By on July 13, 2017

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There’s a great scene in Clear and Present Danger where Harrison Ford says, “Where are you taking me, Marty?” in that great post-Han Solo angry growl of his, and Marty replies, “It’s you who have taken us here.” And so it was with me and the B&B. Just over a month ago, I asked you to help me pick a pickup. One of you read that article and promptly broke my wife’s heart by making us a fair but not overly generous offer on her Tahoe.

I have to say that for all of Danger Girl’s well-known bravery in the face of pain and suffering — this is, after all, a woman who managed to get her SCCA comp license and a couple of race starts less than 18 months after having three pounds’ worth of external titanium scaffolding unbolted from her — she did not cope very well with the idea of not owning a Chevrolet truck of some sort.

I don’t think she made it plain in her story, but with one six-month exception she has had nothing but either half-ton Chevrolet work trucks or Tahoes since the day she turned sixteen. (The truckless interregnum? A fleeting romance with an Equinox.) Two of those trucks — count ’em, two! — were totaled at high speed by the unlicensed-and-undocumented crowd out in New Mexico. The others she drove until the engines called it quits. This happened more than you might think. At one point in her life she had a 210-mile daily commute. Things really are different in the Southwest.

“I don’t see why I can’t have just a plain white work truck again,” she told me, which made me cringe at the molecular level like Jeremy Irons in Reversal Of Fortune contemplating his attorney’s food-stained 50/50 “dress” shirt. No member of my family has ever actually owned a full-sized pickup of any type. Twenty years ago, one of my uncles bought a Toyota T-100 to tide him through a few years of home renovation; to this day, my grandmother acts like he got a Confederate tattoo on his neck and spent 20 years on the open road pushing a Kenworth between Amarillo and Anchorage. I didn’t relish letting anybody see me in a plain white work truck. Although I’d been looking at the Silverado LT All-Stars for a while, I was pretty sure that when push came to shove I was going to buy a Sierra Denali, put a cap on it, and tell my relatives it was a Yukon XL.


“I think GMCs are for people who are, you know, trying to act fancier than they are,” was Danger Girl’s comment on this situation.

“YES!” I replied. “That’s exactly correct! That’s the American middle class right there, and we, my darling, are swimming with the tide here! In fact, if they made a Cadillac half-ton pickup, I would get that! If they called it the Fleetwood, I’d pay full retail, even!”

“One of my uncles bought a GMC once,” was her flat-voiced response. “He wasn’t exactly the hardest worker.”

“That’s fine!” I cried. “I’m not the hardest worker either! There’s a dealership down the street that has a dark-blue Denali! Let me show it to you!”

“You can show it to me,” she said, “but I don’t know why I would look at it, because I don’t bother to look at trucks I don’t want.”

“Well,” I offered, in a rather defeated tone, “what about that Silverado LTZ Max Tow that we used for the Road Atlanta race?”

“I don’t know. It was awfully…” and here she gave me a definitely non-Azalean look, “…fancy.”

Faced with a situation that could have easily landed me behind the wheel of an ex-power-company Silverado LS, I decided to lie. I told Danger Girl that the only way to get heated seats was with the LTZ package.

“We saw, like, twenty LT All-Stars with heated seats at the dealership.” I was getting nowhere.

“I meant heated and cooled. Also, I need the Corvette-ish engine. And I need the chrome grille. It’s very important.”

“But you can’t get the chrome grille with the Z71 LTZ.” Christ, she knew the option book better than I did.

In the end, I simply threw myself on her mercy. I explained that I needed certain things in a truck — the 6.2-liter V8, the Bose speakers, the ventilated seats. I explained that the Z71 package would have a small but palpable negative effect on towing. Last but not least, I offered to pay for it myself as a kind of delayed wedding present.

In the end, I needed more than mercy — I needed pity. Two Friday nights ago, I made a horrific mistake at a skatepark that saw me fly a measured sixteen feet to a face-first landing on bare concrete. It was all but crippling, made worse by the fact that my son watched it happen. So, for twenty minutes afterwards I had to ride the ramps with him to show him that “we don’t give up or walk away after a crash,” even though I was swallowing a tablespoon of blood every time I took a deep breath. “What can I do to help,” my wife asked, as I lay dazed and bloody on a homemade hospital bed of old pillows.

