Junkyard Gem: 1993 Chevrolet K3500 Silverado Crew-Cab

Big four-wheel-drive Detroit pickups that can tow heavy loads are so useful that they tend to stay in service for decade after decade, so I don’t see too many from recent decades during my junkyard travels. That makes today’s find, an absolutely loaded Chevy K-Series one-ton crew-cab in a Colorado boneyard, the sort of vehicle you don’t see every day at your local Ewe Pullet.

Chevrolet adopted the GMC-style 1500/2500/3500 nomenclature for trucks starting in the late 1980s, while keeping the old “C” and “K” designations for two- and four-wheel-drive trucks.

Just as other GM trim-level names (such as Impala, Malibu or Skylark, for example) ended up becoming model names in their own right, the Silverado name eventually got promoted from being the title for the C/K truck’s top trim level to becoming the model name itself. In 1993, the several flavors of Silverado equipment packages added $1,258 to $1,880 to the cost of a new C/K (about $2,618 to $3,913 in 2023 dollars).

The MSRP on this truck (before all the many options) with four-wheel-drive, long wheelbase and four-wheel-drive was $21,229, which comes to about $44,185 after inflation.

But that’s just getting started. Under the hood, there’s the mighty $3,670 (about $7,638 today) 6.5-liter turbodiesel V8, the costliest engine option available. When the dust settled and this truck left the showroom, the damage probably came to better than 60 grand in today’s currency.

That’s 190 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of oil-burning power, saving you an arm plus at least part of a leg on fuel costs when towing.

The transmission is the base NV4500 five-speed manual, with short first gear plus overdrive fifth. Since the original buyer of this truck didn’t fear checking the boxes for expensive options, we can assume that they preferred manuals over automatics (though the optional four-speed automatic did cost a hefty $890, or $1,852 after inflation).

Yes, this is one luxurious (yet very capable) truck for its time.

Just the thing for taking a few of your buddies, plus a big camper, for a weekend hunting trip in the woods.

Or skip the camper and snooze under this shell.

I was expecting to see many more miles than this on the odometer, because a truck like this is still worth fixing when something breaks. Perhaps the engine and transmission failed at the same time.

The original owner’s manual will be with it until the very end.

A first glance, I assumed that this was an AM/FM-only sound system, which would be odd for a top-trim-level pickup in the middle 1990s.

It turns out the cassette player and EQ are found in a separate unit. You saw this sort of setup in a lot more vehicles during the middle 1980s.

“They must have just fixed this road.”

Perhaps a different Bob Seger song would be more appropriate in the case of this truck, because today’s Junkyard Gem is never getting out of Denver.

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