At the beginning of the automotive age, when all the elements that comprise our cars were still cooling, trucks were merely utilitarian vessels with the sole purpose of hauling stuff. Somewhere throughout the ages, those vehicles with spartan amenities have given way to modernized variants chock full of gizmos and go-fast goodies for the enjoyment of its inhabitants.
One of the functional features of trucks that held on for many decades was the step-side bed. If you look back at the dawn of truckdom, you’ll notice those early haulers had running boards, just like the autos that were created at that time. The boards were a way to connect the front and rear fenders, and an added benefit for truck owners was a step to allow access to items placed in the bed without crawling over the tailgate.
Eventually, running boards fell out of vogue for autos, but truck owners still had the benefit of having access to their load in the middle of their trucks. Somewhere along the way, truck designers changed direction, and the step-side faded into the dark night with nary a whimper. Along with it went the distinctive styling of having the truck’s wheelhouses worn on the outside of the bed for the world to see.
Wide Wheels & Wheelhouses
Thankfully, there are still those who dream outside the box, and we can see what a modern Chevy Silverado looks like with some flair added to the bed, even if it is only on paper. Instagram artist Oscar Vargas, aka wb.artist20, is one such forward-thinker who enjoys adding the classic styling of a bygone era to modern machinery and does so with great effect.
In this render, he adds the iconic step-side treatment to a modern, short-bed Chevy Silverado. To add to the tastiness of this treatment, Oscar boosts the size of the wheel/tire combo and drops the entire truck a few inches for that “just right” stance. Complementing those protruding wheelhouses is a bulging hood line which is fertile territory for any supercharger you may want to stuff on top of the truck’s engine.
Engine Options From Mild To Wild
While we are all woozy over the design and styling of Oscar’s “what could’ve been” pickup, the one thing we do deviate from is his engine of choice. We’re definitely not opposed to the 1,000-horsepower Chevy Performance ZZ632 engine depicted in Oscar’s work, which uses modern technology such as fuel injection and would be a powerful replacement for so many rides.
That said, with so much goodness going on within GM’s current engine lineup and since this is an interpretation of a modern truck, we’d much rather see your typical 5.3L or, better yet, the 420 horsepower 6.2L V-8. You could easily plop a Magnuson supercharger atop either engine or swap in the LT4 crate engine from Chevy Performance. Since we’re talking about a truck that doesn’t actually exist, for those totally bonkers types, could you imagine this hauler with the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Raceshop built 6.6L twin-turbo L8T? Those massive rear tires wouldn’t have a prayer with 2,000 horsepower on tap, but we’d be smiling at every red light!
Should GM Build This Truck?
There is no doubt that performance is at an all-time high, and with so many venues spouting the demise of the internal combustion engine, the fields are ripe for enthusiasts to dream about what they wish the OEMs would build as the ICE’s last hurrah. So, what would YOU like to see in this tasteful step-side? Do you think GM should build this truck with one of its supercharged variants? Should GM turn it into a fuel-sipping, towing rig with turbo-diesel technology? Maybe you’d prefer a mass-produced 5.3 or 6.2L variant that can be modified to your liking. Let us know in the comments section below. We can’t guarantee that GM will heed any of our input, but we can surely dream about the possibilities!