Sunday, June 24, 2012
Truck Of The Day: June 24, 2012
Today's car of the day comes from juantoo3's collection and is Welly's 1977 Chevrolet C/K-Series.
The C/K is the name for Chevrolet and GMC's full-size pickup truck line from 1960 until 1999 in the United States, from 1965 to 1999 Canada, from 1964 through 2001 in Brazil, and from 1975 to 1982 in Chile. The first Chevrolet pickup truck appeared in 1924, though in-house designs did not appear until 1930. "C" indicated two-wheel drive and "K" indicated four-wheel drive. The aging C/K light-duty pickup truck was replaced with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in 1999 in the US and Canada, and 2001 in Brazil; the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD heavy-duty pickup trucks followed in 2001.
For the first Chevrolet C Series, made from 1911 to 1913, see Chevrolet Series C Classic Six, (the first Chevy).
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Chevrolet C/K-Series
A pickup converted into an airport stairway truck- definitely something you don't see in diecast frequently. And of course, the side saddle controversy that proved "Dateline NBC" is a sensationalist outfit and not a real news program. Not that it stopped people from watching...
An all-new clean sheet redesign of General Motors' Chevrolet and GMC brand C/K-Series pickups débuted in 1972 for the 1973 model year. Development of the new third generation trucks began in 1968, four years prior to production in 1972, with vehicle components undergoing simulated testing on computers, before the first prototype pickups were even built for real world testing. The redesign was revolutionary in appearance at the time, particularly the cab, departing from typical American pickup truck designs of the era. Aside from being near twins, the Chevrolet and GMC pickups looked like nothing else on the road. As a result, the third generation trucks quickly became known as the "rounded-line" generation; although some people may refer to them as "square bodys", given that the trucks appear square-like by more modern automotive design standards.
GM's design engineers fashioned the "rounded-line" exterior in an effort to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, using wind tunnel technology to help them sculpt the body. Third generation design traits include "double-wall" construction, sleek sculpted body work, flared secondary beltline and an aerodynamic cab which featured rounded doors cutting high into the roof and steeply raked windshield featuring an available hidden radio antenna embedded into the glass.
There were two types of pickup boxes to choose from. The first type, called Fleetside by Chevrolet and Wideside by GMC, was a "double-wall" constructed full width pickup box and featured a flared secondary beltline to complement the cab in addition to new wraparound tail lamps. Both steel and wood floors were available. The second type, called Stepside by Chevrolet and Fenderside by GMC, was a narrow width pickup box featuring steps and exposed fenders with standalone tail lamps. Initially, only wood floors were available.
The wheelbase length was extended to 117.5 in (2985 mm) for the short wheelbase pickups, and 131.5 in (3340 mm) for the long wheelbase pickups. A new dual rear wheel option called "Big Dooley" was introduced on 1-ton pickups, along with a new Crew Cab option on the 164.5 in (4,178 mm) wheelbase. Crew Cabs were available in two versions: a "3+3" which seated up to six occupants and "bonus cab" which deleted the rear seat and added rear lockable storage in its place. The fuel tank was moved from the cab to the outside of the frame, and a dual tank option was available which brought fuel capacity to 40 US gallons. 1980 was the first year that a cassette tape could be purchased, along with a CB radio.
The rounded-line generation ultimately ran for a lengthy 15 model years (1973–1987) with the exception of the Crew-Cab, Blazer, Jimmy, and Suburban versions, which continued up until the 1991 model year.
The third generation of GM's full-size pickup line featured a design improvement that saw some criticism long after the model run ended. The fuel tank was relocated from the cab to outboard sides of one or both frame rails beneath the cab floor extending under the leading edge of the bed, commonly referred to as sidesaddle. This enlarged fuel capacity from 16 up to 40 gallons depending on wheelbase and the number of tanks. This also removed the tank from the passenger compartment.
According to a now debunked 1993 report which aired on Dateline, this placement made the trucks capable of exploding when involved in a side impact accident. The faked video was staged by an expert witness for hire against GM, Bruce Enz of The Institute for Safety Analysis. Enz used incendiary devices and a poorly fitting gas cap to create the impression of a dangerous vehicle. GM soon sued NBC over the false report, with the broadcaster settling the same day.
Fatality figures vary wildly. A study by Failure Analysis Associates (now Exponent, Inc.) found 155 fatalities in these GM trucks between 1973 and 1989 involving both side impact and fire. The Center for Auto Safety, Ralph Nader's lobbying group, claims "over 1,800 fatalities" between 1973 and 2000 involving both side impact and fire. Other commentators noted that regardless of any increased risk of fire, the GM trucks had statistically indistinguishable safety records in side-impact crashes from their Ford and Dodge equivalents.
In 1993 the bad publicity generated by the later debunked Dateline story spawned several class action lawsuits. As settlement GM offered owners $1000 coupons toward the purchase of a new truck with a trade-in of the old one. Even though the trucks met NHTSA 15 and 20 mph side impact crash test standards in place at the time of manufacture GM eventually settled with the NHTSA in 1994 for the amount of $51 million to be used for safety programs. The Fourth Generation (1988–2001) was designed and produced well before the lawsuits with one fuel tank inside the frame rails.