“You can…” I whispered “…just let me get the one that doesn’t have the God-dammed Z71 package, please, at some point my father is going to see this truck.” Then I pretended to pass out but before I could pretend to pass out I actually passed out. The next morning I gimped over to the Chevrolet dealer and performed all the actions related in Tuesday’s column.

And that is how I became the owner of a 2017 Silverado LTZ crew cab “long bed” with the 6.2, with the Max Tow package, and with pretty much every factory option on the books except for LED bed lighting (I’ll add it later), driver’s assist handle (I’m really suffering with the lack of that right now, actually) and sunroof (Danger Girl wouldn’t let me have it). To my sorrow, it’s made in Mexico, but so was one of my most reliable Texas-area girlfriends during the earlier part of this decade, so I’m willing to let it go.

Why didn’t I buy an F-150 or a Ram? Truthfully, I’ve towed with fully-equipped versions of all the current full-sizers and the Chevrolet is my favorite to drive. The big V-8 should have a National Park named after it or something. The interior is no-nonsense comfortable for the long haul. It doesn’t pretend to be a big rig the way the Ford and the Ram pretend to be big rigs. It’s just a truck. Everything about it simply works. I’ve have gotten it in Havana Brown if I’d had my way but I didn’t want that color as much as my wife wanted her color.

Yes, I would rather have snagged a Denali, but Danger Girl is right that there really is just a whiff of the striver about the big GMC. The SLT Max Tow 6.2 is the direct equivalent to the LTZ 6.2 Max Tow and it’s actually $30 cheaper if you configure them both the same way, but the only one I could find in Ohio was a tasty metallic grey that did not meet with the wife’s approval. I’m telling myself that this monster truck is the natural successor to the Chevrolet Kingswood wagons that made dignified but leisurely progress through the East Coast bedroom suburbs of my youth. And the fact is that I absolutely adore the thing. It rides pretty well, it has the same firepower as the USS New Jersey, and I expect it to last 15 years with no trouble.

Best of all, this proves that compromise is possible in a marriage if you really communicate with each other in the most forthright, pitiless fashion possible. I wanted a Denali, she wanted a work truck, we met in the middle. There’s only one little problem. In a few weeks, I have to drive it to South Carolina for my son’s golf camp. Which means that my father is going to see it. I am sure he will have something to say. But I will also have something to say. After all, he moved me and my brother from New York to Ohio before we were old enough to have any vote in the matter. So when he says, “Why have you brought this truck to me?” I’m going to say, “No, Dad, it’s you who brought me to this truck.”

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135 Comments on “Trackday Diaries: Sometimes the Light’s All Shinin’ on Me...”


  • avatar
    RoysRoyce

    I am completely at a loss regarding your obsession with what your dad thinks about what trim package you buy. Beautiful writing, incredibly stupid premise.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      Read Jack’s old article about the ’97 F-150, including his dad’s observations of base model Chevy work trucks. Obviously this stuck in his mind.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/fixed-abode-got-one-right-except-didnt/

      The entry-level Chevrolet half-ton was badged “W/T” for Work Truck, but the first time my father saw one in traffic he inquired of me, from behind the wheel of his steel-grey XJ6, “W/T? That’s for White Trash, right?”

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      Because Dad’s opinion *means something* to men, even (especially?) if they don’t quite get along.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    How did people go racing before Max Tow 6.2L fullsize pickups with ventilated seats were invented?

  • avatar
    Stugots

    That is a fine conveyance! Can’t wait to hear the stories as it transports your family around the country. Enjoy it!

  • avatar
    No Nickname Required

    Have fun with that 6.2 liter. Every day you drive the truck you will be glad you didn’t settle for the 5.3.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Sucks you cant get the big engine with proper seats (which are of course cloth covered).

      Luckily a Sierra SLE is finally available with HIDs, heated cloth buckets, tires with sidewall (18s) and the 5.3L max tow will allow a 9k trailer after 20% safety factor.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        (which are of course cloth covered).

        I was going to make a crack about real truck seats being vinyl covered (or covered by an old Mexican blanket like my truck) but given the quality of most mass market automotive leather, leather = vinyl in 2017.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          So the Buick goes back in April.

          I’ve been pricing out trucks. A Tacoma TRD Sport (heated cloth seats, V6/6AT, 4×4, open rear end, 6ft box, crew cab, sunroof, halogen projectors and 17″ rims) can tow about 6400 lbs and stickers for 43k CAD. Toyota offers no incentives and 5% financing.

