The Retro-Style, Roadster Shop-Built 2023 Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway OBS Truck is Fired Up For Its Turn in the Spotlight
Okay, GenXers – this one’s for you!
Goodguys and Roadster Shop are flashing back to the late-’80s and early-’90s for the 2023 Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway vehicle – this white-hot ’88 Chevy OBS Truck. There’s no denying this stunning custom hauler hits a soft spot with enthusiasts who came of age during the height of the custom sport truck movement. But the more we’ve revealed during recent months, the more we’ve realized this truck’s smooth style, trick features, and incredible craftsmanship appeal to enthusiasts of all ages. That became obvious in July when Roadster Shop’s Jeremy Gerber removed the California Car Cover to show off the finished truck to an eager crowd at the 24th Summit Racing Nationals presented by PPG in Columbus, Ohio.
The 1988-98 Chevrolet and GMC truck platform – nicknamed OBS, or “Old Body Style” – has been seriously trending the last few years. The popularity of these pickups has coincided with Goodguys opening its national events to 1997-and-older vehicles. So, naturally, Goodguys decided to put its money where its mouth is and build a giveaway vehicle that would help welcome a new generation of rides – and enthusiasts – to our events.
Our friends at Roadster Shop jumped at the chance to help out. They saw the wave of growing OBS truck interest and knew the best way to respond was with an all-new chassis for the platform. Since the company has a full custom build shop under the same roof, it only made sense for RS to build this giveaway ride, too. This allowed them to do more than just showcase their incredible chassis, but also to incorporate a host of cool and creative custom touches to make the truck a standout.
Roadster Shop unveiled its new OBS Low-Pro chassis at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, generating an immediate buzz. The innovative custom chassis is engineered to deliver an extra-low ride height, but it goes far beyond just stance. The front suspension is designed to deliver improved handling and performance and incorporates C7 Corvette spindles and rack-and-pinion steering. The independent rear suspension is based around a GM limited-slip center section with billet multi-link arms, and it uses outboard trailing arms and cantilever shocks designed in a way to deliver a ground-scraping stance without the need to raise the bed floor. The chassis also incorporates integral brackets and mounting locations for air suspension tanks and related components, making it a true game-changer for modern sport truck enthusiasts.
In addition to being powder coated white and fully detailed with teal and pink anodized accents, the chassis for this truck was equipped with big Baer drilled and slotted disc brakes with teal-anodized 6S calipers. There’s a complete AccuAir management system for the air suspension, an E-Stopp electric emergency brake actuator, and a Rock Valley fuel tank mounted at the back of the frame. The 22- and 24-inch Billet Specialties SLC75 wheels are wrapped in 275/40R22 and 355/25R24 Vredestein Ultrac Vorti tires.
We knew we wanted LS power, and Gandrud Chevrolet stepped up to provide the Chevrolet Performance E-Rod LS3 crate engine. Why the E-Rod? Because it’s California emissions legal for pre-1996 vehicles, which will be great if someone from the Golden State wins the truck. It also delivers a stout 430-horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque. Roadster Shop took things a few steps further, painting the engine white to match the truck’s body and fitting it with an intake assembly from LS Classic, which mounts a throttle body atop a more traditional-style intake manifold. Topped off with custom-machined SBC-style billet valve covers and an ’80s-style Holley air cleaner, the engine visually fits the flashback vibe.
Support components for the LS3 include a Wegner Motorsports accessory drive system, C&R aluminum radiator, and polished stainless steel headers from Ultimate Headers leading to a custom exhaust built using Borla stainless tubing and mufflers. The E-Rod package included catalytic converters that were incorporated into the exhaust, and the system was wrapped using DEI Titanium Exhaust Wrap.
Backing up the mighty LS engine is an equally stout Tru-Street 4L60E overdrive automatic transmission from Bowler Performance Transmissions. Like all Bowler-built offerings, this remanufactured transmission incorporates premium, heavy-duty internal components, a blueprinted valve body and pump, and new gaskets and seals. It was purpose-built for the specifications of our truck and dyno tested before being delivered to Roadster Shop.
At first glance you might not realize how much custom sheet metal work has been done on this trick truck. Take a peek under the hood, though – and especially in the pickup bed – and you’ll see that the mild exterior belies a bevy of custom-fabricated steel.
Let’s start under the hood, where there’s a smooth firewall, custom inner fenders, and a fabricated core support cover surrounding the engine. Pink laser graphics add retro flair, while billet hood hinges from Eddie Motorsports are employed to keep the hood up. Moving rearward, you might notice the filled rear cab seams and the tasteful exhaust cutouts notched into the rear bumper.
That bed, though! With serious tailgating in mind, the inside of the bed has undergone a substantial makeover. Custom-fabricated wheel tubs that are taller and wider than stock accommodate the massive rear wheels and tires, while custom-designed inner bed side panels provide a distinctive look and space for bed-mounted Kicker speakers, audio controls, and LED lighting. There are matching panels on the front of the bed and the inner tailgate. The crowning touch is an aluminum bed floor insert with a custom deck coating incorporating more colorful retro graphics. There are even cup holders in the tailgate!
Want to see how this OBS Truck came together at the Roadster Shop from start to finish? Check out the links below for a five-part in-depth look at each step along the way!
Once the custom fabrication was complete, the sheet metal parts made their way over to Roadster Shop’s in-house body shop for final bodywork and, ultimately, that gleaming new white finish. BASF materials were used throughout the refinishing process. The stark white body is adorned with a small splash of retro-style pink and green graphics on the lower doors, with Goodguys lettering in blue.
Inside the cab, the Roadster Shop team fitted a new Vintage Air climate-control system behind the dash, and a custom Dakota Digital gauge panel into the dash. DEI Boom Mat lines the floors and doors and, true to sport truck form, a truckload of Kicker audio gear and speakers is stuffed under and behind the seat.
Our friends at LMC Truck came through in a big way inside, supplying everything needed to make the interior factory fresh. This includes new door panels, carpet, headliner, seat upholstery, plus many of the smaller parts and pieces you inevitably need when freshening up an old interior. A Billet Specialties steering wheel tops the column, and billet Lokar pedals add a perfect finishing touch.
The completed truck offers a strong nod to the sport truck heyday when the OBS truck platform was brand new, while incorporating some of the latest aftermarket equipment and a few modern twists on ’90s styles. It’s a retro ride for a different generation – a truck that asks, “where were you in ’92?”
While you’re pondering that, make plans to check out this trick pickup at a Goodguys event through the end of 2022 and first half of 2023. Then review the information HERE to learn how you can qualify to win it at the 2023 Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the lucky one to slip on some Oakley Blades and acid-washed jeans before cruising home in this rad and retro Roadster Shop OBS Chevy!
Photos by John Jackson and Goodguys Archives