RE: Chevrolet SSR: Spotted

Tuesday 5th February

Chevrolet SSR: Spotted

Not everything is as it seems with this V8-powered pick-up



Remember in the early 2000s when American car manufacturers, envious of the success of BMW's Mini and the new VW Beetle, and hopped-up on a heady mixture of nostalgia, patriotism and a booming economy, began churning out retro-styled tat? Cars like the Ford Thunderbird, Buick Blackhawk concept, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Pontiac Solstice and Chevrolet HHR hit show stands and showrooms alike, with varying degrees of success.

There were, of course, some far more palatable examples of the craze once people calmed down a little; Ford's GT and seventh generation Mustang both arrived in 2005 and were soon to be joined by the new Dodge Challenger, sparking a revival of American muscle which continues to this day.


Today's Spotted is, for better or worse, a peak example of that noughties retro fad. You can see what Chevrolet's marketing department envisaged if you squint hard enough; buyers chucking their surfboards in the back before cruising down to the Pacific coast with The Beach Boys wafting out of the stereo. After an afternoon of sun, sea and sand they'd head home, only to be challenged at a red light by some punk in his souped-up something-or-other, at which point they'd bury their right foot and show them a clean pair of exhausts.

That's not as absurd a concept as it might seem at first glance. The awkward, '40s styling may not be to most tastes (with the exception of the car's two former owners, we assume) but for the rest of us there are still things to enjoy about it. SSR stands for Super Sport Roadster, afterall - three words which, if given to us as a design brief with a request for a million separate concept sketches, would still never result in a car that looks this way. But might well result in one that's powered like it is.


As a 2006 model-year car, this example boasts the 6.0-litre LS2 V8 engine found in the Corvette, here outputting 395hp and 405lb ft of torque for a 0-60 time of just 5.3 seconds. Think of the SSR, then, as a Ute in the finest tradition. Huge engine up front, pick up bed out back, rear-wheel drive underneath and arresting styling all over. The car's retro status didn't end with its design, though, it extended to its production too. The platform may be based on the Trailblazer SUV, but the exterior panels were manufactured using 'deep draw' stamping, a technique so outdated that it had to be figured out from scratch by Chevy specifically for the car.

Not so old-fashioned were the hard-top folding roof, retuned steering system and advanced suspension set-up. "No other manufacturer has a vehicle like SSR," boasted Chevrolet's General Manager upon its launch. He was right, but there was a reason for that, one which saw Chevy end up with a year-long backlog of the cars in 2004. This revised, uprated and generally better version was the manufacturer's final attempt to convince buyers to part with their hard earned cash. At $43,180 it didn't work, but now, for £24,950, and as a much rarer sight on UK roads, we'd wager there'll be at least one fan of Americana who'll find it's just what they've been looking for.


SPECIFICATION - CHEVROLET SSR

Engine: 6,000cc, V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 395
Torque (lb ft): 405
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
Year registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 11,000
Price new: $43,180
Yours for: £24,950

See the full ad here.

 

Author
Discussion

rare6499

Original Poster:

225 posts

77 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
It’s cool as a piece of history, very unique. But not sure I would want to be seen driving around in it...

Bill

38,329 posts

193 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
Not convinced it's history. It looks like something someone in the 70s thought a 2000s Chevy would be.

phast

99 posts

157 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
My father in law has one of these (for sale on Pistonheads as it happens https://bit.ly/2WHL8cg). Is it a good car, well no not really but it's an event every time your drive it and you can't help smiling while you do. Sounds amazing, pulls like a train and certainly gets you noticed. If you need a retro, hot rod, V8, convertible, pick up (and who doesn't) the options are pretty limited. And because it's classed as a commercial vehicle tax is only a couple of hundred quid. yee haa!

stavers

181 posts

84 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
phast said:
And because it's classed as a commercial vehicle
So I presume then that the speed limit for this is 50mph on a single carriageway & 60mph on a dual carriageway? Love the idea of this but I think that could limit the appeal if people get done for speeding without realising!