          The above noted 2017 Sierra SLE crew short bed comes with a proper V8, auto AWD, proper LSD, HIDs, 18″ rims, heated cloth seats, and from an option perspective, only lacks a sunroof. Sticker is 58k CAD but with current incentives you could easily walk away at 45K CAD with 0% financing. And the 5.3L max tow is rated at 11k lbs, which as I mentioned amounts to a 9k lbs trailer.

          Long story short, its no wonder so many people buy halftons.

          In case anyone was wondering why I’m so caught up on tow rating, I want to buy an RV, but in the meantime, you can rent RVs for 80 to 150 a day. At a few weeks a summer, thats more economical by far than buying one outright. However, most of the units on offer require a halfton to tow.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I feel like this is a future series.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I love how the quality construction of his Buick hasn’t scared him away from GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Dave has a sickness

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Lol. I do. I just really, really like the way GM has designed their trucks. Proper LSD. OHV V8. Nice aesthetics. Its just too bad GM corporate is crap.

            But. a) I’m due some good luck. b) All other late model GMs in my family seem to be holding up including a Sierra.

            What part of this would make a good series? My luck with another GM? Genuine interest in if RV rentals are legit? If its my headspace on cars, none of us are exactly rational car buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Any sort of review that involves real world towing is something good.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Glad you’re getting out of the troublesome Verano.

            The Tacoma isn’t for you. If you want half ton towing and over-the-road comfort, you don’t spend near-half ton money on a recreationally-aimed midsizer. Tacoma prices are eye-popping, it isn’t worth it unless you really want that truck’s narrow talent range.

            RVing is expensive. Last year an inlaw bought a new 4×4 SuperCrew F150 to tow the RV trailer that has yet to materialize, quite possibly at wife’s insistence. So now it burns a lot of fuel and cash on his commute. Can’t be too judgmental though, his out the door price probably wasn’t much higher than the 4Runner I purchased to go backcountry exploring a half dozen times a year.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Guys I’d love to write some more but I’m so busy.

            The Buick has had more trials. When its not on warranty trips, its getting hit and run at 2AM. I’ve since had a JGC rental (which I loved) and currently have a BMW X3 28i (which is a turd and a half).

            That poor car is cursed. Easily 20+ k of not at fault, or glass or act of God claims in 3.3 years.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @30-mile

            I know. I really actually like everything about the Taco Sport…except that weak sauce 3.5L. The size is just right, the cabin is great, the options are pretty much what I want. But even though its rated to tow what I would consider a safe 5000 lbs (after 20% FS off the rating), I can’t imagine it would be happy doing it through the Rockies.

            Regarding the cost of RVing, its true. Thats why I’m pretty intrigued by what is basically AirBnB for RVs. But yeah, a 1/4 ton wouldn’t hack it. Most units on offer are 26 to 30ft ultralights. So, halfton towable (especially with the Max Tow) but not Taco towable.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Modern “HD” vinyl trumps all other materials. Determined after extensive research, consisting of sitting on a mix of M&Ms, Extra Hot Cheetos, Ketchup, blueberries, sand, mud and gravel from SoCal to Prudhoe Bay and back.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Sucks you cant get the big engine with proper seats (which are of course cloth covered).”

        say what you will about Ford, at least on the F-150 they give you a lot more flexibility in powertrain selection.

      • 0 avatar
        No Nickname Required

        I actually test drove a Denali with the 6.2 the other day. It was a very nice truck but at $64k I was like “nah”. So I began to give the sales manager a hard time about no 6.2 availability in lower trim trucks. He hemmed and hawed and finally admitted that he thought he could order one for me. So there’s that.

        But I definitely want to test the 18 F150 5.0 since it will have the 10 speed trans. The 5.0 is a real gem of a motor. Have one in my current F150 and absolutely love it.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          you can get the 6.2 in the Sierra SLT trim level.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            To me, the SLT is already too blingy, the Denali is overkill. 20″ rims makes on sense at all to me. Worse ride, more expensive to replace, and hell, trucks look GOOD with sidewall.

            That said, I’d be all over an SLT with cloth (doesnt exist) and the All Terrain package (chrome delete), with 18s, to get the 6.2L and sunroof.

            I wish you could still pick and choose individual options.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Mazel Tov. Hope you enjoy it!

