2005 Chevrolet SSR Pickup - $32,900
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Yes, this is the one you want to own—the one with the 6.0-liter LS2 Corvette V8 and a 6-speed manual transmission.

You have to give Chevrolet credit for making the SSR happen. A retro-styled pickup truck with a retractable hardtop roof and the drivetrain from a Corvette isn’t something that a typically conservative company would try, yet here it is. Ostensibly an experiment to work with deep-draw forming techniques (dig those fenders!), it turns out that the heritage look of the SSR was a big hit, making these trucks instant collectables. In typical GM fashion, they improved it along the way—just before killing it when they finally got it right—and SSR fans have shown that they’re some of the most passionate people in the hobby. In short, if you want a vehicle that looks old, drives new, and will always attract a crowd, few will do it better than this beautiful 2005 Chevrolet SSR.

Yes, this is the one you want to own—the one with the 6.0-liter LS2 Corvette V8 and a 6-speed manual transmission. The color is called Aqua Blur, one of the action-sounding names Chevy chose for the SSR, and it’s one of the less common choices. It’s actually a really trick flip-flop paint that can be green, blue, or somewhere in-between depending on how the light is hitting it. In our studio it has a clean dark turquoise look, and that suits the handsome pickup just fine. With just 23,503 original miles with a single owner, it is beautifully preserved and has obviously never been used as a commuter vehicle, just a toy. The SSR’s special sheetmetal bodywork seemed to get some extra attention at the factory, because gaps are excellent and the shine is deep enough to justify the long gazes that these trucks generate. It’s also full of trick details, from the strip of chrome that bisects the headlights to the built-in running boards to those cool half-moon door handles that are so easy to grab. Just a few discreet ‘SSR’ badges and two Chevy Bowtie emblems indicate what it is, so be prepared to talk to folks about it when you stop—this thing really attracts a crowd!

Inside it’s 100% modern and full of all the comfort and convenience features you’d want. The deeply bolstered black leather seats look like they were borrowed from a Camaro and they’re power-adjustable in just about every way imaginable (they’re also heated, which is nice for cool weather driving with the top down). There’s a bit of a retro vibe to the rounded instruments, especially the auxiliary dials down on the center console (a $400 option), and the giant aluminum shift knob for the Tremec 6-speed manual gearbox definitely looks like it was stolen from a vintage ‘Vette. You also get powerful HVAC, cruise control, power windows and locks with keyless entry, and a potent AM/FM/CD stereo system, so this really is a no-compromises hobby vehicle that everybody will love, even if they’re the passenger. There are few bits of whimsy in there, too, like the gauge down on the console marked “Torque” and the accessory Trafficator mounted at the top of the windshield, designed to make it easier to spot overhead traffic signals. And, of course, there’s the truck’s most noteworthy feature, the retractable hardtop. Just hit the button on the console and watch the magical mechanical symphony neatly tuck the roof out of sight between the cab and the bed—a system that has been proven to be quite reliable. And speaking of the bed, you should really think of it as the world’s biggest trunk, because it’s fully upholstered, comes with a hard-shell tonneau cover with built-in courtesy light, as well as color-matched rub strips (this truck also includes the optional $900 wood strips that have never been installed).

The 6.0-liter LS2 V8 is really the engine this truck should have had from the start. With 390 horsepower and a towering 405 pounds of torque, improvements of about 100 in each category over the earlier trucks. It starts and runs like you’d expect a top-of-the-line product from GM to operate with no surprises or unusual habits, just turn the key and go. That’s really what makes this a painless way to have fun in an old car. Most of the interesting bits are hidden under a plastic shroud with a color-matched insert on top, but that’s OK, these engines are so reliable you probably won’t have to do anything under there anyway. This one remains completely stock save for a K&N air filter in the big housing up front, so it’s bulletproof reliable and can always be serviced locally. Unlike a lot of its siblings, the hood struts keep the hood open and the factory components are still in place throughout. This is a no-stories SSR.

In addition to the 6.0, the other desirable upgrade for 2005 was a 6-speed manual gearbox, which totally transforms the SSR from adequate cruiser to tire-smoking muscle truck. It’s the same Tremec unit used in the Camaro and Dodge Viper, so you won’t hurt it, and with easy throws and light clutch action, it feels a lot sportier than a truck should. There are also two very deep overdrive gears which make it an easy highway vehicle that can pull down decent highway mileage if you’re judicious with the loud pedal. 3.73 gears on a Torsen limited-slip differential live in a gigantic rear end that’s bigger than the one in our ¾-ton Suburban tow vehicle, so you know GM wasn’t worried about breakage there. The chassis is adapted from the Chevy Trailblazer, which means it has sharp steering, powerful 4-wheel disc brakes, and reasonable ride quality thanks to coil springs and expensive dampers all around. The exhaust has been upgraded to a Flowmaster muffler, but that’s the only notable deviation from stock spec and you won’t mind the fantastic soundtrack it provides. Obviously it has never seen snow or salt and even the optional chrome wheels are almost like new, with correct 255/45/19 front and 295/40/20 rear Goodyear RS-A radials.

Documentation includes all the original books and manuals.

Are these future collectables? Probably. But more important is the fun you could be having RIGHT NOW with this in your garage. It’s user-friendly enough that anyone in the family can take it out and enjoy it and with its vintage look, it’s welcome at almost any car show. Add in the bulletproof reliability, outstanding parts support, and a thriving enthusiast community, and you have a truck that’s very easy to own, no matter what you do. Call today!

Vehicle: 2005 Chevrolet SSR Pickup
Price: $32,900
Stock Number: 116022
Mileage: 23,503
VIN: 1GCES14H95B118520
Engine: 6.0 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.73
Wheelbase: 116 inches
Wheels: Front: 19x8, Rear 20x10 aluminum
Tires: Front: 255/45/19, Rear: 295/40/20 Goodyear RS-A
Exterior Color: Aqua Blur Metallic
Interior Color: Black leather
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