We’re living in a time when pickup trucks are hitting unbelievable power numbers, tow ratings, and all sorts of handy technology. But you know what modern trucks are? Too soft. Or at least, that’s what Roadster Shop wants you to think as it releases a turn-key resto-modded Chevy square body truck.
Roadster Shop is best known for custom builds and restorations of classic cars. Based in Mundelein, Illinois, I’ve seen the work the team does and it’s pretty solid, so I was extra excited to see them taking their magic a step further. The shop’s latest incarnation is what they call the Legends Series. The Legends Series trucks are old square body Chevy pickup bodies modernized with the components of current GM pickups and backed by a 650 horsepower supercharged LT4 engine.
The end result is a 1973-1980 Chevy C10 or K5 Blazer that looks and feels old but has modern tech and reliability.
These trucks have so much in them that I cannot even begin to list everything that is happening under the vintage sheet metal. That 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque goes through a GM 8L90-E eight-speed automatic transmission and a heavy-duty transfer case. Four-wheel-drive works with just a twist of a dial. These trucks are a monster mash of off-the-shelf GM parts, a vintage donor vehicle, and custom chassis work by Roadster Shop.
All of this is wrapped in a period-correct cab and bed. The owners of the shop described it as getting all of the sweet looks and feel of an old truck, but with the driving dynamics and tech of a new truck.
Where do these trucks come from? Roadster Shop hopes the customer will provide a donor truck for the process, but the team will be able to source one as well. The customer could either go for a full restoration for that true new-old truck feel or a partial restore, basically locking the truck into a sort of time capsule state.
I was curious about the inspiration for a truck series like this. Roadster Shop’s YouTube channel explains it all in one of its videos detailing a road trip the shop took its vehicles on.
The owners of the shop drive modern pickups and felt that the technology — specifically technology to help backing up trailers — made them too soft. So they sought to build a “man’s truck”.
I must say I wasn’t expecting that explanation. I think it’s pretty silly to equate masculinity to how much technology a truck has. But I can sort of forgive the bad marketing that’s stuck in the past because being able to buy a brand new old truck is a dream.
As for price? Buckle up.
The owners say forget a Ford Raptor and buy one of their Legends trucks, but you could buy a fleet of Raptors for just one of these. A Legends build that doesn’t fully restore the truck like the one featured here should run $150,000-$200,000. If you want that truck to look like it just rolled off of the showroom floor? Expect to pay $250,000 or more. Roadster Shop says the price will heavily depend on the condition of the donor truck and the options chosen.
These trucks are super cool and I love that they exist, but I think the crew could do with some better marketing.