The idea of stylized pickups for personal use is nothing new. Consider the Chevrolet Cameo Carrier, produced from 1955-’59, or the car-based El Camino, built for five generations and a total of 26 model years. The El Camino even came in a big-block performance variant, the SS454, and in 1989, Chevrolet updated this same recipe – this time using a half-ton pickup – to create the limited-production C1500 454 SS, built for the 1990-’93 model years.
The 454 SS arrived in late 1989 as a 1990 model, smack in the middle of the fourth-generation (GMT400) truck’s run. While the big-block engine beneath the hood was a primary selling point, the truck delivered more than just straight-line performance. Inside, all 454 SS pickups were based upon the quasi-luxury Silverado trim level, and came complete with amenities like cruise control, a tilt sport steering wheel, an AM/FM/cassette stereo with graphic equalizer, intermittent wipers, and bolstered sports seats for driver and passenger. Only short-bed, standard-cab C1500s were fitted with the 454 SS package (RPO B4U), and for the first two years on the market, the sole color choice was Onyx Black with a Garnet Red interior.