300bhp/ton

35,747 posts

128 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
stavers said:
phast said:
And because it's classed as a commercial vehicle
So I presume then that the speed limit for this is 50mph on a single carriageway & 60mph on a dual carriageway? Love the idea of this but I think that could limit the appeal if people get done for speeding without realising!
Not sure if he meant commercial vehicle or not. However all grey imports get road taxed on a flat rate, much the same as the old system for engine over 1.6 litres.
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cookington

59 posts

80 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
stavers said:
So I presume then that the speed limit for this is 50mph on a single carriageway & 60mph on a dual carriageway? Love the idea of this but I think that could limit the appeal if people get done for speeding without realising!
If plod actually enforced this every van and pickup driver in the nation would have twelvtyseven points on their licence.

I would imagine on the rare occasion folk get done for this its probably just as an easy punishment for general knobheadery.


TCS1

466 posts

73 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
There is a yellow one that I see now and again in Aberdeen - sounds great.

Robert-nszl1

265 posts

26 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
A guilty pleasure if ever there was one, but I rather like that! Everything a PT Cruiser isn't!

stavers

181 posts

84 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
cookington said:
stavers said:
So I presume then that the speed limit for this is 50mph on a single carriageway & 60mph on a dual carriageway? Love the idea of this but I think that could limit the appeal if people get done for speeding without realising!
If plod actually enforced this every van and pickup driver in the nation would have twelvtyseven points on their licence.

I would imagine on the rare occasion folk get done for this its probably just as an easy punishment for general knobheadery.
Yeah - I don't think it's heavily enforced. Although I think that the average speed camera system (if they are set at NSL on anything other than a motorway) can distinguish and ticket accordingly - not 100% on that but I believe that was happening.
I know my ex BiL got done for driving 60mph on a single carriageway in a van but I think he was pretty unlucky.

nikaiyo2

2,041 posts

133 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
Not sure if he meant commercial vehicle or not. However all grey imports get road taxed on a flat rate, much the same as the old system for engine over 1.6 litres.
I think he means from a company vehicle standpoint not VED, so you do not pay company car tax rates on it.

Vocht

1,230 posts

102 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
If you're looking for something weird and wonderful for a summers weekend this is absolutely perfect. You can load it to the brim with camping/picnic equipment and supplies and cruise along in the sunshine with the roof down listening to a glorious V8. Awesome toy!

bashful

171 posts

168 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
Typo - described as a 6.0L in the text, 4000cc in the summary.

unsprung

2,626 posts

62 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all

if only they had produced, say, just 11 units (instead of more than 24,000)

get a royal warrant... replace some proven OEM bits with wildly unreliable shed-made kit... and price the whole thing at circa £90,000

then! then that would have been a proper performance car


martin12345

47 posts

27 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
Rather lovely in its own way, just struggle with £25k for a 14 year old car that cost only about £30k new (in USA)
It is was £10k I think it would make a fabulous, fun, weekend "car"

Krikkit

14,124 posts

119 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
Who doesn't love good box arches? I'd be tempted to pick up an old step side pickup and have it fettled for that money though.

Mr Tidy

7,373 posts

65 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
I would never have a reason to buy one of these - but I doubt anyone else would have a good reason either. laugh

Just great that a company like Chevrolet actually made it!


SimonTheSailor

9,375 posts

166 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
You should just buy one of these -



'cos you'd save 10 grand and you wouldn't look like such a knob driving around in it.

Bill

38,329 posts

193 months

Tuesday 5th February
quotequote all
SimonTheSailor said:
you wouldn't look like such a knob driving around in it.
That's not saying a great deal. biggrin

BogBeast

921 posts

201 months

Wednesday 6th February
quotequote all
I am thankful that such things exist, even if it isn't to my taste (well, actually this isn't that bad). Anything to encourage mainstream automaker to do something a bit 'different' should be applauded..

irocfan

18,281 posts

128 months

Wednesday 6th February
quotequote all
SimonTheSailor said:
You should just buy one of these -



'cos you'd save 10 grand and you wouldn't look like such a knob driving around in it.
and here is the issue of the UK encapsulated in one sentence. Who gives a flying what people think bout what you're driving? As long as you like it everyone else can go do one.

I do like them, not sure that silver is the best colour (yellow or purple for me please).