Building the Goodguys OBS Giveaway ’88 Chevy Truck – Part 4
If you follow Goodguys social media or stay up to date with event recaps here on FuelCurve.com, you know that Roadster Shop had a grand unveiling of the 2022/2023 Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway OBS truck in early July during the Goodguys 24th Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Needless to say, the ’88 Chevy pickup blew everyone away with its ’90s retro style blended with modern big-inch rolling stock and incredible detail from the RS build team. We’ll be showing you the finished truck in full detail later this month, but first we need to recap a few more steps of how this cool hauler came together.
While body panels and other parts were being painted, the RS OBS Low-Pro frame was powder coated to match so that final assembly could begin.
As noted in previous installments, it started with the new OBS Low-Pro chassis from Roadster Shop as a foundation. Then, the crew at Roadster Shop upped the ante with some incredible sheet metal fabrication work, crafting custom inner fenders, new custom panels for virtually every surface in the pickup bed, plus subtle mods like exhaust cutouts in the rear bumper and a filled seam on the back of the cab. There’s a lot more detail on this truck than most people will notice at first.
As we detailed in the first installment of this build, the RS OBS Low-Pro chassis is designed with mounting brackets for the air spring compressors, tanks, and sensors. These air suspension management components came from AccuAir.
As the completion deadline loomed in late spring and early summer, Roadster Shop kicked things into high gear. They started getting body parts into their in-house paint booth to be painted with a bright white BASF finish, and got the frame powder coated to match. Chassis assembly could then begin using a host of great components: Baer brakes, a Rock Valley stainless fuel tank, and air springs with an AccuAir control system.
After months of custom sheet metal fabrication work, portions of the Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway ’88 Chevy truck body began making their way into the Roadster Shop paint booth for a final finish using BASF materials. This was followed by the requisite hours of color sanding and polishing necessary to create a first-rate, show-quality finish.
The RS frame uses a stainless under-bed fuel tank from Rock Valley. It was treated to a white finish before being assembled and installed.
With final assembly beginning, it was finally time to un-crate the Chevrolet Performance E-Rod LS3 crate engine from Gandrud Chevrolet and start getting it detailed, too. The E-Rod engine not only delivers a stout 430-horsepower, it is also emissions legal for pre-1996 vehicles in California, making it an ideal choice in case someone from the Golden State should win this rad truck.
Gandrud Chevrolet provided the 430hp E-Rod LS3 crate engine built by Chevrolet Performance. The great thing about the E-Rod is that it is an emissions-legal swap for pre-1996 vehicles in California, which could be important if some lucky Goodguys member from the Golden State should win this rad truck. The engine was also treated to a finish of BASF white in the Roadster Shop paint booth.
Wegner Motorsports supplied the serpentine-belt accessory drive system for the engine. It wasn’t easy scuffing up those nice billet aluminum pulleys and brackets to be painted white, but the result perfectly matched the theme that was coming together for the truck’s engine compartment.
Want to see more of this OBS truck build? Check out the links below to see the 2022/2023 Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway ’88 Chevy build from start to finish!
Of course, Roadster Shop can’t leave anything stock, so the engine was painted white and fitted with an intake assembly from LS Classic, which mounts a throttle body from Summit Racing atop a traditional-style intake manifold with fuel rails and new injectors also from Summit for a more old-school appearance. It will really look the part when finished off with an ’80s-style Holley air cleaner and conventional SBC-style billet valve covers. Other parts that helped complete the engine included a Wegner Motorsports accessory drive system and polished stainless steel headers from Ultimate Headers.
One deviation Roadster Shop made from the standard E-Rod package was to top the engine with an intake assembly from LS Classic. This uses a more traditional-style intake manifold with a top-mounted throttle body and fuel rails for a more old-school look and included a faux distributor for routing the plug wires. It will really look the part when topped off with an ’80s-style Holley air cleaner.
Speaking of cool details, Roadster Shop designed a perfect throwback graphic to machine into the conventional small-block-style valve covers, which will ultimately be painted white to match the engine before getting installed.
Behind the E-Rod engine, Bowler Performance Transmissions built us a Tru-Street 4L60E overdrive automatic transmission. This remanufactured transmission incorporates quality elements like premium high-energy friction plates, a blueprinted valve body and pump, a high-energy 2-4 band, and all new gaskets and seals. It’s also dyno tested, so we knew it would work well even before the Roadster Shop team installed it.
Before the engine was mounted in the chassis, it was connected to the Tru-Street 4L60E transmission from Bowler Performance. The Tru-Street is a remanufactured transmission built using heavy-duty components and improved internals to deliver rock-solid performance behind the E-Rod LS3. You also get a good glimpse here of the polished stainless Ultimate Headers and the catalytic converters, which were part of the E-Rock package.
A host of other elements started coming together at this point, like an aluminum radiator from C&R Radiator, custom-built hard radiator lines, and the endless number of small pieces inevitably needed as a custom project begins final assembly.
An aluminum C&R radiator and electric fan assembly were painted and mounted to the core support before it was bolted to the frame. Here’s a good tip for other builders: note how the front of the core support is painted black? This helps it (and the components attach to it) disappear behind the grille when the truck is fully assembled.
There was a real sense of forward progress when the painted cab was united with the new chassis!
Just like the display chassis we showed you in the first installment, Roadster Shop used blue and pink anodized finishes on aluminum parts to accent the white frame. The driveshaft even got the spatter paint treatment.
We especially like the coordinating finish on the big Baer brake calipers!
The chassis was eventually fitted with an E-Stopp electrically controlled emergency brake actuator, too.
The images here will give you a peek at how well conceived this custom hauler is, and you can see more in the build gallery at RoadsterShop.com. We’ll show you the finished truck in a couple weeks, along with details on the interior, accessories, and other finishing touches that make this OBS a standout showpiece. Hopefully you’ll also get a chance to see this righteous ride in person during one of the remaining Goodguys events this season. With any luck, you might even become a qualifier to win it!
Soon, more body parts were finding their way onto the truck, providing even more momentum for the final assembly. Want to see how it all turned out? We’ll show you later this month!
Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.