Building the Goodguys OBS Giveaway ’88 Chevy Truck – Part 1
Break out your Ray Bans and acid-washed jeans, everyone – we’re flashing back to the late-’80s! Goodguys has teamed up with Roadster Shop to create a bitchin’ new ride for our 2022/2023 Grand Prize Giveaway vehicle: a custom ’88 Chevy Silverado!
As Goodguys cruises into a new era – one where we welcome vehicles up to 1997 at our National events – it seemed appropriate to celebrate with a newer generation of giveaway vehicle. And let’s face it, the hottest platform in the custom truck scene these days is the 1988-98 Chevy and GMC, affectionately known as the OBS (Old Body Style). Enthusiasts are buying, cruising, and customizing these trucks in numbers not seen since the ’90s, making this the perfect vehicle to welcome a new generation of Goodguys.
Our friends at Roadster Shop saw the OBS wave coming and jumped on the opportunity to develop an all-new chassis specifically for these trucks. They unveiled their new OBS Low-Pro offering – the actual chassis that will go under our Goodguys OBS giveaway truck – at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Needless to say, it generated an immediate and substantial buzz.
In addition to building great chassis and suspension components, Roadster Shop is also well known for its trendsetting and award-winning custom builds. Partnering with the shop to build this Grand Prize Giveaway truck was a no brainer, and you can be certain the effort will involve much more than just dropping an old body onto this great new chassis. This build will be all-in, with a new Chevrolet Performance E-Rod LS3 engine from Gandrud Chevrolet, Bowler Performance 4L60E transmission, a host of subtle and cool body mods, throwback graphics, and a fully customized interior with even more subtle one-off elements. We know you’re gonna dig it.
It’s accurate to say that this project originated with Roadster Shop’s decision to build an OBS Low-Pro chassis. Now, for rodders who are accustomed to building pre-’50s rods, it might seem odd to create an all-new chassis for a relatively recent platform like the ’88-’98 Chevy and GMC truck. There were several good reasons for this, though. First, many pro builders have found that it’s actually more cost effective to start with a new frame than to extensively modify an old one. On top of that, Roadster Shop wanted to craft a chassis that incorporated all the desired elements – low stance, good drivability, great performance – into a single no-compromise package.
One key goal was to achieve an extra-low stance without the need to raise or alter the pickup bed floor. Mission accomplished. Thanks to an innovative low-profile trailing-arm IRS system with air springs and cantilever shocks, the chassis allows you to build a truck that, when aired out, will virtually sit on the ground, while still retaining the stock bed floor height. Not only that, it also provides a great ride, incorporates a mandrel-bent sway bar for precise cornering, and employs tough components like a GM limited-slip center section, billet multi-link arms, 300m drive axles with 930 CV joints, and Corvette C7 sealed bearings and brake mounts.
The Low-Pro front suspension is equally impressive, incorporating heavy duty fabricated upper and lower control arms, Corvette C7 spindles, air springs with cantilever-mounted shocks, a tubular sway bar, and rack-and-pinion steering. The front and rear suspensions are built into an extra-sturdy frame with dual 5-inch inner and outer frame rails, clearance for 3-inch exhaust, and integrated mounting points for air tanks, air management, ride height sensors, and air line routing. A variety of engine and transmission mount configurations allow for popular powertrain combinations, while factory core support, body, and bumper mounts make it simple to bolt up your cab, bed, and front sheet metal.
The SEMA display chassis was built with the Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway Truck in mind and was appropriately powder coated white with hot pink and teal accent pieces, not to mention some ’80s-style spatter effects on the frame rails. Baer brakes with teal anodized calipers further the theme, as do the RS Smooth Valve shocks from FOX. The 24-inch Billet Specialties wheels provide a visual link to 2022.
A Bitchin’ Build
The OBS Low-Pro chassis is just the start. In coming issues will showcase some of the other first-rate ingredients planned for this pickup. These will include a Chevrolet Performance E-Rod LS3 engine from Gandrud Chevrolet, a Bowler Transmissions 4L60E, Ultimate Headers, and a custom stainless steel exhaust built using Borla mufflers and pipes. We’ll also highlight some of the cool custom metalwork done by the Roadster Shop fabrication team to make this ’80s hauler even smoother. And with new elements like Vintage Air and Kicker Audio gear inside, you can rest assured this truck will be comfortable to cruise in, too.
In other words, stay tuned – we’ve got a lot more to show you on this bitchin’ flashback Goodguys OBS build. Better yet, start making plans to be at the 24th Summit Racing Nationals presented by PPG in Columbus, Ohio July 8-10, 2022. That’s where the Roadster Shop crew will pull the cover off and unveil the completed truck. That’s also when we’ll tell you how to qualify to win it. We have a feeling it’s going to be totally bitchin’, and we hope to see you there!