2: 1984 to 1998]
For 1975, a revamped grille with larger grillework, clear-lens parking lights and front fender model I.D.s were new. A restyled quick-release tailgate was used. All Chevys with under-6,001-lb. GVWs had a catalytic converter. Introduced on all engines was a high-energy ignition (HEI) system, an outside air carburetion intake and an early fuel evaporation system. The 250 six had a new, integrally-cast cylinder head with improved-flow intake manifold. All 1/2-tons with this engine had a larger clutch. Extended maintenance was adopted.
New in 1976 was the Bonus-Cab on a stretched wheelbase. The cab offered added passenger space. The grille texture was changed slightly and engine call-outs were removed from the grille. The 400 (402-cid) big-block V-8 was replaced with a 400 small-block. Pickups could be had with an optional glide-out spare tire carrier. Step-Sides with a 6-1/2-foot box came with new packages with special stripes, chrome bumpers, Rally rims and white-letter tires.
Beginning in 1977, C30 1-ton models joined the C10 and C20 trucks in offering four-wheel-drive. Called K30s, they carried a heavier-capacity 4,500-lb. front driving axle, instead of the 3,800-lb. axle used with 3/4-ton 4 x 4s. Other K30 equipment included a modified 7,500-lb. rear axle, power steering and a four-speed transmission. All Chevy conventionals had a new grille arrangement with four (rather than eight) vertical dividers and two (rather than three) horizontal bars. A secondary mesh was placed behind the major grille sections.
Single-unit tail/stop/back-up lights replaced the former separate units on Step-Sides. A new option for pickups was the Sport package with special hood and body side striping and white-spoke or Rally wheels. Sport tape stripes followed the body lines and continued in tiara fashion over the roof. On Fleetsides, "Chevy Sport" lettering appeared on the upper sides of the cargo box or the rear spare tire cover of Step-Sides. Chevy introduced an Operating Convenience package with power windows and power door locks. These could be ordered separately and represented a first in the truck industry.
New was an Exterior Decor option with a spring-loaded hood emblem and color-coordinated hood stripes. Six new two-tones were offered in this package. They featured a second hood color between the body moldings and on the roof. Also new were redesigned C10 wheel covers and an inside hood release. The 454 had new double-honed piston walls, modified rings (to cut oil consumption), a new rocker cover gasket system and a redesigned distributor cap and rotor.
For 1978, Chevy introduced a GM-built 5.7-liter diesel V-8 for C10s. Its eatures included 3-ring aluminum alloy pistons, a cast-iron regrindable crank, three-inch diameter mains, a rotary fuel-injection plug, electric glow plugs and a 7-quart oil pump. The C30 with optional dual-rear-wheels was now called the "Big Dooley". Chevy reported an all-time record of 1.34 million truck sales in 1978.
The ’79 Chevy light-duties had a smoother, aero hood lip. Integral headlights and parking lamps went with the "aero" look. The grille had a new paint scheme. It was slightly narrower top-to-bottom. The slotted area, directly below it, was now bright metal. A sport grille option had two full-width horizontal bars and a center bow tie against a black background. The base 250 six got a new staged two-barrel carb and dual take-down exhaust. There was a new concealed fuel filler. Sales dropped due to a gas shortage.
In 1980, Chevys got an Argent Silver grille with 33 square openings. Silverados used new, rectangular parking lamps. Inside, there were gauges with international symbols. A new seat back angle aided comfort. There was a new thermostatic-controlled fan and single inlet dual exhaust for the 292-cid six.
Chevy's 1981 pickups had a revised aerodynamic grille and new sheet metal. The grille came with the square headlamps in the top level or with a Halogen High-Beam option with two square lamps at each end. With new low-alloy steel body panels and lightweight window glass, Chevys were 87 to 300 lbs. lighter, with unchanged cab and bed sizes. Electronic spark control was adopted.
A new high-compression 5.0-liter V-8 with ESC (not in California) was designed to give improved economy and performance. Also new was a body with improved corrosion resistance, low-drag disc brakes, a 6,000-lb. semi-floating axle for specific models, resume-type cruise control, a quad-shock 4x4 front suspension, heavier rear springs and a water-in-fuel warning lamp for diesels.
K10s/K20s adopted automatic locking hubs and shot-peened rear springs. Standard on all models were high-efficiency radiators and a Delco Freedom II battery. Half-tons had a quick-take-up master cylinder and lighter rear springs. Rising gas prices led to a “bottoming out” of Chevy light truck sales.
A chrome grille became standard in 1982. Improved rust protection was advertised. A new 6.2-liter Chevy diesel V-8 was available for larger trucks. The Cheyenne trim level was eliminated, but Custom Deluxe, Custom Sport, Scottsdale and Silverado packages were now available. This was the first time since 1976 that Chevrolet had more calendar-year registrations than Ford.
The big news in 1983 was the American auto and truck industry enjoyed a general recovery from the early 1980s. Chevrolet dealers recorded 176 truck registrations per sales outlet in 1983, compared to 156 the previous season.