  • avatar
    Shinoda is my middle name

    Ahhhh, Jacky-boy….you truly have finally met your match, haven’t you?

    We of the B&B who have faithfully followed the ribald tales of your mis-spent youthful middle age will probably never know what it is about Danger Girl which makes you so obviously melt….and we’re not sure we want to….we just know it’s fun reading about your sudden domestication….

    As for how you feel about trucks and women made in Mexico, I feel the same way about Honda’s, and women made in Osaka.

    Good on you both.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Reminds me of the time when I met a guy from England in university – he could not fathom how any vehicle could be offered with an engine displacing more than 6 litres.

    These trucks seem to have offers of 20% off now – seems likely the discount will go to 30% as GM blows these things out before the new model arrives.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Just look at that thing – massive chrome grill, massive chrome wheels, 20 feet long – the only thing missing is tail fins and you would perfectly describe a late 1950s Imperial or Cadillac. Tell you dad that big trucks are the American prestige car of today.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Smarter use of money too, given their highly negotiable asking prices and strong resale value. He could have bought a Continental instead and just watched the cash value vaporize like ethanol spilled on a hot sidewalk.

      That financial logic should appeal to anyone’s dad.

      • 0 avatar
        HattHa

        30-mile fetch is spot on with his comment…my new ’16 F-150 I paid about 75% of MSRP when all of the dust settled (no trade-in)…I priced out similar spec trucks at Manheim with ~15k miles on them for comparison and they were pricing out about at what I paid…

      • 0 avatar
        baconator

        Jack also opted for the long bed, which means he can write the entire thing off his taxes this year under the acceleration provision of Section 179. Uncle Sam, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that a bed more than 6 feet in length is what differentiates ‘business equipment’ from ‘luxury vehicle.’

        I think Danger Girl’s criteria for a ‘work truck’ make more sense, but Uncle Sam has a whole police force.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Nice choice. I too am interested in the long term ownership writing to come. As a long term owner/driver of a Suburban, you get used to the foibles of GM but for the most part if you have to lay down some miles with a bunch of stuff in tow or packed they are not a bad place to spend ones time.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Well, that’s my truck pretty much exactly, except mine is the GMC, it has the short box, and it’s red (see photo). A consolation for you: the max trailer tow package is not available in the Denali/ High Country trims, and you can’t get the 6.2 engine in trim lower than LTZ/SLT. My 2015 is still running strong after 57K miles. BTW, for just toodling around, the engine is perfectly happy with 89 octane.i still use premium when towing. No repairs needed so far. Be sure and engage 4wd auto if you feel the need for stoplight hooliganism and want to have some tr ad left on your rear tires. Also learned from the manual that the “low profile wheels do not have enough clearance for tire chains. Luckily for me! When I was thoroughly stuck in some snow in Idaho, I was unable to mount the chains I was carrying. A 4 wheel drive tractor did the trick.

  • avatar
    gaudette

    Nice truck! Can’t option one better than that.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Did I not call this the other day? A Silverado with 4×4 and the 6.2?

    Well done. It’s what I’d have bought. There isn’t even a big fuel detriment between the 5.3 and the 6.2.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’m still kind of surprised that Jack for all his “buy American” vitriol, settled for a Mexican-assembled truck, especially when it turns out that if you look around it is possible to find some of the new crew-cabs that are starting to roll off the line in Flint. It sure is a fine looking machine though!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The “USA Made” GM pickups should come with an extra badge identifying them for extra bragging rights.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The 6.2L is just *that* compelling.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I’m not surprised at all.

      The majority of protectionist “buy American” flag-wavers I know are quite flexible on their “principles” when it comes time to spend their own money.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Ah, that’s the B&B for you. If you buy a Marysville Accord, they say it doesn’t count, and if you buy a Mexican Chevy, they say it doesn’t count.

        My conscience is pretty clear. I’ve spent enough money on American-made suits, shoes, hi-fi equipment, and guitars in the past five years to cover this truck and four more just like it.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “I’ve spent enough money on American-made suits, shoes, hi-fi equipment, and guitars in the past five years to cover this truck and four more just like it.”

          Reminds me of a classic Ric Flair outburst:

          “It’s so hard for me to sit back here in this studio, looking at a guy out here, hollering my name!—When last year I spent more money, on spilled liquor, in bars from one side of this world to the other, than you made! You’re talking to the Rolex wearing, diamond ring wearing, kiss stealing, whoa! wheelin dealin’, limosuine riding, jet flying son of a gun and I’m having a hard time holding these alligators down!”

