What's New for 1999
Model consolidation takes place in anticipation of the all-new Silverado. Trim levels have been changed from three to two (Base and LS) and two new Crew Cab Short Box models (C/K2500 and C/K3500 Series) are offered. Additionally, the C/K1500 will be available only as an LS Extended Cab Short Box with the third door. Mechanical upgrades include new internal components and seals for automatic transmissions, improved cooling system and starter motor durability and three new exterior paint colors.
General Motors' best-selling vehicles, as truck loyalists know full well, are the full-size pickups: half-, three-quarter- and one-tonners with a reputation as reliable workhorses. Ford's similar-sized F-Series grabs the higher sales totals each year, but faithful Chevrolet buyers are seldom swayed. The pickup that feels right at home to a Chevy fan tends to send prickles up the spine of a Ford fan, and vice-versa. Each is likely to declare the other's truck to be harder riding or anemic in acceleration, even if an impartial observer discerns little difference between the two.
Most truck lovers know by now that an all-new Chevrolet pickup is due in showrooms this year. Dubbed Silverado, this model will be available as 1500 and 2500 light-duty models initially, with the heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 trucks following a year or two later. So it's not surprising that few changes are on tap for the 1999 C/K pickup. In fact, only some trim level and color changes, model-shuffling and minor mechanical upgrades separate these new C/Ks from the 1998 versions. Why introduce old-style 1999 C/Ks with the upcoming debut of the Silverado set for the same model year? Well, it seems that Chevrolet was running into Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) problems for 1998. In order to get around this, Chevy began to sell the 1999 models early. Problem solved, for now.
Four-wheel antilock braking is standard fare, and models under the 8,600-pound GVWR have an airbag installed in the steering wheel hub. Correctly fitted, a C/K pickup can tow as much as 10,000 pounds. Long-life engine components extend service intervals up to 100,000 miles on some items. For luxury-oriented truckers, a C/K can be trimmed in leather when the top LS trim package is specified.
When selecting a full-size Chevy truck, you have to face the usual bewildering selection of models, which vary by wheelbase, cab design, and short box or long box cargo-bed size. Don't stop yet: you also have to choose from five different engines (including two diesels), and then decide whether you want two- or four-wheel drive. After that, you still have the dizzying single-option list to ponder.
We get tired just thinking about all those possibilities, but they come with the territory when you're heading into big-pickup range. Truck customers don't want the same hauler that everybody else is buying, they want one tailored to their own specific needs. Chevrolet provides these customers with myriad possibilities to create that special, one-of-a-kind truck, even to the point of offering the all-new Silverado in place of the venerable C/K Pickup.