Silverado pickups built on the purposeful design that characterized the preceding C/K pickups. Interiors had all the comfort and convenience features personal-use customers were starting to expect. Power came from a new generation of V8 engines. 2004 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab
The 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche pioneered the idea of a light-duty pickup that could comfortably accommodate the family, and the 2004 Silverado took this idea and ran wîth it. In less than eight years, light-duty crew cabs would dominate the full-size pickup market, accounting for more than two-thirds of all sales, and transforming pickups into a true multi-purpose vehicle for both work and family. Available creature comforts included dual-zone climate control, Bose sound systems, a rear-seat DVD player, OnStar and XM radio. Even wîth the creature comforts, Silverado maintained the Chevy truck capability. 2007 Silverado
The all-new 2007 Silverado provided significant improvements in performance and fuel economy, while strengthening the capability and dependability Chevy pickups were known for. It featured a new fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, and rack-and-pinion §teering for improved ride and handling, while new Gen IV small-block 5.3L and 6.0L V-8 engines could deactivate four of the eight cylinders when not needed to save fuel. (concept carz) Safety advances included StabiliTrak electronic stability control and head-curtain side airbags for enhanced occupant protection. 2013 Chevrolet Colorado
Just as full-size pickups have become the lifeblood of the American economy, midsize pickups are important vehicles for businesses and families in many countries outside the Únited States. Chevrolet's new global mid-size Colorado pickup is designed to help expand the Chevrolet brand into many of the world's fastest-growing markets.
Developed under the direction of a truck-savvy team from GM do Brasil, the inaugural version of the global Colorado was launched in Thailand, the world's largest market for midsize pickups, in November, 2011. Over the next several years, Colorado will be introduced into many global markets, including the Únited States, where it will offer a more fuel efficient alternative for customers who don't need all of the capability of a full-size pickup.Source - GM
NEW SIERRA MARKS 111 YEARS OF GMC PICKUP HERITAGE PHOTO HISTORY SHOWS EVOLUTION OF TRUCK DESIGN THROUGH 12 DECADES
• New Sierra Marks 111 Years of GMC Pickup Heritage
• Photo history shows evolution of truck design through 12 decades DETROIT
- The all-new 2014 GMC Sierra fullsize pickup will be the latest in a bloodline that stretches back over a century. The first truck to wear a GMC badge debuted in 1912, while a predecessor from the Max Grabowsky's Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. was the first commercial truck operated in the City of Detroit 10 years earlier.
Here's a list of highlights by decade, accompanied by a corresponding photo of each.
• 1900s: The first Rapid truck - little more than a seat, an engine cover and a frame - was delivered in 1902.
• 1910s: The GMC name takes its place on a truck grille for the first time in 1912 and the mix of trucks offered had either upright front ends or curved 'French' fronts.
• 1920s: 1927 was a milestone for design features wîth more stylized fenders, headlights attached to the radiator, and the first chrome-plated radiator surround.
• 1930s: Streamlining in the '30s added sloped grilles, more paint color options and passenger cabs inspired by car design trends, which helped expand the truck market.
• 1940s: Following the war, GMCs of the late '40s featured fully integrated headlights for the first time, as well as wider, lower, and bolder grilles.
• 1950s: Cars again influenced truck design in the '50s, resulting in more safety, comfort and performance. 1955 highlights were hooded headlights and panoramic glass.
• 1960s: The first GMC pickup wîth a full-width hood debuted in 1960. Other design cues included 'jet pod' grilles at the front and a pinched-waist body crease on each side. - 1970s: Padded materials replaced many metal interior surfaces in the '70s. Heavy duty models offered a dual rear axle for the first time and the Crew Cab debuted. - 1980s: In 1987, the Sierra name became standard for all full-size pickups wîth the introduction of a new, more aerodynamic generation of GMC trucks. - 1990s: The '90s brought the first rear-hinged three-door Extended Cab model. In 1999, new generation of truck introduced the first use of frame hydroforming. - 2000s: The new millennium brought the 'D' decade: The first Duramax diesel engine for Sierra HD added capability and the first Denali pickup set a luxury standard for trucks. - 2012: The new 2014 Sierra debuts on December 13.
GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, and is one of the 's healthiest brands. Innovation and engineering excellence is built into all GMC vehicles and the brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SÚV and Acadia crossover. GMC is the only manufacturer to offer three full-size hybrid trucks wîth the Yukon, Yukon Denali SÚVs and the Sierra pickup. The Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks in the market.Source - GMC