          :p

          Marysville Accord purchase 100% counts, how could it not?

          Mexican assembled Chevy with close to 50% Chinese/Malay/etc content? Not so much IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          Great point.

          So are you now less inclined to judge somebody based on their purchase of suits, shoes, hi-fi equipment, or guitars sourced from a low-cost foreign land?

          Who knows what American-made goods they purchased to “cover” for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            I’m perfectly willing to judge people on buying overseas crap from low-cost providers and I’m willing to endure the stink-eye from an F-150 Lariat driver because of my truck as well.

            With that said, most of my American-made purchases are done deliberately to support industries that are at risk here. There is little risk of all pickup production leaving North America.

        • 0 avatar
          Dingleberrypiez_Returns

          You spend ~$50k a year on shoes, suits, guitars, and stereo equipment?

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          Jack,

          Tell me more about these American-made shoes. I need a new pair or two and would love to buy domestic.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            Can’t beat Allen Edmonds Shoe Bank for deals on quality American-made shoes.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Allen-Edmonds unless you live on the East Coast where you can get easily fitted for Alden. That’s my recommendation. But you’d be surprised at how many shoemakers are coming back here. There are also small-batch guys like Greenwich Village that are remaking old USA shoes with all-new soles and interiors.

        • 0 avatar
          celebrity208

          … and Shinola gear.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        I could barely keep my composure when a political discussion with my Trump voting mother turned to trade, and she tried to tell me about all the jobs he was going to bring back here and how important it was to revitalize American manufacturing. this, of course, is my same mother who insisted on only Japanese cars for decades, loves her cheap made in China imports from Walmart, and whose personal transportation is currently either a Mexican or Canadian immigrant (Fiat 500C and Chrysler T&C).

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          If the one and only difference we can correlate between Obama and Trump 20 years from now is that Trump stopped the unprecedented bleeding this country has suffered at the hands of the Muslim terrorist his campaign will have been a huge success.
          If you laugh at that you belong in another country.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            Unprecedented bleeding? only 80 people have been killed on U.S. soil in any terrorist attack from 2002 to the end of 2015. More people than that died in car accidents every day in 2015. What’s he going to do to stop that unprecedented bleeding? Twice that many people died every day in 2016 due to drug overdoses, a rate which truly is unprecedented.

            I work in EMS, and I see people dying a lot. I can tell you that the things this country needs to be scared of them have nothing to do with terrorism, or quite frankly, guns. People’s fears in this country are so irrational. It’s all I can do not to go crazy when I hear some conservative rant about Muslims while eating their value sized heart attack lunch special Burger and fries, or when some liberal tries to tell me how bad guns are while drinking their diabetes in a cup from Starbucks.

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            You forgot the sarcasm flag… /s

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            I’m glad somebody saw it!

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            You forgot the “/s” (sarcasm) flag Mason.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Great writing, the image of someone pleading for no God-damned Z71 package before passing out from an unrelated injury is pretty funny. So is “One of my uncles bought a GMC once…he wasn’t exactly the hardest worker.”

    Nice truck and good compromise. I am actually surprised the assembly location wasn’t a complete nonstarter for you.

    I learned years ago to stop caring too much about what my father thinks. Sometimes age brings wisdom. More often it just entrenches people in habits and thought patterns established long before, some of which are bullsh*t.

    • 0 avatar
      Shinoda is my middle name

      30-mile:
      I, on the other hand, have continued to listen to the voice of my Father, and to care deeply what he would think.

      That he went to be with the Lord 18 years ago has not, and will never, make one bit of difference about that. My father’s voice, which I continue to remember in my mind and my heart, still teaches, amuses, guides and convicts me. And always will.

      His hard-working, gnarled, nicotine-stained loving hands worked the raw lump of clay I was into the person I am. Was he perfect? God knows he wasn’t…but he was good, kind, decent, thoughtful, wise and wickedly funny.

      My prayer for you, mate, is that your father’s voice will have the same resonance for you one day.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The only advice that my father ever gave me that I still remember to this day, was given right before I departed for college.

        “Don’t forget where you came from and watch out for fast women.”

