K1500 Coolside I
pickup should have been the heir apparent to the legacy left by
the 454SS but probably due to its late arrival and the impending
debut of the 1999 Silverado it never made it into production.
in the cockpit (what else do you call the cabin of a 536 horsepower
regular cab stepside pickup) of the 1996 vintage Chevrolet K1500
Coolside I reminds you just how far GM and other truck manufacturers
have progressed in a scant five year period.
this isn't a truck that has seen 'light-duty' use either during
its existence but the rectangular IP and its instruments look heavily
dated and worn relative to today's ergonomic interiors. And the
doors just don't feel as solid as even the cheapest Silverado's.
The center console mounted purple 1993 Camaro floor shifter is definitely
a unique custom touch. Guess we're just spoiled.
exterior has kept up its appearance better than the interior. The
five spoke wheels and low profile tires fit the truck just right.
Don't know that the disco striping is still in though amongst the
sport truck crowd.
we didn't come here to be dazzled just sitting in the truck or staring
at it, we came here to drive it.
Coolside I's all wheel drive setup doesn't make for smoky burnouts.
buckled ourselves into the Coolside I and rolled out for a quick
4 mile jaunt on the country roads surrounding Milan.
502ci engine roared to life with a quick turn of the key. There
was no stiff clutch to depress like on the S-10 ZZ4.3 in this four
speed automatic. The purple Camaro shifter sat at a comfortable
height relative to the driver and we threw it into drive.
out onto the streets in the Coolside I revealed an engine eager
to please and explore its boundaries but we obeyed the laws of the
local constabulary and stuck, for the most part, to the posted surface
limits. There was nothing that said we couldn't get to those limits
as quick as possible though.
ride was quite good and better than you might expect but this is
definitely not made as a daily driver.
back to Milan after our road loop we headed straight for the drag
strip to grab a helmet and time on the track.
something funny about watching the Christmas lights countdown to
green on a dragstrip when you are sitting in a pickup truck.
an empty bed, instinctively, all you expect to happen at the green
light is maybe a lot of smoke and the truck hopping sideways all
over the place. All wheel drive makes for another matter. Instantly
the Coolside took off and quickly got to 90+ mph. Handling was dead
on center the entire straightaway.
our surface street ride and 1/4-mile sprint, this is one chariot
we wish would have reached production.
Three-passenger, two-door pickup
Front-engine, All-Wheel Drive
Type and Size:
- GM SPO 502 cubic inch 8.2-liter high output "Gen V"
partial engine assembly
536 @ 5000 rpm
605 @ 3500 rpm
- Block honed from 4.47" to 4.5" bore
- 4.5" forged flat top pistons
- Wiseco 1/16" moly top, 1/16" cast 2nd c, 3/16"
chrome-faced oil ring set
- Block head surfaces adjusted for .015" deck height
- Speed Pro Roller timing chain/sprocket set
- Balanced and fitted assembly
- Bowtie "W-Port"
- Modified deck face to match GEN V water passages
- Reduced intake port opening to match ASM intake manifold runner
- Bowl-ported intake and exhaust
- Combustion chambers matched to 4.5" bore. Deck surfaced machined
- Two piece intake manifold assembly
Dual 58mm bore throttle body
- Fabricated dual air cleaner system with two 94 Camaro LT1
Reduced ride height and shorter shocks to prevent "bottoming
stainless steel four-into-one tubular headers, 2" x 34"
runners into 3" collectors
- Fabricated dual 3" exhaust system complete to rear bumper
with 2.5 " balance tube
- BORLA dual XR-1-3" inlet and outlet mufflers
- 5-spoke polished aluminum wheels
- BF Goodrich ZR Tires
- Regular cab
- Stepside box
- Pearlescent White exterior with multicolored stripes and hard
tonneau bed cover
- Custom leather bucket seats
- 60 mph: