Who didn't want one of these super-tough K-series trucks back when they were new, lifted and sitting tall, flashy in all the right places, and capable of driving over Mt. Everest? Well, it's time to relive the past with this absolutely dialed-in 1974 Chevrolet K20 4X4 LWB pickup, which has obviously enjoyed a rather significant makeover. With killer in-your-face looks, an insanely powerful big block under the hood, and go-anywhere capabilities, it's big fun on or off the pavement – armed and ready to shame all those glam-rigs you see everywhere on the road these days.
The high-impact bright orange color isn't original, but they probably would have loved it in 1974, as it harkens back to the Hugger Orange shades that adorned only the coolest of Camaros from the previous generation. It just looks right, regardless of age, and this awesome Chevy wears it proudly across miles of super-straight sheetmetal. The exterior was taken up several notches with the addition of some killer-looking hardware, including the '89-'91 Silverado grille complete with a blacked-out grille, the rubber chin spoiler below and the tall cowl hood just above. But the party didn't stop there, the builders also added bright side-steps, a diamond-plate toolbox that matches the diamond armor protecting the top bed rails, and a smoothed-out rear roll-pan in the rear. It was repainted a few years ago but it was a high-end job when it was finished, and it's been preserved incredibly well ever since and shows almost no imperfections to speak of. Sure, it's a driver, but it's a top-quality driver at that and it's got the looks and credentials to be shown at just about any venue. All that orange acreage is broken up by a tomahawk-like black hood cowl and side-stripe, providing a perfect contrast without being too overbearing. You can't argue with how good it all looks on the clean, chiseled lines of the K20 and the finish quality is on-par with the impressive build quality of the rest of the truck. The finish is shiny, well-applied, and covers straight sheetmetal, but at the same time, it's not so flawless that you're afraid to use this truck to its full potential. There's also a decent amount of shiny trim to accentuate that orange paint, including the factory stainless on the top of the cab, the front grille surround, and the big, shiny bumper up front. Even the long bed is nicely finished, probably a tad too clean to do the kind of heavy hauling this truck is capable of doing.
The handsome interior is largely stock and for 1974, although you'll be impressed by some of the luxury accommodations. The wide bench seat wears a two-tone, Saddle cloth-and-vinyl cover that's in great shape, and the gorgeous Saddle vinyl materials used for the dash pad and door panels look fantastic and were likely very expensive. Options are limited (this was 1974 after all) but include factory A/C (needs service), tilt wheel, seatbelts, a working heater/defrost unit, and a retro-style AM/FM stereo, so it's quite a comfortable place in which to spend some time. The factory instruments are bright and crisp, and just beyond them a wood-rimmed Grant GT steering wheel was installed and really kicks things up a notch inside. Speakers in the kick panels and custom headliner above really sound great, and the plush brown carpets lining the floor are protected with thick, durable floor mats. Comfortable yet low maintenance – exactly what you want in a pickup truck.
The condition of the sparkling engine bay and custom undercarriage suggests that while this truck looks off-road ready, it hasn't spent much time there. The 454 V8 was swapped-in from a later-model GM truck and punched up with aluminum heads, an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor atop a matching Edelbrock intake, and block-hugging long-tube headers. The beefy big block pulls the big rig around without working too hard, with enough torque to pull half the forest away with you, but it's also been beautifully dressed with aluminum valve covers and a matching air cleaner. Backed by a sturdy TH350 3-speed automatic transmission and 2-speed transfer case, the driveline is tough enough to handle just about anything. While you're under there, check out the custom lift kit with heavy-duty shocks at each corner, beefy leaf springs, and heavy-duty axles that don't mind a little hard work. And in case you missed anything, all the expensive stuff was painted in bright colors, and aluminum differential covers were added fore and aft for further pop. Of course, a truck this big wouldn't be possible without power steering and power 4-wheel disc brakes, so despite its size it's relatively easy to maneuver in traffic, albeit a bit stiff. Great-looking, 20-inch chrome wheels suite the truck's personality and carry mammoth 33x15.5x20 all-terrain tires that look like they'll climb a wall.
A very cool truck with slick modifications and a classic look. Admit it, you thought these were cool when you were a kid, and who's to say anything has changed. You want it, all you have to do is call!
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