        Everything else was by example not by words.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Not as bad as it sounds, Shinoda, but thank you. I respect the life experiences he has had–and he’s had some unique and teachable ones–but can also recognize that personal growth sometimes stops earlier in life and that years of comfort can lead to compromised principles and stagnation. Perhaps it’s just me but I don’t see a lot to look up to in the Boomer crowd as a general rule, so my skepticism goes well beyond my father. My generation isn’t on any better a track, though.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Very nice truck..I know its subjective, but I to prefer the looks of the Silverado over the GMC..

    Just a little hint. If you want to run that Silverado 15 years in Ohio ?…. Annual application, or at least bi-anually , with an oil based rust inhibitor….The 13 Tahoe looked good, but it did spend a good part of its life in the South West.

    Good luck with your new ride.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Another little hint, if you want it to last 15 years in Ohio – buy an aluminum F150.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “Another little hint, if you want it to last 15 years in Ohio – buy an aluminum F150.”

        That’s yet to be proven. You do know aluminum corrodes as well, don’t you?
        Calcium chloride has been proven to reduce the fatigue strength of aluminum more than steel, so if Ford kicked the bucket on proper prep before paint we could potentially see a real chit storm in the next 6-8 years.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          I’m interested to see how the aluminum F 150’s hold up. If I owned one, I might not drill holes to excess the body panels. I would most certainly ensure that the brake, and fuel lines had some defence against rust…Around here such components usually fail around the 12-13 year mark…Very pricey fix

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          …”You do know aluminum corrodes as well…”

          Correctomundo!! But *how* it rusts is the question. Or no? Isn’t it more of a surface crust, not ruining the integrity of the body/panel/rocker/etc??

          Aluminum bodies and panels weren’t a new thing for 2015. There’s a whole array of aluminum cars and SUVs and aluminum panels (on steel bodies), some dating back 30+ years.

          Shirley you can come up with an example of a badly rusting Audi something. Or no?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Aluminum is actually a pretty darn reactive metal, but it has the interesting property of “passivation.” When exposed to air, bare aluminum almost instantly forms a coating of clear aluminum oxide on its surface, protecting the metal from further oxidation.

            iron/steel on the other hand, don’t. Oxygen and water cause it to form hydrated red iron oxide, and the hydration causes it to swell up and flake off, exposing more metal to rusting.

            The thing you have to watch out for with aluminum is contamination via other metals. That reactivity is a liability if the aluminum piece is touching a different metal. Back in the day alloy wheels used to get a nice fluffy white corrosion because wheel weights still had steel clips. you definitely want to make sure you don’t have anything like iron/steel dust in between aluminum panels or else it’ll start corroding once water is introduced.

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      Mikey, great advice. As a fellow Ontario resident, I agree that if you live in areas where salt is the answer to all things frozen, oil-spraying is the best defense against the tin worm. However, while oil spraying is common in Canada, it seems less so in the U.S. My brother lives in Maine, and he has struggled to find places equivalent to a Krown/Rust Check/OilGard in his area. A local Rust Check franchise opened just recently in the area, but despite the similar affinity for salt in that neck of the woods, rust prevention isn’t on the top of everyone’s priority list.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      My 2002 Ram 1500 waited until its 14th year to show the least hint of visible rust on the bottom of its tailgate lip. Shortly thereafter a brake line developed a pinhole (cheap fix, <$30 dealer part) and then this year the bed showed its first "Ram rust" above the wheel wells. I never once treated with a rust inhibitor. I can probably count on my hands the number of times it has been washed in 15 years, and on one hand those times that it was hand-washed. Granted it started life in Georgia, but I've lived in central Virginia for 11 years now and drove to/through this area almost monthly the whole time I was in GA.

      That you acknowledge Chevrolets still require rust treatment is troubling. I know the MY2006 Silverados were notorious for the brake line failures. An acquaintance owns a 2014 Express 3500 he bought low-mileage used and is looking to unload it due to extensive undercarriage rust. Sounds more to me like a Chevrolet problem. It reinforces my predisposition to replace my Ram with either another Ram (2500) or an F250. Chevrolets just look and feel amateurish to me in a manner that I cannot quite pin down.

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        Just noticed my neighbour has the first F150 with an ecoboost badge with peeled and rusted rockers I have seen. Truck looks like it’s lived a hard life.

  • avatar
    Toad

    Nice truck; all it needs is window tinting so the front and rear side windows match. Window tinting also makes a huge difference when the sun is shining through the side windows during a long morning or evening drive as well as reducing cabin heat in the summer.

