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1973-87 Chevrolet/GMC Truck Vehicle History

1973-89 Chevy/GMC Trucks

1973

Introduced 2 speed electric windshield wiper motor. Wiper arms are partially concealed by the hood and metal portion of blades have a matte black finish. Introduced power flow through ventilation, air enters the truck through louvers at rear of hood panel. Pivot type vent in each door. Curved door windows. Bright metal drip molding over side doors.

1973-78

Woodgrain panel option which was approximately 10" wide through center of truck.

1973-80

Plain aluminum tailgate panel used with Chevrolet embossed in center of panel.

1973-89

Offered a crew cab on the 2WD 3/4 ton model 4 door with 8 foot box and rear seats.

1975-80

Vinyl adhesive molding. Standard clip on aluminum molding also used. Brushed aluminum or plain aluminum tailgate trim panel. Separate emblem attached to the lower right side of brushed aluminum back panel.

1975-89

Offered a bonus cab on the 2WD 3/4 ton model 4 door model without rear seats.

1978

A Rolling Model Change (RMC) Trim label was released by GM Engineering Department which advises a rolling change of 1979 trim installed on the 1978 model year.

1978-80

Chevy Big 10 and GMC Heavy Half were 2WD 1/2 ton trucks with heavy-duty option package (F44). Available as a Fleetside or a Stepside, they featured heavy-duty brakes and suspension.

1978-81

2WD 1/2 ton series had a 350 Diesel engine available designed for transportation only, load could not be put on the engine by towing.

1979

A RMC Trim label was released by GM Engineering Department which advises a rolling change of 1980 trim installed on the 1979 model year.

1980

Official introduction of the square headlight with chrome grille. Round headlight used on painted grille. Last year for GM to use custom VIN number.

1981

Hood and front fenders were restyled for improved aerodynamics. Trucks lost up to 300 pounds through lighter glass, bumpers and body parts. On 4WD models, front quad shocks and automatic front locking hubs that worked at speeds up to 20 mph were available. Electronic Spark Control was introduced on the 5.0L engine.

1982

Cheyenne trim level was dropped. 6.2L 379ci diesel was available.

1983

Parking lights moved from front bumper to the grille. The horizontal center bar on the grille was painted body color.

1984

Parking brake system was improved. New cruise control allowed 1 mph increase and decrease.

1985

Vortec 4.3L 262ci V6 became standard engine, replacing the 4.1L 250ci inline 6. Clutch operation changed to hydraulic.

1986

Trucks featured minor styling changes and mechanical improvements, but were virtually unchanged from previous year.

1987

All engines were available with throttle body electronic fuel injection, allowing better fuel economy, reduced emissions and more power. Electric fuel pump was mounted in the fuel tank. 4.8L 292ci was dropped.

1988

New fixed antenna and trip odometer were added to crew and bonus cab.

1989

Last year for 2WD 3/4 ton crew cab and bonus cab; still available as 1 ton model.

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