The SSR was one of those great ideas at GM that took some time to perfect, much like the Fiero, the Impala SS, and the Cadillac Allante, and once it was right, it was one heck of a truck. Most were babied, like this one, and theres an enthusiastic group of owners out there dedicated to keeping them in top shape, so youll be in good company every time you take this one out.
Ostensibly based on the Advance Design pickups of the late-40s, the SSR is perhaps the most unique blend of retro and modern weve had to date. Not merely a modern version of something old, but an entirely new niche: is it a pickup truck? A muscle car? A convertible? Most would argue that it does all three things pretty well, and wrapping it in the curvy bodywork with deeply flared fenders gives it as much eyeball appeal as a bright red Ferrari at 8000 RPM. This one wears bright red paint that was expertly applied to highlight the trucks retro profile, because, after all, whats more traditional than a red Chevy pickup? Its also got a set of running boards that only emphasize the retro look, and it hasnt been over-dressed with accessories like so many of these running around at local shows. And with only 22,997 miles on the clock, it still looks very fresh in every sense of the word.
Once youre inside the SSR, its pretty easy to forget the pickup truck look, because its more Camaro than Cameo from behind the wheel. Deeply bolstered black leather buckets grab you in aggressive cornering, while a color-matched center console between them offers secondary controls and a big chrome shifter thats straight out of the 60s. Auxiliary gauges down low add to the muscle car vibe, and the original instruments were clearly designed to recall those in the original Camaro with three deep, round binnacles. The A/C is powerful, the stereo sounds awesome, and there are few cooler feats of automotive acrobatics than the folding hardtop, which disappears with the touch of a button. And instead of thinking of the rear area as a pickup bed, check out the well-fitted black carpet, making it simply the biggest trunk ever fitted to a muscle car.
One quick blast down the road with your foot on the floor will convince you that this is, indeed, a performance vehicle. The 5.3 liter V8 was the only engine available in 2004, and gives this truck its personality. Fast, but docile, with a raucous exhaust bark that doesnt get annoying, its the ultimate modern small block. Chevy added a cool engine cover with a shiny SSR insert, just to dress it up a bit, and as weve learned over the past decade, these engines are virtually indestructible. Linked to a slick-shifting automatic transmission and a heavy-duty suspension, it likes to hustle and will feel at home on your favorite twisty road as much as on the highway. Powerful 4-wheel discs and a bunch of electronic traction aids will build confidence when youre running hard, and those massive 255/45/19 front and 295/40/20 rear Goodyears grip the road like flypaper.
Documented with its original window sticker, this segment-busting convertible pickup definitely delivers big fun in a reasonably-priced package. Call today!