    It’s a well spent <$200. Bonus that a dark window tint really looks good on white vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Tint was a mistake for me– I’m apparently hypersensitive to noise and light.

      It was explained to me that the installers have to leave a little tail inside the door caps/dash. That little bit of tint curls and rubs on the interior trim surface and can make any vehicle buzz annoyingly.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        I’ve had a few vehicles tinted, no buzz or noise (and I’m very OCD about interior noises too). There a good tint shops and bad tint shops; the guy I use does a lot of lakeside home work and high end vehicles and he does not leave any loose ends that I have found.

        A good tint shop would correct any noises that resulted from their installation.

      • 0 avatar
        Coopdeville

        I think you need a new tinter. Mine (3 now throughout the years) have done no such thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Unfortunately for us the local cops have a cottage industry in tint tickets.

      • 0 avatar
        Coopdeville

        Just keep it at 35%. Source: am from Ohio, know Ohio leo tendencies. You’ll see *some* difference between front and rear, but not enough to get in a twist.

        I’ve tried both. I went with 50% on a truck to match the back windows and couldn’t see around corners at night. Did the current car in 35% all the way around and find it’s dark enough for my tastes without looking overtly illegal.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          You poor Midwesterners.

          We’re allowed “limo tint” on the rear and the driver’s/passenger’s windows just need to transmit 20% (so 80% tint).

          Arizona allows “police officer” levels of tint on everything but the windshield.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Tint sucks. Windows are made of glass, so that they transmit light. Dirtying them up, is just silly.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This whole piece is pure gold, Jack.

    “This happened more than you might think. At one point in her life she had a 210-mile daily commute. Things really are different in the Southwest.”

    So perfectly happy with my 60 mile round trip daily and that US 491 (former US 666) is now 4 lanes all the way.

    “I think GMCs are for people who are, you know, trying to act fancier than they are,” was Danger Girl’s comment on this situation.

    Couldn’t even get my wife to look at an Equinox over a Terrain. I’m just relieved her dream vehicle is a Yukon SLE/SLT, not a Denali.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    God bless America (including Mexico), the only place this stuff is realistically possible. They may hate us in Australia and other godforsaken places for other reasons, but this is a big one.

  • avatar

    I was hopin’ you’d replace that Tahoe with another Chevy.

    And now that GM’s allowing the Bowtie to offer packages that match Ford’s premium offerings – rather than automatically steering them to GMC – Chevy’s perception in the marketplace should improve over time.

    Best with your new ride. Enjoy that Gen V LS goodness.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Dude, sup, bro?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wait, so you sold a Tahoe to get into a Silverado?

  • avatar

    It has a giant chain looking grill because trucks are TOUGH and STRONG like an industrial strength chain!

    The custom trim looks much nicer.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “but the only one I could find in Ohio was a tasty metallic grey”

    I thought you were sick of grey, silver, and black.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    “It doesn’t pretend to be a big rig the way the Ford and the Ram pretend to be big rigs. ”

    Oh, sure. That front end is so unimposing and subdued.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      It’s more muscle car than Big Rig. Lots of long, straight horizontal lines to accentuate width. Not height, which is what the other 2’s styling is going for.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    “In the end, I simply threw myself on her mercy. I explained that I needed certain things in a truck — the 6.2-liter V8, the Bose speakers, the ventilated seats. I explained that the Z71 package would have a small but palpable negative effect on towing. Last but not least, I offered to pay for it myself as a kind of delayed wedding present.”

    Here’s two things you DON’T need in a truck – your wife’s and your dad’s approval. Just choose your truck and buy the damned thing…Jesus Christ.

    • 0 avatar
      Shinoda is my middle name

      Fordson:

      “Here’s two things you DON’T need in a truck – your wife’s and your dad’s approval. Just choose your truck and buy the damned thing…”

      If I’m spending ‘our’ money (and who the hell isn’t when a new truck like this costs the GDP of a small third-world nation), then I may not need her ‘approval’, but I damned sure would like her ‘blessing’.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      presumably Danger Girl will be driving it too.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Maybe the article doesn’t make it clear, but we sold *her* Tahoe to make room for it in the driveway and she will be driving it quite a bit. So she absolutely had a vote in the matter.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    Handsome truck, congrats! I too wish GM would resurrect the big sedan and wagon nameplates for their trucks.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Hopefully you’ve still got a few Texas Edition badges laying around somewhere.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    The cool thing about today’s full-sized pickups is that you can actually see what’s behind them because their gravitational fields are large enough to bend light rays.
    .
    .

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Picking a truck will be easy compared to finding a suitable trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      Meh. I just went through the trailer search again, and for race trailers, I still think it comes down to this: Featherlite if you can afford it, and Haulmark if you can’t. Build quality on everything else is troublingly bad.

  • avatar
    Eddie_B

    I name the new vehicle Trucky McTruckface.

    • 0 avatar
      No Nickname Required

      Or McChromeface. The Silverados I like are the ones with body color bumpers and grille. I just cannot abide that gaudy, glitzy, garish chrome front end.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Is the base stereo really so bad that Bose is an improvement?

  • avatar
    tubacity

    A stated reason for selling Tahoe is Danger Girl’s pain when driving. Was old Tahoe’s seat broken? Was there some possible way to modify Tahoe? Saw many GM pickup trim levels discussed. Not all seats are the same. Seat comfort on new Silverado? Not much mentioned in this about seats except heated seat, heated ventilated seat. For $59K, new truck had better be comfortable.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      seat comfort is a very personal thing. More than once I’ve driven a vehicle which supposedly had “incredible” seats, and I found them to be extremely uncomfortable.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” she absolutely had a vote in the matter.”

    ? What kinda Ohio white trash are you Jack ? you coulda just belted her & bought the silly glitzy rig you wanted .

    Well written as usual, I don’t really ‘get’ these big new rigs .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Driver8

    Marilyn will love it. Don’t forget the Yosimite Sam ‘Back off’ mud flaps, and if you’re feeling saucy, stars and bars.

    Speaking of Marilyn and her oil (from the R&T piece), are you running the OE oil-water cooler or aftermarket air-air?

  • avatar
    bienville

    These look nice but those horrid poverty bezels around the infotainment screen were a deal breaker for me.

  • avatar
    DanyloS

    …Other times I can barely see, lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip its been…

    Keep on truckin Jack!

  • avatar
    baggins

    Per usual, a fun to read piece from Jack.

    Jack’s constant stream of luxury purchases (check out his personal blog for some good ones) belies the occasional Tom Joad element of his persona / writings.

    It’s better to be entertaining than consistent anyway.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    Jack, Ray Wert will be thrilled having you in the Chevy family. I think he’s having a bar-b-q next weekend so be checking your mailbox for your invite.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    Nice truck!
    Not my style but that is why they make so many flavors and colors these days.
    Different strokes and all.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Nice truck! Mine would have to be a GMC in SLT trim because prefer the I looks of the front end over the Chevie

    This article has convinced me if I go with a full-size 1/2 ton GM PU it’s 6.2 or nothing. Good to see you’ll be putting that truck to work towing your race car trailer. That’s what they’re made for!

  • avatar
    Tandoor

    As a 42 year old currently sporting a ghastly bruise on my arm from the skatepark, I feel (a tiny bit of) your pain. Last year my boy asked to go and he was having too much fun on the scooter so I started bring his bike for me. I learned the hard way that I have no business on a scooter.
    Glad you got a nice truck (but not too nice) and y’all are happy. I’m curious about this sunroof business, does anyone really want a sunroof? Does anyone open a sunroof more than twice during the life of the vehicle?

  • avatar
    nrd515

    My dad had no real hobbies and my spending money on stereo equipment, police scanners, and ham radio stuff in high school caused a lot of friction between us. He would ask me what stuff cost, and always get angry when I told him. Funny thing was, more than a few times, I caught him playing with my stuff when I came home unexpectedly.

    Congrats on the truck, I drive my friend’s Sierra once in a while, and I like it fine from inside it, but I just can’t stand the looks of the GM trucks anymore. The weird fender flares, the awful front end, it’s just too much. I like the looks of the Ram the best, and the F150 is ok too, but the last GM trucks I’ve liked was the generation that came out in 1999. My 2000 Sierra was a decent vehicle, and never had any major issues, but the rear ABS was poorly done, and panic stopping on a rough road, and a lot of the roads in Toledo are rough was an adventure ride I didn’t enjoy much. The 2003 Ram that replaced it after it was wrecked was superior in every way, IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I figure we are going through a styling period similar to the early 50s trucks with big toothy grilles and other odd details.

      I loved my ’49 Chevy p/u though.


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